“They are editors, not trained actors,” Singh laughed. He then said that Marvel was very passionate about digital comics and creating a unique experience. Alonso jumped in and said that digital was the first major format change in comics in years. “It’s really the new frontier,” he said.
Bendis then spoke about writing the Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic series that he recently wrote. “I followed Mark Waid’s lead, he didn’t write in full script when he did his (Infinite Comic) for AvX,” Bendis said. He pointed out that working in the Infinite format leant itself much more to the traditional “Marvel style” where the writer just writes a plot for the artist and then adds the dialogue after the fact.
“We are looking at what we can do to take the medium to the next level,” Singh said of Marvel’s digital drive. The panel pointed out that digital – even though it takes advantage of the movement and animation – it is still a reading experience. Marvel is looking to preserve that but still take advantage of the technology.
Singh then said that a new Iron Man digital series would launch in October to coincide with the video release of Iron Man 3. The series will use the Infinite format much like the current Wolverine weekly series, which would be wrapping up about that time. Written by Kieron Gillen, the story will pick up on the threads of his monthly Iron Man series while still being accessible to new readers.
Penagos then spoke on Marvel Unlimited, their digital service that allows readers to access as many comics as they want for one monthly fee. He said that they were looking to get books added roughly six months after they are first available. The library is expanding quickly with roughly 30 titles a week, Penagos added. Currently, the service offers nearly 13,000 comics.
“Netflix is great for binge watching and Marvel Unlimited is great for binge comic reading,” Bendis said. He then highly recommended that subscribers check out Warren Ellis’ Nextwave. Cebulski recommended Claremont and Byrnes X-Men. Jefferson pointed out how great Bendis’ run on Moonknight was. “It’s like 5 bucks a month and a great way to read a ton of comics,” Penagos said.
The panel then discussed Marvel AR and another video filled with Marvel staffers rolled. The video drew more laughs than the previous reels, although it still had plenty moments of extended, awkward silence. The Marvel editors were clearly having a good time despite their lack of acting experience. Penagos pointed out that many of the AR videos are available on YouTube now so readers who didn’t want to use a phone and a print comic still had options to view the content. Penagos said that Marvel was working launching more online video content, including Earth’s Mightiest Show, which is a series that focuses on pop culture and, shockingly, Marvel comic books.
Next, the panel showed a clip of Marvel Superheroes What The--?! This video the audience loved this one, which feature a Robot Chicken style animated Thanos journeying to Comic-Con in an attempt to take over the universe. The humor filled short elicited a great response from the crowd, who laughed and cheered over the segment.
The panel then touched on the X-Men: Battle of the Atom video game which would be launching soon. Jefferson said that the game would line up with events in the comic and that the company was working to synergize media and events more in the future. He didn’t give an exact date but teased that the upcoming Marvel Video Games panel at SDCC might hold more clues.