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  1. #21
    Ed Liu's Avatar
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    I missed it at the time, but here's Marvel Comics Publisher Dan Buckley on the digital comics initiative. Some of the stuff that jumped out at me:

    Clearly, a controversial element of MDCU is its business model. Marvel seems to be following the lead of initiatives like Real Media's Rhapsody music store, where users pay a subscription fee to listen to music online on-demand, but which has met with decidedly mixed results.

    I don't really feel that it is a fair comparison, but I can see why people are jumping to it because [music] is the industry that everyone compares digital business models too. I feel it is unfair for a couple reasons: unlike music consumption, reading a digital comic online is a very different consumer experience than reading it in print. Second, we are the only place you can "officially" get Spider-Man, FF, X-Men, Cap, etc. online.
    I don't think I agree with Buckley here. Reading a digital comic CAN be a very different experience than reading a physical one (see just about any of Scott McCloud's webcomics to see how), but the way Marvel is doing the digital comics, it isn't. Or it's just an accident of the way the comics are being presented. The computer may be doing the work of scanning the page for you, but that isn't that big a change from reading a physical comic.

    Being the only place where you can "officially" get the Marvel properties is also not a distinguisher from the digital music industry, because the major selling point of the Sony on-line store was that Sony music was only available there. The on-line stores are all falling all over themselves to land the digital Beatles rights. I don't see how having Spider-Man and Captain America distinguishes them from music, really.

    That being said, I would say a better comparison would be "pay-per-view" or a HBO-type subscription for TV.

    So far, this and the NetFlix analogy are probably the best alternate models for MDCU I've heard other than on-line music. However, the comments above and below this line really make me wonder if Buckley really understands how digital comics is similar or different from digital music.

    Third, for the most part, online music subscription sites are not looking to introduce the product of music to people. The people that they are targeting are people that currently listen to and enjoy music. We are trying to introduce comic books to an audience that doesn't currently read them but whom we think would greatly enjoy them if they had access to them in a manner that is consistent with their lifestyle.

    I disagree with Buckley here, too. I think all the digital music sites are trying to introduce new music to their users, whether they're the purchase-for-download iTunes model or the subscription Rhapsody model. If nothing else, it means that you make more money as people discover newer music, either because they're buying more tunes or they're subscribed longer. Otherwise, iTunes wouldn't have bothered to implement the "You Might Like This Too" feature they have now.

    The launch of MDCU comes at an interesting time, when television and film writers are striking primarily over digital residuals issues. In light of these events in other areas of entertainment, the obvious question is, are digital royalties in place for creators whose work is being sold on MDCU?

    Digital comics will become a part of our incentives package in the near future. We are at present discussing the calculations and implementation of this package. It may take several months to implement. However, the first thing we need to do is make sure that the offering is profitable.
    As if I needed another reason to avoid using the MDCU. I don't buy a lot of Marvel reprints because I know that they don't pay royalties to the talent that created them. They aren't contractually obligated to do it, but it's the Right Thing to Do and DC does it more than Marvel. But to roll out the package and openly say they have no plan in place to compensate the talent that put these things together and won't for several months? Nice try. I like the people who make the comics more than the people who publish them, and I'd like to see those creators rewarded for their efforts. If that means I buy the physical books rather than reading on-line, then I'm OK with that.

    I'm also still trying to decide why this doesn't feel like NetFlix to me. I can't come up with many examples of things where you rent something that isn't physical and has nothing you can take for your own. Even if you're paying for magazine or newspaper subscriptions on-line, you can save pages for your use later. Buckley's example of PPV is one I didn't think of, but I don't use that either. However, PPV's success is pretty well documented (the Anime Network lives and dies by PPV and it's doing quite well), so the trick is to get people to think of these as a PPV service rather than a subscription service.

    -- Ed
    Edward Liu | Disney Forum moderator | Toon Zone News Interviews Editor

    "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble. It's the things we know that just ain't so."
    -- Josh Billings

  2. #22
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    I'm updating this thread to make it the official talkback for discussion of "Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited".

    I just bought a year's subscription last week, and am overall pretty impressed. The "smart panels" feature is now my favorite way to read the comics online; it takes a little getting used to at first, but once you get the hang of it, the close-up on most panels is a welcome sight.

    Also, I thought I would be annoyed by the 6 month delay for new comics to be added to the website, but perhaps it's the fact that I quit most Marvel titles 6 months ago, (after "Secret Invasion" ended) and it's the post-Secret Invasion stuff that's just now starting to get uploaded onto the website. Thus, it feels like there's no break for me in my reading of some titles!

