Hulk & Switch; Or, Using a Name Artist As Sales Gimmick

Howdy, folks.

There's regrettable news coming from Marvel today. Hot on the heels of January 2012's solicitation that clearly named Whilce Portacio as artist on Marvel's Incredible Hulk relaunch with issue #4 comes the semi-official word courtesy Top Cow editor Filip Sablik (click for link) that Marc Silvestri has not only left the title with its third issue, but also that he was only ever contracted to draw the first three issues of the series.

Is this what Marvel Comics has come to? Using a "big name" artist as a prop to temporarily push sales numbers for a new series higher? Already they released eight variant covers of the book in question, so it's like piling gimmick upon gimmick. (If only they used that "Still $2.99" gimmick. That's one I could get on board with.)

Obviously, Marvel is hoping that readers will be engaged enough by Jason Aaron's stories that they'll stick around regardless of a drastic artistic shift. If the first issue is any judge, Hulk fandom is now divided in the same way as Banner and Hulk are now separate beings. With Banner taking on an unfavorable comparison to H.G. Wells' Dr. Moreau, it's difficult to argue the character still has any sympathy. We'll see if the second issue improves matters.

I miss the days when good stories sold comics.


1 comment:

  1. I have to be honest, I'm not a big fan of Marc Silvestri's or Whilce Portacio's artwork. I really want Paul Pelletier or Carlo Pagulayan to return and be the artist for Jason Aaron's Incredible Hulk series. The story is good so far, but what we need is a fantastic artist, which is something that we'll be lacking for the first four issues of Jason Aaron's run.

    What do you think, Gary? Wouldn't you love to see Paul Pelletier or Carlo Pagulayan return as the main artist for Incredible Hulk?

    Talk to ya later!



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