WHOA. Marvel has just announced that they will accept trade-ins of retailers’ unsold copies of Blackest Night tie-ins for copies of a Siege variant edition.

You read that right. Marvel will give you a copy of their event comics for the covers of unsold copies of DC’s event comics.

The DC comics involved were all part of DC’s Lantern ring promotion — retailers had to order Blackest Night tie-in books at high levels in order to get collectible Lantern rings. Some folks thought the levels were too high.

Our email and AIM are already lighting up with “WTF??!!??”

PR below:

In an effort to provide assistance to comic retailers in 2010, Marvel is offering retailers an opportunity to turn unsold comics into an extremely rare Siege #3 Deadpool Variant!

Retailers – for every 50 stripped covers of the following comics sent to Marvel, you will qualify to receive one FREE Siege #3 Deadpool Variant. The 50 stripped covers can be any combination of the comics listed below and all submissions need to be received at the Marvel office at the address below by Tuesday 2/16/2010. Also included with the stripped covers must be your store contact information including Diamond Account # and email address.

Stripped Covers To Be Sent:
Adventure Comics #4
Booster Gold #26
Doom Patrol #4
Justice League Of America #39
Outsiders #24.
R.E.B.E.L.S #10

Address To Send Submission:

James Nausedas
Marvel Entertainment, LLC
417 Fifth Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10016

Information To Be Included With Submission:
Store Name
Store Address
Contact Person
Email Address
Phone Number
Diamond Account #
List of stripped covers being returned and their quantities

All the directions above must be adhered to in order to receive the free Siege #3 Deadpool Variants and the submissions must be received by Tuesday 2/16/2010 in order to qualify.

Please note that this is not a Diamond-affiliated promotion and Diamond should not be contacted. Retailers will be contacted via email once Marvel receives the submissions. Retailer with further questions should contact [email protected]


  1. Hmm, at first I was like “WOW! That’s ballsy!” but then I started thinking, retailers have to rip the covers off of (at least) $150. worth of product they paid for – even if they only sold those copies in the $1.00 bins (still $50.) – in order to get ONE Deadpool (pause for effect there. DEADPOOL. Yes, he’s popular right now. but DEADPOOL) variant cover to Siege #3.

    I’m really curious if this does what Marvel is hoping it does? Keep us posted! (And just in case, I’m going to go double board my possibly soon-to-be-rarer Doom Patrol #4 now. LOL)

  2. As a joke aimed at DC, the gimmick makes some sense, but it doesn’t make business sense. How intelligent is it to take 50 potentially salable comics, make them unsalable, and pay (cost of mailing, time, etc.) to get one copy of a potentially salable comic? The stores which have that many unsold copies of the DC tie-ins will probably have unsold copies of the Marvel tie-ins and SIEGE, too.


  3. Now, now marvel you don’t have to overcompensate cuz YOU are now part of a huge coporate conglomerate. We still think youre bad ass! (even after that lame attempt to trump up the ‘controversy’ surrounding nemesis. I’m not a dc moonie btw, I love marvel!)

  4. Stupid question–does “stripped” mean cut or ripped off the front of the comic?


    Back when comics were returnable they usually weren’t returned in full, but the top part of the cover (showing the title and issue number) would be torn off each copy, saving effort and return shipping. Hence the line they used to have in the indicia saying “this publication cannot be sold with any part of its cover missing.”

  5. What an absolute dick move by Marvel. This does NOTHING for the medium, other than promote more petty bullshit between the big two. Disgusting. I’m not shocked at all that Dick Johnson is a fan. He’s the biggest Marvel shill/sycophant/kiss ass of all.

  6. Of course, if it fails, Marvel gets embarrassed. If it succeeds…think how rare those DC tie-ins will be, and how happy their owners will be.

  7. It’s juvenile bullshit on so many levels, especially with the “rules” of their game. By bypassing Diamond or any third party, there’s no one to verify how many covers they receive. They’ll totally fabricate whatever “participation level” suits their hype objectives. In a word, “Goofy.”

  8. never fails to amaze how the big two always uses the retailers to promote and market with very little effort on their part , but expect tons of effort on the retailers part. as far as the big two are concerned the only beeyotches around are the retailers as they try to use them against their rivals.

