It's one of the great quandaries of mainstream comics: fans, creators and retailers of all stripes argue for the promotion of kid-friendly superhero material, and then those titles, once published, tend to lag far behind adult fare in sales.
Today with the publication of Marvel's March 2012 solicitations, it may appear as though low sales have taken the publisher's most recent iteration of a dedicated kids comic initiative as Marvel is ending the all-ages comics "Spider-Man" and "Super Heroes" -- colloquially still known as the Marvel Adventures line.
However, when reached for contact by CBR News, a Marvel representative couldn’t elaborate but said "We remain committed to our all ages books and have some exciting plans you’ll be hearing more about shortly." This statement could mean a number of things considering that in the past, Marvel has ended such series only to give them a publicity boosting relaunch and earlier this year, Marvel Senior Editor Steve Wacker spoke with CBR about his commitment to making the kids line a more exciting, dynamic publishing initiative.
"I would love to do [more kids projects,]" Wacker said in February. "I would hope that if Marvel wants to do more of those things, they would come to me. I have a blast with done-in-one stuff where you can throw the rulebook out the window. But there's nothing in the line right now...When they told me about this, I went home and was up all night because I've had the plan in my head of what I would ever do if I got the books. So I typed it all out, and it was a pretty massive sea change in terms of the titles I would like to see. As you can imagine, there was a Spider-Man book and an Avengers-like book. I would like this line to be a great entryway to the regular Marvel line. I'd like to see some similarities."
Whether the future of kid-friendly superhero comics falls in line with Wacker's original conception or something different has yet to be seen, but in the meantime, Marvel will continue making new all-ages books with a new, March-launching "Toy Story" series prepared in conjunction with their corporate parent Disney. Stay tuned to CBR News for more on Marvel's kids comics as it becomes available.