Reader Jeff Ryan asked me to take a look at Marvel's new Digital Library, and see what's what. And after taking a look...wow...it does not look exactly finished, does it?
They put up about 2,600 titles so far (a list of them can be found here), and yet have some fairly notable holes in the selection.
* ONE issue of Civil War.
ONE issue of Civil War?!?! Does that even make the slightest sense? Isn't that, like, Marvel's biggest mini-series of recent note, and only the first issue is up? Meanwhile, though, they have two issues of Fallen Son - the story AFTER Civil War!
Two issue of Civil War: X-Men! Two issues of Civil War: Young Avengers/Runaways!
But only one issue of Civil War, itself?
* Way too few complete mini-series. They have the completed Hercules mini-series (the Tieri one, not the awesome Layton one), but only half the issues of House of M.
The complete Magneto Rex mini-series, but only one issue of Marvel Zombies.
The complete New X-Men: Hellions mini-series, but only two issues of Marvels.
The complete Powerless mini-series, but only two issues of Origin (interestingly enough, that was what retailers mostly had with Origin for months! - zing!).
The complete Spider-Man: Breakout mini-series, but only eight issues of the original Secret Wars.
* Some flat out odd choices PERIOD, like having 11 issues of the Heroes Reborn Iron Man, but only 5 issues of the original Iron Man series!
All 8 issues of New Invaders, but only 6 issues of New Avengers.
All 12 issues of Nightcrawler's recent ongoing series, but only 7 issues of Morrison's New X-Men.
All 12 issues of the Pulse, but only 9 issues of Ennis' Punisher PERIOD (three from the first run, six from the current one).
All 18 issues of the recent Venom ongoing series, but only 9 issues of the Jim Lee X-Men series.
This all being said, obviously, it is a work in progress, and they are adding 20 new comics a week, but even with those additions, it seems unlikely that 20 new comics being added (with Marvel releasing about 15 new print comics a week) will really address the problem of not having an extensive selection to choose from.
Dan Buckley was interviewed by CBR about Marvel's Digital Library here. That's where I got the "adding 20 books a week" number from.
EDITED TO ADD: Courtesy of readers Corey and Chad, Dan Buckley had this to say, regarding the site: "No, we do not plan...on keeping complete runs of top selling trades like Astonishing X-Men up on the site for prolonged periods of time."
Wow - so basically it is going to be more of a cycle than an actual archive/library?