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Is DC Universe's Comics Library the Answer to Marvel Unlimited? Not Really

Instead of giving fans a healthy selection of the book they want to be reading right now, DC will be flaunting its most marketable comics; the publisher's New 52 relaunch of the Justice League, Swamp Thing title that can attract fans of the new television show, a Harley Quinn book that can tap into the character's fans from Suicide Squad and the coming animated series. These books were strategically picked in order to serve a specific purpose for casual fans, rather than actually give comic book fans a full selection of titles featuring their favorite characters.

The inclusion of Batman and Superman's first appearances also feels more like a novelty addition more than an effort to include anything of actual substance. Following the service's initial launch, don't be surprised to also see All-Star Comics #8, Showcase #4, and The Brave and the Bold #28, and similar books, on the virtual spinner rack. However, we're highly unlikely to see expansive back issue runs on these characters from the '70s, '80s, and '90s available upon release -- something long-time fans might want to see, but newer readers might find too overwhelming.

Making a point to focus on the most marketable comics in the canon will also lead to some of the most famous DC books getting a place in the library. This means new fans will get a chance to read books like All-Star Superman, Batman: Year One, The Killing Joke, The Dark Knight Returns, and other equal "classic" selections. Long-time readers, though, will likely have read all these books, and probably already own most of them. If this is the case, big DC Comics fans might not get much out of the comic book library included in the service.

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Having a rotating selection of books also seems like a very bad idea. Sure, it allows DC to offer new and exciting titles when they are most relevant, but it takes away the leisurely aspect of the comic book reading experience. Fans are no longer free to explore the depths of the DC library on their own terms, like Marvel Universe subscribers are. Instead, they will need to be aware of how long books will remain available, forcing them to speed read through titles, which seemingly defeats the entire purpose of the service.

By all means, DC Universe needs to target new and casual readers to keep this business going, but by offering a small, curated selection of only the most upper crust of comics, DC is also leaving existing fans out in the cold (or heat of the summer). A bigger selection of books would do wonders to improve upon the Marvel Universe model while also giving hardcore fans the satisfaction they deserve. In the end, it will also lead to a higher adoption rate.

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