Marvel sets up comic tie-in for The Avengers

In an almost surreal turn, Marvel has confirmed it will be releasing Road to the Avengers – a comicbook based on the Marvel Film Universe canon – this spring.

This book will use character illustrations that resemble the actors chosen to play the roles in the films, while attempting to further explain some of the character backgrounds in the context of the canon which Marvel is developing for the film.

Of course, this story world is not significantly different from the original comics, but varied enough that just reading the comics to get the pertinent information likely would simply end in confusion.

I suppose I can see the market for it: audiences who have just gotten into the Marvel heroes through the films, and want to learn more, but would get completely lost in the actual comics. Despite this, it’s still an odd-seeming decision, and almost a slight to the original comics and fans

Perhaps someday, they’ll choose to make a TV show from the material in these tie-in comics, and then soon after, an adaptation of the TV show will appear in theaters; a film which will need its own tie-in comics or perhaps it will get a novelization first.

Seriously, how many times can we readapt the same story before the copies begin to degrade like a string of xeroxes?

The official announcement is thus:

“Gear up for the upcoming Avengers movie with these official in-movie continuity stories starring Avengers mainstays Iron Man, Captain America and the Agents S.H.I.E.L.D.! First, it’s an expanded re-imagining of the original Iron Man, featuring bonus scenes not in the movie! Then, it’s an all-new Iron Man adventure! What happened between the events of Iron Man and Iron Man 2? How did Tony Stark put a new chapter in the history books? And how did Iron Man break and rewrite all the rules? Then, it’s Black Widow, Nick Fury and Agent Coulson in espionage action! Think you know S.H.I.E.L.D.? Check out what you DIDN’T see in the movies!

“And finally, it’s the official comics prequel to the blockbuster Captain America! Steve Rogers is the inspiration for millions during the dark days of World War Two – but where did he get his inspiration from? How did he meet his best friend, ‘Bucky’ Barnes? And what set him on the path to becoming the First Avenger? Experience an all-new Cap adventure on the European battlefields.”

Road to the Avengers is planned for a May 4, 2012 debut, the same day Avengers hits theaters.