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Marvel Invites Fans to 'Share Your Universe' With Next Generation

Marvel targets kids familiar with 'Avengers' and 'Spider-Man' cartoons with new cross-platform promotion to increase comic readership.

Marvel Share Your Universe - H 2013

Sure, the entire world has become overrun by superhero culture in the light of the Spider-Man, Avengers, Dark Knight and Man of Steel movies - to name just a few - but that doesn't mean that it's been easy to get kids into reading about their favorite fictional heroes on a regular basis. Today, Marvel Entertainment introduced their solution to that problem: Something called Share Your Universe.

The self-described "landmark new initiative" was unveiled today via press conference, and sees Marvel trying to leverage the success of its Avengers and Spider-Man brands outside comics to bring new readers into the habit of supporting what used to be the company's core product.

Talking about the origins of the program, Dan Buckley, Marvel's Publisher and President of Print, Animation and Digital, explained "Every Marvel fan has a unique story for how these heroes, their stories and the experience of entering the Marvel Universe helped shape their childhood," adding that the company "want[s] to make it easy to continue that tradition with your kids, nieces, nephews and loved ones."

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So far, details about what Share Your Universe will actually do to make that happen aren't necessarily clear. Free content is definitely part of it; as part of the promotion, comics tying in with the company's DisneyXD animated shows will be made available both digitally and in comic stores (The print editions are due in participating stores tomorrow), and until 7/15, episodes of both Marvel’s Avengers Assemble and Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man will be available for free on Xbox Video as a way to lure in the target audience.

It seems that Share Your Universe might push Marvel towards expanding its output slightly, as well; while the majority of Marvel Comics' current titles are aimed at teens or older, part of the program will see the creation of more material aimed directly at the 6-10 age group, and clearly marked and marketed as such to make it easier for parents to know what their kids are reading.

The success of the program will be marked initially on social media feedback, and those seeking the latest were invited to check out the official Share Your Universe Facebook page. In terms of technical set-up, it all appears to be there. The question is, will any of this make the kids any more eager to actually read the comics…?