The COVID-19 crisis has turned the comics industry upside down. DC announced they would begin shipping to stores in April, leaving fans wondering when Marvel would make their move. Well, today the company announced they would begin comics retail again on May 27. And an inside source confirmed to Nerdist that the comics will be distributed through Diamond.
In the official announcement, Marvel didn’t mention how they would be bringing those comics to shops. Though they didn’t name Diamond in the release a source confirmed they would be returning to the Diamond model. This will bring relief to retailers who were worried about DC Comics’ new distribution model. It isn’t surprising that Marvel will be returning to Diamond after the company stated they would begin to ship comics on May 20. It may be disappointing to some readers though, who were hoping that the industry might see a return to a true direct market.
Aside from the business of it all, it means you’ll be able to potentially get Marvel comics again in store and online. If you want to know whether your shop will be open and receiving the new comics, you can check out the Comic Shop Locator. Titles that are returning include: Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Marauders, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Venom, and many, many more. You can read the full list of releases until July here. As you might notice if you check the list it’s a lot of trade collections and not many new titles.
Marvel Comics, Art by Steve Ditko
It’ll be interesting to see how this news lands. Retailers have been worried about receiving comics during the COVID-19 crisis, which is still on-going. So, will the shelter-in-place order effect how Marvel’s comics will sell? We’ll have to wait and see. It’ll also be interesting to see how the Montreal based comic printers Trans Continental are effected by this choice. With Quebec only just slowly loosening their pandemic regulations it seems unlikely they’ll be ready to get fully back into business so soon. Which might explain why the full list of releases looks like a lot less than fans were hoping for.
Basically this another step forward for comics fans. But it still leaves many questions as we got into the next few months without knowing how the pandemic will continue to impact the industry.
Header Image: Marvel Comics, art by Alex Ross