I can’t remember the first pre-bagged book I ever picked up (and I am not talking about back issues either). I remember X-force bagged with variant trading cards, and I remember Spider-Man pre-bagged as well; but both those bags were clear. The Death of Superman was the first bagged book I remember that was’nt visible through the bag. The black background accented the red ‘S’. I bought more X-force books than I ever should have and I learned to curtail my spending for the Superman bagged issue. I only bought two.
So many people thought that book would be the next best book; the book that would send their kids through school. I wanted one to read and one to keep bagged. My readable copy is long since gone. I still have the bagged copy in between a thick plastic holder much like they use for baseball cards. Variant covers were another gimmick but at least now you have a choice to purchase a “rare” cover, much like a fellow collector on the registry was looking for the 1 in 200 copy of JLA.
When I spent money quicker than I was earning it I would buy comic related cards as well and felt like I won the lottery when I found a hologram card in one of the two packs I purchased. If I remember correctly it is a card of Spider-Man and Venom. I still have the card. I just don’t know where it is. There is something magical about being surprised by the unexpected, much like Christmas morning. I feel that DC is pulling off a huge gimmick with their whole line starting over at #1 that a lot of people are overlooking Marvel’s Ultimate line bagging their number one books.
So why are they doing this? It can’t be to stop the readers from gazing through the book. All the new #1’s that the Ultimate line is doing are bagged, but the variants are easily accessible. Most shops have them bagged and boarded with a price hike. I would have no problem unbagging one and looking through the book to see if I wanted to buy it, much like I did with the September 7th DC books. I can understand why they did it with the last issue of the Ultimate Spider-Man (does he die or doesn’t he?). I’ll admit I was wrong. I thought Peter would live. So why bag the other number ones?
At my comic shop today, a day I wasn’t going to go, I picked up a fair amount of books including a single DC #1. My LCS (Local Comic Shop) was busier today so I was able to talk to the manager and he asked me a question. He asked me if I knew why Marvel was bagging all the #1’s. Admittedly I said no. I chat with many people about Comic books now that I am writing for Comic Booked and even started my own blog with AshotofComics@Blogspot.com but no one mentioned what he mentioned to me and I am curious enough to post this article/journal entry/ blog entry on all three avenues of communication just to find out if it is true.
I have a copy of Ultimate Comics All-New Spider-Man which I had the option of buying a variant but decided since I was already buying another variant I would have to pass. I only wanted the book to read anyway, not collect, maybe a CGC copy down the line, which was the reason why I bought the other variant. Anyway, what I was told that the reasoning for the bagged copies was because inside of them there were random variants which were signed by Stan Lee? Is this true? I don’t know but I would like to find out whether a reader could tell me, or who knows maybe I will be lucky enough to find out right now…