One of the American comics industry's biggest problems is its inability to attract new, young readers. It's not for a lack of opportunities, clearly — between the constant superhero cartoons and blockbuster movies, superhero awareness is at an all-time high, and yet comic sales have barely grown at all. But Marvel has a plan that's been obvious to pretty much everyone else on the planet, because they've announced they'll include interstitials about Marvel comics when the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon returns to Disney XD on January 21st. There's just one, small problem...
The fact that Marvel's announcement is actual news in 2012 is kind of pitiful all on its own, but it gets goofier. Comic Book Resources says the comics that Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon will promote include Ultimate Spider-Man #7, Invincible Iron Man #7, Hulk #3, Thor #364 and Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #16. You may know that Marvel Adventures is Marvel's kids-friendly comics line, so that's all well and good, and you may remember while Peter Parker is currently starring in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, he's dead as hell in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics (having been replaced by the admittedly awesome Miles Morales).
You may also notice that Marvel's brand-new Spider-Man flagship title, the upcoming Superior Spider-Man, is not on the above list.
SPOILER ALERT FOR YESTERDAY'S AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 BELOW.
Look, I think using these cartoon and movies to help get kids interested in comics is preposterously overdue. But think about this for a second: Marvel finally gets around telling kids watching Spider-Man cartoons that they should read Spider-Man comics, and 1) Peter Parker is dead in both the regular and Ultimate Marvel universes, 2) he's only alive in Marvel's equivalent of the Archie comics and 3) things in Superior Spider-Man are so fucked up Marvel isn't even telling kids about it.