Panini Comics “Mighty World of Marvel” breathes its last – for now

Panini Comics UK Mighty World of Marvel MontagePanini Comics UK has just announced the closure if the latest incarnation of Mighty World of Marvel, on the same day its latest issue goes on sale.

“Hi, Marvelites”, the company announced along with details of Issue 22 on its Facebook Marvel Collectors’ Editions Page, “We’re sorry to report that this will be the last issue of Mighty World.

“Thanks to everyone who supported the title. We’re sure it’ll be back someday!”

Panini says it will continue to publish the rest of its Marvel Collectors’ Editions – the range of 76-page titles currently including Avengers Universe, The Astonishing Spider-Man, Deadpool Unleashed, Marvel Legends, Wolverine and Deadpool and Essential X-Men.

Mighty World of Marvel #22 - 2019

Last issue – Mighty World of Marvel #22 – 2019

Issue 22 of Mighty World of Marvel features the final chapter of the epic ‘Infinity Wars’ saga by Gerry Duggan & Mike Deodato Jr, first printed in printed in Marvel’s Infinity Wars #5 – 6. Heroes and villains unite to face Gamora – but she isn’t going down without a fight!

Over on his Blimey! The Blog of British Comics, Lew Stringer notes the cancellation of its current run has come suddenly, as the issue trails a revamp featuring The Immortal Hulk and Champions.

“Unfortunately, these are tough times for periodicals in a very competitive market and with production costs always rising,” he notes. “Personally I don’t think it’s helped that various branches of WHSmith hide them behind the counter, claiming they get stolen if they’re on display. Such a practice prevents any new readers discovering the comics and intimidates existing ones.”

This might be true, but while its web site has had a major overhaul in recent times, finding information on some of Panini’s titles has never been as easy as it has, for example, DC Thomson Media’s Commando, Beano Studios Beano, Rebellion’s 2000 AD and Treasury of British Comics collections, or Titan Comics comic shop distributed titles.

This isn’t helped when, despite being active on Facebook – their Marvel titles rather confusingly promoted over two separate pages – the company’s web site promoted Twitter account has never been used, despite being set up 12 months ago, and has just 20 followers. Its Instagram account is set to Private and has also never been used.

Panini Comics UK's abandoned Twitter account

In troubling times for publishers, I’d venture to suggest it’s well worth making good use of every weapon in your PR arsenal – and not confounding potential readers with a lack of uniform marketing.

Another factor may have been a reported unexpected drop in sales for Panini’s titles when Titan Comics DC Comics reprints were cancelled last year. Industry insiders have told downthetubes this meant a diminished presence for superhero comics on the UK news stand, distributors also reducing their orders for Panini’s titles.

Mighty World of Marvel Issue One

Mighty World of Marvel Issue One, released in September 1972

First published in 1972, the Mighty World of Marvel was Marvel UK’s first weekly anthology, running until 1983 for 397 issues, then revived almost immediately as a monthly title that ran until 1984.

Panini Group, based in Modena (Italy), which has branches in Europe and Latin America, have long held the international rights to reprint Marvel US material, despite Marvel’s acquisition by Disney. Panini Comics UK revived MWOM in 2003, and it has since undergone a number of revamps and new volumes showcasing a wide variety of Marvel strips and characters – most recently these have included Black Panther, Champions, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Silver Surfer.

A quick check of the Panini Comics Italy web site reveals a healthy range of Marvel tie-in titles, while Panini Germany offer a range of superhero titles that include both DC Comics and Marvel.

Panini Comics UK is online at comics.panini.co.uk | Panini Comics UK on Facebook | Panini Comics UK Marvel Collectors Editions Facebook Page

Comics and Graphic Novels on Amazon UK (Affiliate Link)

Thanks to Lew Stringer for the news tip

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: British Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News, Superhero Comics

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6 replies

  1. This is a shame.

    I like the *curated* nature of the CEs. Sure, I do keep track of US comics – and buy some of them from my comic store, but Marvel UK/Panini have a good track record of curating a varied range of tales. One cannot keep track of every US release. I subscribe to six CEs (now 5, I guess), and there were times I wasn’t aware of a title or event until Panini reprinted it. Scott Gray and Brady Webb are excellent editors.

