All Marvel $3.99 Will Include Free Digital Copies Starting in June

From Marvel.com:

Marvel is proud to announce that, beginning June 2012, all Marvel super hero comics priced at $3.99 will include codes for free digital copies of those same issues on the Marvel Comics app for iOS and Android devices at no extra cost! That’s right, the most-talked-about comics in the industry—including AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA, INVINCIBLE IRON MAN, THE MIGHTY THOR, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN and more—will come packed with a code to ensure fans have the most critically acclaimed stories with them anytime, anywhere.

“We’re committed to bringing fans the best value in comics. By including codes for free digital copies in all our $3.99 super hero comics, we’re doing just that” said David Gabriel, SVP of Sales, Marvel Entertainment. “We’ve seen a tremendous response to the digital codes in Avenging Spider-Man, our Season One graphic novels and the Ultimate Comics line. The positive reactions from both retailers and fans make it clear that including these codes with our books drives customers into comic stores on a repeated basis.”

Marvel made comic book history in 2011 by announcing all titles in the Ultimate Comics line would include codes for free digital copies on the Marvel Comics app, with unrivaled incentives for comic shop retailers. Then, in 2012, Marvel announced the acclaimed Season One graphic novels would also include similar codes making them the first graphic novels to ever include codes for free digital copies at no extra cost.

“At Marvel, we’re always looking for ways to bring the worlds of print and digital media together to deliver the best comics experience for our fans,” said Peter Phillips, SVP & GM, Marvel Digital Media. “With this next step, fans will soon be able to buy their comics from their favorite retailers but also enjoy them on their mobile devices and tablets, all at no extra charge. Welcome to the Revolution.”

Skitch Commentary: This is terrific news! I’ve been saying forever that Marvel had no real way to justify the elevated price tags on so many of their titles. At least Amazing Spider-Man used to have extra pages for back up stories. These days, Spider-Man comes out 3 times a month which costs the reader 12 bucks just to follow one title. The value just isn’t there for that (even though Spider-Man is a great comic).

Marvel throwing in a free digital copy definitely is cool. Especially since DC charges extra for their “deluxe editions with digital copies.”

My big concern about this is that it will result in purely digital readers being further screwed. Right now, for Marvel books we pay the same as cover price, with no price drop. This is a big part of the reason I read so few Marvel books.   I’d love to read Uncanny X-Men, but paying 4 bucks for another comic that comes out twice a month is too much for my budget.

At least the print readers will get a little extra something something for their 4 bucks, but digital readers are still getting the shaft!

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