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Transmedia refers to various stories narrated across multiple media platforms, where multimedia is of a single story carried out by different media platforms. In Henry Jenkin’s Converging Culture, he says that “each franchise entry needs to be self- contained so that if they didn’t see the film, it doesn’t matter” (98). People do not want to see a single story, they are compelled to extend on various narratives to extend a story.
In the form of transmedia storytelling, each medium has a purpose of creating a unified story told across multiple channels being distributed. The storytelling is dispersed horizontally across many media corporations, intermingling with one another. It is often seen with big conglomerates like Disney or NewsCorp, where they dominate in other forms of media rather than vertically along only one type of media.
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Marvel Comics is a form of transmedia. Marvel is most notably known for making comics, but recently they have expanded their company into other media forms. Each medium in the comic publisher does what it does best so that a story might be introduced in a film, novel, website, or video game. Not only do they have comics but they have invested in clothes, action figures, amusement park rides, and other entities.
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Recently, Marvel has put out numerous movies of such comic book characters like Spider-man, Thor, the Hulk, Captain America, and Iron-man. These movies helped launch a variety of more mediums such as video games and sequels. Marvel is so repetitive of its storytelling that it even made an Avengers movie, which combines most of the Marvel characters all put into one movie. Transmedia storytelling is just taking one story and recycling it a bunch of times. But like Marvel, transmedia storytelling is successful to them because they do it through numerous forms of media, giving way to many narratives. They even have their own Marvel Comics Database. Point is, fans want to know what happened before, after, and between each story. Marvels ultimate goal is to motivate audience interaction by involving them in various ways.
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Marvel’s initiative is to intertwine their comics into other media productions. Even though this strategy may hurt their comic book sales, it boosts Marvel’s adaptation to other media forms and makes comics almost obsolete for their success. In fact, transmedia storytelling has saved Marvel from near bankruptcy. Comics, a dying medium, was bought out by Disney, helped restore Marvel and allowed comics to rise to the top because it was integrated into other media forms rather than just one. Marvel’s transmedia-focused content allows for its success in the media world by combining mass media together to expand a story through various mediums from common interests.