    At the start of this week, I got an email from Marvel letting me know what new titles were being added this week. Looking over the selection gives me an idea of where Marvel's priorities are in what gets put up on the website:

    Monday, August 10
    MADROX #3
    ASTONISHING X-MEN: GHOST BOXES #1
    MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #43
    SECRET INVASION: SPIDER-MAN - BRAND NEW DAY #2
    VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR #1

    Tuesday, August 11
    SECRET WARS #10
    ONSLAUGHT REBORN #3
    IRON MAN: GOLDEN AVENGER #1
    MIGHTY AVENGERS #18
    WOLVERINE: FLIES TO A SPIDER #1

    Wednesday, August 12
    KING-SIZE CABLE SPECTACULAR #1
    SECRET INVASION: X-MEN #2
    ULTIMATE X-MEN #93
    WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #28
    X-MEN: FIRST CLASS #16

    Thursday, August 13
    ETERNALS #4
    MARVEL APES #2
    NEW WARRIORS #16
    SECRET INVASION: INHUMANS #2
    DARK AVENGERS #1

    Friday, August 14
    ANNIHILATION #4
    ANNIHILATION: NOVA #3
    MIGHTY AVENGERS #4
    MARVEL ADVENTURES HULK #15
    SKAAR: SON OF HULK PRESENTS - SAVAGE WORLD OF SAKAAR#1

    So the focus is on new titles, (hey, I'll finally read "Dark Avengers #1"!) with a few retro titles sprinkled in. That works overall, as I want to read the new stuff. I also notice that they have a good majority of the early Silver Age stuff, (including the first 100 issues of Amazing Spider-Man, and the first run of X-Men). My concern is that if the focus is only new product and the Silver Age material, it'll be forever in getting some classics of the 1970's and 80's uploaded onto the website, (how about some more classic issues of New Mutants from the 80's, Marvel?!?)

    This is now the prominent way for me to read Marvel comics, as far as I'm concerned. I've got no more room for storing comics and would rather read the product than own the more expensive "pamphlets" these days.

    Now if only DC would hop on board and do something similar...

  3. #23
    Shawn Hopkins's Avatar
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    Archie is doing this, too. I subscribe to one of the digests so they keep sending me E-mails about their new online service, but the promise of "hundreds" of comics doesn't really seem worth signing up for yet.

    At least Marvel has 5,000 comics, but even that doesn't seem like that much to me. I've been reading over the Marvel samples and checking the archive and I'm not really sold on it, yet. The reader seems a little cumbersome, the smart panels are a good idea but on some of the books I was looking at they don't zoom in enough to really read the text. The most readable method for my poor eyes was single page, but with that it was much harder to make out panel layouts and what was going on.

    Also, I'm not sure I get their strategy for what books are put on there. One of the samples I read was the kind of Wolverine comic that makes me wonder, at 33, if I'm finally too old for comic books. Just awful, with Wolverine pigsticking a bunch of bikers and cops. I guess they want to keep up with newer releases, but I don't see why they don't focus on the better stuff. Also, the archive is too spotty right now. Only the first 100 issues of Amazing Spider-Man are consecutive and then there are large gaps, with some random issues sticking out from storylines that would be much better read in context than as standalone issues.

    I might try a month's trial just to check it out, but they'll have to add a little more before I plunk down for a year.
    Here's the deal, I'm the best there is. I wake up in the morning and I urinate excellence. And nobody can hang with my stuff. I'm just a big hairy American winning machine.

    I'm very humble, too.

  4. #24
    Fool's Gil's Avatar
    Fool's Gil is offline I'm the King of Everything!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hopkins View Post
    Archie is doing this, too.
    Really? Guess now's my chance to re read all the old Sonic Comics.
    "I don't like you Mickey."
    "You're not supposed to."
    -Wacky Game Jokez 4 Kidz

  5. #25
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Hopkins
    Archie is doing this, too. I subscribe to one of the digests so they keep sending me E-mails about their new online service, but the promise of "hundreds" of comics doesn't really seem worth signing up for yet.

    At least Marvel has 5,000 comics, but even that doesn't seem like that much to me. I've been reading over the Marvel samples and checking the archive and I'm not really sold on it, yet. The reader seems a little cumbersome, the smart panels are a good idea but on some of the books I was looking at they don't zoom in enough to really read the text. The most readable method for my poor eyes was single page, but with that it was much harder to make out panel layouts and what was going on.
    Actually, I checked, and they're getting close to 7,000 comics online now. I wonder how many Marvel comics there are in print? It's got to be well over 10,000, though I can't imagine it being as high as 50,000.

    Also, I'm not sure I get their strategy for what books are put on there. One of the samples I read was the kind of Wolverine comic that makes me wonder, at 33, if I'm finally too old for comic books. Just awful, with Wolverine pigsticking a bunch of bikers and cops. I guess they want to keep up with newer releases, but I don't see why they don't focus on the better stuff. Also, the archive is too spotty right now. Only the first 100 issues of Amazing Spider-Man are consecutive and then there are large gaps, with some random issues sticking out from storylines that would be much better read in context than as standalone issues.
    The focus is on newer issues right now, (from what I've seen, they add about 25 new comics each week, and 20 of those are items released within the last year). That's equal to about 1,300 new comics a year. The problem is, Marvel releases between 80 to 120 new comics each month, so if the online DCU is always adding a majority of new material, then it looks like they're really not going to find time to add stuff from the 70's and 80's, (and even the stuff from the 90's, for that matter). (and as I mentioned previously, it looks like they got most of the 60's material on there).

    Perhaps there are periods where they add a whole batch of old comics, (I haven't been a subscriber long enough to say).

