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The Trouble (for me) with Marvel’s Digital Comics


Wolverine: Japan's Most WantedI saw on Comixology last week that the premiere “issue” of the weekly Wolverine “Infinite Comic” was now available–having read about its upcoming release awhile back. I naturally “assumed” it was 99 cents, but didn’t feel like even paying that much at the time. A few days later–newest non-rent paycheck in my bank account, I thought to splurge and go ahead and give it a try, drawn back by a guilty “interest” in Batman ’66 #2…but was dismayed to see the price as $2.99.

Granted, this thing’s listed as having about 79 “pages,” but as an “infinite comic” designed for the Guided View technology, that reads as “79 screens” to me–where the only difference in one “page” might be a word balloon or caption box, not an actual, unique story-page in the sense I think of for a comic, so that $2.99 might–for all I know–be the equivalent of a 10-12 page story in a standard print comic.

So Marvel–and Comixology–lose out on my sale for this, given the price-point.

Additionally, I’ve several times found myself halfway interested in a new-ish Marvel comic that I maybe passed on at the comic shop(s) or otherwise would be likely to impulse-buy digitally, just to read because I’m in the mood “at the moment.” However, the digital comics being the same as the print comics for $2.99 issues, I’d just as soon have the print edition to read.

And for the $3.99 books…knowing that if I buy the print edition, I then–IN ADDITION for my same $3.99–also get access to a digital copy, I’m not ABOUT to spend $3.99 for a digital-only edition with no access to the print counterpart, so those “sales” are lost on me.

I just wind up sticking with the 99-cent sales, or half-off collected-volume sales where I may pay $3.99 but am getting at least as much if not significantly more content than I would paying $3.99 for a print Marvel comic (such as recent Star Trek volumes and Doctor Who volumes Comixology‘s offered for “special sales.”

DC–with their New 52–had dropped the price of the digital editions after a month (though sometime in the last year or so they bumped that two TWO months’ lag-time), whereas a look last night through some Marvel Now stuff (we’re what? 10 months into the Now age?) didn’t yield anything that I saw for under print editions’ cover pricing.

I look forward to the Monday and Friday “sales” specifically for the chance to get digital comics (when they’re ones I’m actually interested in) for the 99-cent price point…but I am not willing to–as a matter of course–spend “full print-edition cover-price” for a digital comic.

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