Marvel is constantly working on ways to further embrace the digital evolution of comics without freaking out retailers. Earlier this month at New York Comic-Con, The House of Ideas announced that the premiere issue of the new series Avenging Spider-Man will come with a code for a free digital copy of the comic. The overwhelming popularity of the program in pre-orders has now inspired Marvel to go ahead and offer the codes for the entire first arc of the series. This means that issues 1, 2, and 3 of the series will be polybagged with a code for a digital copy of the issue.
“At New York Comic Con we heard from fans and retailers that this was the most exciting digital comics move of the year because of the added value it gives every copy of Avenging Spider-Man,” said David Gabriel, Marvel SVP of Sales. “Based on initial orders of over 100,000 units for the first issue””and the steady increase in orders since we’ve begun promotion on this plan””we knew that including a code for a free digital copy in future issues of Avenging Spider-Man not only excites our retailers, but incentivizes fans to come into stores for one of the year’s hottest new releases. It’s a win-win for everyone with no extra cost to readers and an increased revenue share for retailers.”
Avenging Spider-Man is an all-new series coming from the creative team of Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira. The first issue hits store shelves in November.
It seems that this program would be most appealing to hardcore comic book collectors because they can buy the paper version, store it, and read the digital version via their preferred method. Are there that many actual collectors still out there? Most of us just buy the comics for reading these days rather than collecting. The program is obviously popular with retailers because they are selling books and are still involved in the digital initiative. Digital copies are appealing to many readers because they can avoid the storage problems that are inherent with the paper versions. Do these readers really want to buy paper copies? Also, will they feel ripped off if they pay the same price for the comic on the Marvel Comics app, but not get the bonus of the digital copy? It makes sense to sell the standalone digital copy a little cheaper, but that’s definitely not going to happen.
In anticipation of the upcoming experiment, we have some images from Avenging Spider-Man to get you excited!