When I got a tablet for Christmas, I signed up for Marvel Unlimited. My first couple forays into the library were relatively self-contained. I read what I hadn't picked up of Jonathan Hickman's Fantastic Four (which became FF, and then later the two titles ran concurrently, so I alternated reading them). Then I read what's there so far of James Robinson's Invaders series -- which is pretty much entirely self-contained, as long as I didn't feel sucked in to reading Original Sins and just took the premise of the crossover issues at face value. (They read fine that way.)
But next, I decided to read Guardians of the Galaxy. And, toward the end of its first year, it crosses over with All-New X-men. Which is fine; I'd planned to read that too, eventually. So I started catching up on that before continuing.
But now I've read 15 issues of All-New X-Men -- a really fun series, btw -- and now the Battle of the Atom crossover is at hand. I've decided to go back and read Bendis's Uncanny X-Men issues that lead up to it (another 12 issues), and maybe the Brian Wood X-Men issues that lead up to it, too. Another 3 or 4. Plus the two Battle of the Atom bookend issues. Then it's back to All-New X-Men for another 10 issues or so before I can finally get back to Guardians of the Galaxy, which I was reading in the first place!
Then again...I'm actually enjoying All-New X-Men more. Which is astonishing for a non-mutant fan like me to admit, but I've never been the biggest fan of Marvel's space stories, either. I just like talking raccoons.
So there you have it! Down the rabbit hole I go, for a whole ton of reading, all for one annual charge that looks more and more reasonable every day.
Has anyone else gone down a similar rabbit hole?
Only for the last 40 years or so, Rob! :)
How much is the annual fee?
It's $70 a year -- $100 if it includes some upgrades I'm not interested in. There's a monthly plan to try it out, too; that runs $10.
But for that money, you've got access to tons of comics from Marvel's history, up through about 6 months ago. (The most recent comics on there the last time I looked were dated 9/24/2014.) It's a great way to follow books that you wouldn't otherwise read, or catch up on previous events in the MU. There's no "guided view" like on Comixology, though, so it helps to have a tablet to make reading easy.
But I have to say, it makes my comic-shop buying a lot easier. I'm only getting a handful of Marvel books right now, and as their creative teams fall by the wayside, I'll drop them, too, most likely. I have plenty of patience, and with this, I feel more connected to the Marvel Universe than I have in years -- albeit with a 6-month lag.
Since I've been tradewaiting, I've got much the same lag, plus I buy a lot less and feel the un-connectedness you refer to. Maybe I should go Unlimited, too.
I've been using the Marvel Unlimited subscription for a few years now. The lag is no big deal. As Cap said, if you're used to trade waiting, it's about the same time frame.
And you have access to more Marvel comics than you could ever read!
Man, the money I would save... You have me pretty curious.
Maybe if they get around to adding the Timely and Atlas stuff some day.
I think Marvel Unlimited is a great system. Great value.
I've read non-Marvel books via Comixology, like Prophet and Red Sonia, that I then wished that I'd got in hardcopy as they are very rereadable and possible to lose yourself in.
Most of Marvel's output, I find, however is good for a single read and then on to the next one in the run. The story on the surface and the calls backward to old plot points and forwards to upcoming storylines are the main sells. There's also a little downside to reading on a tablet. You lose something, or it doesn't sink in quite. Gillen's Journey into Mystery means more to me than the new Loki comic, for instance, partly I suspect, because I read and reread the former in floppy format and the latter on Marvel Unlimited.
Those preferences and notions aside, I loved following Avengers Academy (which picked up some threads from Avengers Initiative) through to Avengers Arena and on to Avengers Undercover all via Marvel Unlimited. The characters are engaging and the writers give us full stories, rather than just place-holders to keep the franchise going.
Deadly Foes of Spider-man, and Warren Ellis' Moon-Knight are other great series, for different reasons. All good series, but only at the Unlimited price, I'd contend. Ellis Moon-Knight is excellent, high quality comics crafting, but lots of it is word-free so very short reads, and hard to justify spending top dollar on. Hopefully the income from Marvel Unlimited can allow Marvel to continue green-lighting series that aren''t going to be huge obvious draws, but that will have an 'afterlife' in their Unlimited catalogue.
Part of my feeling that I'm missing something is that I probably am, since I read Marvel's entire output until 2010, when I began cutting back sharply. Buying trades, I make trade-offs; I may buy one series and not another, when both feed into a third. The Unlimited approach would make reading them all for essentially the same price.
OTOH, I wouldn't own anything tangible for the expenditure, which would give me a sad.
I couldn't think of anything more depressing than following Marvel's central Bendis-verse from event to event. Those are really geared towards a certain fanboy market and not my thing. But if I had to follow them (or wanted to, rather) Unlimited is the way to go. They are largely editorially-mandated comics where the biggest draw is where they are taking the universe and the brands, rather than what is happeing in each comic, by my understanding. So the cheap and cheerful once-over that Unlimited offers is probably the best way to read them.
(I've tried to read the Original Sins storyline as it tied into Loki, but my heart kept sinking.)
I signed up to Marvel Unlimited early last year, so I think my sub is about to run out if it hasn't already. I think I'll wait a few months to sign up again, because reading the series I've caught up with in choppy 22 page installments isn't really working for me. When I sign up again, I'll have fistfuls of comics in each of the series I'm following to read at a time!
(this comment x-posted with Cap's by the way. Not a response to his.)
I only want tangible when it's a high quality object that I may read again and again or pass on to friends. I do find that e-comics don't quite 'sink-in' somehow. It's hard to explain! Maybe it's something to do with the 'flick-through' effect that hard copies give you, where you can dig all of one in a few seconds if you've read it before...
Comics being a bit more costly here in Australia may be influencing my views...
I'm here in the United States, and I'm thinking of moving over to Discount Comic Book Service, Figs! I just try to read too many comics. If I was paying even more for my comics, I think I'd be proportionately more picky.
Yeah, they're not cheap anywhere. Can't imagine how I'd do it overseas. Does Comixology charge you the local cover price, or the US cover price, Figs?