At Good Comics for Kids, Michael May leads a roundtable about how well Marvel and DC serve young readers (Spoiler: Not very well at all):
Scott: DC and Marvel have published a number of series geared towards young readers but frankly, none of them have been truly worthwhile because they don’t stay in print. As well, they don’t appeal purely to young readers because they’re often mired in nostalgia. DC, especially, doesn’t want to upset their core adult audience.
Michael: I really dug Marvel’s Marvel Adventures line from a few years ago. It was exactly what I want in an all-ages comic: imaginative, humorous, self-contained stories. And by “self-contained” I mean not only that they didn’t constantly refer to other stories I’d have to stop and explain to my son, but also that they were done in one issue and didn’t require a huge investment in time or money. Unfortunately, as you noted, Marvel editorial didn’t seem to know what to do with them. They kept tinkering with the format and branding until no one (not even them) was sure what the imprint was anymore.
Mike Pawuk makes a very good point in the piece: “Libraries are practically begging for younger reader superhero comics. Young kids come into the library to read Batman – and there’s not a lot out there collected and nothing in single issues anymore. DC Comics has access to 150 single issues alone from Batman: The Animated Series’ comic book counterpart. If Batman is timeless, shouldn’t these stories be too?” DC announced a push towards libraries and focusing on the library market last week. It’d be nice if this was one of the subjects that got addressed because of that.