Marvel is releasing 700 No. 1 Issues digitally including Amazing Spider-Man
Marvel Entertainment, home to the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and the Avengers, among others, is making more than 700 first issues available to digital readers.
It's the news to send a shiver down the spine of any real 'Comic Book Guy', the fictional proprietor of The Android's Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop in The Simpsons.
Marvel Entertainment, home to the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Avengers has made 700 first issues available to digital readers for free, through the Marvel app and the company's website in a project called 'Marvel #1'.
The issues are free today but from tomorrow, they will be sold for $1.99 to $3.99 per issue. Original first edition comics can be worth a fortune. In 2011, Nicolas Cage’s nearly-pristine copy of Action Comics No. 1, featuring the first appearance of Superman, sold for a record $2.1m in an online auction.
Marvel Entertainment have decided to feed the market for comic fans and make their No1 magazines available on tablets, laptops and smartphones. The titles range from the 1960s Silver Age to contemporary issues with characters including Wasp, Mr. Fantastic, Power Man and Iron Fist.
David Gabriel, senior vice-president of sales, said: "This is aimed at attracting fans from all walks of life — those who know our characters from the big screen, those who were readers but fell out of the habit and our long-term fans too. We believe that if we get those fans in the door, they'll stay and help grow this industry, with purchases both in comic stores and via digital comic outlets."
Marvel has gone through its catalogue of more than 13,000 titles that are already available digitally and picked out some prize No1 issues, including Amazing Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, and Fantastic Four by Lee and Jack Kirby. There are also modern titles such as Civil War, Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men.