On Wednesday, September 4, Marvel announced a multi-year deal with Scholastic to introduce new original stories featuring iconic superheroes. Starting in 2020, Scholastic will publish two middle grade novels featuring Marvel characters. The first two titles announced are Shuri: A Black Panther Novel by New York Times bestselling author Nic Stone, and Avengers Assembly, a series by Preeti Chhibber (Peter and Ned’s Ultimate Travel Journal).
“Marvel is always looking for best-in-class partners to develop new and exciting ways to experience the Marvel Universe, and Scholastic is the perfect partner to do this. We couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Marvel Director of Licensed Publishing Sven Larsen in a statement. “As two brands dedicated to storytelling for every kind of reader and fan, the combined strength of this collaboration will be truly one of a kind — with a super power to bring together the next generation of fans through the joy of reading and Marvel.”
Sana Amanat, VP of Content & Character Development, added, “Marvel’s characters mean so much to our fans because they inspire us to embrace our individual power. As the first title we’re launching with Scholastic, Shuri is the perfect character to highlight this message. She may be a Wakandan princess, but what makes Shuri the ultimate hero is her unique sense of intelligence, responsibility and determination, ideals that resonate with all of us.”
Scholastic is also excited about the partnership, which is likely to expand readership of both Marvel comics and Scholastic novels. Scholastic VP and Publisher of Global Licensing, Brands and Media Debra Dorfman said in a statement, “The Marvel Universe is vast, inclusive and iconic with a great range of multi-faceted characters, and Scholastic and Marvel share a commitment to bringing diverse characters to life. Shuri, Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales, Squirrel Girl, etc. are all ‘ordinary’ characters with extraordinary powers — and there are a lot of stories to be told!”
More information on the Marvel and Scholastic partnership will be released in the coming weeks. This news follows on the heels of several Marvel one-act educational plays being introduced through a partnership with Samuel French. Clearly, the publisher has caught onto the value of marketing its characters through non-traditional comics platforms to appeal to kids of all ages. With Scholastic and its Graphix imprint rapidly becoming the biggest graphic novel publisher in the world, this is a super smart move for Marvel and will surely introduce its characters to a whole slew of prose fans.