Marvel Entertainment announced they signed a deal with digital book startup Serial Box to create serialized fiction stories based on Black Panther, Thor, Black Widow, and Jessica Jones.
These stories will be designed for consumption through e-book or audiobook formats. This means more eyes glued to the screens of smartphones, browsing through another medium for storytelling by the Marvel machine.
The first serialized story to launch will focus on Thor. The story will be written by Aaron Stewart-Ahn, who co-wrote the horror film Many. Other writers attached to the Thor project will be Brian Keene, Jay Edidin, and Yoon Ha Lee. The first story is expected to debut this summer.
Marvel Publisher John Nee commented on the new deal:
“Over the last 80 years, Marvel has grown to become a lifestyle for every kind of fan around the world – but it all started from serialized storytelling. We were impressed by the quality and creativity of Serial Box’s content, and we are excited for both Marvel and Serial Box fans to experience these new stories together each week.”
If you are unfamiliar with Serial Box, their serialized content is similar to television and will release new chapters every week. And there are usually 10 to 16 chapters per season. They try to hook you with the first chapter which is available for free. Subsequent chapters cost $1.99 or you can purchase the entire season for an average price of $13.99.
Molly Barton, CEO and co-founder of Serial Box spoke about the partnership,
“We are thrilled that Marvel is entrusting us to extend and expand the story worlds for those beloved characters. Our writer teams could not be more excited to share the new stories with listeners and readers everywhere.”
Why These Characters?
While Marvel didn’t release details on why they chose to go with Black Panther, Thor, Black Widow, and Jessica Jones, it’s no surprise to see Black Panther given the wild success the film had. Not only that, but eBay reports they’ve seen a 20% increase in sales from Black Panther and Spider-Man comics.
Black Panther also won critical recognition as it took home three Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards. Not to mention they gave the character a James Bond type vibe. It’s not too hard to imagine more missions in that vein in the audiobook format.
The inclusion of Thor makes sense as well as the character saw a massive resurgence following Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok. The character then went on to achieve extraordinary powers in Avengers: Infinity War and almost stopped Thanos from wiping out half of all living beings. Needless to say, he might have lost his people and Asgard, but his celebrity status is on the rise.
Black Widow makes sense as well especially for serialized content. It’s not too hard to imagine audiobooks detailing the adventures of Widow’s covert missions. Not to mention, the Black Widow solo film is on the horizon, and will more than likely create some significant buzz around the character.
As for Jessica Jones, her story fits right into serialized content as well. While her comic book and television stories have been very adult and definitely mature-themed, it’s very noir and has a murder mystery vibe. That’s ripe for serialized content similar to Marvel’s Wolverine: The Long Night.
Are you interested in serialized e-books and audiobooks about Black Panther, Thor, Black Widow, and Jessica Jones?