November 14, 2007 |
I can’t honestly call myself a devout fan of the world of comics – you know, the one populated by the likes of Spider Man and the Silver Surfer – but I can certainly understand why the realm of superheroes and thought bubbles invokes the sort of passion many people across the globe convey for the many stories written thus far in both piecemeal and graphic novel form.
So I bring you, the comic devotees of the Profy readership, news of Marvel Comics’ establishment of an archive – or treasure trove, if you will – of digitized goodies for the Web. Over 2,500 issues from the company’s coffers are now available for your perusal, all conveniently accessible at their website. Furthermore, Marvel plans to release, atop the already vast supply, an additional 20 titles every week.
Now, I know what you’re yearning to know. “Is the catalogue free?” Nope, it ain't. Sure, for a limited time one may sample a portion (250 titles) of the digitized collection. But anything more will require the purchase of a subscription, either monthly ($9.99) or year-long ($59.88).
And just to warn you, though you might be very eager to do so, we’d advise you wait a few days before sending your credit info to Marvel right this very moment. No, nothing’s particularly troubling about the way it’s put together or what kind of visual experience it offers the reader. All that stuff’s good and fine. Only, the whole operation is really, really slow going, in that one must exercise a great deal of patience when traveling about the site. Perhaps the lag in data transfer is due to an intense barrage of initial attention being given to the new service, but whatever the case may be, we’d suggest you wait a few days to see if things change. We imagine that next week things will most likely move a bit more quickly and smoothly.
All in all, however, the site is quite attractive, and the fact that the selection runs so deep certainly makes the month-to-month or annual fees rather reasonable. Most avid comic readers navigate just a few titles every week. Consider then how long it would take you to give 2,500+ issues a go, and how much such a collection would set you back, financially speaking. $9.99-per-month (or less) looks light a downright bargain.
What are your impressions of Marvel’s Digital Comics Unlimited archive? Great idea? Thinking of getting yourself a subscription? Not interested? Let us know in the comments below!