Marvel Mails Fans Terrible Quality Merchandise, Angers the Internet

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captain america winter soldier cast with kevin feige at comic con 2013

Credit: Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Fans aren’t happy with Marvel after some of this week’s issues were made with extremely thin paper.

When a Marvel comic costs $3.99 or $4.99 per issue, fans expect that the paper quality will be good. Most of the time, Marvel comics are sturdy and reliable, but this week was a horrible detour for Marvel.

Marvel Comics Jake Lockley Personality of Marc Spector/Steven Grant/Moon Knight
Credit: Marvel Comics

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This week’s comic book issues from Marvel were made from a thin paper causing the comics to be very fragile as turning the page could rip the issue.

Fans and comic book stores went to Twitter to rant about the poor quality:

@Marvel what’s with the absolute trash quality of paper used on this week’s comics? The covers feel like they’re printed on newsprint and yet you charge the same price? #disappointed

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What the heck is going on with #marvelcomics this week???!!! The paper quality is awful. Extremely flimsy #comicbook #marvelcomics

One of the fans noted that this wasn’t a problem for DC comics as their issues were perfectly fine:

Exactly and DCs comics are of sturdier stock as well….much better than marvels shiny flimsy pamphlets

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This weeks comics from #marvelcomics & #penguinrandomhouse is not up to quality. Damaged and missing issues from PRH and Marvel printed their comics on thinner paper. #damagedcomics #thinpaper @ Got Comics Inc

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Secret Origin Comics called out editor-in-chief for Marvel Comics, C.B. Cebulski for the terrible quality as they felt the issues were “unsellable”:

@CBCebulski what is up with the paper quality on this week’s books? They’re unsellable. The covers are worse than interior stock. Absolutely garbage. Time to rethink the direct market’s relation with Marvel Comics. If you have issues with the paper supply, cut titles. Sad.

Another fan was quick to point out how terrible the ink quality is as the fan had to make sure the ink wouldn’t smudge on the front cover:

This is definitely a thing. I’ve also noticed if I’m not careful, the ink from the front cover will smudge and even come off on my hands. There’s so much to love about Marvel comics, but the paper/ink quality isn’t one of them imo

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Sources report that MyComicShop had reached out to Marvel and gotten an update for what to expect for future releases:

Some of the Marvel issues we received for this week have been printed on a notably lower quality paper stock–a thin, flimsy paper of the same stock as the interior pages. Because of the lower quality paper, many of these issues are a little more dinged up than what we usually expect when receiving brand new issues from our publishers. As a result, our stock for these issues will contain a higher ratio of VF or FN copies than usual, with fewer NM available.

Some of the affected titles from this week’s releases include:
Iron Man #18
Maestro World M #2
Savage Spider-Man #2
Shang Chi #10

Marvel tells us to expect similar cover stock for these issues due out next week:

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #36
Silk #3

We and many other retailers have already made our feelings about this loud and clear to Marvel and its distributors. What we’ve heard from Marvel is that these issues will not be reprinted, but that they are shifting back to a better cover stock for new issues going forward. Hopefully there aren’t too many more of these issues in the pipeline.

X-men #12 Hellfire Gala variant cover by Inhyuk Lee with scott summers cyclops captain krakoa
Credit: Marvel Comics

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It’s great that Marvel will shift back to better cover stock, but this isn’t the first time fans have reported terrible quality from Marvel. In the past few years, fans have found certain issues to be made of the same cheap paper stock and Marvel always reassures fans that they won’t do it again.

The stories Marvel has been telling me recently with the X-Men, Eternals, and Daredevil have fans excited to get the next issue. Now, fans have to worry if the issue will be made with better paper as Marvel could easily make some more comics with the thin paper to cut costs.

captain carter in avengers forever #4
Credit: Marvel Comics

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Hopefully, Marvel will redouble their efforts on ensuring all of their comics are made with good quality so that fans don’t have to worry about ruining their comics while reading the latest issue. The fact that a Marvel fan has to worry about the quality of their issue is awful, and definitely not helpful for comic book stores who have no control over what Marvel gives them.

Do you think Marvel will keep their word? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

On Disney+  you can expect Moon Knight on March 30, Ms. Marvel in Summer 2022, and She-Hulk to debut this year. For movies, Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness comes out on May 6, followed by Thor: Love and Thunder on July 8, and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever on November 11.

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