Both Marvel and DC have delayed their April 1 comic releases due to the coronavirus outbreak. Following distributor Diamond's decision to stop shipping print comics to retailers last week, the two major publishers opted to stop or cut back on their digital releases as well, as previously reported by CNET sister site Comicbook.com.
"As you know, unfortunately there will not be any new print titles available at your shops this week. Marvel will also not be releasing any new comic book titles digitally on April 1," Marvel President Dan Buckley said in a statement to retailers that was shared with CNET.
DC delayed all but three of its April 1 releases until April 29, but didn't immediately respond to a request for further comment.
The lockdown-enforced closure of comic book stores and Diamond's decision to halt shipments put the print side of the industry on pause, and left Marvel and DC in a tricky position. They could have continued to publish their weekly comics via digital outlets like the Amazon-owned Comixilogy, but that could've dealt retailers a fatal blow by forcing many readers who prefer physical comics to go digital and cut off one of the publishers' main avenues for sales.
Now playing: Watch this: Marvel's Phase 4 plan explained 3:04
The new strain of coronavirus, which develops into the illness known as COVID-19, was discovered in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and has spread worldwide. As of Tuesday morning, it had infected more than 800,000 people and caused over 39,000 deaths globally.