Marvel clarifies rollback policy, lowers <i>Incredible Hulk</i> price

After nearly a month of online confusion and criticism regarding its announced price rollback, Marvel has clarified what titles may be affected by the policy.

"The pricing structure is that for limited series in the Marvel Universe that we roll out, we will price as many of those as we can for $2.99 for a 32-page book," David Gabriel, senior vice president of sales & circulation, told The Beat.

He emphasized that the rollback will apply to 32-page limited series in the Marvel Universe, and not licensed titles or the marquee Ultimate line. However, the Incredible Hulk also will see a price reduction, and lose its back-up feature in the process.

"We had it at $3.99 throughout the event that was going on, and a lot of people were getting into the Hulk stuff but the price was becoming sort of a barrier to them staying with it," Gabriel said. "The back-up features weren’t doing enough to propel enough sales on that or to keep them going. I actually had retailers begging me on that title to reduce the price … but only on that series. We did some math and figured some things out and moved some things around and that’ll be in the February catalog."

The clarified policy differs significantly from reports coming out of the ICv2 Conference on Comics & Digital at New York Comic Con on Oct. 7, when the initial announcement was made. It had been characterized in several separate articles as a reduction from $3.99 to $2.99 for new titles beginning in January.  But Marvel Vice President-Executive Editor Tom Brevoort told Comic Book Resources last week "that people either misreported or misconstrued" Gabriel's announcement.

The Beat interview with Gabriel and Chief Operating Officer Jim Sokolowski goes beyond the rollback policy to delve into the state of the market, digital comics and more.

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