Marvel Comics has issued a statement to retailers announcing that the publisher is delaying the ship date of Avengers #71 by one week.  The comic will ship on October 15 and will be returnable, because the publisher now classifies it as a 'mature readers' issue.  Typically Marvel's Avengers comic book is rated 'Marvel PSR,' which stands for 'Parental Supervision Recommended,' suitable for readers 12 and up. 


Two scenes in particular made Marvel change the rating for this issue.  In one sequence a miniaturized Dr. Hank Pym (Yellowjacket) is pleasuring a surprisingly well-endowed Janet Van Dyne (the Wasp) in a bedroom scene, while in another sequence longtime Avengers nemesis Whirlwind beats up a prostitute, who is dressed like the Wasp.


A retailer contacted by ICv2 expressed exasperation over the rating change, which basically means that this mainstream title can't be sold to teenage collectors, even if these underage fans have been collecting the Avengers for years.  The retailer could not remember a previous instance in which a standard Marvel title had undergone a similar ratings change.  'It's bad enough that Marvel has its own rating system that doesn't necessarily jibe with everyone else's, but at least they could maintain some consistency within the issues of the same title.  I don't have a problem with the 'Max' titles, because everyone knows what to expect from them, but this is the Avengers -- it's Marvel's version of the Justice League, and it should be accessible to everyone.'


In its statement to retailers Marvel apologized 'for any inconvenience or difficulties that this situation may have caused,' and requested  'that all Marvel First Look retailers use discretion when deciding to display First Look copies of Avengers #71.'