Marvel Comics will mark its 81st birthday – the 81st anniversary of the publication of 1939's Marvel Comics #1 – on August 31. And they've enlisted one of the publisher's most recent breakout characters - Miles Morales, Peter Parker's successor as Spider-Man and the star of his own upcoming Playstation 5 video game - to headline their celebration.
First up, as part of Marvel's 81st birthday celebration, September 2's Miles Morales: Spider-Man #18 will be released with a surprise variant cover by artists Ron Lim and Israel Silva, which features not just Miles Morales, but his teammates in the Champions, including Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, Amadeus Cho/Brawn, Sam Alexander/Nova, Riri Williams/Ironheart, Nadya Pym/Wasp, and Victor Alvarez/Power Man, all gathered around a birthday cake bearing Marvel's familiar logo.
Additionally, Marvel will release some new merchandise which also features Lim and Silva's art of the new, younger generation of Marvel superheroes, including t-shirts and other apparel which will be available on the Marvel Design Vault.
The publisher will also team up with the retail chain Box Lunch for a series of 'Eat the Universe' branded products, as well as birthday cards and cake decorating tools.
Apparel maker Junk Food will also create a line of Marvel branded clothing, but the publisher's announcement does not specify what pieces this will entail.
The week of August 31 also marks the release of Square Enix's Marvel's Avengers video game, which is due out September 4 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, and Stadia, and in which Kamala Khan, featured on the variant cover, is a main character. A PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X release is planned for later this year.
For a 'This Is Your Life' style look back at Marvel's 81-year history, make sure you've read the best Marvel Comics stories we've outlined here.