Marvel Offers 700 Free Comics, Crashes Comixology

Marvel Offers 700 Free Comics, Crashes Comixology


Marvel Comics is offering 700 of its #1 issues for free download! Too bad the promotion utterly crushed the Comixology servers, making downloading the comics effectively impossible.

Marvel Comics is the biggest name in the comics industry. It's owned by Disney, spawns films that pull in billions of dollars, and has decades of beloved characters in its stable. Comixology is the de facto leading name in apps which allow users to read comic books on their mobile device of choice. Normally the two get along very well and Comixology hosts a large number of Marvel titles, but last night the former was laid low by the latter.

On March 10, during the SXSW festival, Marvel announced a plan to offer 700 of its #1 issues as free downloads until March 12. As you might expect, comic book geeks jumped on this offer and in their mad rush to pull down all 700 issues, these users completely crashed the Comixology servers. It's now Monday morning, and the servers are still down. Bleeding Cool recommends that users attempt to load the Comixology website instead of the app, as it has purportedly been intermittently functional, but we've yet to see it load in full.

On the other hand, if you can get it working, just think of all the awesome comic books you could download: The first issue of Amazing Spider-Man, Jim Lee's 90s-era X-Men reboot, the first issue of Nextwave! The apparent goal of this scheme is to get readers hooked with a first issue in the hopes that they will then shell out cash to purchase second and third issues. This is the same scheme that your parents warned you drug dealers would use to get you hooked on crack, only in this case it actually makes some kind of fiscal sense.

So, who do we blame for this? Marvel for not anticipating the demand its scheme would create? Comixology for not having more reliable servers? No, the blame here lies with the readers. The site and app are reportedly down because people are attempting to download all 700 of the free issues at once en masse. How many of those people will actually read all of those comics? We'd have to guess the percentage is pretty low. There just isn't enough time to catch up on the debut adventures of every superhero and team in the history of the Marvel Universe.

So please, if you get through the server issues, only download those comics you really, really want to read. Otherwise you're just ruining it for the rest of us.

Source: Bleeding Cool


Fuck, it looks like EA is setting a new trend.

It's a pretty cool idea, if there isn't a time limit or region lock on those comics I might download a few in a couple of days. But I think offering 700 on day 1 is kind of stupid. They should have spread it out over a long period, releasing say 50 titles for two weeks, then add another 50, then 50 more and so on. The website gets more traffic over a longer period, servers don't go SimCity on them and readers get to actually read!

Huh, so that's why I can't reach my purchase list.

Are you really desperate enough to read 118 X-men #1 issues?

Why do you need to put the blame on anyone? This happens often with websites that explode in popularity, come on.

Why do you need to put the blame on anyone? This happens often with websites that explode in popularity, come on.

Very true... but when Marvel says "you can download some of our comics free for a limited time" the site should be prepared to handle that situation, especially since it's not like Marvel said that without letting them know first. It's the site's fault, hands down.

The key point is "free downloads until March 12", when they start costing. No wonder people are trying to get it all now. If they said 'free for March', then there wouldn't be this problem.

But, meh, kinda pales in comparison with their whole 'get all our comics for a sub' app... (which is sounding like it has its own problems...)

Agent M has suggested they may extend the offer for another day. But this is a part of their Marvel Monday thing, isn't it?

And blaming the site, guys? "It's the site's fault hands down." Jesus. The people needlessly rushing to download these are at fault, too. Plus, Marvel for offering 700 in such a limited time. I think they're doing the best they can. Both Marvel and Comixology.

Fuck, it looks like EA is setting a new trend.

Sure, if EA were offering freebies.

Now the thing is that if you have an account and just "buy" the comic, you can download it at any time. I already got the ones I wanted, just gonna wait for the whole thing to blow over and download them when things are easier.

Also, love that they're counting one-shots. Got me some awesome stuff...

Yes. It is all on us, the readers. How dare we attempt to download a comic that is free during the time limit that it is free? Sorry, but even if the people downloading the 700 comics aren't going to read them all (which is a pretty random estimate) they might not know which ones they want to read or don't. Or maybe a while from now they'll go back through their library and read them. It's totally reasonable. I'm also not blaming Marvel for what is a very good idea, or comixology for not anticipating 99% of their users downloading 700 comics each all at the same time. The blame isn't really on anyone here, it is what it is. Something very popular was put on distribution and was a tad more popular than was anticipated. Sure, I downloaded the ones I actively wanted, but I sure as hell hit the download button on a few random comics that caught my eye because... why not? I even got most of mine already so whoop whoop

Cool. Though I'm pretty sure with my Marvel Unlimited subscription I probably get a lot of these "free" already. Though I want to see if there are any good one shots to read since one issue isn't really much.


Sure, if EA were offering freebies.

Or ever encouraged anyone to read.

OT/ I think Marvel and comixology are both doing a damn cool thing. I also don't blame people for grabbing as much content as they could.

On the plus side, comixology just put my on a email list that will tell me when i can access the deal.
(That sounds like and extension to me.) So if you missed anything make sure to jump on that.


No dice I'm afraid. Comixology has officially pausing the promotion, due to the constant server crashes. They'll still release them eventually, but not right now.


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