By Jim Beard
In an unprecedented new reader initiative, Marvel Comics unleashes Marvel #1, an offering of over 700 first issues from the length and breadth of the company’s history at no charge. This special promotion begins Sunday March 10 and runs until 11PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, March 12 as free downloads via the Marvel Comics app and Marvel Comics Digital Comics Shop.
“This is the perfect way to show everyone how much we believe in our material by letting them try the first issues for free, because we’re sure once they start, they won’t stop,” says Marvel SVP – Sales, Digital & Print David Gabriel. “Week in and week out we ask fans to come check out our new releases—both in print and digitally—with the promise that we’ll bring them the best comics made by the best talent and managed by the best editorial team in the industry. Now, existing and news fans [alike] can discover the heroes they know and love and learn about new ones all at the same time.”
Through Marvel #1 you’ll witness the beginnings well-known characters like the Avengers, X-Men and Spider-Man to the new superstars like the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos, Iron Fist and more. Creators featured include names such as Joss Whedon, Stan Lee, Jeph Loeb, Brian Michael Bendis, Matt Fraction, Kevin Smith, Jonathan Hickman, Ed Brubaker, Jason Aaron, and Chris Claremont.
“At its core, Marvel #1 is all about bringing new readers into the fold,” explains Gabriel. “That doesn’t just mean fans who have never read a comic, but [also] longtime fans [who want] to jump into books they may have been waiting to try. With a plethora of great content and digital devices—be it tablets or smart phones—in more hands than ever, there is no better time to launch an initiative such as this.”
|Civil War #1|
The prime intention of Marvel #1 will be to invite new readers to the medium through the unparalleled reach of digital comics. No other comic book company to date has offered this much free content in one promotion covering such a wide variety of characters and creators. Marvel #1 represents a true first in the industry.
“We have a lot of #1 issues from every era,” says Gabriel of the offering. “There is a great mix of recent comics—such as UNCANNY AVENGERS, ALL-NEW X-MEN, CIVIL WAR, AVENGERS VS. X-MEN—in here alongside classic #1’s—AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, FANTASTIC FOUR, CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS—so I’m confident in saying that no matter the era or the character you’re going to be very happy.
“We’d love for everyone who is a fan of our films, comics, games, apparel, toys and beyond to try out this promotion. No matter when you started falling in love with Marvel, we have something for you. Do we expect folks to try and download [every #1]? We encourage it!”
Stay tuned to Marvel.com for more details on the Marvel: House of Ideas panel and Marvel’s plans for SXSW. Join the conversation on Twitter using #MarvelSXSW!