Both Marvel and DC have delayed their April 1 comic releases due to the outbreak. Following distributor Diamond’s decision to stop shipping print comics to retailers last week, the two publishers opted to stop or cut back on their digital releases as well, as previously reported by CNET sister site Comicbook.com.
“As you know, unfortunately there will not be any new print titles available at your shops this week. Marvel will also not be releasing any new comic book titles digitally on April 1,” Marvel President Dan Buckley said in a statement to retailers that was shared with CNET.
DC delayed all but three of its April 1 releases until April 29. It didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment.
The lockdown-enforced closure of comic book stores and Diamond’s decision to halt shipments put the print side of the industry on pause, and have left Marvel and DC in a tricky position. They could have continued to publish their weekly comics via digital outlets like the Amazon-owned Comixology, but that could’ve dealt retailers a fatal blow by forcing many readers who prefer physical comics to go digital and cut off one of the publishers’ main avenues for sales.
On the movie side, Marvel’s Black Widow wasfrom its original May 1 release, and DC’s Wonder Woman 1984 will instead of June 5 due to the global pandemic.
The new strain of coronavirus, which develops into the illness known as , was discovered in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and has spread worldwide. As of Tuesday morning, it had infected and caused over 39,000 deaths globally.