Marvel is putting some of its older comics online Tuesday, hoping to reintroduce young people to the X-Men and Fantastic Four by showcasing the original issues in which such characters appeared.
It's a tentative move onto the Internet: Comics can only be viewed on a Web browser, not downloaded, and new issues will go online at least six months after they first appear in print.
Still, it represents perhaps the comics industry's most aggressive Internet push yet. Even as their creations -- including Iron Man and Wonder Woman -- become increasingly visible in pop culture through new movies and video games, old-school comics publishers rely primarily on specialized, out-of-the-way comic shops for distribution of their bread-and-butter product.
"You don't have that spinner rack of comic books sitting in the local five-and-dime anymore," said Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Publishing. "We don't have our product intersecting kids in their lifestyle space as much as we used to."