  6. #26
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    I'm not sure how I want to keep track of the weekly updates to the Marvel DCU website, other than I know I do want to track the "online-exclusive" comics, and the new content, so here's what was uploaded last week:

    Monday, August 17
    MADROX #4
    PUNISHER #25
    DR. STRANGE: THE OATH #4
    SPIDER-MAN/DOCTOR OCTOPUS: OUT OF REACH #2
    VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR #2

    Tuesday, August 18
    AVENGERS #44
    IRON MAN: DIRECTOR OF S.H.I.E.L.D. #15
    IMMORTAL IRON FIST #6
    MS. MARVEL ANNUAL #1
    NEW AVENGERS #51

    Wednesday, August 19
    AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #550
    NEW EXILES #11
    X-MEN: LEGACY #216
    X-MEN: SEARCH FOR CYCLOPS #2
    WOLVERINE: SAUDADE #1

    Thursday, August 20
    SQUADRON SUPREME #6
    SQUADRON SUPREME #7
    GHOST RIDER: TRAIL OF TEARS #5
    NOVA #17
    TRUE BELIEVERS #3

    Friday, August 21
    FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #14
    ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #31
    MARVEL ADVENTURES FANTASTIC FOUR #40
    ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR/ULTIMATE X-MEN ANNUAL #1
    WOLVERINE: ORIGINS #31

    ONLINE EXCLUSIVE:
    THE BLACK KNIGHT #2

    And now, here's what's coming out this week:

    Monday, August 24
    MADROX #5
    DR. STRANGE: THE OATH #5
    VENOM: LETHAL PROTECTOR #3
    X-FACTOR #39
    ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #126

    Tuesday, August 25
    WOLVERINE: ROAR #2
    X-FACTOR #35
    X-MEN ORIGINS: BEAST #1
    ULTIMATE X-MEN #43
    UNCANNY X-MEN #508

    Wednesday, August 26
    WOLVERINE: ROAR #2
    X-FACTOR #35
    X-MEN ORIGINS: BEAST #1
    ULTIMATE X-MEN #43
    UNCANNY X-MEN #508

    Thursday, August 27
    SQUADRON SUPREME #7
    NYX: NO WAY HOME #2
    PATSY WALKER: HELLCAT #3
    SQUADRON SUPREME #3
    IMMORTAL IRON FIST #21

    Friday, August 28
    ANNIHILATION #5
    ANNIHILATION: NOVA #4
    INCREDIBLE HULK #105
    SHE-HULK #33
    NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION #1

    ONLINE EXCLUSIVES:
    DARK REIGN: MADE MEN #5
    SPECTACULAR SPIDER-GIRL #5

  7. #27
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    From the latest Cup O' Joe panel over at CBR, we have word that Marvel does indeed add batches of old titles besides the usual "25 or so" comics that they add each week.

    From the article:

    Kiel Phegley: Moving on to some fan questions regarding current Marvel hot topics, board member Marvelito asked, "I've been a Digital Comcis Unlimited subscriber since the get go. Has the DCU performed to Marvel's expectations? Can you comment on whether newer books will be available sooner than they currently are? Why aren't the books released chronologically or at least in more of a regular way? Sometimes I'll be left hanging, waiting for the final issue of an arc. How do you guys come up with the release schedule?"

    Joe Quesada: Hey, Marvelito, while Marvel Digital is a whole other department than the one I run, I’ll do my best to answer your question. Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited has absolutely performed to our expectations and then some. It’s a great service and we think fans understand the incredible value they’re getting. Over 6,000 comics with dozens added every week for under $10 a month (or under $60 a year with an annual subscription!).


    More to the point, when we launched the service back in November 2007, we announced that we would impose a six-month window before previously published comics appeared on the site. In a rare instance or two, we’ve published a bit earlier than that. But it’s a rule that for the time being we think makes sense for everyone involved and we’ll be sticking with that for now. Our release schedule—featuring more than two dozen freshly digitized books each week—actually does have a pattern to it. The five free books we offer every week coincide with an upcoming on-sale date for a print comic. We release them for free to get people excited about those upcoming print titles.


    Additionally, every single day of the week has a character associated with it in Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. We bunch comics featuring those characters on those days – you can see the full schedule here: http://marvel.com/digitalcomics/calendar/

    As for not seeing the final issue of an arc, this is one of the things we hear a lot from our subscribers. Just so everyone knows, we’ve been actively filling gaps so we can have more and more complete storylines available via Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. In fact, we just added 120 new titles above and beyond our weekly 25 to fill the gaps on some key issues including “Annihilation” titles, “Runaways,” “Deadpool,” “Civil War: X-Men” and more. But at the end of the day, this is a brave new world and with any new initiative, there are always things that you look to improve upon. But it’s tough to do that without starting somewhere. Every week that goes by, the Marvel digital experience gets better and better and I think in years to come we’ll be looking at it as the standard and roadmap of how to build a digital comics library.

    That's good, as it hopefully means there will be a stronger emphasis on older titles from time to time.

