You’d think that a teen superhero and the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy would have better things to do on a Friday afternoon than assigning me silly names such as “Captain Taco” or suggesting I read a comic book in our chats on Facebook Messenger, but maybe I just don’t understand modern marketing.
Turns out, these Marvel franchises are trying to help their summer box office by using their two heroes as ambassadors for online outreach.
Using Facebook Messenger, I started up chat dialogues with “Marvel” (the one for “Guardians of the Galaxy”) and “Spiderman” accounts and was soon flooded with comic-book panels and chatter about the new “Secret Empire” comics storyline, which details Captain America’s allegiance to the nefarious Hydra.
It’s not free-form chat; mostly it’s a series of guided menus with two or three responses available and the occasional prompt to type in an answer to a scrambled-word quiz question. As someone who hasn’t yet seen “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” or the new “Spider-Man” movie, I’m sure I was missing a lot of the context for the references from both heroes (what’s “Chitauri?” I still don’t know.) but the gist is that both really want me to get to a nearby comic-book store to pick up issues from the various Marvel comics that are part of the “Secret Empire” series.
I’m no Marvel expert, but the writing of the chatbot text, from author Jim McCann, feels on point and breezy without a ton of jargon or unnecessary backstory. And it’s illustrated with enough art to make it visually interesting, especially if you’ve been following these films and comics.
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