Yesterday, Marvel Comics made an announcement to comic shop owners via their regular Marvel Mailer retailer e-mail. CBR News has obtained the notice, reprinted below:
*FANTASTIC FOUR #587 EARLY RELEASE NOTICE
Due to the expected mass media attention scheduled for Tuesday, January 25th, Marvel is allowing retailers who have received copies of Fantastic Four #587 to make it available that day. No other new Marvel titles with an on-sale of 1/26/11 may be made available that day.
This unexpected opportunity is a result of both the new earlier shipping schedule and worldwide mass media coverage. Marvel cannot guarantee the secured press placement will hit on 1/25 (as other breaking news may bump it), though if it does, retailers who have received the issue may sell their copies. For retailers who don't receive early shipments, or have customers calling in advance of the shipment arrival, Marvel encourages them to take down customer information and inform them when copies do arrive.
The issue in question will feature the death of one of the classic superteam as told by Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting. Marvel's anticipation for major media coverage of the issue may not be unwarranted as their "Death of Captain America" issue led to record sales during the "Civil War" event and "Fantastic Four" #587 will be shipped in a news hooky "death bag" much like the iconic "Death of Superman" comic DC put out in the '90s.
The publisher also announced this morning that select retail partners from the ComicsPRO organization will be allowed to sell the incoming "Formic Wars: Burning Earth" mini series a day early when it ships in February. Moves like this show how, at least from a promotional standpoint, the recent shift for day-early shipping has affected comics retail. How far and how often Marvel and other publishers will push these kinds of releases has yet to be seen.
For more on the events of "Fantastic Four" #587, stay tuned to CBR News in the week ahead.