Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited
Marvel Comics decided to begin making their comics available
online. Dubbed Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, the program
will boast 2,500 comic books available for viewing, with
20 additions every week, for about five dollars a month.
“classics” will be included, of course, to help
(hopefully) new readers become familiar with the company’s
flagship characters, such as Spider-Man, The Hulk and Captain
America. So, is this a good thing? The short answer is “yes.”
The long answer is more involved.
years, many comics fans have feared the encroachment of
the digital age into their beloved hobby. Their trepidation
has centered mainly around the belief that, once comics
are put on the ‘net, or on cd-rom for home viewing
(which has already been done), they will one day no longer
be able to purchase the single-issues and paperback collections
that bring so much enjoyment.
fan, I’ll admit the thought is disturbing. After all,
the comics experience is not just visual, it’s tactile.
There is no substitute for holding that colorful pamphlet
in your hands, enjoying the brightly-colored artwork on
slick paper, then tucking your newest addition into the
rest of your carefully managed collection of four-color
that very experience, however, that leads me to believe
that there will always be some individual or entity that
will be publishing comics on paper. Human beings like to
“show off” what they have accumulated, and you
just can’t do that effectively on a screen.
upshot of Marvel’s venture is that it will help introduce
new and younger readers to the work of individuals who broke
fresh and exciting ground, not just in comics, but in entertainment
itself. The likes of Lee, Kirby, Ditko, Romita, Sr. and
many others will come alive for yet another generation.
Ultimately, it will drive most of them to seek out that
material in a more tangible form.
shouldn’t fear Marvel’s foray into the digital
universe. They should embrace it as an investment in comics’