Starting in what seems to be August, Marvel will be canceling Spectacular Spider-Man and Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, cutting back to the one core title: Amazing Spider-Man. However, we can rest assured that Marvel isn’t content to allow Spider-fans to retain their cashflow – instead, now Amazing Spider-Man will begin coming out three times a month.
While there isn’t much detail on how the writing or the art will be taken care of, it’s worth noting that editor Steve Wacker is the same man who was the starting editor for DC’s 52, so I suppose he has some experience in churning out books with a schedule like this. The temptation of course is to accuse Marvel of aping DC’s success in 52, which is likely true, though it bears repeating that they’re really aping DC in the late 80′s to early 90′s when they did this with Superman. The difference then is that they didn’t cancel the various titles and streamline down to one. In the end though, the timing of this ultimately has more to do with J.M. Straczynski’s departure from the Amazing title, freeing the line for a move like this.
What I find interesting about the whole spectacle is this quote from an interview Steve Wacker had with Wizard:
It’s because we were already publishing three Spidey books, but what inevitably happens—and it’s happened for decades—is that the books that aren’t Amazing Spider-Man are the first ones that people drop when they need to re-adjust their lists. So the thought was combine what we’re already doing with three titles into one, make them each roll right into one another, almost like a weekly soap opera or television show, and so it’s one-stop shopping for your Spider-Man stuff.
Basically, the peripheral titles don’t sell as well as the main title, so the logic is this – If they can sell Amazing Spider-Man’s numbers during weeks when other Spider books would come out, then that’s exactly what they’ll do. Downside for the consumer is this though – If you’re only looking to buy one Spider-Man title a month, then you’d better plan on buying it three times now, unless you don’t want a complete story. On the other hand, if you’re only buying one Spider-title each month, maybe you should be buying Ultimate Spider-Man anyway.