Robert Scott of Comickaze Comics, Books and More in San Diego, California (see "Marvel Teams With American Cancer Society") comments on Marvel's upcoming Postate Awareness Month variant covers.

"Marvel Comics Go Blue For Prostate Cancer Awareness Month!"

"Throughout the month of September, the world's most popular Marvel Super Heroes--Iron Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Thor, and the Avengers--will be featured on all-new variant covers with special light blue-colored costumes to bring awareness to one of the most common cancers among men."

Fantastic news, no?  Well actually, no.  In fact I can't believe what bad news it is and how revolting I find Marvel's conduct.  This is their third trip to the PSA well (also Breast Cancer and Bullying) and I just can't let it lay.

Why so upset?  Well there are numerous reasons, such as…

1.  Prostate Cancer Awareness?  They neglect to work with an actual Prostate Cancer group, instead going to the American Cancer Society to come up with a message that subverts attention from Prostate Cancer and offers no education or resources about it.

Where is the warning that "The number of new cases of metastatic prostate cancer climbed 72 percent in the past decade from 2004 to 2013" or that the frequency of Prostate Cancer is higher than that of Breast Cancer?

2.  Limiting this incredibly important message only to VARIANTS.  If Marvel truly wanted, "to continue bringing awareness to further increase the survival rate," why guarantee that only a small subset of the small subset of people buying Marvel Comics in September see their message?  Doesn't the message belong on EVERY COMIC that month?

3.  Limiting this incredibly important message only to VARIANTS redux.  Speaking of limiting this to variants…  Retailers cannot simply order these variants and support Prostate Cancer Awareness, they must order the equivalent of a previous month's issue to qualify to buy these variants!  This means most retailers will have to order far more copies of the book than they actually need or want or risk looking like jerks by not supporting the effort.

4.  Oh yeah.  Let's forget everything else.  This is an important effort and after all, all of this extra money that Marvel makes from the additional sales of these variants is going to fight Prostate Cancer, right?  NO!  Just like the Breast Cancer and Bullying covers, Marvel is keeping the windfall.

Most retailers probably can't even consider donating profits from the sales of these covers because the extra expense involved in ordering them means there will be no profit.  Risk not selling any of the regular issue covers you were forced to buy because people were moved to buy the PC variant or not order the variants and look indifferent to the disease and those affected, should they come looking for them, while Marvel profiteers, yet again.  With great power indeed!  Disgusting!

Fortunately there is still time to do the right thing.  Rewrite the banner text to actually bring awareness to and further increase the survival rate from Prostate Cancer and then put it on every book in September!  Failing that, remove any qualifications and allow open orders on the variants, so that we can work within our communities and help spread the word!!

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