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