Marvel has been playing a very strange game with the pricing of their comics. They want to push the $3.99 price tag as much as they can to milk what they can out of the direct market. The strange thing is some of the books like the recent Captain America books have been priced right at $3.99 because they each have 30 pages of new material. Most of the $3.99 books, like the books in the Ultimate line, have only 22 pages of material which is over priced. It seems somewhat fitting as Marvel creatively has been a mixed bag of late. Some of the books are really great and some are just horrendously stupid. So it’s probably no real surprise their pricing is just as haphazard.
DC on the other hand has their pricing set. A DC book that is $3.99 will have 30 pages either as a full story or a co feature to make up the extra pages, while the 22 page books are set at $2.99. It’s simple, it’s smart, and it doesn’t cheat the fans. Marvel needs to fall in line with this because it is not just something that is good for the fans but it is something they will benefit more from as well. The main reason Marvel would benefit from this also ties into one of the reasons why Disney purchased them, that being character development. Disney wants properties they can develop in other media such as movies, TV, etc. The better Marvel’s comics are the more Disney will have to work with. (more…)