Marvel’s ‘Netflix for comicbooks’, Marvel Unlimited has been out in the U.K. for some time now. I was a subscriber at one time, but beyond Spider-Man and the X-Men I’ve never been a huge fan of Marvel’s characters. I’ve always been a DC man, but until recently keeping up with the stories was a fools errand. While I’m sure a lot goes into making them, it difficult to justify paying £4 for each issue, which is why I was really pleased to see that DC’s equivalent to Marvel’s offering, DC Universe Unlimited has finally launched in the U.K.
The service costs just over £35 a year, at launch, and you get access to thousands of past DC comics and collections. Newer comics will appear in the service 6 months after their initial release, which seems fair to me. If I’m completely honest I’ll likely only be following Batman and Detective Comics releases, but there are so many classic stories to enjoy as well, such as The Long Halloween and The Killing Joke etc. it will certainly keep me entertained for a year.
The app itself could do with a bit of work though, to be honest. While the reading experience is nice, especially on the always excellent iPad Mini, finding the things you want to read has been quite difficult. If you search for Batman, for example, it comes up with a huge amount of books. The characters main books are Batman and Detective Comics, but there are a load of one shot books there also and then there are runs of the aforementioned books that ran for a while and then stopped so it’s just a little tricky to just jump to the latest issue of the most popular character DC have. Looking up Superman or The Flash books is the same. Because it’s not a new service (it’s been in the US for years now) I don’t expect to see huge improvements on the way it works, however. Perhaps I’ll just get used to it. I’ve also not tried the web complement, which may well be a bit more user friendly.
As I said above, the reading experience is really nice on the iPad and the ‘print’ quality is very nice. You can flick through the pages like a normal e-reader but it also has a well done ‘guided’ mode which will move from panel to panel for a cleaner, more dynamic reading experience.
I don’t usually write these kind of ‘product X is finally out’ posts, but it launched yesterday with basically no promotion, as far as I saw, so I thought it was worth sharing. If you decide to sign up, happy Batman reading … ok, some other characters do exist, but we all know Batman’s the only one worth caring about.