  8. #28
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    As the Marvel Digital website has become my preferred way to read comics, I figured I'd start doing some comic reviews again. Some of these are comics that I missed the first time around, others are my attempt to continue following titles that I dropped at the end of Secret Invasion, (when I decided the books were getting too expensive). Anyway, here's what I've read in the last month or so since I signed up:

    Astonishing Tales: Dominic Fortune #1-4: An "online exclusive" serial that's still going, this tale features Marvel's pulp-era "private eye" in a case that sends him around the world investigating a suspicious murder. Set in 1937, a lot of the encounters that Dominic has during his travels involve the parents of famous Marvel characters (including Tony Stark and Dr. Doom's parents). There's also a visit to Nazi Germany, including some of the best artistic depictions I've seen of the various Captain America villiains, from before they started wearing the crazy costumes. Baron Zemo, Von Strucker, and the Red Skull look just as menacing in plain old Nazi uniforms, without the supervillain theatrics. A bit slow paced, but still looking forward to seeing how it ends! Grade: B-

    Drax the Destroyer #1-4: A wierd little mini-series that served as the prologue for the Annihilation event from a few years back. I missed out on the first Annihilation event, so now is as good a time as any to get caught up. This one features some witty dialogue by Keith Giffen and beautiful art by Mitch Breitweiser, but it's a bit too "small scale" for a cosmic storyline: A group of alien convicts (Drax included) survive their prison transport ship crashing onto Earth, and small Alaskan town has to deal with them taking over.

    More of a reboot to the Drax character than anything else, it's unfortunately somewhat anticlimatic due to the "showdown" between Drax and the Super-Skrull never really paying off at the end. I give it more props for the artwork than anything else. Grade: B+

    Exiles #1 and 2: I've read some of the issues to this series before, but now it's time to sit down and read the "whole she-bang"! I love the Marvel "What If" stories, and this comic is basically a version of that, except with a reaccuring, reality hopping cast! The emphasis on the cast needing to be mutants is later on removed, thus, this really isn't an X-Men book, but these early issues are steeped in various alterations to X-Men lore, with the first two-part story featuring an evil Professor X, and a good Magneto. It's a classic start to a series that's unfortunately fell to the wayside in recent years. Grade: B

    Hulk: Raging Thunder: A one-shot featuring an alternate timeline Thundra meeting up with the classic "HULK-SMASH!!" Hulk. A pretty forgettable story, except it's a prologue to the "All New Savage She-Hulk" mini-series from earlier this year, (which is also now a back-up story in the current monthly Incredible Hulk title). It's decent enough, but the story offers us no real insights into the Hulk and Thundra's personalities. Plus, Mitch Breitweiser's artwork looks strangely off-kilter somehow, (it's not as good as his work on Drax). Grade: C

    Marvel Universe: The End #1-6: Amidst all of the interesting "The End" titles Marvel put out a few years back, this one is perhaps the most strange. All of the rest of the "The End" titles were like "Elseworld" mini-series from DC. This one actually happens in the main Marvel Universe. Obviously, the Marvel Universe doesn't come to an end (not a final one anyway), so I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying the destruction that occurs is reset by the end of it. A more apt title might have been "Thanos: The End", as it's really a Thanos story, but even that's not true since Thanos comes back in later stories.

    This is also Jim Starlin's last real work for Marvel, before Keith Giffen, Andy Lanning, and Dan Abnett took over the cosmic corner of Marvel with "Annihilation". It brings back memories of the "Infinity Guantlet", so it's fun for nostalgia purposes, but it's not a relevant read in the "post-Annihilation" style of stories that Marvel's putting out now. Grade: B

    New Avengers #48: I passed over this issue, not realizing it was an epilogue to "Secret Invasion", (all I knew at the time was that the price was soon going up on New Avengers issues, so it was time to quit the title). There's lot of interesting stuff, including fallout from SHIELD being disbanded, some hatred for Spider-Woman due to her Skrull counterpart being the face of the invasion, and we finally see what it takes to break Luke Cage. The last page is chilling. Billy Tan as guest artist always delights as well. Grade: A-


    Thunderbolts #126: The start of the "post-Secret Invasion" era, and one of the many titles I dropped as I just couldn't afford most floppy comics anymore. This one serves as a prologue for "Dark Reign", as Norman Osborn dissolves the current batch of Thunderbolts, leading to a very sad and tragic series of "goodbyes" to some of my favorite members of the cast. It's a dark read which gives new meaning to the words "the bad guys won", and the ending between Bullseye and Songbird is one of the best nailbiters I've read in a while. Frankly, I could see that as being the last appearance of Songbird, a character with a long history of tragedy...but I think she's going to be rescued. I think. Looking forward to reading more! Grade: A

  9. #29
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    The "Make Mine Marvel" e-mail newsletter that I get this week advertised that they just reached the "7,000 digital comics" mark, thanks to a batch of an extra "350 comics" uploaded yesterday. So it's like Joe Quesada said recently: they will occasionally release a splurge of extra digital comics, to fill in gaps in series and such.

    Also, I just noticed that they've uploaded a new digital reading browser. It looks completely different than the last version, (but still has the same "smart panel" feature) and will probably take some getting used to...

