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Death in Fantastic Four, and Why I love my Local Comic Shop

ff587cover_marvelstockimageI was home in this apartment tonight when it occurred to me: I didn’t even LOOK for the “death issue” of Fantastic Four. All this hype and such about it…and it wasn’t even—in the actuality of standing in the comic shop—worth my attention, apparently.

I ranted a bit about the issue from an ad a few weeks back in my post Fantastic Four, death and the return of the polybag. I would add to that list of complaints the way the publisher spoiled the story/leaked it to media on Tuesday, when ostensibly they were encouraging (“allowing?”) comic shops to sell the issue on Tuesday to allow fans and readers to get and read the issue withOUT having the story spoiled for them. Also the supposed “bonus” of random signed copies that seem to be cropping up—with a certain limited number of copies inside the polybags being signed by the writer. As if to add a further level to falsely inflate the “collectibility” of the issue.

On a much more positive side, my local comic shop was having an incredible sale on hardbacks (mainly Marvel). $10/pop. I wound up picking up Magneto: Testament (been interested in that for ages) as well as Marvels: Eye of the Camera, which I’d read the first issue back when it came out, but opted to wait for the collected volume. What better time than now? And, after going the library route to catch up on nearly HALF of the original Ultimate Spider-Man series, I’ve been morbidly interested in Ultimatum, but the libraries I frequent haven’t had it. Saw it here, figured what the hey?

So…$75 in books for only $30. And I have friends who’d be interested in reading these volumes as well, so they get increased value for multiple readers…

10dollarhardcovers

tmntatundra01Sales like this are why I love my comic shop. For lack of better phrasing…they often have “convention-level sales” at least once a month—whether it’s freshly-stocked 25-cent bins (yeah, 25…not 50!), random bargain runs ($10 for 45 of 50+ issues of the original X-Force or $15 for 60 issues of JLA, and other such deals), 50-90% off collected volumes. Sometimes these sales seem ongoing…to the point that on the “deals” side of things…I never seem to get a chance to miss going to conventions.

Also, a TMNT book I ordered from Mirage a couple weeks back came in today. Disappointed there’s no text on the spine, but it’s otherwise a great collection of the Archie Adventure Series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #s 5-10 from Tundra, from 1991.

Fantastic Four, death and the return of the polybag

ffdeathpic I’ve noticed the last issue or two of Fantastic Four having a running countdown on the cover, apparently counting down to a “death” of one of the core/original Fantastic Four characters.

And I’ve been noticing some comments around the internet—just enough to be what I’d count as “buzz” over the impending death of one of the characters.

From what I understand, the story is called “Three” and in ads, it’s being proclaimed that “One Will Fall.”

And the latest ad that I’ve seen (see photo associated with this post) I even see a notice on the ad that “This historic double-sized issue will arrive in a special polybag.”

Questions:

1. What makes this historic? Are you spoiling the story that literally? Is this going to REALLY be on the same level as The Death of Superman, the Death of Captain America, or some such? Is this going to TRULY, PERMANENTLY, for at-least-a-decade-or-so be the end of the story for one of the core FF members, whoever it is that “falls” or “dies?”

2. So it’s double-sized. Is it going to be double-priced, too? Along that line…what IS the price, anyway? $5.99? $6.99? Or is it less, and part of that double-size comes from reprint material, sketchbooky material, or what? Is the actual, main-feature top-billed story itself actually double-length?

3. What makes the polybag special? Does it glitter? Is it resealable, so that one can take the comic out to (gasp! horror! shock!) READ it, withOUT “destroying” the comic (since “damaging” a polybag APPARENTLY is akin to the paper stock itself being dunked in turpentine)?

4. WHY a polybag? Is there bonus material being bagged with the issue? An obituary? Poster? Memorial armband? promo trading card? Is the cost of the bags, and the extra processing and such part of the cost? What extra value is brought to the comic by sealing it in a polybag?

4b. I’ve always wondered at an experiment: ship a comic with just a cover, and all blank interior pages, except for a pull-out coupon. If you have that coupon, you can send it in/trade it in for an ACTUAL issue with actual interiors…

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