The Marvel iPhone and iPad application was launched earlier this year to coincide with the release of the new Apple personal media revolution, the iPad. It was a canny business move as it made the news (or at least the news I read) and it seems to have taken off relatively well with word of mouth spreading (or at least the mouths I hear from).
There are free comics in the Free comics column and you want to know which ones I got? Ha, trick question. I downloaded them all. Wouldn’t you? Let’s roll off the titles quickly, Amazing Spider-Man #546 (first issue of Brand New Day), Astonishing X-Men #1, Captain America #1, Fantastic Four #570, Hulk #1, Invincible Iron Man #1, New Avengers #1, Runaways #1, Super Hero Squad #1, Thor #1, and the first issue of Claremont and Miller’s Wolverine.
It appears that the previous comics mentioned have now all been taken off the free list. To enjoy them you'd have to pony up some of your own cash, which is kind of fair enough. If you missed out, sure, it sucks a little, but it's nice that Marvel even consider throwing out free content, even if it is just older stuff. But you don't have to despair and turn away from the application. There are new free comics in their place and the section has been updated a few times over the past month or so.
The other week they updated the free catalogue and I’ve just gotten my digital hands on an issue of the Black Widow Saga, and three Iron Man issues from various years, including work from Bob Layton and Joe Casey. At first, I thought Marvel were only going to dangle the lure of those first few issues they had up, and that would have been fair enough, but now that they’re offering more I feel more inclined to come to the party. I feel it is only fair to buy a few issues and complete a few of the runs I’ve started for free, or even a few runs that I locate of interest elsewhere in the app. The price sees them come in well under trade prices, or I could simply sample first issues of runs and then get the trades from my LCS. Marvel are being good to me, I plan on returning the favour.
They have also added the first Garth Ennis issue of Ghost Rider this week, as well as some X-Men and New X-Men, which I have never read, so they seem committed to bringing us new content to lure in readers, and more importantly buyers. I'll be interested to keep an eye on the Free section of this app and see what slowly makes the grade.