  9. Wait, wait…lemme see if I have this right…Marvel will take returns of DC books, but they won’t do returns on their own books. Does this sound messed up to anyone else?

  10. This just in: Marvel will turn around and resell these stripped covers for $3.99 a piece. No backup stories or extra pages included.

  11. Every retailer takes a gamble when they order event books in quantity. A lot of times they end up sitting on them, feeling lucky to unload them at a loss in the 25, 50cent, dollar bins. I’m sure that some (not all) retailers would welcome the chance to trade in on some of these gambles that went south. I mean, what retailer doesn’t remember Sovereign Seven cluttering up their stock rooms, while other people shouted about what a hit it was, ignoring the fact that it was the retailer’s money that payed for them? Is it a “dick move by Marvel?” I don’t think so. I think that someone at Disney understands that retailers might warm to the idea, that a comic book company knows who’s really paying the bills. It’s a competitive strategy. Something seldom seen since Diamond became the only distributor that stores could get big two books from. Competition breeds creative thinking. Creative thinking is always a good thing. Your move DC.

  12. Okay… What are the ICV2 numbers for the strippable titles?

    Smart (and possibly speculative) retailers ordered the books, then sold the rings (Midtown had them for sale online) for extra profit.

    Then you turn around and wait for Siege to take off. It’s been out a week or two. If it’s big (the previous two events haven’t been), then send in the covers, collect signatures on the variant, slap it, and sell the variant for $100+ (to cover the wholesale cost of the DC covers).

    Smart retailers ordered conservatively on the Ring comics. speculative retailers didn’t. So Marvel is rewarding the speculators, while punishing the more responsible retailers.

    Hey… Marvel didn’t say anything about NEWSSTAND covers, which I don’t think are different than DM covers. A newsstand distributor employee could strip the covers, conspire with a comics shop, and
    split the profits. These titles were published in November?, so they could already be sitting in warehouses, already returned from retailers..

    A guttsier move, and it’s coming, would have a publisher offer Marvel’s plan to COLLECTORS. “Rip off the covers, mail to us, and get a special premium.” In other words, treat the covers as box tops.

    Or have a scratch-off game on the cover. Did you win? Great! You didn’t? Too bad, it’s no longer mint…

    Heh… what if retailers protested crappy titles by mailing in stripped covers of crap they can’t sell?

    Yes! A new protest movement! Don’t like the comic you paid good money for? Tear off the cover and send it back to the publisher! Post the stripped comic to a central website. Maybe make something creative from the comic, like origami or papier mache! Keep track of which issues get “beheaded”.

  13. A lot of “smart” retailers probably ordered the books, and told their customers that if you wanted the rings, you had to buy the books. It was a promotion after all.

  14. @Chris Moonlight
    There’s no move for DC to make, if this was Chess, Marvel already lost. DC already make their late / solicitation changed / creator changed titles returnable. Marvel are the ones playing catchup, and this tiny little attempt at a gambit doesn’t begin to cover it. You can’t embarrass a company that already shows more retailer / flexibility than you do.

  15. It’d be nice if Marvel just concentrated and put this sort of energy into getting their titles out on time instead of resorting to these type of stunts and cooking up yet another unattainable variant.

  16. “You can’t embarrass a company that already shows more retailer / flexibility than you do.”

    Normally I’d agree, but it’s a brand new day at Marv-ney. Plus, Marvel has the edge as far as product goes, which I think is what they’re really trying to tell people with this move, above all else. Their printing is nicer and their art and story telling approach is far more contemporary. From where I’m standing (and all due respect) DC is the one with a lot of catching up to do. If that’s not so, then why is the WB moving their people in? The game hasn’t even begun to change.

  17. Doesn’t seem like a leadership strategy designed to grow the industry or help retailers. DC’s ring promo was fun, upbeat and fresh. This feels like just the opposite.

  18. Todd said:

    “Now if it were stripped copies of Final Crisis: Aftermath books, _then_ it would be funny…”

    No. if Marvel said they’d accept returns for the nine Deadpool titles they intend to flood the market with in March, then it would be funny.

