Marvel is making a few new moves to bring in new readership. Their most recent push, called Season One, will showcase most of their flagship characters, like Spider-Man and the X-Men, in a new line of graphic novels. While not nearly as drastic or ground-breaking as rebooting all of their titles and characters, a la DC‘s New 52, Marvel has a good idea on their hands. Originally announced at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, Marvel today released press release showing the cover dress of each of the new graphic novels. You can read the PR blurb and see the images below.
Get your first look at the new trade dress for the groundbreaking debut of Marvel: Season One! Kicking off in 2012, featuring a modern cover design, fans can experience the Marvel Universe like never before with this new line of graphic novels. Complete with full stories featuring your favorite Marvel characters, these graphic novels modernize the seminal origins of these characters while also offering new revelations for long-time fans.
The complete first wave of Season One graphic novels includes:
It’s time to discover the world’s greatest super heroes all over again in Marvel: Season One!
Marvel is making a good move by releasing stories that non-fans can pick up and get into. With all of the movies being released and breaking box-office records, fans of the movies can walk into any comic book store, talk to the guy or girl behind the counter and say “Where do I start?” My only hope is that Marvel be making more of these, like an Iron Man: Season One, or Avengers: Season One that will help tie into the release of The Avengers next year.
Back in the mid-90s, Marvel released a couple of titles aimed at drawing in new readers while delivering new content to current fans (in a way). The concept behind Untold Tales of Spider-Man was that all of the stories took place during Spider-Man’s early years, stories that weren’t revealed in the series Amazing Spider-Man. Peter Parker meets many members of his famous rogue’s gallery early on, so new readers wouldn’t get bogged down in the history between the characters, but new stories, and low 99 cent cover price, made it a draw to fans.
Professor Xavier and the X-Men, on the other hand, approached the idea different. Instead of new stories, this series retold the early stories of the X-Men, with updated storytelling and art. The X-Men’s first meeting with Magneto. The first team-up with Captain America and the Avengers. Basically the first year and a half of X-Men stories was given an update, and again, a 99 cent cover price.
Marvel continues to come up with ideas to bring in new readers. While they may be bringing in new fans each year with the movies and the cartoons, Marvel is, first and foremost, a comic book publisher. They gauge their popularity on readership, not DVD sales. So it’s great that they are so concerned with find a way to draw in new readership without alienating current fans. I’m excited to see what the Season One books bring to the table, and my fingers are crossed that they fulfill their intent.