By Jim Beard
Notice anything a bit different about your bagged copy of FANTASTIC FOUR #587? A precious few lucky fans unwrapped a very special edition of the comic that’s destined to become a collector’s item.
A fantastically small number of copies of the eagerly-anticipated wrap-up to “Three” sport a unique variant cover featuring an authentic signature by writer Jonathan Hickman. These covers, which came in the black bag, sport a “variant cover” marking and a black "4" logo as well as Hickman’s John Hancock, to ensure authenticity. With furious betting having transpired in Las Vegas on which of the famous foursome would die in this issue, it wouldn’t surprise us if they’d figure the odds on finding one of these ultra-rare variants, too!
“After we came up with the idea to have the issue placed in a polybag, we wanted to find a way to further enhance the program,” notes Marvel SVP of Brand Planning & Communications Mike Pasciullo. “As we were brainstorming about it, we thought it would be very cool to open the bag and find out that you received a comic book that was personally autographed by Jonathan.”
“It takes the ‘death bag’ concept that we're using, and adds a cool lottery element to it,” says Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort. “Assuming we've done our jobs right, there shouldn't be any way for fans to be able to tell which copies of the book have the rare signed editions within them—and the only way to know for sure is to tear the bag open, thus making the book horrifyingly non-Mint. I can hear the anguished cries of fans already!
“I think it's cool that some random fans out there can suddenly open the book and get an unexpected bonus surprise. Especially those readers who might not live near a big comic convention center, and who might never have the opportunity to meet Jonathan face-to-face. Plus, it's cool that Hickman got to pre-deface a whole stack of covers!”
“We wanted to get across all the cool things we're doing in the Fantastic Four’s world,” concurs Hickman. “It was only natural with the death issue being the exclamation point regarding the first act that it became the focus of all that energy. How nice is it that everyone is a talking about the Fantastic Four?
“I'd like to think it's going to be a bit like Christmas morning and opening a present thinking you’re getting a Boba Fett and it’s the Special Edition Boba Fett with the rocket that actually would shoot and the little cap thingee. But, I probably place an over-inflated value on my signature.”
Pasciullo’s proud of being able to keep the secret until the books actually hit, and that the “lottery” will be open to everyone.
“Every fan has an equal chance of getting one of these super rare comic books. It's not about paying extra for the variant. It's just about being one of the lucky ones that happen to buy one of the autographed books.”
By the way, if you think this sort of thing might very well become a trend with the House of Ideas, well, think again.
“We can only do it three more times, as we only have four FF members to assassinate!” remarks Brevoort.
FANTASTIC FOUR #587 is currently on sale! Get your copy today!