Marvel lets you read 2500 comic books online (for a fee)

X-Men
You can get music online, movies, books, and pretty much any form of entertainment you like. So it's about time the comic book industry got with the times.

While independent publishers have been distributing comics online for a while now, Marvel is getting into the game today, by putting about 2500 back issues online. The company will continue to add to the catalog as time goes on. Considering how difficult it can be for new comic book fans to get caught up with old issues without spending a fortune, this seems like a great idea.

Marvel is charging $10 per month for a subscription or $60 for a year's subscription, all of which sounds pretty reasonable. But right now there are at least two problems with the service. First, you have to use Marvel's web-viewer to read the books, which prevents you from downloading a book to read for later. And second, we don't know if Marvel's servers are getting slammed because of the big news today or what, but half the time when we try to load a page we get an error.

If you want to check out the service before shelling out any cash, you can head on over to Marvel.com and check out about 250 free titles available today. But you can only read a few pages before a message pops up telling you to subscribe if you want to finish the issue.

On a related note, Weblogs Inc (this blog's parent network) co-founder Brian Alvey is now running a Comic Book supersite called ComicMix. The site publishes comics, reviews, and pretty much anything a comic book fan could ever need. And while you won't find X-Men or Spiderman comics there, Alvey tells us they are working on support for offline reading.

[via AP/Yahoo News]

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