Marvel Vice President of Sales and Marketing David Gabriel’s recent retailer presentation and subsequent interview with ICv2 have been unpacked in great detail by various outlets over his comments on sales and diversity, but gone mostly unnoticed in the interview is his assertion that, following the upcoming Secret Empire which is scheduled to end in August 2017, Marvel would be putting to bed what he calls “big crossover events” for “at least 18 months.”
“Hopefully, you guys will be happy to know that at the end of Secret Empire, we do not have any big crossover event scheduled,” Gabriel said during the retailer presentation. “We haven’t even talked about one for 18 months, at the very least. Those will be away for quite a while.”
From context, it seems Gabriel is referring to universe-wide events such as Secret Empire, Civil War II, and Secret Wars. According to the transcript, Gabriel clarified that smaller crossovers would still happen – and could likely be referred to as “events” – in the absence of better terms for marketing.
“If you have another idea for what we should call those stories, please help us,” Gabriel said to retailers. Marvel Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso chimed in, agreeing that other terms for short run comic books like “maxi-series” have been shown to negatively impact Marvel’s sales in the current market.
The recent Clone Conspiracy and projects like the upcoming “Weapons of Mutant Destruction” have been referred to as ‘events’ by Marvel, but have been much smaller in scope than Secret Empire, Civil War II, and Secret Wars.
Given Secret Empire is scheduled to end in August 2017, an 18 month hiatus from “any big crossover event” would last until early 2019. In the past four years, these major Marvel events have occured four to five months apart from one another – some, such as Axis and Original Sin, were one month apart.