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Marvel Comic Vault Opens Online

For the first time ever, Marvel Comics is making its comic book vault available via its new online subscription service Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.

Curated by Marvel editors, the digital comic Internet destination allows access to thousands of titles from Marvel's historic comic book archives. The site presents each digital comic in the highest resolution ever available and offers innovative viewing options, user-friendly search and recommendation features, and personalized reading-list tools. Accessible by both PC and Mac users directly through as well as via the homepage, Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited will have subscription rates as low as $4.99/month. Also, for a limited time only, Marvel will offer audiences the opportunity to experience Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited at no cost, with a special free sampling of 250 titles.

"We are truly excited to be able to present in one location such an expansive treasure trove of Marvel Comics' favorites to a mass market audience. We wanted to make sure we presented a site that would set the standard in digital comics and offer readers an affordable way to experience our vast archive of content," said Dan Buckley, President, Marvel Publishing. "With Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, we believe we have built a state-of-the-art online destination that will not only engage comic book readers of all ages, but also serve as the ultimate complement to our primary comic hobby market print business through which all new Marvel Comics monthly titles will continue to be released before their availability in digital format."

At launch, Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited offers more than 2,500 comic books. Each week, Marvel will add at least 20 additional titles to the site, based on editors' picks and subscriber requests. The initial offerings will run the gamut from unforgettable classics, to current favorites, to titles designed for young readers.

Selected highlights include:* The first 100 issues of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN* The first 100 issues of THE FANTASTIC FOUR* The initial 66 issue run of UNCANNY X-MEN* The first 50 issues of THE AVENGERS* The issues marking the first appearances of Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Wolverine, Thor, Daredevil, and Silver Surfer* The issues marking the first appearance of such villains as Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Lizard, and Dr. Doom* The issue that showcased the first appearance of Spider-Man's black costume* Joss Whedon's ASTONISHING X-MEN* Selected titles from the Ultimate line including: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, ULTIMATE X-MEN, ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR and THE ULTIMATES* THE HOUSE OF M* AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (recent issues)* NEW AVENGERS* YOUNG AVENGERS* RUNAWAYS* MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN* SPIDER-GIRL* SPIDER-MAN & POWER PACK* MARVEL ADVENTURES AVENGERS* MARVEL ADVENTURES FANTASTIC FOUR* FRANKLIN RICHARDS: SON OF A GENIUS

For each Marvel digital comic, the company has gone back to the original source material and optimized it for the web by re-coloring and re-digitizing select content.

Additionally, Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited will offer three distinct viewing modes. Subscribers will be able to read the books in traditional single- and double-page formats. Additionally, Marvel has developed a patent-pending "Smart Panel" viewing feature. In this mode, viewers will be taken panel-by-panel through the comic book in a smooth progression.

Readers can search in a variety of ways, including by character, creator (writer and illustrator), specific book title, mini-series, and date of publication.

The site's recommendation engine will also provide subscribers with top selections based on member feedback and ratings. Additionally, subscribers will be able to customize their experience by building personal reading lists that can be shared with other members.

For more information, visit

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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