    After double checking the Marvel Digital website, here's the list of all of the extra comics released as digital comics yesterday:


    WITCHES #1-4
    DEFENDERS (2005-2006) #3, 5
    INHUMANS (2003-2004) #2, 4, 5
    NEW MUTANTS (2003-2004) #13
    RUNAWAYS (2005-2008) #14-18
    ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #68-71, 76-78
    ULTIMATE X-MEN #44, 45, 47-54
    SILVER SURFER (1987) #14, #34-38
    STAR BRAND #3-7
    USA COMICS #2-4
    ASTONISHING X-MEN #14-18
    AVENGERS (1998-2004) #46-50, 52-60
    AVENGERS ANNUAL #14
    AVENGERS NEXT #4, 5
    CAPTAIN MARVEL (2003-2005) #15-20
    CHAMPIONS #13-17
    ETERNALS (1976) #13-19
    ETERNALS (2006) #5, 6
    FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #15, 17-19
    GUARDIANS (2004) #1-5
    IRON FIST (2004) #2-6
    INVADERS (2004) #1
    NEW MUTANTS #17-20
    SQUADRON SUPREME #8-12
    STARJAMMERS (2004) #1, 2, 4-6
    THANOS QUEST #2
    THOR ANNUAL #7
    THUNDERBOLTS #75-81
    UNION JACK (2006) #3, 4
    WARLOCK (2004) #3, 4
    WINTER SOLDIER: WINTER KILLS #1
    WEST COAST AVENGERS #15, 42-47
    AVENGERS ANNUAL #1998
    AVENGERS ANNUAL #1999
    AVENGERS ANNUAL #2000
    AVENGERS ANNUAL #2001
    CAPTAIN MARVEL (2000-2003) #11-14
    D. P. 7 #4-9
    DEFENDERS #9-11, 76, 77
    DR. STRANGE (1974) #14, 58-62
    EXCALIBUR: MOJO MAYHEM #1
    FIRESTAR #1-4
    MILLIE THE MODEL #100
    MODELLING WITH MILLIE #44
    THE PULSE #13, 14
    QUASAR #32-36
    THE THING (1983) #2, 10, 19, 23
    ULTIMATE ADVENTURES #1-6
    ULTIMATE DAREDEVIL AND ELEKTRA #2-4
    UNION JACK (1998) #1-3
    WARLOCK AND THE INFINITY WATCH #7-10
    WONDER MAN #7-9
    X-MAN #18, 19, 53, 54, 59, 63
    X-MAN ANNUAL #1
    DAREDEVIL: LOVE AND WAR #1
    EXCALIBUR #22-27
    FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1
    HUMAN TORCH (1940) #6-8, 36-38
    LEGION OF MONSTERS: WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #1
    MARVEL ILLUSTRATED: THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK #5, 6
    MARVEL ILLUSTRATED: LAST OF THE MOHICANS #4-6
    MARVEL ILLUSTRATED: TREASURE ISLAND #5, 6
    ONSLAUGHT REBORN #4, 5
    PENANCE: RELENTLESS #4, 5
    SILENT WAR #5, 6
    SILVER SURFER: REQUIEM #3, 4
    WILD THING #0-5
    X-FORCE #57, 58, 102, 103, 105-109
    X-MEN #53-57, 96-98
    ELEKTRA (2001) #10-15
    AVENGERS WEST COAST #51-62
    ALL-WINNERS COMICS #10, 11
    AVENGERS #76-79
    CABLE (1993) #2, 3
    CLANDESTINE #1-8
    INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #6
    KITTY PRYDE AND WOLVERINE #2-6
    LONGSHOT #2-6
    MARVEL BOY #3-6
    MARVEL ILLUSTRATED: MOBY DICK #6
    MARVEL ILLUSTRATED: PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY #4-6
    MARVEL MYSTERY COMICS #10-12
    NEW MUTANTS ANNUAL #1
    NEW WARRIORS (2007) #12, 13
    ROCKET RACCOON #2-4
    SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS #14-20
    SILVER SURFER: IN THY NAME #3,4
    WARLOCK AND THE INFINITY WATCH #18, 19
    X-FACTOR #88, 89, 125
    AMAZING ADVENTURES #12-17
    CABLE: BLOOD & METAL #1, 2
    MAGIK #1-4
    ONSLAUGHT: EPILOGUE #1
    THE LAST AVENGERS STORY #2
    WARLOCK CHRONICLES #1, 2

  10. #30
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    Here's what I read in the month of October on the Marvel Digital website:


    Astonishing Tales: The Thing (one-shot): One of the "online exclusives" that Marvel's put out, this one's rather forgetable. The story features an old villain from the 70's issues of Marvel Team-Up stopping by and apologizing to the Thing for attacking him and the Fantastic Four back in the day. For this type of story to work, I think you need to use a villain that people actually might remember. I've never heard of the writer/artist either, so this looks like someone's submission to Marvel comics that Marvel opted to make an "online exclusive" out of it. Grade: C


    Black Panther (1998) #1-5: I went a bit "old school" with this one, but this is one of the first comics I remember thinking "Sounds cool, and I'd like to collect it, but my subscription stack is large enough as it is." This was one of the first "Marvel Knights" comics that Joe Quesada started up (along with the "Marvel Knights" Daredevil that Bendis later made awesome) which eventually leading to him having enough Editor props to be awarded 'Editor-In-Chief', so I consider it somewhat of a milestone.

