There was some rumblings on a few comics boards and Apple boards online about this happening. But no one was expecting it to occur by iPad launch.
Marvel Comics will be the first of the major comic book companies to have a digital platform for their comics. The maker of Spider-Man, the X-Men, Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and a list of hundreds of other characters will be found on an App for the iPad. The app itself will be free, comics downloaded — included new books just like in your local comic book store, every Wednesday — into the iPad will cost you only $2.
Marvel Entertainment is proud to announce the launch of the Marvel Comics App for iPad on the App Store. This landmark app launches with over 500 of Marvel’s greatest comic books, from classic stories to modern tales, featuring Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk, Thor and more of the world’s most popular Super Heroes. The Marvel Comics App brings the world of Marvel to iPad owners with each comic presented at incredibly high resolution on iPad’s full color screen, a user-friendly search engine, innovative viewing options and more.
“We’re excited to introduce an unparalleled digital comic experience to our fans with the Marvel Comics App for iPad,” said Dan Buckley, publisher & CEO, Marvel Publishing. “The iPad is the first device that offers us a chance to present digital comics that are even close to replicating the experience of reading a print comic. This new world of digital comics distribution provides us great opportunities to reach new readers, allow consumers to sample our diverse stories and characters, and we believe it will drive these new fans into the App Store and local comic shops each week to find even more.”
Fans will be granted unrivaled access to Marvel’s rich library of comics, with launch titles ranging from the first appearances of characters such as Spider-Man and the X-Men to modern classics like the debut of Red Hulk, Jonathan Hickman’s acclaimed FANTASTIC FOUR run, Joss Whedon & John Cassaday’s ASTONISHING X-MEN and lots more. Every comic available through the Marvel Comics App is optimized for the iPad through painstaking re-coloring and re-digitizing of select content.
Marvel worked with ComiXology to create the perfect app for new readers, offering the option to preview two pages from each available comic before purchasing and a cutting edge recommendation engine for every fan to find a comic they’re sure to love. The app also arms fans with a handy comic shop locator, allowing them to find their local retailer’s address and phone number and then journey even further into the Marvel Universe. To enhance the mobile reading experience on the iPad even more, the Marvel Comics App features multiple viewing modes, taking readers panel-by-panel through the comic book in a smooth, action-packed progression using just the swipe of a finger.
“As Marvel’s digital comics program has developed over the last few years, we’ve focused on delivering the best possible consumer experience across different services and devices,” said Ira Rubenstein, Executive Vice President, Marvel Global Digital Media Group. “We’re confident that the iPad is one of the best ways to read Marvel digital comics from anywhere, at any time. Since the iPad was announced, we have heard from our Marvel fans that this is the device they really wanted to see our comics on. This is just another step in the evolution of Marvel Digital Comics. We hope you love it as much as we do and we will continue to make the consumer experience even better.”
Marvel also promises they will eventually put their entire library in digital format; which will allow an entire new generation to experience classic tales in the Marvel Universe without searching for what could be costly back-issues.
It’s unknown when rival DC Comics will also go digital. Word inside the industry is they are light-years behind Marvel on what is the likely next step for comics distribution. They have made some strides in recent weeks with the announcement that their top writer (Geoff Johns) is now in charge of the creative direction of all DC Comics properties in all media. They also hired famed artist Jim Lee as co-publisher of DC Comics, and was to lead the charge in making DC Digital.
Those are good first steps, but DC has a long way go now to play catch up.