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Marvel to announce landmark Astonishing X-Men #50 story on tomorrow's The View — UPDATED


It’s all coming together now, isn’t it? Marvel has just sent out the following advisory:

Tune into ABC at 11a/10a E/C tomorrow as the hosts of ABC’s The View exclusively reveal a major Marvel announcement! This is your first chance to get a look at the moment in Astonishing X-Men #50 that will have everyone talking!

As you may have heard, it’s expected that ASTONISHING X-MEN will feature a gay wedding— probably Northstar, the first openly gay mainstream superhero, and his boyfriend Kyle tying the knot. Which is now supported even by the president of the United States.

This is by our reckoning the third or fourth solid comics segment of The View, the show about chatty yentas that represent the third-rail “fourth quadrant” for comics: older women and stay-at-home freelancers homemakers. That Marvel was able to get this segment on this show reveals that no aspect of media is too much “above” comics any more.

If Oprah still had her show, I believe the great dream of a graphic novel for her book club would have been only a matter of time.

UPDATE: as pointed out in the comments, The View and Marvel are both owned by Disney but I think there is more to it than that.

• First off, if Marvel Comics really has access to Disney’s greater PR machine just for a comic, that’s pretty major. I’ve said this before but Disney invented the modern definition of corporate synergy, and no one can match them at it. Is this a reward for THE AVENGERS?

• Disney has lots of outlets where they could promote a Marvel story, so obviously The View coffee klatch is still where they think this story would be most effective. And remember, Obama was supposed to make his gay marriage announcement on The View originally as well.

  1. The thought of Barbara Walters talking about the X-Men should be….interesting….if not a little weird. Certainly out of her element and I expect some butchering of codenames. Maybe she’ll take that day off.

    Whoopi’s probably more hip with pop culture. She’s into Star Trek and old horror movies so maybe comics too?

    Normally, I’d put dollars to donuts that Sherry or Elizabeth will be the first to mention they aren’t sure about the subject of gay marriage in a children’s comic, not having a clue that most comics aren’t for kids anymore, but after the blasting Hasselbeck is getting on some conservative sites about her opinions on Bristol Palin’s comments on the subject, she might be cool with it.

    Yes, that’s right! I sometimes watch the View, smartguy! :)

  2. Got to give it to Marvel for trying to expand their market. I heard a commercial for AVX mini series on the Jim Rome sports radio show a few weeks back, now something for a largely female oriented audience is progressive for Marvel marketing.

  3. The View? Really? The old lady show? That View?

    So Disney owns ABC and they own Marvel, and the synergy of putting super hero mutants together with a bunch of yentas is just entertainment gold I tells ya!

    Who comes up with these marketing schemes? Now I’m thinking about the next visit to my parents house and how I’m going to have to explain to my mom that she shouldn’t worry about the Wolverine because he has healing factor.

    Couldn’t they have chosen the Jimmy Kimmel show? Isn’t his demographic a little more in line with X-Men readers?

    But hey, nobody knew how to market John Carter (from Mars) — if only they’d launched it on the View. Disney’s new slogan should be “We don’t know what we’re doing, but we’re doing lots of it!”

  4. What poor marvel employee got stuck with the miserable job of trying to convince millions of middle aged housewives to buy xmen comics by chatting for 10 minutes with a floppy in their hand and a forced smile on their face?
    Especially about two characters that no one has ever heard of.

  5. Why (from a producer standpoint) The Astonishing X Men #50??
    Why not a comic their demographic might actually enjoy?
    Bechdel’s Are You My Mother comes to mind.

  6. Hmmm…
    Good Morning America 5.21 Million viewers
    The View 4.7 Million viewers

    Does anyone remember when Marvel presented “The ‘Nam” on CBS This Morning back in 1986?

  7. Some thoughts:

    The comic ships on Wednesday.
    What advance notice did retailers have?

    Will Marvel advertise the digital comics via Comixology, for all the viewers who won’t be able to locate a comics shop? Will they publicize the Comics Shop Locator Service?

    Was Dan DiDio’s announcement (at the same show as Joe Quesada) a reaction to this story? Kinda like how Marvel reacted to DC’s $2.99 initiative at NYCC?

  8. This comic has been flogged to retailers pretty heavily in Marvel mailings, Torsten.

    Retailers should know by now that Marvel can get the real world coverage they promise.

  9. It’s a waste of good ammo – what’s the point of promoting a comic that is in the middle of a vast cross-over and full of complex back-stories?

    Even if they get some people into the stores, how many would come back again?

  10. I’m not ready to give Disney much credit for this kind of thing. I think people are looking at the past 3 years and forgetting the previous 50. Marvel is succeeding despite Disney not because of it. The only role Disney has played in the past three years is movie/video distributor and whatever you call the job of taking an huge chunk of the profits. Marvel had more cartoon tv shows on before Disney and had them on multiple channels at multiple times. Now they get one hour buried on Sunday mornings on Disney XD. A channel that shows about a 1000 hours a week of Pair of Kings and Kickin’ It. As far as importance at Disney goes, the Marvel stuff falls somewhere way below that awful Fish Hooks show.

  11. How the fanboy opinions have changed over the years.

    It used to be ‘why don’t they advertise comics on tv?’ ‘Why don’t they promote comics on tv shows?’

    Now that they do, the cry is:

    “Why is it on THAT show?”

    fanboys: confounding everyone, one comic at a time…

    (and that is a joke, so please don’t get all hissy…)

  12. I imagine this segment will be a very short minute long bit in their “Hot Topics” section where they discuss…well, “hot topics”. It will be a very cursory discussion about the idea of gay marriage appearing in new and unexpected pieces of pop culture. Hardly an advertisement for Astonishing X-Men or comics in general.

  13. FYI, According to Nielsen, 79% of “The View” audience is female with a median age of 59.

    @ CitizenCliff – you’re looking at the trees not the forest. The View is just the place to get the film clip. It then goes to all ABC Affiliates, It get used on ABC Evening News and Jimmy Kimmel. It goes up on their web site. This isn’t just The View, this is a the entree to all the ABC media properties for the day.
    That said they probably tried to GMA and couldn’t.

    @Jason A Quest it’s definitely the wedding angle.

    @ Shannon Smith – Disney is a marketing machine. Now I’ll agree that Marvel was good, they weren’t Disney good. They are kinds of licensing, cross promotion and strategic packaging.

  14. It’s a waste of good ammo – what’s the point of promoting a comic that is in the middle of a vast cross-over and full of complex back-stories?

    ASTONISHING X-MEN isn’t part of the crossover craze. Its storylines are separate from the other X-titles, generally. Marjorie Liu is currently the writer; her focus seems to be on the romance. There’s fighting, but the villain, a telepath who gets her jollies from controlling people, is uninspired. The romance is what makes the material interesting.


  15. Disney owns Marvel. Disney owns ABC. So when Marvel sends out feelers for talk shows to promote their “gay wedding” stunt, it’s an ABC show that bites. I’m not saying that Disney is giving Marvel some great promotional push, only that this is a classic case of corporate media incest.

  16. Oh, boy… This announcement is going to lead to yet another awkward dinner conversation with my in-laws, isn’t it? Thanks a lot, Disney…

  17. “@ Shannon Smith – Disney is a marketing machine. Now I’ll agree that Marvel was good, they weren’t Disney good. They are kinds of licensing, cross promotion and strategic packaging.”

    Exhibit A) John Carter.
    Exhibit B) The Avengers.

    When Disney bought Marvel, Marvel already had 3 cartoons on the air with two more in production. (Not even counting those creepy anime things.) In the three years since, there has been one new cartoon (the recent Ultimate Spider-Man) which by all accounts, Disney has almost no participation in. This is a company that exists because of cartoons. This is a company that owns multiple TV channels. I’m still waiting to see some that synergy everyone talks about. Right after another four hour block of Fish Hooks I guess.

  18. Disney is simply not very good at reaching those young boys! Ever since Walt and Kurt Russell the bromance has faltered.

    I haven’t been following the Disney Marvel animation track as much as I shoudl but I know taht they bought Marvel specifically to reach out to boys, so that’s very very odd.

    Avengers could change that, though.

  19. “Disney is simply not very good at reaching those young boys! ” I could make the argument that the things that boys have typically liked like has been censored, namely marketing anything remotely violent to any one under 12, which includes superheroes. Disney has probably been seeking the path of least resistance.

  20. You know, Marvel DID solicit the first issue of this storyline – Astonishing X-Men #48 – with the words “Don’t miss the first chapter of what will be the most controversial story of 2012”. I can’t help wondering whether that’s the real aim here, rather than actually trying to sell X-Men D-titles to middle-aged women. You don’t want them to buy it, you want them to TALK about it.

    (Oh, and that solicitation really inspires confidence that Marvel are doing this for all the right reasons, doesn’t it?)

  21. What would be really nice is if the women on The View have actually read the comic. There has been a growing amount of mainstream media coverage on trends and or ‘stunt’ stories in comics. If you watch the stories closely you can tell NONE of the talking heads have actually read the stories on which they are reporting.

    Yes, Disney needs the boy’s audience but getting a story to break on a show like The View is really odd. I’d be willing to bet that the show’s producers are trying to figure out how to leverage the success of The Avengers and present the show as being relevant to a much wider market. I’ll admit, this will be the very first time I have ever watched the show….

    Interesting to note that Archie beat DC and Marvel to the Gay-themed stories. Whoda thunk it?

  22. He’s quite dreamy and it was all my idea. I will be coming out of the closet soon. My deepest regards or regretts to my lovely wife.

  23. @John: To be honest, I don’t think that’s unique to comics. It’s not that they do a particularly bad job with covering comics, it’s more that you know about comics, so when they’re covering comics, you’re more likely to realise how many short cuts they’re taking. You’d probably get the same feeling with stories on most topics you knew about.

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