Wednesday was Free Comic Book Day. Again. And this time, DC cashed in with Man of Steel where Marvel failed to with Iron Man 3, says Fool contributor Tim Beyers in the following video.
How so? The Time Warner (NYSE: TWX ) subsidiary gave away free copies of "All-Star Superman #1 Special Edition" to anyone visiting their local comics shop on June 12 -- two days before the premiere of Man of Steel in U.S. theaters.
It's a notable choice. First published in 2005, "All -Star Superman" is an Eisner-award-winning comic book series from writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely. Circumstantial evidence suggests that director Zack Snyder drew inspiration from the tale in making Man of Steel. Warner's reissuing of the source material ahead of the film is exceedingly smart marketing. Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS ) executives should be taking notes.
Instead of publishing a film tie-in, Marvel chose Iron Man 3's opening weekend to highlight a new comic book series -- "Infinity" -- starring the villain Thanos, whose surprise appearance in last year's hit, Marvel's The Avengers, thrilled fans as it kicked off speculation about cinematic adventures to come. Good thing Robert Downey Jr. was on board to wow audiences as Iron Man's alter ego, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark.
Warner isn't taking any chances. Nor should it, Tim says. The stakes are too high. If enough people go see Man of Steel this weekend and throughout its run in theaters, it'll tee up a whole series of new DC films leading up to 2015's Justice League. A triumph worthy of the comic books, in other words.
Did you indulge in DC's "Man of Steel Day" at your local comics shop? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take, and then let us know whether you plan to see Man of Steel this weekend and what you think of Time Warner stock at current prices.