In Marvel's press conference today, Marketing Manager Bill Rosemann ran down an impressive list of Spider-Man projects scheduled for the spring in order to feed off the heat generated by the Spider-Man movie, which opens May 3. In addition to providing a plethora of product, Marvel is offering retailers substantial discounts on both Spider-Man hardcovers and trades that will be available this spring. Marvel is priming the pump starting in March with two hardcovers , The Complete Frank Miller Spider-Man and The Ultimate Spider-Man Hardcover. Retailers who order these hardcover titles before Marvel's order cutoff date receive a substantial discount of $4 off the wholesale price. In April Marvel is following up with a 336-page Best of Spider-Man Hardcover that has a similar $4 discount for retailers who order before the cutoff date.
The comic book adaptation of the Spider-Man film, written by Stan Lee and illustrated by Alan Davis, ships on April 17 with a $5.95 cover price. A week later Marvel is shipping a Spider-Man Movie trade paperback, which includes all ages-approved material from recent Spider-Man comics along with the movie adaptation. The 112-page trade will retail for $12.95. In addition to the hardcovers and the movie trade, Marvel has reprinted all the Essential Spider-Man trades. In order to get retailers to order more Spider-Man trades during April and May, Marvel is offering a 10% discount on Spider-Man trade paperbacks ordered during those months.
In May, Marvel is serializing a Spidey story, 'You Can Call Me Al' in half of all its weekly books as bonus pages. The five-part story by Ron Zimmerman features a new installment every week. Marvel is also providing The Ultimate Spider-Man #1 as part of the 'Free Comics Day' promotion (see 'Free Comic Book Day on May 4'). Marvel chose Ultimate Spider-Man #1 because, according to Editor-in-chief Joe Quesada, 'no book that we have is closer to the vein of the Spider-Man movie.... [I]t has everything needed to pull the new readers in and get them hooked on the Marvel Universe and comic reading.' Lots of Spidey projects of interest are hitting the market in May and June including Spider-Man Blue (by Loeb & Sale) and Spider-Man: Sweet Charity, a 64-page one-shot by Ron Zimmerman and Darick Robertson. Meanwhile, the movie villain, Green Goblin, returns in Ultimate Spider-Man #22 and in Peter Parker #44, and the Tangled Web remains as kinky as ever with issue #14 co-written by the professional wrestler known as 'the Raven,' and #15 a stand-alone story written and illustrated by alt-comics hero Paul Pope.