Just the other Day Marvel publisher Dan Buckley admitted the company wasn’t that great at reaching kids. And now you see why: they’re outsourcing the kids publishing program one line  at a time. This time it’s IDW partnering up and not just publishing Star Wars or reprints – it’s NEW SPIDER-MAN, SHURI AND IRON MAN comics aimed at kids and middle grade readers.

Notable in this PR is a quote from Marvel’s director of licensed publishing Sven Larsen, who is quite good at making these kinds of deals.

And IDW has a solid track record producing material for the junior set, so it’s all good.

But note this moment. Marvel Comics has ceded connecting directly with the fastest growing segment of comics readers.

More later – I’m about to board my fight to SD where this will be much discussed I’m sure.

Marvel Entertainment and IDW Publishing announced today that the two companies will develop middle-grade comic books designed for younger readers. Featuring some of Marvel’s most popular characters, the monthly issues and trade paperback collections, published by IDW, will be available for sale at local comic book shops and book retailers across the country, expanding opportunities for the next generation of Super Heroes to experience the Marvel Universe.
“From Iron Man to Captain Marvel, from the Hulk to Shuri — the Marvel pantheon has something for everyone,” says John Barber, editor-in-chief of IDW. “With this team-up, Marvel and IDW aim to bring exciting, all-new comics to a generation growing up in a Marvel world.”
Launching in November 2018, the Marvel and IDW collaboration will kick off with a Spider-Man series featuring both Peter Parker and Miles Morales, followed by an Avengers series beginning in December and a Black Pantherseries in January 2019. Each of these titles will serve as an easily-accessible jumping-on point for younger readers to follow the adventures of their favorite characters.
“Marvel is excited to work with IDW to share these brand-new stories with our younger fans,” said C.B. Cebulski, editor-in-chief of Marvel. “Characters like Spider-Man, Black Panther, and the Avengers inspire us through their strength and determination, but they resonate with readers because of the struggles they face and the challenges they overcome. We want to share their journeys with our younger fans first-hand.”
“Marvel is committed to delivering unique and accessible content for our younger audiences and fans,” said Sven Larsen, director, licensed publishing of Marvel. “As one of our most valued partners, IDW is the right fit to help us feature some of our most popular characters and publish stories created especially for the next generation of Super Heroes.”
“This partnership reflects the true spirit of collaboration at work,” said Greg Goldstein, president and publisher of IDW. “As comic book publishers, IDW and Marvel are able to produce high-quality visual storytelling experiences for fans both young and old. By combining our efforts, along with Marvel’s ever-increasing presence in popular culture, the results will be spectacular.”

Story details and creative teams for the new line of middle-grade comic books will be announced at a later date.


  1. It’s smart. Just an extension by Disney with its kids Star Wars books, Mickey and Donald comics, and now Spidey, etc. I guess the licence must be that IDW get money from the comics, and Disney/Marvel get any fringe benefits in merchandising, young-fan entry and any positive developments on IP. Probably IDW would have to pay some licencing fee but that can’t be at the heart of it.

    That Spidey looks good.

  2. Disney is really good, at licensing off their IP to let another company do all the R&D growing a market and then when that marketshare is built up nice and proper, they just take the rights back and do it themselves. Gaming, collectibles, tv, movies, streaming services etc.

    My unqualified opinion is that Disney made the calculation of: “Marvel doesn’t know how to do this yet, so lets license this category off to someone who’s really good at it and we’ll just take notes and see if its something we want to invest in later.”

  3. This is unbelievable. How bad and pathetic is Marvel that they can’t do this themselves???

    That classic Spider-Man is crap. Just do the correct costume.

  4. “IDW has a solid track record producing material for the junior set, so it’s all good.”
    Um, citation needed.
    IDW puts out children’s comics, but they don’t sell. Just like none of their other comics actually sell very well anymore.
    Do you even know what the market is like right now, Heidi?
    An interesting exercise would be for you to actually interview the creators involved in these comics and find out how many of them actually have children. You know, because if you’re making comics for kids, maybe a good number of people involved should actually have a clue about what kids are like these days?
    In case you don’t realize it, the way modern comics writers have characters speak does not appeal to actual children very well at all.
    But if you just want to keep drinking the koolaid and pretend “it’s all good” while our culture descends into bankruptcy (literal and figurative), go ahead.
    It’s aaaaaaallllllll goood.

  5. “maybe a good number of people involved should actually have a clue about what kids are like these days?”

    Kids are kids. You think the guys writing and drawing Marvel comics in the 80s when nearly every single comic they produced sold better than Marvel’s best-selling comic today were experts in “youth culture?”

    Just look at the difference between most super-hero comics and most super-hero cartoons. The latter are written and designed for a general audience of more-or-less normal people. The former are written and drawn for a very niche audience of people who probably should’ve started reading something other than super-hero comics a long time ago.


  6. Wish people would stop trying to sound like Hollywood lawyers, and say “characters” instead of “IP.”

    This will probably fail, like Marvel’s other attempts to sell comics to little kids over the last few decades. Anyone remember Star Comics in the ’80s?

    The comics will have to be sold beyond comic shops to have any chance to succeed. Maybe in Walmarts? Of course, that will only piss of retailers, who can’t sell these comics to their core audience of 30-year-old dudes anyway.

  7. Why not simply hire creators who have proven elsewhere that they can make good kids’ comics and put them to work on kids’ books featuring Marvel characters?

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