Thursday, August 18, 2011

Marvel's Reprint Snafu

Last night on Twitter, Marvel Comics editor (and all around great guy) Tom Brevoort questioned DC's choices of reprinted material in some of their recent books. I replied that Marvel had a much bigger eff-up in one of their recent books. Just recently, Mr. Brevoort asked why I thought the example I gave was so bad. In an attempt to circumvent Twitter's 160 character limit, here's my reply (hopefully he reads it):

In X-Men: Legacy (the book that can do NO wrong due to short-scribe Mike Carey) #250, Marvel chose to reprint New Mutants (vol.1) #26 to, presumably, introduce new readers to the character Legion. This story was part one of a three part story (or maybe four parts...). The original issue had a "To be continued" tag on the last panel. Not content to just reprint the issue, Marvel added a new tagline on the bottom of the page reading, specifically: "To be continued in New Mutants #27!"

By and large, this isn't that bad. A couple of year ago, Marvel put out a "Monster Sized" X-Men Christmas issue filled with reprinted material that was the first part of a multi-part story...the problem here is this: The reprinted issue was New Mutants #26 for volume 1 from the 80's. Marvel is currently publishing a new New Mutants series (volume 4 to be exact), and a handful of weeks after X-Men Legacy #250 was released with this story and the added "To Be Continued in New Mutants #27" tag, guess what was released? That's right, New Mutants (the current series) #27.

Any "new" reader who actually needed this issue reprinted and wanted to read the rest was not only NOT directed to a collected edition or anywhere they could read it, they were actually directed to a book that was going to be on sale currently 2 weeks later (or so...). And that new New Mutants #27 was the final part of a new multi-part story, didn't include Legion at all in the book, or have ANYTHING at all to do with the story reprinted in X-Men: Legacy.

Reprinting part of a multipart story isn't anything new for Marvel or DC, but actually ADDING directions to a book where there is current confusion between a 20+ year old book and one on sale in the present is a new and pretty spectacular screw-up in my opinion.
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