I don’t know if I’m hip enough to properly describe what South by Southwest, or SXSW, anymore, but it’s in Austin, and it’s got something to do with music and the technology industry, and what any of that has to do with anything else, I’m not sure. Anyway, Marvel decided they should go down there and make some announcements that have to do with comics and your computer and/or devices. Perfectly clear right?
Let’s run it down.
First up, Marvel will be releasing regular, original, serialized content, labeled Marvel Infinite, starting on July 9 First up? Wolverine: Japan’s Most Wanted, from Jason Aaron, Jason LaTour, and Paco Diaz. The series will hit on Tuesdays, when your jonesing is at its nadir. There will be 4 series, each consisting of 13 chapters, available on their Marvel Comics app.
Then there’s Project Gamma, which will add music and audio to digital comics. There’s not much else known, including when it will be live, and that no one has asked for this, ever.
Marvel previously offered their Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, which, unfortunately for them, formed the acronym MDCU, which obviously includes the name of their biggest rival. Whoops. So they upgraded, renamed it Marvel Unlimited, and broke it out from just being on your computer, to being available on your iOS devices too, which should be up and running soon, but no exact date was provided. Subscribers will be able to read the back issue archive both on and offline. The desktop based system is still functioning, and they’re charging about $60 for the year if you sign up before April 15. You’ll still have to go a la carte for current issues.
Finally, if you’re the kind of person who needs Marvel news–like, NEEDS IT–then there’s a new online show just for you. Our buddy Blair Butler, fresh off of the newly shuttered G4, will be hosting Marvel’s Earth’s Mightiest Show, a weekly video show set to cover all things Marvel in movies, comics, video games, and television. It promises Marvel-related celebrity interviews and exclusive first looks at Marvel Studios movies.
One thing that’s now abundantly clear is that Marvel, along with rivals DC, have made clear and significant steps to continue exploring the digital side of publishing. As always, it feels excruciatingly slow, but at least it’s clearly acknowledging that it’s where a large part of their future lies. Progress is still progress, and it only remains to be seen if there’s a market to support it fully.