New digital product from Marvel

Marvel Universe

Marvel’s got a new slate of online-first digital comic books being launched on December 17. The second wave of these books, it’s Marvel’s effort to get out ahead of the curve for digital distribution of mainstream comics product. Their Digital Comics Unlimited program, with all its limitations, is really the only game in town as far as most mainstream fans are concerned since neither DC nor Image has anything like it. The thing that’s most interesting to me is that the books themselves still seem to be more “novelties” than anything else, and their connection to current events and continuity are a bit tenuous. Probably a good idea, in the sense that readers who buy only onilne won’t have to wait six months for the new material to hit the Web in order for the books to make sense—but it also means that you’re unlikely to drag any of the paper-and-staples crowd kicking and screaming into the new digital frontier using these books as bait.

The Wolverine/Punisher story is the only book that could happen easily and fit seamlessly into any of the current monthlies—the Iron Man 2020 story, the Holiday Special and of course Mojoworld are fantasy/what-if/next-generation/bizarre stories that are really only appealing because the creative teams are good, and the Wolverine: Agent of Atlas freebie is a little iffy since the whole Wolverine: Origins thing has gotten a bit tired for me. But take a look for yourselves, ladies and germs, and know that I’m not usually in the business of printing big chunks of solicitations but I really think Marvel’s online-first stuff is a revolutionary piece of comics standard-setting that deserves more attention than it’s getting.

click here for details on titles to be released

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