    Anyway, it's a good comic, though not a spectacular one. It's the title that made Christopher Priest a popular writer for a while, and the art by Mark Texeira is always a plus. It's also quite a bit different from the 2005 Black Panther written by Hudlin. This story arc revolves around a coup in Wakanda started by Mephisto (of all the villains to use), and ends with the new status quo of the Panther living in New York City in exile. In Hudlin's version of Wakanda later on, the nation is impossible to conquer, from within or without, (placing the whole nation on a pedestial a bit too high, I think). This is different, though, so I plan on continuing to read issues of this title. Grade: B+


    Ms. Marvel #1-5: Another title that I was vaguely interested in but passed over because I just wasn't quite sold on the concept. Brian Reed is an uninspired writer, if this is any indication of his work (perhaps he gets better?) but the plot revolves around Ms. Marvel wanting to prove she's the best superhero out there. That's "Booster Gold" territory, and the DC title does a lot better job with that type of storyline. Most unforgivable is the wiping out of a town in Georgia (3,000 people dead) when Ms. Marvel fails to stop the villain. Okay, that could be a "deep moment" for the character; the unforgivable moment comes when she doesn't dwelve very long on the horrific consequences of what happened, and the national media doesn't really blink an eye at the loss of 3,000 lives (instead, right around this exact same time "Civil War #1" was coming out, and apparently the media is outraged over 600 dead in Stanford, CT). It's times like these that the logic of the Marvel Universe starts to break down.

    I might keep reading to see if it gets better, but if it gets worse...Grade: C-


    Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #1-4: This one's noteworthy for being Mike Wieringo's last work for Marvel before his untimely demise, and shows why he was a master of storytelling. It's a fun, lighthearted story written by Jeff Parker, featuring an alien invasion of Earth that didn't take 8 issues and multiple tie-ins to tell the story (I'm looking at you "Secret Invasion"). In fact, this was published during the midst of Civil War, if I recall, and was somewhat of a protest against the Civil War affecting every Marvel title at the time. The title of the story inside the book is "Silver Age", and this is a good throwback to the Silver Age goodness of Marvel. Grade: A


    X-Force: Ain't No Dog (one-shot): I was all pumped up to read this one because of Jason Aaron writing it, but Aaron is the writer of the short back-up story featuring Warpath (which turns out to be sadly forgettable). The main story is yet another Wolverine solo-story, featuring Wolverine allowing himself to fall into a trap set by the Purifiers (and it's a little too gory for it's own good). Speaking of the Purifiers, is it me, or are too many of the Purifiers that are shown in the Warpath story depicted as "blond haired, blue eyed" (when the whole point of the Church of the Purifiers is that it has members from all races of mankind, all united in their hatred of mutants)? Could've been a whole lot better. Grade: C-


    X-Men Forever #1: AKA "What if Chris Claremont Never Left the X-Men". I once had a friend who said that the Marvel universe turned to crap with X-Force #1. Another similarly minded friend said that for him, the Marvel Universe ended with Chris Claremont's last issue of his 17 year run: X-Men (1991) #3. As for myself, I realize now I'm more in love with the costumes and the personalities of the X-Men heroes from this era, not necessarily with the return Chris Claremont's writing (though it's not bad). This would be better if Claremont was forced to recognize other events of the 90's Marvel Universe: I take it in the "Claremont-verse", there would be no Onslaught, which would lead to no Heroes Reborn...meaning the Avengers and Spider-Man corners of Marvel would continue to deteriorate (more teenage Tony, Clone Saga probably drags further on...) I'd like to see Claremont touch upon that, but that's not really his prerogative. Still, it's fun for those fans nostalgic about this era of the X-Men, and I think I'll keep reading. Grade: B-


    X-Men: Original Sin (one-shot): Part 1 of a crossover between the "X-Men Legacy" and "Wolverine: Origins" titles. I'll have more to say upon finishing up the rest of the crossover, but this is a good start, and shows Daken (Wolverine's son) has potential as a character after all. Either Daniel Way's writing is improving or it helps to have Mike Carey co-writing this one. This is what eventually leads to Daken joining the "Dark Avengers", I suspect, but the story so far explores Professor X's early encounters with Wolverine (around the time of Giant Size X-Men #1). As we've seen in "Wolverine: Origins" before now, Logan could be a real monster before joining the X-Men, and this story will hopefully show what Professor X had to go through to "deprogram" our hero Wolvie. A good start, at any rate. Grade: A-

  11. #31
    Xurk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderfly View Post


    Ms. Marvel #1-5: Another title that I was vaguely interested in but passed over because I just wasn't quite sold on the concept. Brian Reed is an uninspired writer, if this is any indication of his work (perhaps he gets better?) but the plot revolves around Ms. Marvel wanting to prove she's the best superhero out there. That's "Booster Gold" territory, and the DC title does a lot better job with that type of storyline. Most unforgivable is the wiping out of a town in Georgia (3,000 people dead) when Ms. Marvel fails to stop the villain. Okay, that could be a "deep moment" for the character; the unforgivable moment comes when she doesn't dwelve very long on the horrific consequences of what happened, and the national media doesn't really blink an eye at the loss of 3,000 lives (instead, right around this exact same time "Civil War #1" was coming out, and apparently the media is outraged over 600 dead in Stanford, CT). It's times like these that the logic of the Marvel Universe starts to break down.

