From the moment Marvel announced yesterday that future issues of Civil War, its summer mega-crossover event, would face delays of up to two months, comics fans online started expressing their opinions. “You’d think that for something this integrated into the rest of the marvel line they would have put the whole series in the can or most of it before even launching it,” says one reader, but another counters, “So you’d prefer that it come out on time but suck or have rushed pages and fill in artists scattered throughout the issue? Good takes time… I’d rather have a delay to maintain quality that regularly scheduled schlock.” The delays won’t just affect the main Civil War mini-series and its Frontline offshoot, though. Because the storyline has been deeply integrated into the main narrative of the Marvel Universe, regular titles like Fantastic Four and Amazing Spider-Man will also be held back, likewise the debut of the eagerly anticipated Punisher War Journal (in which the vigilante fan-favorite starts taking on supervillains).
Newsarama blogger Graeme McMillan parses the response from Civil War scripter Mark Millar, who says the whole project came together at the last minute, the delays are necessary to allow Steve McNiven time to complete the artwork on his own, and fans won’t be disappointed: “Seriously, it would have been easy for them and made them MUCH more money to get someone else in to draw issue five, but they believe in our thing, it’s worked out bigger and better than any of us dreamed and they want it to look as cool as it was originally conceived.” Well, says McMillan, “If the idea for the book was so last minute… then the most obvious question really is, why not just launch the crossover a couple of months later?”
Over at The Beat, Heidi MacDonald follows up by explaining why Marvel knows this doesn’t matter: “They know they will suffer no long term effects from readers or retailers. If fans and retailers really stopped buying Marvel books when they ran late, Marvel would stick to a schedule. But they don’t need to.” And she also gets in a good swipe, by observing that over at DC Comics, “52, the weekly comic that everyone said couldn’t be done, is coming out like clockwork. It’s taken D-Day like planning and non-stop attention from three editors—but that’s because putting out a WEEKLY COMIC is hard. Putting out a monthly comic should be a piece of cake.”