rallamajoop: (Deadpool)

(Originally written for tumblr, posted here after it got a bit lengthy for that, with a trimmed down version over on tumblr itself)

So, the first comic I’ve had any real interest in rushing out to buy new in the last couple of years is coming out on the 20th October [insert obligatory Deadpool & Cable: Split Second plug here] as a ‘digital first series in Marvel’s Infinite Comics format’. Given that all my past experience with ‘digital comics’ has generally begun with either an ebay listing or a bittorrent link, that’s a lot of terms I haven’t really seen outside the odd X-Axis review. Now, however, I’ve got a title I want to see do well, and that means both buying it the minute it hits the stands and convincing as many others as possible to do the same. Obviously, this was my cue it was time to take one for the team here and investigate exactly what ‘digital first Marvel Infinite’ means, in terms of what they’re selling us and how.

Digital distribution channels have come a long way in the last few years, but can still be a little impenetrable to the newcomer – the release calendar on the Marvel website doesn’t even seem to cover digital-first releases, and that’s before you even get into comiXology versus the Marvel store or Marvel Infinite vs Marvel Unlimited versus a half-dozen other marginally different ways of selling you basically the same thing with a few different restrictions. What existing Internet guides I could find to this morass appear to consist largely of puff pieces or reviews of one particular service, frequently long out of date. Time to do some independent research.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve signed up for no less than three different distribution services, picked up as many free titles as were available, and spent roughly $12 USD. Time and effort were by far the greater expenditure, and that much I can share for free. What follows is a quick overview of your options for (legally) getting hold of a digital copy of a Marvel comic. Some of this will also apply to buying digital comics from DC or any other distributor, but I haven’t looked that far into finding out how non-Marvel-related alternatives compare. They’re out there, but not covered here.

Let’s start out with a quick glossary of a few key nouns.

comiXology: The main online distributor for digital comics. If you’re looking for a short answer to ‘how and where do I buy [comic title X]?’, this is what you’ll want. (more detail)

Marvel Store: Basically comiXology again, but with only Marvel comics available. Exists mostly for marketing reasons, not much to recommend it over the parent service. (more detail)

Marvel Unlimited: A library-like subscription-based service granting you unlimited access to a large back-catalogue of older comics for a flat $9.99 per month fee. Great for archive binges, not so great for access to new stuff. (more detail)

“Free” Digital Copies: Many Marvel print comics now come bundled with codes that will give you access to a complimentary digital copy for no extra charge. You’ll have to wait a couple of months to get hold of a digital-first issue this way, however.

Marvel Infinite: An imprint covering a subset of Marvel’s digital releases, specifically for comics written to take advantage of features that are only available in digital format. Unrelated to Marvel Unlimited, despite the names.

Guided View: Guided view is a reading option for digital comics which will take you panel-to-panel in a preset sequence, rather than just dumping the whole page on your screen at once. Nice when it works, just annoying when it doesn’t – fortunately, it’s usually possible to turn it off. Much of Marvel Infinite exists to make best use of these sorts of features.

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More detail on all of those under the cut )
rallamajoop: (Deadpool)
Cross-posted from tumblr (increasingly becoming my main fannish hangout these days) on the off chance anyone still hanging around this joint would like to squee with me about this

Reactions:

  1. HOLY SHIT so much metal arm porn *_*

  2. HOLY SHIT so much amazing action porn O_O

  3. this movie was like two hours of solid action porn. Who even directed this thing? they are to direct ALL THE MOVIES henceforth

  4. Did Chris Evans get hotter or is it just that the haircut and the new suit really really work for him? (note to self: conduct further research).

  5. I did not expect Falcon to be in the movie for solidly logical plot reasons instead of entirely gratuitous comic-canon-fodder excuses. This was an entirely welcome surprise.

  6. On a more serious note, what you need to understand about me going into this movie is that I am intimately familiar with Brubaker's Winter Soldier arc from his Captain America run, and I love it like I love few other non-Deadpool-starring things Marvel has ever given me. I went into this movie with expectations. The movie I got did not deliver the Winter Soldier arc I loved so much in the comics; instead, it was a few iconic WS moments pasted onto an entirely different story (where, alas, they did not entirely fit). The comic-version implications that WS had been pulled out of the freezer specially to fuck with Steve's head - the loss of the whole sequence where Steve reads through the intelligence report that spells out exactly who he's up against, all the glorious angsty goodness to follow - are absences I feel on a very deep and personal level. The lack of more than a couple of passing mentions of the Russian/Soviet connections missing from the new plotline, only a little less so. The movie very nearly made up for these losses by a) being completely fucking awesome, and b) promising me a completely unexpected ENTIRE SECOND ACT to follow. Nonetheless, my biggest complaint about Captain America: Winter Soldier is that it did not contain nearly as much Winter Soldier as I had been led to expect.

  7. The scene where we thought we were getting a surprise!badass old lady and instead got Natasha in a clever disguise was unanimously voted the movie's Biggest Disappointment in our post-showing debrief. So, basically right with you there, tumblr. It was still awesome, but it could've been awesomer

  8. did I mention that metal arm thing? Because damn. I was not quite expecting how well that would work for me.


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