Marvel Worldwide, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics and formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, is an American company that publishes comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment, Marvel Worldwide’s parent company, for $4.24 billion.
Marvel started in 1939 as Timely Publications, and by the early 1950s had generally become known as Atlas Comics. Marvel’s modern incarnation dates from 1961, the year that the company launched Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Stan Lee,Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, and others.
Marvel counts among its characters such well-known properties as Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America and Daredevil; antagonists such as the Green Goblin, Magneto, Doctor Doom, Galactus, and the Red Skull. Most of Marvel’s fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with locations that mirror real-life cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
This article aims to find reasons behind increase or decrease in the sales of Marvel comics in the decade 2001-10, as elaborated in the graph below, thus elaborating the forces that drive the comics market.
In 2001 Marvel Comics left the Comic Code Authority and started its own rating system i.e. Marvel Rating System. In the same year it also came up with Marvel adventures specially for children. The thought of a new universe by Marvel was finally given an implementation in 2001 and was called ”Ultimate Marvel” to connect and reboot its reputation with the new generation.
The year was a huge hit for the company as it came up with the most popular comic series “The Spiderman-Movie”. The trend of the making a movie based on comic books continued till the late 2006 and the famous ones out of those are Ironman, Hulk, Thor, X-men, etc.
In this year Marvel started a new way to attract customers by launching a “Marvel Digital”. In this system you can read the comic books online which also included a wide variety of around 2500 titles. This increased the fan following of the company which in return helped them increase their sales.
This year witnessed closure of Open Submission Policy. According to this policy every individual had freedon to write to the company their comic stories which would be released in the next issue if they were worth it. But after the introduction of this policy they stopped taking the stories from the readers which had a negative impact on the company.
In this year Marvel was taken over by the most renowned company “The Walt Disney” for 4 billion dollars. But this acquisition did not help Marvel in any way and it led to further reduction in Sales.