If you’re interested in digital comics, or comics in general, then Marvel Unlimited has a promotion going on until May 5th where you’re able to get a month of their digital comics reading service completely free. What this means in layman’s terms is that if you sign up using the promo code STARWARS then you get access to over 15,000 comics.
Now I love comics, and up until yesterday I was always wary of digital comics. My phone screen was too small, it’d be too strange on a laptop. I used to read digital comics back when Ultimate Spider-Man was first digitized almost fifteen years ago but I quickly switched to the print versions of the comic, and I haven’t touched a digital comic since. I always said I preferred the feel of the comic in my hands, that aside from reading the stories as the come out, for me it was also about collecting the key issues that I wanted for my collection. Digital comics just weren’t for me, and I had no interest in them.
I took advantage of the free month of Marvel Unlimited, and decided to see what I could check out. In less than twenty four hours I have read Original Sin (most of the tie in issues as well), the first six issues of the 2006 Moon Knight, four issues of Captain America that guest starred Union Jack that I’ve been trying to track down, and an issue of Nova. Suffice it to say, that I am more open to reading digital comics than I ever used to be.
The ability to, internet connection dependent, read any one of the 15,000 comics available to me at any time is something that I had never really thought about before. Aside from the astronomical cost savings of reading the comics I have read since yesterday alone, the sheer convenience is hard to understate. I intend to start reading Matt Fractions Hawkeye series next, and if I remember correctly, some of those issues can be tough to find (and aren’t cheap, either).
Marvel Unlimited is great. I will probably continue to subscribe to it after my free trial has expired, I subscribe to Netflix in order to stream movies at minimal cost, so why do the same with comics and Marvel Unlimited?
But here’s the thing; at the end of the day, Marvel Unlimited is great to let me catch up on comics that I never had any intention of buying in print form, whether because of cost or that I simply missed the issue, because the digital comics are easy to find, read, and the move on to the next issue. If you just want to read older comics, that’s fantastic. But when it comes to buying individual issues? I’ll probably never stop buying print issues – at the end of the day I’m a collector as well as a reader of comics – and there’s nothing quite like finding that elusive back issue.
Digital comics are great when they come with a subscription service, absolutely, but buying comics digitally is not something I can see myself doing. Maybe I’m old school, but I’ve always felt that a paid for single issue digital comic isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.