Marvel 1992 Annual Report

Background

While operating as a publicly traded company, Marvel began to issue, both quarterly and Annual Reports. While quarterly reports came in the form of card- stock, or gate-fold reports, the annual reports, tended to be comicbook-sized booklets, with the first 32 pages a comicbook stories staring various Marvel heroes punching out Marvel villains while pontificating on the financial standings of Marvel the company. This was then be followed up by more detailed (and more traditionally-presented) financial information about the company.

Story 'The Year Unvelied!'

There is a 32-page comicbook section, which is followed by 32 pages of financial information. Yet, even here Marvel has peppered the report with images of its various heroes, as well as unique graphs and charts with them showing off the company's financial information.

General Comments

Dr. Doom starts this issue off, by deciding that he needs to learn why Marvel profits are up 94% to $224 Million, as compared to $115 Million in '91, and why Marvel's earnings per share doubled to $0.66 in the past year. To do this he gathers about him arcane forces which draw the attention of Dr. Strange. To combat what he perceives as a threat, Strange gathers about himself a gaggle of Marvel Heroes, including several Avengers, X-Men, and FF, as well as a number of non-aligned heroes.

These "Secret Defenders" gather information about Marvel's various business ventures and spout them off as standard comicbook dialogue. This information includes talk about various publishing ventures (The Avengers, Spider-Man, the FF, The Big Guns line, the 2099 Universe, The Midnight Sons, X-men, and others).

There is also info on The Fleer group (now owned by Marvel), and how profits have increased in this area (which includes Double Bubble and Razzles); Marvel's Media and consumer products (TV and film properties, clothing), Advertising (utilizing Marvel characters to co-brand with your product) etc. The story ends with Strange confronting Doom and telling him to back off from gathering information about Marvel. Of course, Strange has automatically assumed that Doom was planning something nefarious, but it is revealed that Doom was actually investigating Marvel because he has heavily invested in the company, and he was simply attempting to protect his investment.

Overall Rating

This has to be one of the most unique Annual Reports ever presented, and it is this presentation that earns it its high grade.

Footnote

This report contained eight trading cards bound into it. Four baseball cards (Tony Gwynn, Dennis Eckersley, Rogerr Clemens, and Tom Glavine) as well as four Marvel hero cards (Black Knight, Thunderstrike, Hulk, and Captain America).