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Marvel's upcoming Blood Hunt event will be "too explicit" for some readers, leading to uncensored version being withheld from digital readers & bookstores

To see Marvel's Blood Hunt in "all its goriest glory," you'll need to skip bookstores and digital apps and go to a comic shop

Blood Hunt #2
Image credit: Pepe Larraz (Marvel Comics)

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2024 is the year where Marvel flits with mature content in a real way across the company for the first time, from the recent Disney+ show Echo (its first rated for those 17 & up) to the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine (its first R-rated movie), but also with its upcoming summer event comic Blood Hunt.

Blood Hunt #1 Redband
Image credit: Stuart Immonen/Marvel

Originally announced in late 2023 as a 5-issue event pitting the Avengers versus vampires, Blood Hunt will be so graphic that Marvel announced that the comic had to be edited to remove some content - but that it was publishing the "unexpurgated" version (that is the 'complete and containing all the original material; uncensored' according to the Oxford Dictionary) in a 'red band' version of the comic.

Marvel has promoted the red-band Blood Hunt issues as the creators' original vision for the project, in "all Its goriest glory"

"Labeled with a Parental Advisory and polybagged to keep those weak of heart from experiencing its intensity, the red band editions will contain additional pages and more graphic art too explicit for the regular edition," reads Marvel marketing for the book.

In Marvel Comics internal rating system, the censored version of Blood Hunt is rated T+ - as in 'Appropriate for teens 13 and up' while the red-band versions are Parental Advisory - as in 'Appropriate for 15 and up'.

Now, we've learned that the red-band editions of Blood Hunt will be withheld from bookstores and digital comics apps such as comiXology and Marvel Unlimited, and only be sold to comic book stores.

In a closed-door meeting with retailers last month, Marvel Comics' publisher (and president of Marvel Entertainment) Dan Buckley framed this decision as something to help comic book stories rather than to avoid digital customers and those who buy comics from bookstores.

"To get these bloody takes, fans need to pick up comics in your stores," Buckley told retailers.

Marvel has a history of making the comics that are rated for those 15 & up unavailable on its digital platforms in the past (such as the Jessica Jones comic book series), but turning the kid-unfriendly nature of a Marvel comic into selling point for readers and retailers is a marked change.

Buckley does say that the red-band editions of Blood Hunt will be held back from bookstores and digital readers for "the foreseeable future" however, leaving the door open for changes in the future.

In 2024, Marvel Studios & Marvel Comics are getting R-Rated, adult, and explicit.

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About the Author
Chris Arrant avatar

Chris Arrant


Chris Arrant is the Popverse's Editor-in-Chief. He has written about pop culture for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel, Newsarama, CBR, and more. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. (He/him)