updated 02:15 pm EST, Fri March 9, 2012
Marvel gives digital versions as bonuses
Marvel took a cue from the movie industry to spur adoption of comic books. As of June, any comic that costs $3.99 or more per issue will include a code for its digital version, which readers can use in the Marvel Comics apps both on Android (Google Play) and iOS (App Store). It's not known if Comixology's generic Comics app will support the codes, although it uses the same platform.
The publisher had tested out codes with Avenging Spider-Man as well as Season One graphics novels and Ultimate Comics, but until now hadn't made it a universal feature. A "tremendous response" to the codes, which led to more readers visiting physical stores, was credited with the decision to widen the scope.
Its approach answers a longstanding call to make a comic purchase a permission to get a given issue in all forms. Unlike in movies, the access on comics has the side advantage of letting collectors preserve the hard copy while giving them a way to read as much as they like.