Marvel Mails Fans Merchandise Terrible Quality, Annoys The Internet

Credit: Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

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

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

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

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This week’s comic issues from Marvel have been crafted from thin paper, which makes the comics very flimsy as turning the page could tear the issue.

Fans and comic shops took to Twitter to complain about the poor quality:

@Wonder what about the absolute quality of the paper used in this week’s comics? The covers look like they are printed on newsprint and yet you charge the same price? #disappointed

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What’s up with #marvelcomics this week???!!! The quality of the paper is horrible. Extremely fragile #comic #marvelcomics

One of the fans noted that this isn’t a problem for DC comics because their issues are perfectly fine:

Exactly and the DC comics are also sturdier…much better than flimsy pamphlet shiny marvels

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This week, the comics of #marvelcomics & #penguinrandomhouse is not up to the quality. Damaged and missing issues of PRH and Marvel printed their comics on thinner paper. #damagedcomics #thin paper @Got Comics Inc

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Secret Origin Comics called out Marvel Comics Editor CB Cebulski for the terrible quality as they felt the issues were “unsellable”:

@CBCebulski what about the quality of the paper on this week’s books? They are unsaleable. The covers are worse than the inside stock. Absolutely trash. It’s time to rethink the Direct Market’s relationship with Marvel Comics. If you have problems with the paper supply, cut the titles. Sad.

Another fan was quick to point out how bad the quality of the ink was, as the fan had to make sure the ink didn’t smudge on the cover:

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

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

Some of the Marvel issues we received this week were printed on significantly lower quality paper – thin, flimsy paper from the same stock as the inside pages. Due to the lower quality of the paper, many of these issues are a little duller than we usually expect when we receive new issues from our publishers. As a result, our inventory for these issues will contain a higher ratio of VF or FN copies than usual, with fewer NMs available.

Some of the titles impacted by 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 stock coverage for these issues releasing 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 will be reverting to better cover stock for future new issues. Hopefully there aren’t too many more such issues in the pipeline.

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

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It’s great that Marvel is getting back to better cover stock, but this isn’t the first time fans have reported terrible Marvel quality. Over the past few years, fans have found some issues to be made out of the same cheap paper, and Marvel still reassures fans that they won’t do that again.

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

Captain Carter in Avengers Forever #4
Credit: Marvel Comics

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Hopefully Marvel will double down on making sure all of its comics are of good quality so fans don’t have to worry about ruining their comics when reading the latest issue. For a Marvel fan to have to worry about the quality of their issue is horrible and certainly doesn’t help comic book stores who have no control over what Marvel gives them.

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

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