The folks at Marvel announced on Friday that they were producing a WWII focused Captain America specifically for Army and Air Force Exchange Stores (AAFES as the military does love their abbreviations) worldwide, starting with the US first before making its way to other countries. The issue will be free in these stores that cater to active military and their families.
Written by William Harms and illustrated by Shawn Martinbrough the story focuses on Cap fighting bad guys in a WWIIesqe European town. They have focused on upping the already strong patriotic message usually found in Captain America titles, aiming for the tone used in the original run of the title 50 years ago. The pair is very excited for the up with military, ra-ra plot because of its target audience.
While its nice to see Marvel doing something for soldiers, I have to say there are better ways to go about it this. While clearly they are doing it as a promotion for the Captain America movie, which is find marketing I guess, are soldiers calling out for a single, out of continuity issue? Will comic fans in the military rush to the PX to get an issue marketed directly at them? My guess is probably not. I am sure it will move nicely off shelves, but then its not hard to sell free.
If you are going to make a promotion for the military Marvel, why not do something with some substance? Something Real? Free or discounted MCDU subscriptions wold be a good start, or a regular free/discount on mainstream issues. Not only do you get the good will of doing something like that, but soldiers have a lot of free time on their hands when they are stationed away from home. You have a fairly easy to get audience looking for entertainment. Not only do you get them hooked by the “first ones for free” method, but you also engender good feelings in the readers.
Perhaps use your marketing dollars to generate some good will with Soldiers and civilians alike, rather then produce marketing bait for your new movie looking to grab a headline but little actual attention?