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Earlier this week, Marvel Comics released Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1 digitally, more than three weeks ahead of its physical release in comic shops. Now Marvel has announced that they will be releasing a handful of additional single issues digitally over the next few weeks, with one difference: these single issues will only be available digitally.

The following series and issues are making the jump to digital-only:

Wednesday, May 13:
ANT-MAN #4
AVENGERS OF THE WASTELANDS #4
GHOST-SPIDER #9
RAVENCROFT #4

Wednesday, May 20:
2020 IRONHEART #1
MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN: THE BLACK CAT STRIKES #4
HAWKEYE: FREEFALL #5
STAR #4

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The impacted titles include a mix of miniseries and ongoing titles. According to Marvel, while physical copies of these single issues won’t be made available, they will premiere in print in collected editions later in 2020.

This is a huge development. The titles on offer are likely on the lower end of Marvel’s sellers, but it still translates into potentially lost sales for direct market retailers, and gaps in the collections of physical-issue collectors. Expect some angry social media postings about this, I’m sure.

See the full text of the announcement from Marvel below. Physical Marvel comics are set to return to comic shops on Wednesday, May 27th.

New York, NY— May 6, 2020 — As True Believers await the return of new Marvel comics later this month, fans everywhere will now be able to start diving back into some of their favorite Marvel series next week! On May 13th and May 20th, Marvel will release a select number of brand-new digital-only comics for fans to enjoy as everyone continues to practice social distancing.

Over the next two weeks, new issues for series like ANT-MAN, GHOST-SPIDER, HAWKEYE: FREEFALL, and more will be made available digitally for readers to access from their own homes. These comics will only be available as digital comics for the time being; however, they will be available in print collections later this year for fans looking to add them to their Marvel bookshelves. More information about these comics will be shared at a later date.

To jump into these new issues or start from the very beginning, download the Marvel Comics app for iOS or Android, or visit the Marvel Digital Comics Shop as well as comiXology!

Marvel’s in-store comic book release schedule will resume Wednesday, May 27. To learn more, visit Marvel.com, and be sure to ask your local comic book shop about their current business policies to observe social distancing or other services they may offer, including holding or creating pull lists, curbside pick-ups, special deliveries and other options to accommodate. Find and support your local comic book shop at comicshoplocator.com or by visiting marvel.com/lovecomicshops.

Marvel Comics Release Schedule (Digital Only):

Wednesday, May 13:

Wednesday, May 20:

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11 COMMENTS

  1. This is what I’m saying all the time – non-essential titles to release digitally and then in collections. This is the right way against market flooding. I’m DC zombie, but bravo, Marvel

  2. I think digital-first (or even digital only) singles and print collections are a great idea for certain lower profile mini series and ongoing titles, but I don’t think doing it midseries is a good idea.

  3. Yeah except it screws people who were reading series like Ant-Man physically for the first 3 issues. Now I am going to cancel my sub for it and not bother. And the next time they solicit a series I will skip it. They have shown no vested interest in their readers with a move like this.

    Not opposed to digital first and then physical copies later or even just a compilation OGN style of digital first material. However to stop something that had two issues left to force over to digital for one issue or likely both issues and then to have to buy 3/5 of a story I already own to finish the story is crass commercialism to me. I will happily spend that $ on something else not Marvel.

  4. Is this anything other than an experiment by Marvel with some garbage-selling titles to try and measure the sales drop they would receive by moving from print to digital? Or to see if Direct Market disasters like Riri Williams have any potential as digital-only products?

    Mike

  5. Not counting Ironheart, a first issue, the previous issues of these comics accounted for about 2.7% of Marvel’s dollar orders in March, and a little over 1% of Diamond’s print comics sales overall that month. (Possibly less, because some landed in Marvel’s deep-discount window later in the month.)

  6. Do you enjoy going to your local comic shop? Marvel would love to stop printing comics, and go only digital. Moves like this gain support, your local comic shop takes another serious hit.
    Marvel should be printing special issues, top name variant covers, (something!) ONLY for release in comic stores when they reopen, to show support for all the comic stores that had to close during this pandemic.
    Instead of creating MORE demand to go back to your local comic stores once they reopen, Marvel decided to take sales AWAY from hard hit local comic book shops, by releasing books previously slated for physical release, online digitally….which only THEY make money from.
    Thanks for the slap-in-the-face Marvel, I just what I needed during this pandemic!
    I’ve owned my store in Lexington, Kentucky for 23+ years now, and this pandemic shutdown has been the hardest time in all those years!
    So not only do you NOT make all your books returnable, like DC Comics did, but to add insult to injury, you make a big announcement about releasing titles digitally online early, exclusively.
    Let me ask you Marvel…what have you done during this crisis to HELP comic book stores?
    If you’re not going to help us, at least don’t kick us when we’re down ok? This business is hard enough without having a friend stab you in the back!

  7. It will be interesting to see if Ghost-Spider #10 — supposedly branded as part of the “Outlawed” storyline/cross-over — will stay digital only or jump back to print in some manner other than a collected edition.

  8. Hmm. And these are all being released in a period before print is being made available. And some are tied in with main universe stories. So they don’t want to lose the money on printing them, but they don’t want to cancel the low performing series either. Very curious indeed.

  9. I wonder how Marvel will promote these titles switching from print to digital only?

    It’s not like store owners have any interest in promoting these titles.

  10. I will cancel all titles I am currently collecting due to this why because a couple are on this list and now i feel like i should no longer bother I knew Disney would shit on Marvel like they did star wars

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