Digital comics

Marvel closes digital comic book store

Marvel’s digital comic book store will close in early June. What does this mean for readers – and for the comic book industry as a whole?

With digital comics more visible than ever in the wake of the delays caused by the coronavirus, wonder announced the closure of the Marvel Digital Comics store on June 2. Readers will still be able to access digital books already purchased after this date.

After closing, Marvel’s digital comics will be available for purchase through Comixology. Readers will also need to download the Marvel or Comixlogy app to access their previously purchased digital books after June 2. Any pre-orders or subscriptions to be completed by the Digital Comic Shop will also be canceled after June 1.

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The Marvel Digital Comic Shop exists separately from Marvel Unlimited, the subscription service that provides access to a variety of digital comics from the Marvel Archives. Instead, the Marvel Digital Comics Shop acts more like Comixology, selling unique issues as well as collections and bundles directly to the customer. Like Comixology, the Digital Comics Shop also offers substantial discounts on certain back digital issues.

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Presumably, the Marvel Digital Comics Shop is being closed because it does not provide any new services that Comixology does not offer, making its existence redundant. The only possible benefit that Marvel would have received from the Marvel Digital Comics Shop is the ability to take out the man in the middle – namely Amazon-owned Comixology – and receive a larger share of the profits. The Digital Comics Shop may have seemed like the perfect place to push the digital comic book readership in the wake of the coronavirus. But, the quarantine affected the bottom line for many companies, and it’s very likely that Marvel no longer saw an incentive to keep its digital comic book store open. After all, their Marvel Unlimited service is much more popular and visible, as it offers access to old digital issues through a subscription service closer to Netflix and Amazon Prime.


While not unexpected, the move certainly benefits comixology, which has effectively become the industry standard for buying and viewing digital comics. Comixology has certainly eclipsed the Marvel Digital Comics Shop as well as many other competitors. The move could also push new digital comic book readers to Comixology, assuming they were previously unfamiliar with digital comic book retailers. While the closing of the wonder Digital Comics Shop may seem like no big deal given its redundancy, illustrating that the digital comic book landscape continues to undergo major changes, even when their print counterparts are frozen due to quarantine.


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