Mar 1st 2012 By: Graeme McMillan
Seemingly unafraid to throw themselves into the middle of a somewhat controversial topic with abandon, creators Jonathan Ross and Bryan Hitch have announced that the first issue of their upcoming Image Comics series America's Got Powers will feature "twice as much [content] as Marvel for a dollar less," with thirty-eight pages of comics for just $2.99 when it arrives in stores next month.
In a press release, artist Bryan Hitch - who has spent the last decade working for Marvel Comics - explains that "Normally a book this size would be at least $3.99 but that didn't seem fair to us. It was our decision to make the first issue this big and it's not right to ask you guys to pay extra for it. We are proud of AMERICA'S GOT POWERS, insanely proud and we want to pass that on. Big time. We're just another small business like many of the retailers and we believe completely in the story we're trying to tell so instead of putting out a 20 page issue and asking you to pay $3.99 for it, we're giving you nearly DOUBLE that for a dollar less."
Marvel's decision to price many of its current series at $3.99 for only 20 pages of content has been criticized by many within the comics community, with some pointing to Marvel's recent decline in market share as the result of their aggressive pricing, amongst other policies (Leading retailer Brian Hibbs does so here
, for example). That said, last year DC Comics responded to criticism of the $3.99 price point by instituting a linewide 20 pages for $2.99 price point
on their books, only to see little-to-no increase in sales as a result, suggesting that the market's relationship to pricing is more complicated than "the cheaper the better."
The additional pages in the first issue of America's Got Powers
may not raise the price of the first issue, but they do come at a cost; as a result of the increase in size of the first issue, the second issue - originally scheduled to be released in the same month as #1 - has been pushed back to May, with each subsequent issue also being pushed back a month. Hitch describes the change in schedule as, at best, cosmetic: "We ARE still releasing what we intended to in April; the same TWO ISSUES of story but now it's in one book and only the price of a single. We're giving you what we said we would but at half the price."
Additionally, the creators promise, all future issues will stay at $2.99 no matter the page count: "We can't guarantee any of the other issues won't exceed 20 pages either. Though if they do, they'll never exceed $2.99," the release explains.