I read that Marvel will be making the Ultimate Universe’s new Death of Spider-Man storyline available on line at the same time the comics hit the streets. This “day and date” delivery will be via the Marvel Comics app through iTunes.
Marvel, like all the other publishers, is trying to figure out how to successfully deliver their products through apps and downloads. With this move Marvel is basically trying to give a massive push to their delivery of comics via download plans. They are upping the quality of selection ante by adding such a highly publicized event into their “day and date’ selection.
Ultimate Spider-Man was launched back in 2000 and it boasted an excellent creative team (writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Mark Bagley) that collaborated for ten years. Nothing grows a customer base in comics like the delivery of a high quality product in a timely and consistent manner over a very long period of time.
It seems, to me anyway, that Marvel is going about this “let’s use Death of Spider-Man to boost our downloads” business the wrong way. They are sacrificing their star right from the get go. This may bring press, this may bring extra downloads but then what. You’ve just killed off the reason people want to download. Sure, nobody in comics stays dead long and perhaps Spider-Man Reborn will also be “day and date” but if the goal is to build a new customer base of readers shouldn’t you be doing it via the quality and consistency that enabled the whole Ultimate Universe to flourish in the first place.
Marvel recently announced that the Ultimate Spider-Man volume 1: Power and Responsibility graphic novel has surpassed the 1 million copies sold mark. Power and Responsibility?