When I was a kid, I grew up with Marvel weekly kids comics. Marvel comic book titles from across the decades chopped up and serialised in anthologies, and sold in newsagents. So even though I would pick up Spider-Man, Thor, Fantastic Four and X-Men, I would also get Rocket Raccoon, Alpha Flight, Machine Man and Black Knight in the back, broadening the Marvel characters I was exposed to. Marvel US themselves published a similar weekly anthology series in Marvel Comics Presents, with Wolverine as the lead strip and all manner of nonsense in the rest of the comic.
IDW has been licensing the rights to publish younger age reader-aimed material from Marvel Comics in recent years – and even scored a speculator hit recently with the Avengers series and a certain yellow Hulk. The idea was initially that these would be packed into the tin foil mini-comics packs sold by IDW in Target but they have also proved popular in their own right, in both mass-market stores, comic book shops and collected in bookstores – where IDW has been able to wangle a bigger presence for kids graphic novels than Marvel has been able to.
They've also managed to do really smart things like getting Kyle Baker to write and draw a Black Panther comic book for kids. I mean, how smart is that? Some people ask why Marvel can't do this themselves – but Marvel do this themselves as well, and publish kids-focused Marvel tiles. They just let IDW do it as well, and take in money for both. It just seems that IDW are doing it better.
Now Bleeding Cool learns that IDW is planning a new series, but rather than a new comic book focused on one character or team, they are planning to publish a weekly Marvel Super Hero anthology title, just like those Marvel comic books I read as a nipper. Weekly comic books were – and remain – a staple in Britain, though in far less number and variety than they used to be. But comics like 2000AD, the Beano and the Phoenix Comics Weekly show just what can be done in that format, week in, week out. Might it be an opportunity for IDW to bring some of that magic back to the USA?