Marvel publisher Dan Buckley gave a three-part interview with comic industry blog ICv2 this week in which he discussed the company's performance in 2014 and its strategies for the year ahead. The interview ranged across digital sales, graphic novel sales, and the impact of the Marvel movies on the comics -- but of particular interest to ComicsAlliance were Buckley's comments on reaching a more diverse audience of new comics customers.
While acknowledging that Marvel and the industry at large has never done much consumer research, Buckley said the company has been "aggressive in trying a lot of diverse product over the last two years," as part of an initiative spearheaded by Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso. According to Buckley, the results of that outreach have been very positive.
Now that the threat of Skynet destroying us all has been averted by an increasingly crappy series of Terminator movies (or maybe they're just disappointing us to death), a new technological threat to all life on Earth has emerged. In order to promote the forthcoming pic Avengers: Age Of Ultron, tech giant Samsung has joined forces with Marvel to put Ultron in all your smart devices. Yes, the word "smart" to describe technology has never been more insidious than it is now. Smart; scheming; devious.
We're less than a week away from the launch of Marvel's Star Wars line with the first issue of, hey, Star Wars, by Jason Aaron, John Cassaday, and Laura Martin, so Marvel has put out a couple of sneak peaks of the issue -- one lettered, one unlettered. We've helpfully brought them together so you can enjoy more of the story of fan favorite character Overseer Aggadeen and... the cast of Firefly, I think? I don't really know Star Wars; sorry.
Star Wars #1 is an officially in-continuity comic (for now, anyway!) that picks up directly after the end of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, following the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow in the wake of the destruction of the Death Star. Finally, a sequel to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope! I can't believe they've never done that before.
Agent Carter, Marvel's second live action TV show set in its cinematic shared universe, made its debut with a two-hour double-bill on ABC on Tuesday night, with Hayley Atwell reprising her role as spy Peggy Carter. Atwell's Carter debuted in the 2011 movie Captain America: The First Avenger, based on a character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and she's now the second character from the movies to spin off into her own show, following Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in Agents of SHIELD.
Agents of SHIELD is now on its second season, and trying to recover its energy after a largely awful first season. Agent Carter will run for only eight episodes across seven weeks, rather than a standard 20+ episode season -- a format arguably closer to what Marvel plans to do with its Netflix TV shows -- so it may be the better test of Marvel's TV ambitions. In Cartergraphy, I'll be recapping the show every week using my new 'S.S.R.' method, breaking it down into Strategic Review, Scientific Analysis, and Reserved Englishness.
Guardians Of The Galaxy just enjoyed a very successful weekend at movie theaters, taking home around $94m, far in excess of expectations. The movie also stands at 92% positive reviews on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, joining all previous Marvel Studios movies in receiving predominantly favorable notices.
Marvel Studios is doing very well. In six years and ten movies, it has avoided both critical and commercial disasters, and frustrated naysayers who hailed the demise of the superhero movie at every step. Marvel's rivals at Fox, Sony Columbia, and Warner Bros, have enjoyed commercial success as well -- but not with the acclaim, consistency, or proliferation of Marvel. So how does Marvel do it, and can they keep doing it?
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