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Marvel to begin sending free comic based on MCU heroes to comic shops next month

Try before you buy is Marvel's new plan for success.

Image credit: Dave Johnson (Marvel Comics)

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The best way to get someone to buy something is to get them to try something first, and that something being free helps.

It's with that in mind that Marvel Entertainment has instituted a new program to promote its comics. No the plan doesn't include TV commercials, ads in Times Square, or anything like that. It's taking some of the best comics they've made recently, and making them completely free.

Image credit: Marvel Comics

No, this isn't for the annual Free Comic Book Day event in May - though they're doing that as well.

In March 2024, Marvel Comics will roll out their 'Marvel-Must-Haves' program - and it's exclusive to comic book stores.

This March, the first of what is planned to be several 'Marvel-Must-Haves' anthologies - that will include 25 free comic books, comics that not-so-coincidentally have some of their most popular (and timely) MCU heroes - will hit comic shops.

Comic book shops who carry new Marvel Comics regularly will get this 25-comic bundle for free. The March 2024 'Marvel-Must-Haves' bundle will contain 25 copies of this anthology reprinting Spider-Man/Deadpool #1 (2016), and the more recent comics Immortal Thor #2 (2023) and Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant #1 (2023).

"Marvel Must-Haves are FREE promotional books collecting iconic issues that spotlight the Marvel characters and comic book series currently at the forefront of pop culture!" reads a letter sent to comic stores on Thursday. "You can put these out on your shelves, include in your weekly pull lists, or spotlight them at the front desk to grab your customers’ attention. These stories have been handpicked to get fans in-tune with current Marvel adventures in comic book series and collections. And they act as perfect jumping on points for new readers too!"

The 2024 Marvel-Must-Haves shouldn't be confused with the company's other 'Marvel Must Haves' promotion, a 2023 program to sell MCU-specific merch online which has seemingly been discontinued.

Marvel's 2024 Marvel-Must-Haves comics promotion is the latest in several comic publisher promotions that are centered around free comics, including Vault Comics' free first issue program.

Here's our picks for the best Marvel Comics of all time.