    Personally, I think this is Marvel attempting to be subversive, but for me it comes across as tawdry and squalid, and another nail in the coffin that is being constructed, by themselves, for DC and Marvel.

  19. As a comic fan one of the worst scenes I could see is a comic stripped-out of its cover. I know the concerned Blackest Night tie-ins will bring more in the one dollar pin. I think it would have been wiser for Marvel to come-up with more interesting ideas and more creative projects (similar to what DC planned for 2010) instead of this move which only reflects hate and envy.

  20. I just love seeing all the trumped-up ‘outrage’ by fanboys and numerous DC apologists over this stunt. Because Marvel’s marketing department just punk’d you, guys. The fact that nearly every DC-centric message board and blog is now talking about Marvel instead, after nearly a week a ‘big DC announcements’? The value of an ambush promotion like that is PRICELESS.

  21. I agree that on the surface, it is a brilliant PR move for Marvel, in that it trumps Dc announcements and insinuates that DC comics are unsalable and worthless.

    BUT, comics is a small industry, and mostly caters now to fans who purchase their thin little $4 comic books from direct market stores. SO, first, Marvel is insulting the retailer, who sells comics from BOTH companies, and who needs to do all this stripping work.

    AND this all harkens back to the bad old days when comics as a whole were considered down market shipping ballast for distribution companies; periodicals intended to fill quiet hours on Charlton presses. Published by cigar smoking megalomaniacs and sold to slow and semi-illiterate juvenile delinquents.

    Cover stripping? Man. Old school, wasteful and disrespectful.

  22. Dear Zodcplmpex (I think the name says it all),

    Clever calling me Dick Johnson (like I haven’t heard that before). As a former VP of DC Comics – yes I do like an admire Marvel and I admire DC. The reason I said this was brilliant is because it’s funny and in the end harmless. And it did what it was meant to do – attract attention to Marvel and their comics. And really how many retailers are going to go to the trouble of doing this? In the end is it really worth it?

  23. This would be the move of a desperate or envious company if that company hadn’t captured almost half the market in December.

    Am I wrong in thinking this is a win for retailers – if they bought the right amount of books, then they don’t participate. If they bought too many (either by overestimating the appeal of the ring trinkets or because of DC’s minimum order requirement), they can convert merchandise that is unlikely to sell into something that might.

    As for the aesthetics of tearing the covers off books, the retailers should be allowed to do what they want with books they purchased (in the same way I am allowed to poorly store the ones I bought). But if it bothers you, then organize a movement to buy all the surplus issues – retails would make even more money and you would be putting your money towards the preservation cause. Win-Win.

  24. ok..had overnight to think about this…

    now, if retailers have over ordered these books and they arent selling them…and they can trade them in for a book they can make money on maybe…well..is that such a bad thing? think about it…

    because marvel is offering this using dc books for the idea it comes off a bit different, but the idea is the same.

    but that said, what if each company did this with their own books?

    It’s not a bad idea if you take the idea to tour won company. maybe I am wrong?


  25. “BUT, comics is a small industry, and mostly caters now to fans who purchase their thin little $4 comic books from direct market stores. SO, first, Marvel is insulting the retailer, who sells comics from BOTH companies, and who needs to do all this stripping work.”

    Guess again, fanboy. Cover stripping is a widely-accepted practice in the publishing industry. Why would retailers feel insulted when someone is actually offering to take DEAD STOCK off of their hands in a trade?

    And the idea of ‘comics being such a small industry’ is a joke, considering how many comic creators these days are mostly writing pilots for bigger media (TV, movies) with their comic book work. Some folks need to get out in the sunshine once in a while.

  26. If I was a retailer, I would just have any customers interested in this variant buy the equivalent amount of DC books to the variant, and then just give them the variant minus shipping and handling charges once it comes in. Then, they have guaranteed money for items already not-returnable and bought, and aren’t inevitably stuck with a variant that won’t be worth anything a year from now anyhow. And then my Blackest Night copies all go up in value too.

