As comic book stores around the world shut down due to the novel coronavirus, the entire comic book industry has effectively come to a standstill and it’s unclear if and when things will truly be able to return to ‘normal’. . Lots of new comics are on hold, major conventions are being canceled, and the only thing people can really do right now is stay home (if possible) and try to get things done.
With all of that in mind, Marvel has taken a small step to try and help people through these difficult times by temporarily making its Marvel Unlimited service a little more accessible with a few free titles. For next month, a selection of arcs from different Marvel comics like Ta-Nehisi coats‘ Black Panther and At Kelly Sue De Connick’s Captain Marvel will be free to read without having to sign up for some sort of subscription trial period. To access it, just navigate to the “free comics” section of the iOS or Android app and browse at your leisure.
Compared to the entire Marvel Unlimited catalog, the free selection is relatively limited, but there are still many to peruse, and again, the publisher isn’t trying to charge anyone – or lock you into an essay you might forget to cancel – to read them. Moves like this are one of the ways comic houses can maintain connections with their customers at a time when people may not be prioritizing their draw lists exactly. Going forward, however, Marvel and other publishers will have to seriously consider whether they will have to put more effort into getting people onto their digital platforms if going to stores continues to be potentially dangerous.