Two very interesting things we know for sure about The Avengers on Sunday. One is that new footage from The Avengers movie will be shown in a thirty second commercial airing during the Super Bowl. Two is that Marvel Comics will be releasing an Avengers Movie Prelude as a free digital comic book on the Marvel Comics app. Could these two events be related? Now, of course, they could be related just because Marvel Comics is timing the release of the first issue of The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week to capitalize on buzz around The Avengers Super Bowl commercial. But what if there is more to it than that? What if The Avengers Super Bowl commercial actually has a tagline at the end promoting the free Avengers digital comic on the Marvel Comics app? If so, then as far as we know that would mark the first time ever that a digital comic book has been promoted on a Super Bowl commercial. Heck, it would probably be the first time ever that a comic book period has been promoted during a Super Bowl commercial. If Marvel doesn't have this planned, then they are missing a golden opportunity. Adding a line of text or a one line voiceover saying to go to the Marvel Comics app to download a free digital Avengers Movie prelude comic wouldn't take away from The Avengers movie commercial. A lot of other advertisers are tagging their Super Bowl commercials in similar ways to drive traffic to their online sites. In fact, Disney (which owns Marvel) is planning to do this with their John Carter movie by revealing a code that can then be entered online as part of a chance at winning a trip to next year's Super Bowl.
Marvel Comics could have easily released the free digital comic book before Sunday and still capitalized on the Avengers movie buzz, but the fact that they are timing it for Sunday makes me think they could have something special planned. In the official Marvel Comics release about the Avengers Movie prelude comic, Marvel Comics Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso is even quoted as saying they "worked hand-in-hand with Marvel Studios" to create the comic. Over the years comic books have shown plenty of love for the movie industry in giving them the characters and storylines for some of the biggest blockbuster movies ever. It's about time that the movie industry showed some love back and helped drive people to reading comic books. And tagging a free digital comic book in a Super Bowl ad would be one good way to do it.