Onward into the digital age with Marvel Comics... if a little slowly.
Source: Bleeding Cool
Bleeding Cool's Rich Johnston, one of the nominees for Outhouse Comics Industrialist of the Year, has noticed that Marvel has begun offering it's Digital Comics Unlimited service, a Netflix-like program for comics that allows the reader to pay a monthly fee for access to over 10,000 digital comics, on iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The program did not work on iOS before because it was built using Flash, an archaic multimedia web platform invented by cavemen back in the dark ages of the 1990s, which is not compatible with Apple's operating system.
"It's very difficult to convert your apps from Flash to the more modern HTML5," said Doctor Doom, Marvel's executive vice president of web development and black magick. "But not too difficult for one such as Doom!"
As the beta launched this weekend, thousands of Marvel's web servers worked in overtime, with the hamsters that power them running at fast as they could in their hamster wheels to meet the demand. As a contingency plan, Marvel had a staff of witch doctors on hand, prepared to perform special Flash dances to win favor with the Adobe gods in case the mysterious HTML5 version failed and Marvel had to revert back to Flash.
"One never knows," explained Doom, clutching his fist. "At any time, the whole system could fail, causing app to revert to the Flash version, and the dreaded popup to appear magically on the reader's system, informing them that the comic they are trying to read cannot be accessed because their browser is running an incompatible version of the Flash plugin. At that point, the reader has no choice but to give up, or venture into the dark dimension of Adobe's plugin installation website, which is populated by an infinite number of versions of the plugin. There's no way to tell which one you need to install, and your soul is cursed to wander the dimension for all eternity."
Despite the dangers, Marvel's move toward making its subscription service available on iOS devices is a crucial step in giving customers the freedom to access digital comics on their preferred devices, and The Outhouse commends them for doing it. As for retailer concerns that the availability of digital comics will destroy the direct market, Doom says not to worry.
"While the program technically works on iOS, we've taken every precaution to ensure that the controls are clunky and unresponsive, rendering it functionally unusable," he told us. "Doom shall sprawl on his throne and laugh at the readers as they try unsuccessfully to enjoy reading a comic on the platform!"
"Bwahahahahaha!" he added.
Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited is available for $4.99 a month. Find out more here.