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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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