    I might keep reading to see if it gets better, but if it gets worse...Grade: C-
    I think I read the first two issues way back when they first came out - which was just after "House of M" had been wrapped up and indeed, "Civil War" was just kicking off. I had never really invested anything in her character before that and just barely knew who she was... most of what I knew was from the Rogue origin episode in "X-Men: TAS"!
    Seeing as in "House of M", her wish had been to be this great super-heroine and apparently, she hadn't been for a while, my interest was piqued. But there wasn't that anything special going on in those first few issues so that interest faded quickly. I can also remember the monologue being presented as from her diary, with all references to "House of M" being crossed out... did that ever go anywhere?


    Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #1-4: This one's noteworthy for being Mike Wieringo's last work for Marvel before his untimely demise, and shows why he was a master of storytelling. It's a fun, lighthearted story written by Jeff Parker, featuring an alien invasion of Earth that didn't take 8 issues and multiple tie-ins to tell the story (I'm looking at you "Secret Invasion"). In fact, this was published during the midst of Civil War, if I recall, and was somewhat of a protest against the Civil War affecting every Marvel title at the time. The title of the story inside the book is "Silver Age", and this is a good throwback to the Silver Age goodness of Marvel. Grade: A
    I agree - this was an entertaining read! The story wasn't stellar but it felt like classic Spidey and kept it fun with a serious note here and there [instead of going all grim and gritty]. And of course, with great artwork. It's such a shame that 'Ringo can't share his beautiful work with us anymore...

    Anton Chigurh
    : What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss? - No Country For Old Men

  12. #32
    Ed Liu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderfly View Post
    Black Panther (1998) #1-5: I went a bit "old school" with this one, but this is one of the first comics I remember thinking "Sounds cool, and I'd like to collect it, but my subscription stack is large enough as it is."
    < S N I P >
    The Priest BP run gets more interesting as it goes on, and the political aspects get tied in with the superheroing aspects of it. However, I still don't know that I was as impressed with it as I wanted to be.

    After reading the first Hudlin BP trade, I've pretty much concluded that Hudlin is writing BP like "Batman as head of state" which isn't any better or worse of an approach as any of the casually omnipotent Batman stories that are out there. I just think Hudlin's a bit too heavy-handed as a writer about the whole thing, and I'd say the same thing about a lot of Batman stories, too.

    Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four #1-4: This one's noteworthy for being Mike Wieringo's last work for Marvel before his untimely demise, and shows why he was a master of storytelling. It's a fun, lighthearted story written by Jeff Parker, featuring an alien invasion of Earth that didn't take 8 issues and multiple tie-ins to tell the story (I'm looking at you "Secret Invasion"). In fact, this was published during the midst of Civil War, if I recall, and was somewhat of a protest against the Civil War affecting every Marvel title at the time. The title of the story inside the book is "Silver Age", and this is a good throwback to the Silver Age goodness of Marvel. Grade: A
    Actually, I think the title of this was "Silver Rage," which is one of those neat puns that works both within the context of the story and as a meta-commentary on the state of comics at the time. I wasn't as impressed with this as I wanted to be -- I think both artists have done better work -- but it is something I'm keeping as 'Ringo's last published comics work.
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  13. #33
    Chaos Yoshi Mage's Avatar
    Chaos Yoshi Mage is offline The Lonely Raven
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    Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited

    I didn't see a thread for this and thought about posting this in the "What Do You Reccomend?" thread, but decided to do one by itself. So, I've been thinking about getting a one year subscription to this after looking at how great of a deal it is. Honestly, the amount of cash I've been spending on Comixology sales would probably add up to the subscription in the last month alone. You can only read them in an internet browser though, but for $60 you can read over 10,000 comics.

    There's a ton of stuff I've been wanting to read on there like nearly all of Ultimate Spider-Man, Runaways, and a ton of miniseries and the like. As well as stuff that I'm mildly curious about, but don't want to just go out and buy like Deadpool books and The Ultimates. I tried a preview and it ran well enough with my internet connection and Chrome. Much better than other services like Viz's Manga Reader and about on par with Comixology. I've been reading a lot of comics at work on break though on my Kindle Fire so it's a shame I can't do that, but still there's so much available on this.

    The only real qualm I see with it is that some runs have gaps in them, some are huge, and some are just an issue. I guess they want you to have to track down a missing issue, but there's enough content to last we awhile without running into that as a problem. I've been wondering if comics ever get removed from the service and how often that is. Can anybody who has the service vouch for it?
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  14. #34
    Jin Kazama's Avatar
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    I just wanted to chime in and say that if this stays about the service itself, cool. But if it starts going into "well, what should I buy on it?", then it needs to go into the recommendations thread.
    Last Read: Spider-Men
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  15. #35
    Chaos Yoshi Mage's Avatar
    Chaos Yoshi Mage is offline The Lonely Raven
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jin Kazama View Post
    I just wanted to chime in and say that if this stays about the service itself, cool. But if it starts going into "well, what should I buy on it?", then it needs to go into the recommendations thread.
    Well, since you don't "buy" anything on it, then we should be good. Assuming that actual discussion about the service starts. It's basically like Netflix Instant for Marvel comics. I was wondering if anyone here had used it before a bite the bullet and pay the $60 for a yearly subscription.
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  16. #36
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos Yoshi Mage
    I didn't see a thread for this-
    Threads merged!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos Yoshi Mage
    The only real qualm I see with it is that some runs have gaps in them, some are huge, and some are just an issue. I guess they want you to have to track down a missing issue, but there's enough content to last we awhile without running into that as a problem. I've been wondering if comics ever get removed from the service and how often that is. Can anybody who has the service vouch for it?
    As someone who's had the service for 3 years now, I can certainly vouch for it! "New" comics get added 6 to 12 months after they debut in print, but they occasionally leave gaps in current series (I guess to encourage reading the paper versions). So while that can be frustrating, given enough time, they will add entire runs of books that definitely make it worth your while. Plus, since the start of the Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, they've always had the entire run of 1960's Marvel Comics. So that's awesome in and of itself.

