Filled with colorful characters and fantastic adventures, it's easy to forget that comic books are products and that comic book publishers are driven by profits. In the crowded comic book marketplace, the competition is so intense publishers big and small have taken risks with comic book gimmicks designed to capture an audience, expand their product lines, or simply stave off bankruptcy.
Whether the industry is booming or busting, comic book publishers have frequently tried to put a new spin on time-tested superheroes by pairing them with athletes, merging them with other characters, or objectifying them in lingerie or swimwear (Marvel's annual swimsuit edition ran from 1991-1995). Some have even ditched superheroes altogether in favor of rock stars, rappers, and actors, or supplemented their comic books with records and cassette tapes.
Some publishers have used quick-and-dirty gimmicks designed to attract attention and make a quick buck. Others have invested a great deal of time, energy, and expense into creative risks designed to broaden the appeal of comic books altogether. We combed through our long boxes to bring you a list of the weirdest, most ingenious - and sometimes egregious - comic book gimmicks ever devised.
- 170 VOTES
CBS Promoted Its Soap Opera Superhero With A Marvel Comics Tie-In
- 291 VOTES
ESPN Published A Marvel Comics Insert Featuring Unclothed SuperheroesPhoto: ESPN The Magazine
- 359 VOTES
Marvel Created A Music Imprint To Diversify Beyond Superheroes
- 4102 VOTES
The Blood Of Band Members Was Mixed With Red Ink To Print Marvel's First KISS Comic
- 552 VOTES
Adhesive Comics Taunted Collectors By Poking Holes In Their BooksPhoto: Adhesive Comics
- 683 VOTES
Marvel Pandered To Horny Teenagers With 'Swimsuit' Issues Filled With Hero Pin-Ups