Monday, December 21, 2009

Things That Piss Me Off: Marvel Unlimited

Things that piss me off, this will likely be a recurring column because a lot of things piss me off. In the column's inaugural post, I bring you Marvel Unlimited.

Marvel Unlimited is a subscription service that Marvel offers that gives you unlimited access to their library of digitized comics. Monthly and yearly options are available. For the most part, the service is great. The current viewer (while initially buggy) has since been fixed and allows a variety of viewing options, loads quickly and has a decent interface. I have no complaints about the viewable comics.

However, who selects what gets digitized? Is he/she on crack? Here I am on a reading marathon of Runaways when I run into a problem.

Runaways is an excellent comic that I never would have bought, but can read online. It’s about a group of 6 teenagers (age 11-17) who are the kids of the members of The Pride, a villainous super group that controls LA. After the kids witness moms and dads murder a girl, they runaway and eventually take down The Pride. The kids all have powers, some natural, some stolen from mom and dad while on the run (the youngest is a mutant just realizing she’s different, stolen inventions from the future, a magic staff, a pet dinosaur). Great series and I was having fun reading into.

Here’s the snag – not every issue has been digitized. 1-10, 13-19, 22, 23, 25, 26, 30. Why the gaps? Seriously, why? This is not Spider-man where certain issues are going to be clamored for (Death of Gwen Stacy, villain intro issues, etc). That gap in with issues 11 and 12, it’s part 3 and 4 of a story arc started in issue 9. Why are they missing? Seriously, I’d like to know.

There’s a trade edition of the original Transformers comic out collecting the first 16 or so issues, except for #3 and #9. #3 has an appearance of Spider-man and #9 has an appearance by Circuit-Breaker, both Marvel properties which IDW Publishing cannot print. Thing is, the reason for the missing issues is clearing spelled out of the book’s forward, you know why those two issues are missing, it makes sense by any reasonable measure and it’s not a problem.

So back to Marvel Unlimited, either finish the damn series or tell me why you’re screwing with me.

-Lazy Basterd

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