Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Open Letter to Marvel - Regarding Iron Man #25

Dear Dan Buckley & Joe Quesada,

I just purchased Iron Man #25 today and I was unsure which of you to address my letter to, so I addressed it to both.

I have learned to never start with a negative, so let me just say that the story line about the extremis virus, Tony Stark and the Mandarin's plan is very good. The Knauf brothers have made Iron Man a comic that I look forward to reading. The ending should be exciting. The Mandarin's plan is similar to Ras As Ghul, except he is willing to not be part of the survivors that are left on Earth. A very good 21 pages of story and art. I do feel a little bit shorted for my money as apparently the summary page counts towards the normal 22 page comic. Still why quibble over such a minor point.

Now as for the main reason for my letter what the #$%& are you trying to do to your fanbase? The last time I was #$%& like this I believe it involved copious amounts of alcohol and the exchange of bodily fluids. I paid $4 for this book instead of $3. I saw the number 25 on the book and assumed that perhaps it was a mini-celebration or reaching the artificial milestone of a quarter of the way to 100 and perhaps had some extra story pages. But, no that was not the case.

So let's review what the frell I got for my extra dollar. Wow three pages to tell me about an Iron Man Movie coming out in May. I'm guessing you guys knew about this movie. Now normally the movie production company pays to have this type of material put into a comic, so the comic company makes some bucks for advertising, but if this is produced by Marvel I guess you felt it was okay to charge us for the ad.

Next we got three pages with pictures of various Iron Man Armors that have been used over the years with some remarks by Bob Layton. And surprise, surprise there is a new hardcover of a story arc by Bob Layton and a new mini-series with Iron Man by Bob Layton coming out. Not only that but you graciously informed us of another collection coming out as well as reminded us the "The Many Armors of Iron Man" TPB (the same title as this informative article) that is already available. Thanks Marvel, three more pages pushing your products that I have to pay for.

After that we get a bonus for our extra buck as we get a one page ad (article?) telling us about the Iron Man Omnibus being published soon for $100.

Second to last we get a 3 page reprint that summarizes Iron Man's origin. I hope Archie Godwin's estate and Gene Colan get some reprint monies for shoving that down our throats.
Finally we get a six page preview of yet another Iron Man mini-series coming out in May. Maybe the dollar extra was so we could pay for the privilege of getting a preview that is trying to entice us to buy a mini-series.

This is from the number one comic publisher. Who last year kicked a** so bad you won 75 out of the top 100 selling titles. This is how you repay you fanbase?

Now I've never been your biggest fan in the last decade or so, but I always try to give credit where credit is due, but this is such a blatant rip off that it is beyond the pale.
The deal is I buy your comic for $3 and I get a story about the character on the cover. It does not even have to contain the character on the cover, but the story is ostensibly about the story line that involves the character if nothing else. If you decide to raise your normal cover price by 50 cents it is my choice to continue or not continue with that comic. But this is just an extra dollar (that is not highlighted in anyway on the cover) for you to place frelling ads that I am paying for!!!!!

Well at least you could have kissed me if you are going to ........... me!

I'm tempted to drop all Marvel titles, but instead I will continue to read what I enjoy from your company. What I will do is drop your titles the second I don't like it, no giving the book any grace period. I will not try a book to see if it is any good and give it the benefit of the doubt like I would other companies, I'll just pass and wait to hear if it is any good and maybe borrow it from a friend before buying it myself. Basically you have just gone further down my list as to caring about what you do, as apparently you could give a crap about the fans.

I know this means nothing to your company and that you could care less about what I think, but I still think it was a real rip-off to the fans to make us pay $1 so you could advertise additional items that you are selling during the year that Iron Man hits the silver screen.


Jim Martin


  1. Yeah yeah yeah... but ya liked the story right????

  2. Nicely said. Except you mean ostensibly, not obstinately.

    At this point the only Marvel comic I'm buying is Astonishing X-Men, and that's just to finish it out. I'm not buying as much as you are on a weekly basis in any case, but Marvel just isn't doing anything sufficiently interesting to pick up these days.

  3. Thanks Thomm and thanks for the correction.

  4. I'd be pissed too if I gave a Sh#$ about Marvel. But I don't.

    I care about good stories and good art. There are some Marvel books (a few) that fit this. Thankfully Marvel hasn't started putting stick figure drawings in the back with cooking recipes and charging my immortal soul or my first born. (They only do that if you buy Spider-Man.)

    Incidentally someone on Millarworld came up with an idea for a series for Marvel where Mephisto goes around the Marvel U making deals, messing up relationships, and f'ing up continuity.

    What's worse? Marvel's bad direction or DC's NO direction?

    Personally, I'll read some good comics elsewhere.


  5. You forgot to add "Okay to Print".

  6. Matthew - very funny. I did forget.

  7. next time, make your point without resorting to vulgarity. it automatically invalidates an argument that has a lot of merit.

  8. I don't think your argument was invalidated by the language, but I do recommend that you actually "officially" submit the letter to Marvel without the "colorful metaphors". It is definitely worth them taking seriously.

  9. matthew - I think the language (which is all #$%^) is valid to make the point. At times a little shock value helps to emphasize a point.

    If I thought Marvel would care, I would send it to them, but I don't think they do care and I could type the corporate response, which would be:

    "The Preview was an additional six pages of story and art and the reprint was three pages of story and art, therefore you got 10 extra pages for $1, so in fact the comic was a bargin."

    Notice Marvel is doing all sorts of "extras" with titles to slowly up the normal price to $4.

  10. Potty Mouth!

    Does your mother know you use such language???


  11. I thought that you were cursing using &^%$ because that's how they curse in comics ;) Besides, you're allowed to curse when ranting... this reminded me of my 'letter' to Dan Didio about Nightwing

  12. Hey Jim,

    In the Iron Man Omnibus AD did they show what the three covers will be? I need to decide on which one to get. Usually the variant is an updated version of the original, but in the previews I've seen that's not true in this case. Also, I've seen two versions of the movie variant on-line.

    Getting back to the story proper, did Iron Man really return to his classic Red and Gold armor from the late 70's? If so, why? It's my favorite.

    If you want to get your money's worth paying $4 for a comic, try Exiles #100 and get New Exiles #1 too (only $3). It's been really good so far and they're trying to publish 16 issues a year.

    Lee, there is a contest to name the letter's page of New Exiles and you could win a Grummett sketch of the Exile of your choice. I already entered my idea. Probably won't win, but it sure would be cool.

  13. What the #$%* is wrong with you people?