Bleeding Cool may take legal action as Marvel's latest Avenger vs. X-Men press release infringes on Bleeding Cool's trademark of spoiling Marvel storylines and announcements before they happen.
Source: Press Release
Since its launch in 2009, Rich Johnston's Bleeding Cool has been a thorn in the side of comic book publishers, spoiling all of their major news announcements before they make them and refusing to play along with the "press release" model of comics journalism. In retaliation, Marvel sent out a press release today that spoils the ending of the latest issue of Avengers vs. X-Men right in the headline, and then goes on to shamelessly spoil it in more detail in the actual text. Johnston was nonplussed.
"This is how I makes me livin', right right?" said the British tabloid journalist, who has been spoiling comic book news since 1994 on Usenet. "I practically invented it! I woz 'avin' me morning tea, I woz, and 'avin' a little look see through wot'll be the announcements comin' out at New York Comic Con next month so's I can spoil em on me website, when I came across this press release sent to me by me sources at ComicBookRe... I mean me anonymous sources. 'Oi!' I said, I did. 'That's me job yer doing, ya' bloody wankers!'"
Spoiling their own comics just to spite Johnston was certainly a bold move for Marvel. Many might think that the reading experience of fans is more important than the petty and insular world of internet comics journalism, and that ruining a major event for innocent comic book readers who just happen to be browsing the net looking for vapid fluff pieces on their favorite websites such as CBR, Newsarama, and IGN is counter-productive to the company's primary business of selling comic books. Marvel's Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, however, disagrees.
"There are no casual fans," said Quesada. "How many people read comics? How many comic book websites are there? The numbers seem to show that there are actual more comic book journalists than there are comic book readers. We're thinking of stopping the production of comics altogether, and just releasing press releases about comics instead. It would save us a lot of money and heartache, and we're not sure anyone would even know the difference."
Immediately after Quesada made that statement, privately, in this fake interview, Rich Johnston published a story on it on Bleeding Cool. "Fuck!" said Quesada. "How did he overhear that?!" See the latest Bleeding Cool headline, "Joe Quesada says 'Fuck! How did he overhear that?!'" for more info on how this happened.
Fans learned earlier this week that Johnston keeps a lawyer on retainer after lecherous comic book artist Greg Capullo threatened to sue Johnston for publishing a story about Capullo soliciting looks at cosplayers' rear-ends at Baltimore Comic Con, so it's no surprise that he would want to sue Marvel for ruining his livelihood. What is surprising, however, is that the press release from Marvel actually claims that the spoiler in question "shocks and saddens" comic book fans worldwide, as if the entire Avengers vs. X-Men storyline hasn't been one of the most ham-fisted, predictable comic book event ever written.
We reached out to Johnston for further comment on how the press release affects his ability to make a living, but he would only respond with this video statement, posted below in its entirety:
Here's the press release, in case you haven't already been spoiled by reading the headlines on one of the hundreds of websites that dutifully publishes publishers' press releases as written, part of the journalistic establishment that is little more than an extension of publishers' public relations departments. You'll have to scroll down to read it, or click away now if you don't want to be spoiled.
Professor Xavier Makes The Ultimate Sacrifice in Avengers VS. X-Men #11, On-Sale Now!
New York, NY—September 12th, 2012—In the move that shocked and saddened comic book fans worldwide, beloved super hero Professor Charles Xavier meets his demise today in Avengers VS. X-Men #11. In the penultimate chapter of the biggest comic book story in 2012, superstar creators Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel rally the forces of the Marvel Universe against the final two members of the seemingly all-powerful Phoenix Five—Cyclops and Emma Frost. But as this epic battle rages, Cyclops makes a decision that not only takes the life of the man who formed the X-Men and raised him like a son, but that also may damn both the Avengers and the X-Men!
“When we first crafted Avengers VS. X-Men, we didn’t set out to kill any characters but as the story progressed it became obvious that this had to be the last stand of Charles Xavier”, said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Entertainment. “He’s one of my favorite characters and while like all fans I’m sad to see him perish, both Brian and Olivier deliver a powerful, dramatic conclusion to his story. Rest assured his death will reverberate across the Marvel Universe, leading into major launches like Uncanny Avengers and All-New X-Men this fall.”
Then, on October 3rd, the dramatic conclusion to the series arrives in Avengers VS X-Men #12, as the remaining Marvel super heroes launch their final assault on the Phoenix Five and the force that threatens to consume all of reality. Once this battle ends, nothing with be the same for the Avengers, the X-Men or anyone else in the Marvel Universe.
Plus, Join the Marvel ReEvolution as Marvel brings fans even more value to their comics reading experience. Every issue of Avengers VS. X-Men comes packaged with a code for a FREE digital copy on the Marvel Comics app and with exclusive, behind the scenes extras via the Marvel AR app powered by Aurasma.
Don’t forget to get your copy of Avengers VS. X-Men #11, the comic everyone’s talking about, on sale now in comic shops everywhere, on the Marvel Comics app, and the all-new Marvel Comics Webstore!
For more on Avengers VS. X-Men, please visit http://avx.marvel.com
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #11 (JUL120528)
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Penciled by OLIVIER COIPEL
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
ON SALE NOW
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #12 (JUL120535)
Written by JASON AARON
Penciled by ADAM KUBERT
Cover by JIM CHEUNG
ON SALE – 10/3/12