Marvel reverses decision on several ‘digital only’ titles

Issues of ‘Hawkeye: Freefall,’ ‘Ant-Man’ and more will now be printed.

After stating they would only release digital copies of several titles that were held up by the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent shutdown by Diamond Comics Distributors, Marvel has told retailers they will now release print copies of most of those titles, including issues of Hawkeye: Freefall, Ant-Man, Ghost Spider and Valkyrie: Jane Foster.

The Beat reports that Marvel sent a message to retailers this week that print copies of many of these titles would ship to them starting in August. The list of comics and their release dates are:

ON SALE 08/05/20 (FOC 07/13/20)

  • ANT-MAN #4 (OF 5)
  • AVENGERS OF THE WASTELANDS #4 (OF 5)
  • MARVELS SPIDER-MAN BLACK CAT STRIKES #4 (OF 5)

ON SALE 08/12/20 (FOC 07/20/20)

  • GHOST SPIDER #9
  • HAWKEYE FREE FALL #5
  • REVENGE OF THE COSMIC GHOST RIDER 5 (WITH DIGITAL CODE)

ON SALE 08/19/20 (FOC 07/27/20)

  • ANT-MAN #5 (OF 5)
  • VALKYRIE JANE FOSTER #10
  • STAR #4 (OF 5)

ON SALE 08/26/20 (FOC 08/03/20)

  • 2020 FORCE WORKS #3 (OF 3)
  • AERO #10
  • GHOST-SPIDER #10

ON SALE 09/02/20 (FOC 08/10/20)

  • AVENGERS OF THE WASTELANDS #5 (OF 5)
  • HAWKEYE FREE FALL #6
  • RAVENCROFT #4 (OF 5)
  • SWORD MASTER #10

ON SALE 09/09/20 (FOC 08/17/20)

  • RAVENCROFT #5 (OF 5)
  • STAR #5 (OF 5)
  • MARVELS SPIDER-MAN BLACK CAT STRIKES #5 (OF 5)

The list does not include two titles that were released digitally — the final issues of 2020 Ironheart and Scream: Curse Of Carnage. It does include, however, two comics that were still MIA after the COVID shutdown — Aero and Sword Master, which Marvel issued a press release about this week.

“From the day they debuted, Aero and Sword Master instantly resonated with readers and have seen their popularity grow as their adventures have brought them deeper into the Marvel mythos,” Editor in Chief C.B. Cebulski said in the release. “I’m thrilled that their comics will be coming back and setting up the next chapter of the wind walker and blade bearer’s heroic journeys.”

I’m guessing he’s also thrilled about the other titles returning to print as well. Some fans might be a little put off by it, though, if they were print collectors who only purchased digital copies because the print versions were cancelled. It’ll be interesting to see how this impacts ordering and sales.

Finally, this week saw the release of what’s apparently the last issue of Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda, a fun Avengers spinoff that was written by Jim Zub. He also said a planned Empyre: Invasion of Wakanda miniseries won’t happen. Zub writes:

Maybe they could release it digitally? Just a thought.

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