Kendall Swafford of Up Up & Away! in Cincinnati, Ohio read The New Avengers #31 which reveals Elektra's true identity, and thinks Marvel's marketing could be more helpful to retailers:


We'll, it's official.  We believed the hype, and Marvel rewarded us with... a Skrull.  Now, I'm sure that the revelation of Elektra's true identity is important and will hopefully have a long-lasting effect on the future of Marvel Comics.  Having read an interview with Brian Bendis this morning, I believe they really do have a plan.  But as a retailer, I feel Marvel Comics has to operate with some measure of responsibility when it comes to how they inform their retail partners about significant editorial content, and hype it appropriately.  This book was quietly, yet urgently hyped as not Captain America big, but Civil War #1 big.  'The most important last page of any Marvel comic this year' was the hyperbole bandied about.  And this may technically be true.  Those with knowledge of Marvel's future publishing plans (like Marvel editorial and Marvel marketing departments) could certainly argue in favor of that statement.  But the death of Captain America transcended the comic book community and, thanks to a slow news day, was thrust momentarily into the national spotlight.  And the retail community is still flush with the cash the Captain America generated, or is still stinging from orders unfilled, and dollars missed.  Either way, no one wants to miss the out on the biggest party of the year, right?  Marvel knows this, and they know that the risk is 100% on the retailer, and they use that to their advantage.


Ultimately the responsibility is mine.  But when I'm asked to repeatedly buy merchandise 'sight unseen,' Marvel could be a little more straightforward about what I'm buying, rather than what they want me to buy into.  They could treat us as adults and, without revealing specific editorial details, inform us about their long-term editorial strategy, and allow us to make informed, intelligent decisions based on reliable information, rather than order blindly and hope they aren't up to their same old tricks.  Maybe someday they'll treat us as partners, rather than the industry's stepchildren.


The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of