DCs recent Blackest Night colored ring promotion did exactly what it was meant to do. It boosted sales of the company's books, and in the process knocked some of Marvel's books from their normal place on the top of the sale's charts. Marvel apparently did not take it well.
In retaliation, though they claim it is a good will gesture to retailers, Marvel has offered to give 1 copy of the Siege, Marvel's new event mini-series, issue #3 with the Deadpool variant cover to retailers for every 50 covers they send in from the Blackest Night tie-in books. According to the articles I've seen on Newsarama, Comic Related, Cosmic Book News and CBR, as well as numerous message board postings, retailers have mixed feelings about this move.
Some retailers have posted that they agree with me, this is a dick move by the Mighty Marvel and have no intention of participating. Some say they simply don't have enough of the BN tie-ins to qualify, but would if they could. Others, who were stuck with too many Blackest Night tie-ins, are happy to rip those covers and receive their variant from Marvel. According to some of the retailers I've spoken with they would have to sell the Siege variant for $200 to break even. To be honest I have not and do not intend to read Siege but all of the feedback that I've heard about Siege has been negative. What I don't understand is why would anyone want a $200 variant for a book that sucks according to many fans? I guess they wouldn't offer it if they didn't think someone was dumb enough to pay it.
Personally I think that this is not only a dick move by Marvel, but in very poor taste. I'm all for competition between the two companies, after all their goal is to sell the most books, plus the fans enjoy it. I just think that openly taking cheap shots at the other company is tacky. Some fans may favor one company over the other, but most of us enjoy characters from both and often include Marvel and DC comics/characters among our top 10 favorites. We tend to feel a connection to both companies and seeing one act "unsportsmanlike" kind of lessens our view of the offender.
Marvel seems to come off as a spoiled diva that can't take temporarily losing a couple of spots with grace. Seriously I love DC, but everyone knows Marvel is the bigger seller and will be again. Fans want the competition to continue between the two, but not in the same under handed mudslinging manner we tolerate from politicians. Personally I want them to compete for our dollars by trying to tell the best stories possible. That way whoever ends up in the top spot, deserves the position.
I'm not big on variant covers and honestly don't give the value of my comics a great deal of thought. I buy them to read and if one day they put my grand kids or great-grand kids through college that's super. Until that day, and unless I get my hands on Action #1 or a similar rare book, I don't give a shit about 99% of the variants produced or the "value" of my comics. The true value of my comics is that I enjoy them. I'm not really a collector, I'm a fan who owns a lot of comics.
So as far as I am concerned, I'll keep my multi-colored rings (I'm only missing blue and red) and all the BN books I bought. You can take your variant and shove it.
*Here is where I interrupt this post to insert my own little side rant. I'm just on a roll and didn't feel like making a new post.*
Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I am a much bigger fan of DC comics than of Marvel. That being said I like Joe Q and think he has done some really great things at the big M. 10 years ago I may have read 1 maybe 2 Marvel books per month and now I regularly enjoy about 6. That may not seem like much, but considering my 20 DC books, and my couple of independent books per month, making room for 6 Marvel books in my budget is a big deal. Also note that I didn't just say I read the books, I said I enjoy the books, which is something I haven't been able to say about Marvel in a very long time.
Granted I think the current developments in Spiderman's comics is beyond ridiculous, though I do hear the stories are good, I just don't care. Marvel has frakked with everyone's favorite webslinger so much over the years (yes I was a Scarlet Spider fan and hold a grudge) I can't bring my self to read his book(s). However, Capt. America, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova and Moon Knight absolutely kick ass. Ms. Marvel, Iron Fist, Daredevil and New Avengers were on that list but lost their momentum, for me at least, so I dropped them.
I just hope that the idea and approval for Marvel's Siege variant offer was solely the responsibility of marketing or some other corporate department filled with suits that have nothing to do with creating comics. I also hope that Joe Q had nothing to do with this or I will lose a great deal of respect for the man. Given some of the stories I've heard about Didio, from fans and comics pros, I would expect something like this from him.
Though to be honest I do not know that man, and while I do not agree with a great many of the editorial decisions at DC, I have had no direct contact with the man and can not personally speak about his character. I just hope that DC decides to take the high road and not stoop to Marvel's level.