Marvel improved its on-time percentages during December, but remains behind on a significant percentage of its top titles.  Seven out of Marvel's top 25 titles scheduled for December did not ship during that month, a 28% late percentage.  Two of those (Origin #5 and Amazing Spider-Man #38) are still unshipped after three weeks of January shipping (8% left). 


This was a substantial improvement from mid-November when we did a similar analysis.  At that time, Marvel's Bob Greenberger was promising that Marvel's December books would ship during December, with the exception of a few books that might slip into the first week of January (see 'Marvel Strives To get Back on Schedule').  Marvel had much higher percentages of late books at that point.  Eleven of Marvel's top 25 titles (44%) failed to ship during the scheduled month of October, and six of the eleven late titles had not shipped as of mid-November (24% left). 


Another indication of improvement is that Marvel's late shipping accounted for four out of the top five comics scheduled for October shipping in November or later, while two of the top five comics scheduled for December shipping were Marvel titles that did not ship during December.  All of these numbers indicate considerable improvement, with some distance yet to go.  If improvement continues at the same pace in coming months, Marvel will be shipping all of its books on time (in the scheduled month) in April. 


The improvement was apparently not enough to save the job of Greenberger, who was charged with getting the books out on time.  Newsarama has reported that Greenberger was fired from Marvel as part of a twenty-person cut-down in early January, with Greenberger saying he was fired because, 'Bill decided things under my watch were not going as hoped and I got the ax.'  That's a strong statement that on-time books are a high priority at Marvel under current management.