  27. KET, hilarious to have you label me as a fanboy. Nothing could be further.
    And as far as the comic industry being small, well, put it this way, I never have to wait in line at the comic shop to buy a comic. The store is usually empty of customers even on Wednesdays.

    However, yes, I have seen the local newsstand employees stripping covers off their magazines and dumping the remaining magazine into the recycling bin. They do it right at the main cash register.

    But with the retail price of a non returnable comic at $4US, 50 covers are retail valued at $200. Are times so tough that retailers will toss out 50 recent back issue comics and mail away the strips for one comic variant?

    I just think it’s the wrong message and can backfire when the retailers go the next logical step, and start to question whether they can send overstocked Marvel comics back to Marvel each month for credit, stripped or not stripped.

  28. There are a lot of things that could go on here, and some of them are kind of funny.

    If there truly is a bad taste in the mouth of many store owners over the number of issues they needed to order to get the rings, than this is a great PR move by Marvel to say “We are on your side and want to work with you.”

    It’s also possible that many people will see this as a “d*ck move” by “evil Disney empire”.

    One funny thing that might happen is further speculation. Someone above noted that some retailers were being speculative and looking to sell the rings, expecting them to be of very high value. Now there is an idea floating out there that Blackest Night tie ins may be getting destroyed en-mass. As someone who was reading/collecting books back during the comics bubble of the late 80s/early 90’s, I can just imagine the people out there that are thinking about this. I promise you that right now there are people that think this will increase the value of the tie ins by making them rare, which could actually drive the sales up for the Blackest Night issues.

    So is it a possible win/win for Marvel. Are they scoring a PR win by showing they are on the side of the retailer? Are they “helping out” the retailer by generating demand for the competitors product? Are they just trying to drum up demand for their own Deadpool product?

    Is Marvel an evil genius….?

    Prob not, it’s prob just a d*ck move.

  29. Here’s some ancient history – back in 1994-1995 Malibu Comics ran a similar program called Glutbusters. For a certain number of copies (I think it was 100, but I could be wrong) of Valiant, Dark Horse, Image titles that a retailer sent in (at their expense), the retailer would get 1 Ultraverse hologram comic in return (sent at Malibu’s expense). Malibu was overwhelmed – each retailer who participated sent in between 300-400 comics and thousands of comics came into the office. I’m sure many saw it as a dick move at the time, but the retailers who participated got a kick out of it and the hologram comics did have brief (oh so brief) value. The returned comics were driven down to San Diego where they were donated to the California prison system which was the only large scale organization that would accept them, and only if any adults only or “inappropriate” titles had been culled. I know, it’s prison, go figure.

  30. @Blacaucasian

    That’s genius.

    I don’t think normal fans would go for it but I am sure their are enough speculators still out there that would buy 50 books to get one rare comic, that comic shops can turn that off

  31. Marvel have had their shorts in a knot about Blackest Night ever since it started. I am not sure why though. Why is this event any different from Identity Crisis, Final Crisis or any of the other books that end in Crisis that DC has been putting out for the last 5 years?

    The sport equivalent of this would be the ice hockey where a team that is leading 9 – 0 late in the third period sends their goons out on the ice when the other team scores to make it 9 – 1. Marvel leads DC in pretty much every category. Why are they acting like douches about Blackest Night.

  32. A gimmick to get a gimmick? Everyone who participates gets what they deserve. Marvel, promote your underselling books that need the push: X-Factor, Spiderwoman and Incredible Hercules. Well, maybe Siege needs a push from what I’m reading in the reviews. If DC is reading, I’ve got a few Bendis books I wouldn’t mind destroying. I AM XORN!

  33. @Owen

    I’m one of the people who buys super expensive sketch variant covers. I am relatively new to comics but have been collecting since Captain America #25. That was the first comic I purchased. I did purchase all the variant covers from Marvel events from 2006 until now. Dark Reign for me was the final straw. So many variants and minis that it was hard to keep up. I decided I would collect all Dark Reign and then that would be it as far as events go. I collect for fun mostly and I like to read then secondly for an investment for my kid. I personally feel like I couldn’t have gotten out at a better time from the investing point of view. I could not afford to keep up with The Siege variants like 1:200 or 1:300 or now this ultra rare bs.