    But there's hidden gems like "Tomb of Dracula" on there, classic storylines from the "All New, All Different" era of Uncanny X-Men, and it's just a great deal all around! If I wasn't so flooded reading new comics (the paper versions) then I'd read the Marvel DCU more often!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jin Kazama
    I just wanted to chime in and say that if this stays about the service itself, cool. But if it starts going into "well, what should I buy on it?", then it needs to go into the recommendations thread.
    Once you buy it, you get access to over 7,000 comics, so it's not a matter of buying anything else beyond the subscription to the website.

  17. #37
    Chaos Yoshi Mage's Avatar
    Chaos Yoshi Mage is offline The Lonely Raven
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    Awesome! Thanks! I really did look for the old thread as I assumed there was one. I can never seem to get Toonzone's search functions to work right. Anyway, I'll probably get this on Friday as it seems well worth it. I would've got it last week while it was on sale, but I didn't have the money. This'll definitely cut down on my impulse Comixology buys, although now I have a slight buyer's remorse for buying issues of New Avengers and Avengers Academy this week that are on the service.

    Speaking of old runs, if you can, can you tell if you know if all the issues of some certain runs are on the service? I'm not an expert so I don't even no which issues make up the stuff I'm looking for, specifically, I'd like to know if Ed Brubaker's recent Captain America stuff is all there, Chris Claremont's X-Men (You mentioned they had some of it, so I'm curious if they're missing anything), oh and some storylines like The Infinity Gauntlet Saga and the first Kree-Skrull War. This looks to be an amazing way for me to get into this stuff as I've wanted to for years, but now even more so after all the superhero cartoons and movies I've come to enjoy. Plus, I've actually been reading more and more comics lately.

    So, wonderfly, do comics ever get removed from the service? Ask because it would be a shame for me to read up to, like Issue 67 of Ultimate Spider-Man and then the next dozen are removed.
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  18. #38
    wonderfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos Yoshi Mage
    Speaking of old runs, if you can, can you tell if you know if all the issues of some certain runs are on the service? I'm not an expert so I don't even no which issues make up the stuff I'm looking for, specifically, I'd like to know if Ed Brubaker's recent Captain America stuff is all there, Chris Claremont's X-Men (You mentioned they had some of it, so I'm curious if they're missing anything), oh and some storylines like The Infinity Gauntlet Saga and the first Kree-Skrull War. This looks to be an amazing way for me to get into this stuff as I've wanted to for years, but now even more so after all the superhero cartoons and movies I've come to enjoy. Plus, I've actually been reading more and more comics lately.
    I'm going off memory here (since I can't access the Marvel website at work) but I BELIEVE they had the entire Ed Brubaker run on Captain America, from Issue #1 to 50 (and then they renumber it back to Issue #600, and they start to get spotty after that). Can double check when I get home this evening, if needed.

    Chris Claremont's run on X-Men lasted 17 years, so no, it's not all on there. What I was referring to was that they had the entire CLASSIC era of Uncanny X-Men on there, from "Giant Size X-Men #1/ X-Men #94" (from 1975) to the end of the Chris Claremont/John Bryne years, around Uncanny X-Men #143 (from 1981). And probably more than that, but I'll just have to review later.

    I'll have to check on Infinity Gauntlet, but I can vouch that the entire Kree/Skrull War from Avengers is on there (having read most of it myself)!


    So, wonderfly, do comics ever get removed from the service? Ask because it would be a shame for me to read up to, like Issue 67 of Ultimate Spider-Man and then the next dozen are removed.
    No, they are always adding, never removing. The wouldn't remove Ultimate Spider-Man Issue #68 and onward, it's more that you may have to wait for them to get around to adding newer issues of Ultimate Spider-Man.

  19. #39
    Chaos Yoshi Mage's Avatar
    Chaos Yoshi Mage is offline The Lonely Raven
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    Thanks! I can check for myself sometime, I just don't know the numbers that make up some of these runs and stuff. Nice to know stuff never gets removed.
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  20. #40
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    Hope people will see this. You can get a free month of this service by "liking" a Red Baron Pizza Facebook site.

    http://www.facebook.com/redbaronpizza

    Click the link that says "Free Marvel Comics."
    Here's the deal, I'm the best there is. I wake up in the morning and I urinate excellence. And nobody can hang with my stuff. I'm just a big hairy American winning machine.

    I'm very humble, too.

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