Today at SXSW, Marvel announced a partnership with tech startup Aurasma to lets users watch video trailers of books they see in stores, as well as 3D animation, recaps, and other augmented reality extras by holding their phones up to comics. That means 3D super heroes will soon be stepping out of your print books. Marvel will release free iOS and Android apps to power the augmented reality experiences as part of its Marvel ReEvolution revamp.
New lines of “Marvel Infinite Comics” written especially for digital are also on the way.
Aurasma demoed the augmented reality experience and it was quite impressive. A phone, screencast to a projector, showed that when pointed at an Iron Man comic book, a giant 3D Iron Man appeared in front of the page, flexed his metal muscles and hovered around complete with sound. Aurasma debuted its AR engine at CES in January
Marvel representatives explained that the goal is to “build out DVD and Blu-Ray extras into the comic book itself.” Whether users buy a print or digital version, they’ll get to check out animated videos, pencils, colors, and primers on past issues in a series. The features will appear in a several month-long Avengers Vs. X-Men run later this year.
Marvel Infinite Comics will be “the first marvel comics built strictly for digital. They’ll use parameters of your iPhone or iPad. It’s a new canvas for storytelling.” Readers will still control the pacing, but starting with the Nova series, panels of the digital comics will be slightly animated to make them feel alive.