VIBE Magazine and POW! Ent. have announced an exclusive partnership to create an urban superhero. The relationship will be the first of its kind for VIBE, which is aiming to increase its brand beyond print while still leveraging the magazine.
POW! Ent., which specializes in new characters and franchises by Stan Lee, strategically works to develop characters through its relationships and alliances for funding and distribution of these new franchises. VIBE has been the preeminent force in urban magazines since its inception in 1993. A mutual relationship paired famous comicbook creator Lee with the magazine, and the concept of the ultimate urban superhero was born.
The urban character, which is in the development stage, could be the next Spider-Man or X-Man, contemporary and universally liked by all but targeted to the 15- to 34-year-old comicbook, videogame and action-hero lover. The character will be marketed as an action hero and will grace the pages of VIBE, as well as having its own graphic novel. Creators will take the animated character to DVD, television and feature film.
VIBE president Kenard Gibbs states, "We are very excited about this endeavor and branching VIBE outside the magazine arena. The hip hop consumer is into animation, DVDs, magazines and other media, and we wanted to find a way to extend the VIBE brand by offering a new product."
VIBE editor-in-chief Mimi Valdes adds, "I can't wait to hear how VIBE fans respond to the character! This is going to be a big draw to the magazine. Besides our readers looking forward to our feature articles, they can also follow the adventures of our superhero."
"I'm as excited as a kid with a new toy to be able to create a unique, exciting, urban superhero for a magazine that I respect as much as VIBE," says Stan Lee. "No one understands or talks to the urban market better than VIBE, and this is a golden opportunity for me to introduce a new, colorful superhero that the urban community can embrace as its own without resorting to typical ghetto cliches or stereotyping. Following the formula I know best, our first stop will be the pages of VIBE magazine, while our ultimate destination will be movies, TV and DVDs. I can't wait to get started."
POW!'s coo Gill Champion says, "The partnership with VIBE will provide the opportunity to introduce and market a new superhero who will have wide appeal combining the strong fan base of VIBE subscribers with the universal impact of Stan Lee's brand. We believe the new superhero will have the potential to attract all the possible ancillary opportunities that support a Stan Lee franchise in building a powerful brand."
VIBE's strong branding and advertising in combination with POW!'s expertise gives the magazine the credibility it needs to launch the character in early 2006. VIBE and POW! will jointly own the franchise and play to their respective strengths VIBE's uncharted access to the urban market and Stan Lee's creative skills.
Founded in 1993 by music legend Quincy Jones, VIBE magazine is the preeminent brand in urban music and culture. With a guaranteed circulation of 850,000 readers, VIBE, a monthly, reaches an audience of more than 8 million. Published by VIBE/Spin Ventures Llc, a leading music/lifestyle media company that also publishes SPIN magazine, VIBE won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2002. The win marked the first time a magazine with a primarily black readership won in the General Excellence category. VIBE was once again nominated for General Excellence in 2004.
POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) Ent. Inc. was founded by world famous comicbook icon Stan Lee, together with Gill Champion and Arthur Lieberman. POW!'s principals combined, have more than a hundred years experience creating, producing and licensing original intellectual properties. POW! specializes in franchises for the entertainment industry, including animation and live-action feature films, plus television, DVDs, videogames, merchandising and related ancillary markets, all of which aid in the establishment of global franchises.