Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Marvel goes DiG!tA1ll1l...

Wow. Today surely is a watershed moment for comics. The days of Marvel's timid dot-comics are over as the house that Stan built moves boldly into the digital future with the launch today of Marvels Digital Comics Unlimited.

For a subscription rate of $9.99 a month or $59.88 for the year (only $4.99 per month at that rate) you can gain access to some 2500 back issues of comics. These are high quality PDFs of each comic page archived and stored lovingly by Marvel's techheads. The company additionally plans to release at least 20 new old issues a week. In order to insulate the print version of their books Marvel intends to wait at least 6 months between the hard copy release and the digital archive, but we can expect a mix of old and new titles to show up at a fairly rapid pace after that. Here's an article with a bit more explanation directly from Marvel on all this.

For now the collection includes some classic comic milestones that you might never have read before. Sure we've all checked out Amazing Fantasy 15 (the first appearance of Spider-Man), but have you seen the first showdown between the Thing and the Hulk, The Avengers and Power Pack, the first Black Panther, or introduction of the Silver Surfer, or what about some of the newer stuff, like the Civil War issues, or Annihilation, maybe you missed those minis tied into Universe X, or how about some of the Ultimate titles, or some of those great Spidey miniseries like Blue, or India. I know I missed the Captain America: Truth miniseries where they retconned the entire origin of the super-soldier program. Here's some officially selected highlights, and some other recommendations you might want to check out too.

I really recommend you go and at least have a look around the Digital Comics Unlimited site. They are offering 250 comics up for free viewing for a limited time so you can try out their service. I'm not exactly sure whats in that selection of free stuff right now as their site has been so slammed today its only working off and on, but I'm sure there is something you'll find of interest.

Now if only I had a good color version of the Sony Reader, I would be totally set. One day I'm sure that will exist though, hopefully sooner rather than later. Beacause this is a really great move on Marvel's part. Bold decisive action. And I think legitimately still in time for them to figure out how to save themselves with the current and severe drop in print media sales. This won't make them a ton of money just yet, but its a really good start. Thank you Marvel for going for the digital market finally. It may not work all that well at first but I applaud the effort.


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