Howard Mackie – Only Person Not Complaining About Marvel Unlimited?

Today, Marvel Comics updated their Marvel Unlimited App in a big way. Resembling a Netflix app more, it is slick, it is bright, it is swishy, with tonnes of new exclusive content that, I am told, has been absolutely hammering the system as new subscribers join, old subscribers re-up and current subscribers all pile in, but the app is holding up and working smoothly, even as it gets ten times its usual traffic, and more. But there are complaints, though not from Howard Mackie. Why Howard Mackie? Well…

  • The new organised layout is great at pushing Marvel content that the app wants you to read, like the new Mar-Vertical comics. But not great at find other comics you actually want to read.
  • There is no Browse function anymore, you can only search specific things. Browse was a highlight for subscribers, finding comics from all over their 30,000-full library of comics. That's now gone.
  • The Popular Creator section currently topped by "Firm 15" which was an internal code for Jonathan Hickman on a couple of Marvel titles, but not anything else that's actually popular from Hickman. The second most popular creator is Howard Mackie. The third is Ron Wagner.
  • People have had to spend the day so far in their Marvel Unlimited Library, re-deleting comics they had previously read and deleted months ago, so they can get to the content they actually still want to read.
  • Also the "Marked Read" flag seems to have gone, to users can;t tell what they have read and what they have not.
  • I can't see a 'marked read' thing any more – so no idea what I've read or not
  • It no longer displays content lists as grids any more, but long scrollable lists with thumbnails which are much harder to negotiate if you want to browse through the 545 issues of Uncanny X-Men.
  • They can't be sorted either.
  • The library being a list instead of a grid as well, and organised by series (instead of by issue) makes more convoluted to navigate, and harder when re-deleting those issues – and edit button to remove issues in bulk has also gone.
  • You now have to delete downloads individually as well.
  • New Releases list doesn't have everything released this week
  • There's no way to see a list for a previous week, or a previous month.
  • Indeed, a feature that let you browse that grid of issues released by date has also gone. You used to be able to dip into March 1977, say. Or April 2020. No more.
  • And talking of Howard Mackie, what order are his comics in if you do click on him? Ghost Rider : Return Of Vengeance #1,  Mutant X issue 22, 23, 20, 30, 24, 21, 28, 27, 19, 31, 29, 18, 25, . Annual 20011, 32, 26, Annual 2000, Spider-Man #71, 73, 66, 68, 65… etc etc. No rhyme nor reason. Is this Howard Mackie sending coded signals trying to escape from the matrix?
  • The top bar is no longer hidden on IOS.
Marvel Unlimited
Marvel Unlimited App screenshot

Today, Marvel Comics announced a new line of original digital comic books distributed through Marvel Unlimited, the company's all-you-can-read subscription comics service. Which is also getting overhauled today with a new logo, an updated app, a more streamlined Netflix-style design, improved search, bulk subscribe, creator and character tags, unlimited download, Marvel Insider loyalty program now integrated, and the like. "Infinity Comics" is a new line of exclusive comics that have been specifically designed for the vertical form factor of a modern smartphone, with scrolling panels that fill the entire width of a phone or tablet screen. And not to be confused with their former line of Infinite Comics, which were decampi comics, digital comics that saw changes dropped on top of previous panels before moving to the next. Bleeding Cool may decide to call them Mar-Vertical Comics for less confusion, as they follow the vertical drop reading pattern established by Webtoons. Infinity Comics will not include any licensing deals with no external editorial control as you may find in DC's current digital first line. The comics are  100% created by the editors and creators who also create the print books Marvel is launching with the following seven Infinity Comics series available today, with plans for over a hundred issues by the end of the year, exclusive to Marvel Unlimited subscribers

The classic Spider-Man Loves MJ series will be reformatted vertically and the Marvel Primer recap series will be also reformatted for new fans. This continues Marvel's use of this format, that began in 2014 in a number of partnerships, including Avengers Electric Rain with Daum in Korea, the series which introduced White Fox. And Guardians of the Galaxy: Jewel of Death in 2017 with Naver, drawn by Gang Hyuk Lim who made the jump from verticals in Korea to Marvel print books right after that

Marvel intends to roll out new Infinity Comics issues every week, and are currently available with plans to roll out new issues on a weekly basis. For now, Infinity Comics are only available on the Marvel Unlimited apps, with web readers to follow. The price has also risen to $9.99 a month or $69 a year or "annual plus" for $99 year and has a few extra perks, including membership kits, promises of in-person event invites, and a 10-percent discount code at Disney's online shop.

In addition to the redesign, Marvel Unlimited is including a new subscription tier. The "annual plus" subscription costs $99 year and has a few extra perks, including membership kits, promises of in-person event invites, and a 10-percent discount code at Disney's online shop.

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.