Although it seemed to take them longer to make a decision than most of the other publishers, both DC and Marvel have indicated that many of the single-issue comics they had planned to release this week digitally have been pushed out.
The news comes after Diamond Comic Distributors announced they would halt physical comics distribution to comic shops due to the coronavirus, starting with the comics originally scheduled for this Wednesday, April 1.
Many comics publishers announced fairly quickly after the news broke that they planned to hold off on releasing their comics digitally until their print releases were rescheduled.
But a spokesperson for DC originally said they would move ahead with releasing their comics digitally. “Here’s where we are on digital. All our data shows the digital consumer and the physical consumer are two different audiences. For now, we’re going to continue to release digital comics, but will revisit this if the pipeline for physical distribution continues to be challenged and disrupted,” Director of Marketing Services Adam Phillips posted on a Facebook group for comics retailers.
Those plans seemed to change, though. A look at comiXology’s new releases list for April 1 originally showed several titles, like Batman and Strange Adventures, but now those titles, and most other single issues from DC for this week, have disappeared.
On the Marvel side, Marvel Entertainment president Dan Buckley has released a statement to retailers about their plans:
As you know, unfortunately there will not be any new print titles available at your shops this week. Marvel will also not be releasing any new comic book titles digitally on April 1. This is a fluid situation with details changing every day, so we appreciate your patience and understanding as we all navigate our way through this. As soon as more information is available, we will outline our longer-term plans and opportunities to support you and the industry.
They plan to reschedule those titles for a later date.
So what is coming out digitally on Wednesday?
With Diamond temporarily shut down and publishers backing away from digital releases, comiXology’s release list has gotten smaller and smaller. But there are a few things you’ll find on it:
- As previously announced, Archie Comics will still release a few single issues digitally tomorrow, including the first issue of a new Sabrina miniseries and the last issue of the latest Cosmo the Mighty Martian miniseries.
- DC Comics will release the first issue of the digital first comic Batman: The Adventures Continue, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett and Ty Templeton’s return to the Batman: The Animated Series universe. They even put out a press release today about it. The sixth issue of their Teen Titans Go to Camp miniseries, a digital-first release, is also still on the schedule — and is free, to boot. My son’s been enjoying that one.
- Vault’s Finger Guns #2 is still on the release list. I’m not sure if that’s accurate, as Vault had previously announced plans to push several of their titles back, but this one wasn’t on that list. I enjoyed the first issue, about teenagers who discover their “finger guns” actually have super powers, so I’d recommend starting with it.
- There are a lot of small press comics on the list, many of which may be digital-first or digital only titles. For instance, Action lab Entertainment will release the first issue of a digital series, Lucifer’s Knight.
- Finally, trades. Many of the collections due out through the book trade, from DC, Marvel and others, will also be available digitally as well.