“Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen our stories read tens of millions of times on Marvel Unlimited, and we’ve seen a rising number of fans now looking to dive into more of their favorite stories featuring Spider-Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, the X-Men, and more,” said Jessica Malloy, VP of Marketing, Marvel New Media in a statement. “This expansion for Marvel Unlimited delivers exactly that: fans can now read more of their favorite comics sooner! No other service can provide this kind of value and access to so many Marvel comics in one place. We’re thrilled to now be able to offer even more to readers.”
This shakeup comes at an ideal time for subscribers. Because Marvel’s primary distributor Diamond Comics temporarily halted new deliveries during the COVID-19 pandemic, Marvel Unlimited subscribers seemed about to face several months with no new books being added to the library. Adjusting the schedule allows Marvel to skip right over that new release dead zone and continue weekly content updates. But to be clear, IGN confirmed with Marvel that the three-month release schedule is a permanent change going forward, not a temporary response to that gap in publishing.
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This move may also be intended to help Marvel Unlimited remain competitive with the DC Universe app. DC Universe is currently priced at $7.99 a month versus Marvel Unlimited’s $9.99 price tag, but DC currently still follows a six-month release window for its comic library. Recently we learned all of DC Universe’s original series will be migrating to HBO Max, and DC will relaunch the subscription service as the comic-focused DC Universe Infinite in January 2021. It remains to be seen if DC will follow Marvel’s example and accelerate its digital comics timetable.
Comic readers have a third option for a digital comics subscription service in the form of ComiXology Unlimited. Check out IGN’s ComiXology Unlimited review to see how that service compares to Marvel Unlimited and DC Universe.
Jesse is a mild-mannered staff writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter.