Two years after launching its Infinite line of digital comics, Marvel Entertainment said it intends to expand the line's offerings with its first all-ages titles as it moves to attract younger readers familiar with characters like Spider-Man from animated television shows.
Announced Sunday at the annual South by Southwest event in Austin, Texas, Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso and Kristin Vincent, the vice president of its digital products, called the new "Marvel Universe Ultimate Spider-Man" digital title the publisher's first for kids in the Infinite format.
"We're trying to reach the next generation of comics fans," Vincent said. "These stories resonate with kids."
By taking tales from the television series of the same name, the publisher hopes the digital comics will find an audience in kids who are more used to reading on a tablet than traditional paper.
"The story telling just lends itself naturally to a tablet . images replace the other images," she said, adding that while it's not animation, the pages and story are bright, vivid and redolent of what kids see on television.
With the Infinite format — a digital-only medium that features stories and art native to digital readers — Alonso believes kids will get their first hands-on experience with comics in a way more akin to what they've experienced with TV.
"It will excite them and it's in a format they understand," he said of the title, which is due out later this year and will eventually be available in more than 10 languages around the globe.
The stories feature writers known to readers of traditional comics, including Eugene Son, Matt Kindt, Cullen Bunn and Tim Seeley, along with artists Luciano Vecchio and Soutchey Leimetry and storyboards by J.L. Mast and Geoffrey Beaulieu.
Like the ongoing TV series on Disney XD, the Infinite series will focus on Peter Parker and his adventures as Spider-Man. It will also feature other teenage heroes, too, including Iron Fist, Power Man, White Tiger and Nova, Alonso said.
"This is going to be the first time that our Infinite Comics format will feature Spider-Man and the team of young heroes. It's .. a very diverse, multi-ethnic cast with very different power sets," he said. "All of them are going to appeal to very different types of kids."
Moore reported from Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/mattmooreap