Marvel Digital Comics

Men who read comic books don’t disgust women; it’s the piles and piles of white boxes and the empty wallet from shelling out hundreds of dollars a month that are a turn off. Marvel’s attempt to digitize comics isn’t new, but their updated Digital Comics Reader 3.0 has their efforts back in the spotlight. A Web-based system, the reader can access more than 7,000 back issues from classic origin stories and full runs to more obscure titles and recent story arcs. Finding what you want in the database sometimes leaves you face to face with a bigger bug than the one Peter Parker encountered, but once you’ve selected an issue, the improvements are obvious. Far removed from the previous static PDFs, the current reader provides a “smart panel” function that naturally moves you through the comic. The occasional gap in content is annoying but a depth of back issues and new releases will keep you busy for years. A month’s subscription, from $5 to $10, costs less than three issues from your friendly neighborhood comic store and you’ll have plenty of dough left over to buy your girl that She-Hulk outfit she’s been eyeing.