    I’d like to think MWOM will be replaced/resurrected, but it’s too soon to think about that, I suppose. Be nice if they got the DC licence back.

    I agree, John, about the PR arsenal. I don’t think it makes sense for a company to have a private Instagram account. Private Instagram accounts make sense if you’re a private citizen with a desire to just interact with family and friends, but any company, whether they’re publishing comics or selling ironing boards, should make use of Instagram. And Twitter. I’d wager Twitter is even better than Facebook for delivering news due to its real-time nature.

    I wish them luck.

  2. Darn it! First we’ve lost any Marvel hardback Annuals for this year, in what feels like it could be a permanent move, and now this. Very sorry to see Marvel’s first true UK comic leave us once again – a revival championed by Scott Gray in the early days of the Collector’s edition range as it began to expand. I’d rather have seen the second, solo Deadpool title depart, as that’s a far less versatile magazine than MWOM, which could print almost anything, but maybe that was it’s downfall. Perhaps the comic’s lack of one fixed character point, like the Hulk back in the 1970s, worked against it in the end, as anthologies certainly haven’t fallen out favour elsewhere.

    Anyone following the letter pages in the CEs of late, will also be aware that the idea of a weekly title was being floated to initiate reader discussion, which it certainly did, and seemed an intriguing idea. In the light of this cancellation, though, I fear that might be the end of that, which is a shame, as it would have been nice to add one more weekly alongside 2000 AD.

  3. My heart wanted a weekly title, but my head said it wouldn’t work.

    Some folk I chatted to wanted serialised strips in a weekly CE, but I think expectations have changed. As a kid, superhero comics with several strips, and virtually no complete tales, worked. Okay, the weekly frequency meant that you didn’t have to wait long for each instalment, but in today’s world, would 4-5 pages of a US Spidey comic work in a weekly CE? Would a weekly CE consisting of 7-8 Marvel US strips really meet people’s expectations?

    I would love to see another CE. I wish Panini could acquire the DC licence again after Titan’s woeful job with it. I’d love to see a DC equivalent to MWOM. But for now, it may be best for them to focus on the 6 CEs. Never say never, but maybe the market can’t support 7 CEs.

    • Unless Panini could originate its own stories, as MarvelUK used to, I don’t think many of the US superhero strips of today are suited to telling in weekly format, unfortunately. The stories run over too many issues, with fewer “entry points” for new readers, unlike the Marvel tales of the 1960s and 70s more geared to a news stand casual readership

  4. Very good point, John. I had thought that, but you articulated it far better than I could have. I can’t imagine “Infinity Wars” working if done weekly with 3-4 page strips. It’s a very different time.

    Someone mentioned 2000 AD and The Beano to me when I discussed this, but that’s an apples-to-oranges comparison. The Beano, last time I checked, didn’t do long arcs. 2000 AD does deliver serialised storytelling, but they’ve been doing it a long time – and are experts at it. For the reasons you describe, it just wouldn’t work, serialising US strips.

  5. As I said over on Lew’s blog, this one’s a blow. When the CEs had a big relaunch in 2016, I figured I’d not read a ton of Marvel, and these could be a good way to get on board – they were great value, and seemed to cherry-pick the good stuff. MWOM was really an unknown to me – lots of things I’d not really come across before. But the semi-random nature of coverage and its full-on anthology nature really drew me to the comic – and kept me reading.

    I grabbed the previous volume on eBay (which included the first chunk of the superb Silver Surfer run, which I since bought in HC omnibus format), and enjoyed discovering the likes of Ms Marvel. To me, it fell down somewhat when mired in the big events (like it has been for a few months now), but I’m nonetheless still disappointed it’s ending. Nothing else in the line really has the same draw for me (I’ve since lapsed all my other CE subscriptions, Marvel Legends most recently), to the point now the subs team offered me a refund on remaining issues or heading to another series, I went for the former.

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