Marvel launched its latest digital comic today at San Diego Comic-Con, teaming with online comic platform comiXology for the web-exclusive comic, Immortal Iron Fists. Previously, Marvel had remained at arm’s length from the Amazon-owned digital distributor. However, the publisher recently joined forces with the digital platform to up their online presence, releasing online back issues of favorites like Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Jessica Jones.
Over the last few years, the Big Two publishers have been creeping into the online market, with Marvel introducing their own Unlimited service several years back. Earlier this year, Marvel charged Nick Lowe with overseeing their digital expansion. If their new web-only offering is any indication, their online efforts are moving forward at a good clip.
At their SDCC panel, the Next Big Thing, the House of Ideas presented Immortal Iron Fists as their first joint comiXology effort. The comic goes live on Friday, costs $2.99, and consists of six bi-weekly issues. The digital miniseries will be available on Kindle and comiXology, and current comiXology Unlimited subscribers can enjoy the series for free. New subscribers can also check out Immortal Iron Fists at no cost for 30 days. ComiXology’s Head of Content, Chip Mosher, expressed his excitement over the new deal, saying:
“Immortal Iron Fists serves as a perfect starting point for those new readers who are just discovering the world of Marvel Comics. We’re loving working with Marvel on this line of exclusive content as part of our comiXology Originals program. Giving new and current fans the option to buy or read for free as part of our comiXology Unlimited subscription service is a huge win. We can’t wait to hear from the fans.”
Written by Kaare Andrews and drawn by Afu Chan, Immortal Iron Fists follows the adventures of Danny Rand and his pupil Pei, a young female monk that bears the mark of Iron Fist. Pei first debuted in Iron Fist: The Living Weapon series and now falls under Danny's tutelage while simultaneously dealing with the turbulence of high school. Training his teenaged charge won’t be easy, but with a dangerous new adversary on the horizon, two Iron Fists are better than one.
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With a fresh new protagonist, an established comic hero, and a reduced rate, Immortal Iron Fists could attract new readers to the series. Marvel’s move is also smart in lieu of Rand’s upcoming role in the The Defenders streaming series, as well as with a possible second season of Iron Fist on the way. In addition, fans of the Netflix series that are interested in learning more about Mr. Rand should find the comic a palatable doorway to his four-color world.
Marvel and comiXology have also teased additional online ventures, but they haven’t tipped their hands to any further details. If the miniseries succeeds, though, it will pave the way for other digital-first Marvel books and kick off a new era for the publisher.
Immortal Iron Fists is available on July 21, 2017.