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Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited

Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited

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Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited is an online
ONLINE is a magazine for information systems first published in 1977. The publisher Online, Inc. was founded the year before. In May 2002, Information Today, Inc. acquired the assets of Online Inc....

 service by Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics
Marvel Worldwide, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics and formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, is an American company that publishes comic books and related media...

 which distributes past issues of their comics
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 via the Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

. Launching on November 13, 2007, the service has thousands of issues in its archive.


Marvel first began releasing comics over the internet in 1996 with Marvel CyberComics
Marvel CyberComics
Marvel CyberComics or Webisodes were Shockwave comics, produced from 1996 to 2000 by Marvel Comics.-History:First CyberComics were created by Marvel in the summer of 1996 as a part of a promotional deal with America Online. The CyberComics were placed into the AOL/Marvel Zone and were exclusively...

. This was later replaced by DotComics under the tenure of Bill Jemas
Bill Jemas
Bill Jemas is an American media entrepreneur, writer and editor. He is a former vice president of Marvel Comics, and a founding partner at 360ep, a media management firm.-Early life:...

. This would grow to a size of dozens of comics by 2002, but would later be limited to a mere 12 comics by 2004.

Marvel Digital Comics was first announced in 2005 as a replacement to its DotComics, however it utilised the same flash based interface with only minor updates, while decreasing the comics available from 12 issues to 4 issues. At this time Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada
Joe Quesada
Joseph "Joe" Quesada is an American comic book editor, writer and artist. He became known in the 1990s for his work on various Valiant Comics books, such as Ninjak and Solar, Man of the Atom...

 speculated on the possibilities of adding animation to the comics, which would be realized in 2009 with the release of Spider-Woman
Spider-Woman is the codename of several fictional characters in comic books published by Marvel Comics.-Publication history:Marvel Comics' then-publisher Stan Lee, said in 1978, shortly after Spider-Woman's debut in Marvel Spotlight #32 Spider-Woman is the codename of several fictional characters...

 as a motion comic
Motion comic
A motion comic is a form of comics combining elements of print comic books and animation.-History:The earliest examples of motion comics are found in independent creations such as Broken Saints....


Marvel's Digital Comics only grew modestly, reaching over 24 comics in April, 2006 until finally it relaunched in November, 2007 as Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. Unlike earlier initiatives, Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited was a subscription service with over 2,500 comics available to subscribers, with new comics added on a weekly basis. A small portion of the library was made available for free in an attempt to entice viewers to subscribe to the service through either its monthly or yearly plans.

In response to fears from comic-sellers, Dan Buckley
Dan Buckley
Dan Buckley is the publisher of Marvel Comics and the chief operating officer of Marvel Entertainment's publishing division. -External links:...

 promised that there would be at least a 6 month delay from when a comic is published in print and when it is made available on Marvel's Digital Comics Unlimited. However Marvel Comics
Marvel Comics
Marvel Worldwide, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics and formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, is an American company that publishes comic books and related media...

 modified this policy 2008 with the release of Secret Invasion: Home Invasion. This was released online first as a tie-in with the Secret Invasion
Secret Invasion
"Secret Invasion" is a comic book crossover storyline that ran through a self-titled eight issue limited series and several tie-in books published by Marvel Comics from April through December 2008....

 event. Digital comic exclusives would be broadened to include non-event comics. The initial release of exclusives included a Fin Fang Four story by Scott Gray and Roger Langridge
Roger Langridge
Roger Langridge is a New Zealand-born comics writer/artist/letterer, currently living in Britain.-Biography:Langridge originally came to public prominence most notably with the Judge Dredd Megazine series The Straitjacket Fits , a surreal, hallucinatory, convention-bending strip set in an insane...

, Marvels Channel: Monsters, Myths and Marvels by Frank Tieri
Frank Tieri (comics)
Frank Tieri is an American comic book writer.-Career:At Marvel Tieri has written New Excalibur, Iron Man, Wolverine , Underworld, a post Avengers Disassembled Hercules mini-series, Wolverine/Darkness, X-Men: Dracula vs...

 and Juan Santacruz, "American Eagle: Just a Little Old-Fashioned Justice" by Jason Aaron
Jason Aaron
Jason Aaron is an American comic book writer, known for his work on titles such as The Other Side, Scalped, Ghost Rider, Wolverine and PunisherMAX.-Early life:Jason was born in Jasper, Alabama...

 and Kid Colt
Kid Colt
Kid Colt is the name of two fictional characters in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The first is a cowboy whose adventures have taken place in numerous western themed comic book series published by Marvel...

 by Tom DeFalco
Tom DeFalco
Tom DeFalco is an American comics writer and editor, well known for his association with Marvel Comics and in particular for his work with Spider-Man.-Career:...


On October 13, 2009 Marvel launched an upgraded version of the comic viewer, dubbed the Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited Reader 3.0. The new digital comics reader added a number of new features including full screen mode, thumbnails for all pages, and easier ways of finding books related to the one being read.

It then published a daily series of "lost" Captain America
Captain America
Captain America is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 , from Marvel Comics' 1940s predecessor, Timely Comics, and was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby...

comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

s that were actually modern creations written by Karl Kesel
Karl Kesel
Karl Kesel is an American comics writer and inker whose works have primarily been under contract for DC Comics...

. A three-part Galacta
Galacta is a fictional comic book character who appears in the Marvel Universe. She is the daughter of Galactus.-Publication history:Galacta first appeared in Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular #2 in June 2009, in a story written by Adam Warren...

 story was also published digitally following it winning the vote to see which was the most popular story in Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular.

Other Marvel digital comics outlets

In addition to its Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited initiative, Marvel began releasing digital comics for the iPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

 and iPod Touch
IPod Touch
The iPod Touch is a portable media player, personal digital assistant, handheld game console, and Wi-Fi mobile device designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The iPod Touch adds the multi-touch graphical user interface to the iPod line...

 through a number of retailers including Panelfly, Comixology
comiXology is a digital software and services media company that delivers comics and graphic novels through mobile applications and the Internet....

 and iVerse. Unlike Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, these comics are available for purchase as single issues. In addition it was announced in August, 2009 that Marvel's comics would be released for the PlayStation Portable
PlayStation Portable
The is a handheld game console manufactured and marketed by Sony Corporation Development of the console was announced during E3 2003, and it was unveiled on , 2004, at a Sony press conference before E3 2004...

 in December, 2009.


Rival comic book publisher DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

already has several methods for digital distribution of some of its comics, but none are as comprehensive as Marvel's Digital Comics Unlimited service.

External links