It appears as though there will be some shield slinging on Superbowl Sunday to accompany the pigskin throwing.
Marvel Comics announced today via a story on their own website and a story in USA Today that they are releasing an eight-part Captain America comic online which will tie in to July's "Captain America: The First Avenger" movie, and to promote both offerings, the first part of the comic story will be a free download on Sunday in anticipation of the movie's first trailer which will debut during the championship game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers on the Fox Network.
Titled "Captain America: First Vengeance," the comic is by writer Fred Van Lente, artists Luke Ross and and Neil Edwards and colorist Richard Isanove and can be found for free via CaptainAmerica.com. It will then go on sale via Marvel's iPad and iPhone-friendly comics app on February 8.
"It doesn’t really cover one particular place," the film's co-producer Stephen Broussard told Marvel.com of the story that fits in Marvel's cinematic universe. "There's a little bit of backstory, there's a little bit of parallel action going on to the movie, and there's a little bit of hints of things to come. But it's all sort of jumbled up in this really satisfying way where you feel like you're getting to walk around the whole piece and see the story from the different angles. That's what's really most interestig about this, it's an opportunity to dig deeper into things that are exciting about the movie that you want to know about, or that are only hinted at between the lines in the movie. It's an opportunity to really bring that all to the surface."
Van Lente added of writing for the film characters: "The relationship between Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, for example, is very different, and in a very cool way. And what's neat about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, just like in the comics' universe, is the interconnections between various movies, particularly 'Iron Man 2' and 'Thor.' You'll start to see those coming out in 'First Vengeance.'"
This isn't the first time Marvel has produced tie-in comics to its Studio-run film productions or the first time they've released them online. Around the release of "Incredible Hulk" and "Iron Man," the publisher released a mini series via their subscriber Digital Comics Unlimited service, and several comic tie-ins hit the stands during the ramp up to "Iron Man 2" as well. However, tying the release of "First Vengeance" not only to the popular iPad but also to the promotional push on the Superbowl telecast is a new twist to the strategy. And whether "First Vengeance" will work its way to print comics eventually is uncertain, though these kinds of releases typically do earn a trade paperback release eventually.