Sunday, March 11 was a big day of news for Marvel Comics. At Screenburn Arcade of Austin's SXSW Festival, not only did Marvel announce that every print copy of their $3.99 will come with a digital version, but the company showed of its plans for the new Marvel Infinite. Both of these features are part of an initiative Marvel calls ReEvolution. Infinite is a new comics medium that creators will now be making exclusively for tablets and smart phones, in an attempt to use device technology to enhance the storytelling. Print comics are being revamped as well with Marvel's Augmented Reality program that they will be releasing with the first issue of Avengers v. X-men on April 4. The smartphone/tablet AR program will use a code reader to scan throughout the book in order to unlock special features to the comic.
If there has ever been an impetus for me to go buy an Ipad, it is Marvel's ReEvolution. I don't know how all the new programs will work out, but they seem like they will be both cool novelty to boost some sales, and a better way to support comic shops. By including digital copy and AR with their print books, Marvel has effectively increased the value of every print comic they plan to sell without, to my knowledge, an increase in price. Considering how many people cite the new digital comics as one of the many reasons comic shops fail, the digital copy should be a major boost for shop owners. While the Ipad comics wont help sales of shops, it is hard to believe they would cause any further harm. I look forward to April 4 and what will hopefully be a successful ReEvolution for Marvel.
Here is Marvel's official story regarding their announcement: