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Comic Book Questions Answered: What is this “Marvel Universe” Title?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.

Reader Erik sent in the following question:

I recently purchased a copy of Citizen V and the V-Battalion #1. At least, that’s what the indicia says. The story is that of Citizen V #1, as is the cover, with one minor detail….the cover shows the TITLE as Marvel Universe, and the number as #3. Any explanation you might have for this?

Sure thing, Erik!

As most folks know, there are two types of comic sales – Direct Market and NewsStand. NewsStand comics are returnable, while Direct Market are not. For the most part, limited series are a product of the Direct Market, as it really is not worth the effort to gauge the sales of a book when the book is going to be finished by the time the sales of the first issue are calculated.

Therefore, as a way to sort of get around this, around Bill Jemas’ tenure at Marvel, Marvel developed a new title for newsstands called Marvel Universe, which would be an ongoing series that would consist of other titles, like mini-series such as Citizen V mini-series, or other Marvel titles not then offered on the Direct Market.

I do not know if Marvel still produces this title.

Thanks for the question, Erik!

As always, if you have a comic book question you’d like an answer for, drop me a line!

9 Comments

I’m betting they don’t produce it anymore, because do any newsstands anywhere still carry Marvel comics?

Borders and Barnes & Noble still stock comics near the magazine racks. I’d be surprised if Marvel Universe is still published, though.

A few of the gas stations and convenience stores up by my parents cabin still have spinner racks of comics, which I was pleasantly surprised by. They really need to get comics out in places other than comic shops.

I went to a convenience store last night that’s sold comics in the past and they still carried a handful of series. Bought a copy of Marvel Comics Presents I probably wouldn’t have gotten otherwise there. Still, a Walmart that carried a few of the X-titles as of last December didn’t have any comics when I was in there the other day.

Have a good day.
John Cage

Each issue of Marvel Knights also had a “Marvel Universe” variant.

The last Marvel Universe of which we have record is “Startling Stories: Banner” #3 Nov. 2001.

The last sequentially numbered Marvel Universe of which we know is Marvel Universe #5: Citizen V and the V-Battalion #3B

Any time I’m in a “real” bookstore that carries actual comics (as opposed to trades) I make it a point to buy a comic book in addition to whatever else I’m getting, just to contribute a little bit to the perpetuation of comics in book stores.

They do still do this… just not in the U.S. In other countries they combine mini-series into other titles for the reasons you explained above.

The Hasting’s bookstore chain still carries comics.

They don’t carry them at Borders anymore.

Zing!!

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