Panini 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.
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.
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.
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.
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Thanks to Lew Stringer for the news tip
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. 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 “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.