5 Strangest DC & Marvel Comics Sales Tactics

You won't believe the depths they sunk to sell comics.

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DC Comics

For quite some time there have been comic-book related events and promotions to go with them, with the most attention-grabbing being done by the, "Big Two," of DC and Marvel. Whether it be smaller gestures such as comic-book stores being supplied with bookmarks and pins asking if folk support Captain America or Iron Man in the "Civil War," or really grand plans such as announcing a reboot via a major newspaper like USA TODAY as DC did, comic companies love to promote their wares.

The thing is, you can only threaten to have an event that changes everything so many times before people notice that it seems like every six months the world as we know it for our super-heroes ends...and then resumes carrying on just fine. It also becomes old news when yet another reboot happens, some hero dies, or a comic begins with a fresh #1 next to it in little more than an effort to boost sales. 

It's gotten to a point that both companies can literally say how they are smashing various comic-Universes together that have existed for decades (with DC's already-concluded "Convergence" and Marvel's still ongoing "Secret Wars") and fans do little more than shrug at the idea.

With the clear difficultly companies can face in getting consumers for their works, it isn't surprising to think there have been some more, "Out-there" promotions meant to either drive-up sales, prompt press coverage, or otherwise get people talking. 

With that in mind, here are 5 promotions that weren't just odd, they were really odd.

5. Buy A Comic And Get A Plastic Ring

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bleeding cool

Some time ago, a short while before the big reboot into a, "New 52," DC had a big event called, "Blackest Night." Originally a story that sprouted in, "Green Lantern" and grew into a mega-event that encapsulated almost the entire line, with DC having many of their comics tie-in with the event. They even wnet so far as to, "resurrect," titles that had ended years ago and gave them an, "Extra," issue. 

It featured various Corps of Lantern-groups coming together to fight a whole bunch of heroes who were brought back as evil zombies by a black ring, and the rings are the key element here. In order to promote all the tie-in comics and extra comics, DC created an offer where if you bought a specific comic you could get a plastic ring that represented one of the competing Lantern Corps, from the Rage-filled red to the Hopeful blue. Some retailers let folk pick any ring if they bought a tie-in, and others just handed the rings out for fun, but plenty of rings and comics were bought.

It was by no means a crazy promotion, but definitely was a bit strange, because when you think, "Comic-books," you usually don't think, "Jewelry," right after. 


David Bitterbaum is a big fan of all the things that entertain us. He is the creator of The Newest Rant (www.thenewestrant.com) and has opinions, so, so many opinions.