Marvel Comics Bring Us Marvel ReEvolution and Marvel Infinite Comics

Some big digital announcements coming from Marvel this weekend, but perhaps, not what we were expecting.

First is the Marvel ReEvolution, which is the addition of augmented reality to the comics. This will be the addition to the comics in a seperate app – something I thought about a while ago!

The Marvel ReEvolution is Here

The Marvel ReEvolution is here—and comics will never be the same! The future of comic book publishing was unveiled to the raucous crowd at SXSW Interactive’ s ScreenBurn Arcade courtesy of industry superstars Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief, Marvel Comics), Peter Phillips (SVP/GM, Marvel Digital Media) and Jeph Loeb (Head of Marvel Television) during the historic Marvel: House of Ideaspanel

Marvel Infinite Comics

An industry first, the Marvel ReEvolution seamlessly brings the worlds of print and digital media together for a comics experience like no other. The first two elements of this exciting new initiative were revealed as Marvel Infinite Comics, a new comic book format, and Marvel AR, the first major augmented reality app from a comics company. And fans will not have to wait long to get in on the action as they will both be released with the hotly-anticipated AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1 on April 4, when the two biggest super heroe teams in the world go to war!

“Marvel’s always led graphic fiction industry in digital media innovation and the Marvel ReEvolution is a quantum leap into the future of publishing,” said Dan Buckley. Publisher & President of the Print, Animation & Digital Divisions, Marvel Worldwide, Inc. “We see print and digital product as complementary, not competitive—so we’ve made sure that not only do we have new digital content but also digital products that enhance the printed page. The release of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1, the biggest story we’ve ever told, is the activation point for the re-evolution of comics as a whole.”

Marvel Infinite Comics represent a new form of comic book storytelling, using tablets and smartphones as a new canvas for storytelling, taking advantage of modern technology while staying true to medium’s greatest strengths. The first comic released in this format will be AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1 INFINITE, from acclaimed creators Mark Waid and Stuart Immonen and available on April 4 for purchase on the Marvel Comics app, free with the redemption of the code found in print copies of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1 or included with the purchase of the digital version.

Marvel AR

“We call these Marvel Infinite Comics because the storytelling possibilities are, frankly, infinite. Writers and artists now have a whole host of new tools at their disposal to redefine the comic book medium,” said Alonso. “Current tablets and smartphones, along with comiXology’s Guided View technology, allow us to develop new, full length stories for a different medium that are very much truly comics—but experienced by readers in a way no other major company has ever executed.”

The Marvel AR app, powered by Aurasma, will be released in April for iOS and Android devices. By opening this app and scanning select Marvel products featuring the Marvel AR logo, you’ll unlock exclusive content starring the world’s most popular super heroes, including Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk and many others! Go behind the scenes of your favorite comics, see new footage, hear from creators, catch yourself up on past events and more!

“Marvel AR is a perfect example of how digital innovation not only gives added value to print comics, but also brings a delivers an entirely new reading experience,” explained Phillips. “Now fans will have access to more behind-the-scenes material from their favorite Marvel products than ever before—and it’s all absolutely free.”

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Next is the Marvel Infinite Comics, which are comics that are actually written and drawn specifically for digital – like Power Play and Box 13!

Marvel Infinite Comics Unveiled

Today during the Marvel: House of Ideas panel held at South By Southwest, Marvel announced the advent of Infinite Comics, a new format designed especially for the digital realm, as part of Marvel ReEvolution.

“Infinite Comics are a new technique in comics storytelling that is built specifically for the digital world yet in a very elegant way manages to keep the purity of what makes a comic a ‘comic,’” explains Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment. “It gives readers the same feel of reading a traditional comic while also offering a whole new experience that really feels like the future of where the medium is headed.

“The uniqueness comes from the fact that [Infinite Comics] uses tools that the digital medium offers, but it doesn’t reinvent comics so completely that they become something other than what they are,” continues Quesada. “If anything, outside of the great smell of ink on paper and the holding of a physical comic book, the Infinite Comics technique, I feel, enhances what a comic book can do without changing what makes comics great.”

The first offering from Infinite Comics will be AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1 INFINITE, a tie-in story starring Nova, written by Mark Waid with art by Stuart Immonen and Marte Gracia, available for purchase on the Marvel Comics app free with the redemption code found in print copies of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1 or included with the purchase of the digital version. It will also be available to purchase on its own for 99 cents.

“The events are concurrent to AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #1,” Waid says of the story. “It shows a certain key sequence of events uniquely from Nova’s point of view, and much of what we learn will be important in later AvX developments.”

“While AvX is a huge story, we only have so much room by which to tell it,” notes Quesada. “Infinite Comics will be bringing you some stories that may have fallen through the cracks or haven’t been dealt with in great detail.”

An industry veteran and proponent of digital innovation, Waid made a natural choice to craft the initial Infinite Comics story.

“I’ve been working on this format for awhile, which is why Joe Quesada reached out to me to creatively spearhead the Infinite Comics debut, and I was thrilled for the opportunity to really dig in and show off what the format can do,” says Waid. “It does require some re-thinking on a writer’s part; good comics are always a collaborative effort between everyone involved, but even more so with digital, where artists really need to take the lead on pacing and timing and, as we did here, should probably be credited as co-plotters.

“With this first story, Stuart Immonen and I were in steady contact at every stage. We talked the story out in depth, after which I provided him with a ‘beat sheet’ of the key moments and key images and some rough dialogue. Stuart then did breakdowns [or] storyboards for the entire tale, imagining and inserting transitions between scenes, and I did a final dialogue polish. It’s a lot more labor-intensive than your garden variety 10-page story, that’s for sure; a lot more ‘what if we tried this rack-focus effect?’ or ‘what if this frame stretched across multiple screens?’ but it was so rewarding. And what we’re showing off here? Tip of the iceberg.”

Quesada and Waid represent everybody working on Infinite Comics in their enthusiasm for the potential of the format.

“I think it [will help] casual readers understand more fully the power of the medium,” Waid expresses. “What we’re doing isn’t bargain basement animation or print pages simply transcribed to the screen—it’s all the storytelling tools of comics still under the reader’s control. Page composition and design are still super important, as they’ve always been, but allowing artists to design for a more intimate space allows for the possibility of a surprise with every click.”

“I love that, like the turn of the page in a traditional comic, the reader still controls the pace of the action [and] the timing of the story, but the creators now have more control over how that action is delivered and more tools by which to deliver that story in a much more powerful manner,” adds Quesada. “Also, we’re no longer confined by the limitations of the page. While we still are confined in a way by the size of a tablet screen in the same way that we have to deal with the physical size of a page, the screen is capable of so much more. You can layer your story in ways that are impossible with a physical comic.”

Stay tuned to for all the latest news on Infinite Comics and the rest of Marvel ReEvolution!

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