New York Comic Con News--Marvel has not had an easy time directly capitalizing on the tremendous success of its characters on the big screen with major graphic novel sales. The cult hit Kick-Ass probably sold more graphic novel collections than the billion-dollar Spider-Man franchise. With Joss Whedon’s Avengers movie, which is slated to debut next spring, already being touted by Hollywood analysts as a potential Dark Knight-level hit, Marvel is keen to try something different in order to earn more than incremental comic and graphic novel sales. The problem with selling Spider-Man or Iron Man graphic novels in conjunction with a movie is the simple fact that there are too many books and none of them are directly related to the movie that is showing at the local Cineplex.
Marvel’s attempt to do something different with Whedon’s Avengers begins in March with the debut of Avengers Assemble, a new series by Brian Michael Bendis, the dean of Marvel’s Avengers scribes, and artist Mark Bagley. The book will feature the same Avengers lineup that appears in Whedon’s film, so Bendis will get to write for the original Incredible Hulk, who is not currently appearing in the Avengers titles. The Avengers Assemble series will not be a mere movie adaptation, but it will feature basically the same cast as the movie and will function as a really jumping-on spot for new readers. Marvel certainly couldn’t have found a better writer than Bendis, who is currently penning two other Avengers series, and Bagley is a fan-favorite artist, who should make Avengers Assemble attractive to hardcore Marvel fans.