Is Marvel cutting pages from $2.99 books?

If you thought some of your recent Marvel Comics purchases seemed a little slimmer than usual in terms of story pages, you aren't alone. On Wednesday, David Uzumeri at ComicsAlliance noted that several recent Marvel titles priced at $2.99 shipped with 20 pages of story, versus the usual 22, including FF #2, Incredible Hulks #627, Herc #2 and Heroes for Hire #6, among others. It doesn't seem to be every $2.99 title, Uzumeri notes, as some, like Avengers Academy, are still #2.99 for 22 pages.

The change seems to mirror what DC Comics has done across the board on its comics -- offer 20 pages of story for $2.99. DC's announcement came during the New York Comic Con last October and was followed by comments from Marvel executives that noted the decrease in page counts would be detrimental to creators who get paid by the page.

But Rich Johnston, who noted Marvel would be experimenting with less pages in its $2.99 books back in January, said that "creators won’t lose money on a reduced page count, as Marvel intend to increase twenty page books to thirteen issues or more a year if the creative team can manage it." Many Marvel books already ship multiple times per month; it seems pretty standard for Hulk and Incredible Hulks, and FF and New Mutants seem to be following suit as well in July ... and that's not even counting the extra issue a year through Marvel's "Point 1" initiative.

Marvel hasn't publicly commented on it just yet, but watch CBR's Talk to the Hat column tomorrow to see if that changes.

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