As of March 23, Diamond Comic Distributors has halted shipments on new comics – whether they be Marvel Comics or DC or independent – due to the COVID-19 outbreak closing most comic book shops. Diamond has also postponed Free Comic Book Day, which was supposed to take place May 2 this year. It has not been cancelled, however, and instead is supposed to take place later this summer.

This is disappointing to comic book fans especially, because with most people social distancing or following stay at home orders this is the time to be reading. Not only will physical copies of new titles be unavailable, but Marvel Comics, following other major publishers like DC, will not be releasing new titles this week digitally either.

This could eventually change depending on how long the store closures and Diamond shipping hold lasts. DC and Marvel Comics have implied that there is a possibility of eventually releasing new titles digitally through their own apps, websites, and ComiXology. There are no specific details about that at this time, but the longer the pandemic lasts the more likely this becomes.

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How Marvel Comics Is Making Up For It

marvel comics free

However, there is a glimmer of hope as many publishers are trying to not only find a way to get fans reading, but also pull in new readers with discounts on their existing library which are impressive and diverse. Marvel Digital Comic Shop is offering a storewide Buy One Get One Free sale from now until April 7.

The purchases will need to be made using the website and the code MARVEL2020 at checkout to take advantage of the sale. This Buy One Get One Free offer works out especially well with the already existing discounts on many of their titles.

The official press statement reads:

“Check out the current critically acclaimed runs of your favorite Marvel heroes!

Witness Matt Murdock’s struggles as guardian of Hell’s Kitchen in DAREDEVIL by Chip Zdarsky, see what’s new with Spider-Man in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN by Nick Spencer, and dive into an all-new era for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in AVENGERS by Jason Aaron.

Looking to escape to a galaxy far, far away? Learn startling revelations about the Skywalker saga with STAR WARS: THE RISE OF KYLO REN, a four-issue series chronicling Ben Solo’s tragic path to becoming Kylo Ren.”

Marvel isn’t the only publisher offering discounts Dark Horse announced yesterday that they are releasing 80 first issue comics and some graphic novels free on Dark Horse Digital during the month of April. You only need to create a free account on digital.darkhorse.com and the comics will be available. Dark Horse includes that the free comics will extend to other digital platforms such as comiXology.

Some of the titles included in this offer are Umbrella Academy, Hellboy, American Gods, Empowered, Invisible Kingdom, and more.

The offer may not seem as exciting because most comics are serialized, but it is a good way to check out series that you haven’t read yet. This month-long offer is in addition to the ongoing 50% off digital comics sale that Dark Horse is already offering. So, if you find a series you like using the first deal you could continue to buys titles for half the price. 

Amazon’s ComiXology is also extending their 30 day free trial to a 60 day free trial. ComiXology offers unlimited access to over 20,000 digital comics, graphic novels, and manga from publishers like Marvel, DC, Darkhorse and more. That is two months of free access to a huge catalog of comics. Following the 60 day free trial the regular fee is $5.99 per month. 

Comic books fans may not be getting new titles for now, but with all of these deals they shouldn’t be bored while stuck at home. This is the chance to catch up with long beloved heroes and to discover new characters and stories. 

Source: ComicBookMovie,  Dark Horse Comics, and IGN