Sometimes I’m left dumbfounded that many people covering the comic book industry couldn’t understand how Marvel Comics, the publishing arm of the organization, fits perfectly into the overall business strategy for Marvel Entertainment and its parent company Disney — that it is the central hub that connects the dots between all the various departments utilizing Marvel-branded content or licensed products. (It’s also not that important, unless you start writing speculative pieces with a limited understanding of, well, business.)
That was the intention behind a SXSW panel featuring Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada and Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski earlier this week. Sure enough, the pair spent nearly an hour outlining the various ways original work in the comic book publishing arm translated over to other mediums with great financial success. Some of the best examples included major comic event storylines being adapted to blockbuster big budget films (Civil War, Infinity War) and mobile game Contest of Champions using exact costume designs from current comic series runs.
Marvel Comics has introduced a new membership tier to their Marvel Unlimited subscription plan. Marvel Unlimited allows subscribers to read an assortment of comics online via a web application. This is separate from the buy individual issues plan that’s available on mobile devices and tablets. The new plan, creatively titled (sarcasm Sheldon, sarcasm) Marvel Unlimited Plus, includes all of the features of the basic Marvel Unlimited package with some new extras.