The comics world has been one giant question mark since the biggest distributor of American funny books announced it would shut its doors until further notice. But now we know at least one thing for certain: There are no new Marvel Comics comics this week.
Until an announcement on Tuesday, Marvel’s April 1 titles included the first issues of a new Black Widow ongoing series, as well as the kickoff issues of the company’s massive summer crossover event, Empyre, Empyre: Avengers #0 and Empyre: Fantastic Four #0.
Without Diamond Comic Distributors to receive books from printers and ship them to retail comic shops, many of which are shuttered due to shelter in place measures, it’s been very difficult to predict what form this week’s New Comic Book Day would take. Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, and IDW Publishing all announced they would not publish comics physically or digitally until Diamond reopens. DC Comics didn’t reveal a plan for April 1 comics until early this week, announcing delays on new titles.
Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment, confirmed that Marvel’s April 1 titles will be delayed regardless of format.
“As you know, unfortunately there will not be any new print titles available at your shops this week,” Buckley said in an announcement for retailers that was also distributed to press. “Marvel will also not be releasing any new comic book titles digitally on April 1. This is a fluid situation with details changing every day, so we appreciate your patience and understanding as we all navigate our way through this. As soon as more information is available, we will outline our longer-term plans and opportunities to support you and the industry. [...] Revised release dates for our April 1 titles will be shared in the coming weeks.”
So what new comics are coming out this week?
DC Comics has updated the “this week” section of its main site to reflect its April 1 digital releases. The lineup is mostly digital reprints of older comics, like 1966’s Detective Comics #356; digital editions of trade collections, like Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Love is a Battlefield which collects the second arc of G. Willow Wilson’s run; and new installments of digital first series, like Teen Titans GO! To Camp #6.
But for Image, Dark Horse, IDW, and now Marvel Comics, don’t expect their books to hit shelves. Physical or otherwise.