Marvel Comics and Serial Box have announced a new licensing partnership today, to create serialized prose stories featuring some of the comic publisher’s biggest characters. Verge reports that the premiere story from Serial Box, a producer of online books and audio books, will focus on Thor, while future stories will spotlight characters like Black Panther, Black Widow, and Jessica Jones. A team of writers comprised of Jay Edidin, Yoon Ha Lee, Aaron Stewart-Ahn, and Brian Keene will craft the opening Thor serial, which will be an original story and not an adaptation of a film or comic.
The Serial Box model is similar to that of a weekly comic or TV show, with new installments in a “Serial” released weekly. The complete serials typically run between 10 and 16 chapters, with each chapter telling a complete story while advancing the overall narrative of the series. The model is a throwback to the serialization of fiction back in the 18th and 19th centuries; several of Charles Dickens’s novels were originally published in serialized format in newspapers and magazines, for example, as were many of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories.
After the success of Marvel and Stitcher’s Wolverine: The Long Night serialized podcast, it’s no surprise the publisher is looking to other different types of media to expand the reach of their characters (those billion dollar movies just aren’t enough). Serial Box seems to be the perfect place to experiment with serialized superhero fiction. Well, officially-licensed serialized superhero fiction, anyway, as fan fiction writers have been doing this for decades.
Look for Marvel and Serial Box’s Thor Serial to premiere some time this Summer.