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Trying Marvel’s Digital Comics Unlimited

mdu_screenI’ve resisted Marvel‘s Digital Comics Unlimited for quite awhile, but as I’ve found myself getting sucked back into their products AND re-annoyed at their PRICING, this makes a bit of sense.

I also have to blame Mike and Shag (Views From the Longbox and The Fire and Water podcasts) for talking about it on a recent episode of VFtL, as well as a friend who informed me of a weekend sale on an annual subscription to the app.

I ended up deciding that the annual price was more than I could spend immediately, plus I still had some questions and curiosities about the thing, how it works, if I’d actually like it, etc, so I opted to go with a "monthly" subscription that I will either have to remember to cancel before it renews, or I’ll like this enough that I’ll let it go or upgrade TO one of those annual subscriptions.

mdu_library_grid_view  I found myself quite excited at the possibilities for this thing. Lots of stuff to read–either that I’ve wanted to re-read; will re-read because it’s available, or have yet to read because I haven’t gotten to it and/or the price for issues or collected volumes have been prohibitive.

Talking with a friend (as well as internally to myself) I’ve realized that a huge negative for me with Marvel has been their PRICING. When it comes to the characters themselves, I certainly have a great fondness, and so avoiding their stuff has been in reaction to the price and affordability to get stuff more than having any issue with the characters themselves. I’m going to be far more critical and demanding of something I’m paying $3.99 an issue for, for 20ish pages.

But with what seems so far to be available on Digital Comics Unlimited, this is gonna more than pay for itself in terms of what I’ll get to READ. And along with that, it’s DIGITAL, to boot, where I can download up to 12 issues’ content at a time to a device, so I can take it with me on the go even where I won’t have wifi access…meaning I can take this stuff to the gym or a fitness room and read on a tablet where I’m not fighting to get something to stay put or pages to turn when I want but not close when I don’t.

mdu_library_list_viewGranted, there’s a six-month "gap" between what’s "available" and whatever’s current this week in comic shops. But for the pricing, I will gladly, happily live with that.

I’ve had some "interest," for example, in reading the All-New X-Men / Guardians of the Galaxy crossover The Trial of Jean Grey. The collected edition’s price put me off–skinny little hardback of "only" 6 issues…$25. More expensive than the single issues (granted, it’s hardback).

a $10 subscription for one month means all I have to do is read 2 1/2 issues that would have cost me $3.99 in print, to "break even."

I want to read that Trial of Jean Grey story…and comparing against that $25 price point to do so…all I have to do is read that, and then anything else I (get to) read until September is pure "bonus" price-wise.

I can read the DnA run of Guardians of the Galaxy. I can read Infinity and Original Sin. I can go back and read all (or most) of the tie-ins for Marvel events of the past decade.  And beyond that, I can skip around, just browse stuff and read a random issue here or there. I can also delve further back to specific series and runs.

There’s a lotta gaps in early/mid 1990s stuff that I searched for, which is disappointing…but given I can find a lot of that stuff relatively cheaply in quarter bins and such, I’ll take that gladly with the tradeoff being I can READ a lot more of the more "modern" stuff.

And there’s the fact this is all digital, and it’s stuff I’ll "only" get to READ. I’m not buying anything to own; I’ll read, and move on, retaining the experience of HAVING READ the stuff, but no hassles with storage or tracking books down to buy, etc. I can read the stuff, it’s all in the SAME FORMAT (digital, to view on my phone or tablet screen) rather than varied print editions–oversized hardcovers, hardcovers, paperbacks, digests, etc.


Seems a whole host of stuff put out by Dark Horse for Star Wars has passed to Marvel, and fitting that timeframe of being 6+ months old, that’s available on here…a huge wealth of Star Wars comics to poke through and read if it grabs my attention, continue to ignore if it doesn’t.

I’d once found one or two of the Star Wars Infinities series in a bargain bin…now I can read the third (and final?) series with no hassle. And where I wasn’t interested enough in Dark Horse‘s Star Wars to buy much…they certainly had high quality stuff, and available here, I may read it.

So in short…I’m excited for and look forward to diving in and getting the chance to just simply READ a bunch of stuff, enjoy it for the STORY and no issues with schedules, cover prices, pagecounts, ease of location of collected volumes, etc.

Outside of some spotty runs of ’90s stuff I’d love to get into, with the more modern stuff, I see getting a lot of "joy" back in Marvel reading.

I’ll surely post again somewhere down the road on the experience, and where this takes me.

Meanwhile…I’m about to embark on a week-long roadtrip with friends, which will certainly test the enjoyment of this app, as I intend this to be my primary source of (comics) reading material FOR the trip.

3 Responses

  1. […] When I first decided to try the Marvel Digital app, I justified it to myself on cost of print counterparts. Read a couple stories and that’d pay for itself, compared to buying the collected volumes. […]

  2. […] When I first decided to try the Marvel Digital app, I justified it to myself on cost of print counterparts. Read a couple stories and that’d pay for itself, compared to buying the collected volumes. […]

  3. […] I wrote about the one-year mark last year… and not too long after, “discovered” Marvel Unlimited. […]

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