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Marvel offering free digital downloads with physical comic purchases

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Marvel Comics has announced a new promotion that will bundle physical copies of most of its superhero titles with a code that can be redeemed for a download of the same title on the company's iOS and Android apps.

Marvel Comics app for iPad 640
Marvel Comics app for iPad 640

Marvel already offers digital versions of its wares through a number of different channels, including Apple's iBooks, and it's now announced that it will be bundling a free digital copy with the physical purchase of many of its titles. Starting in June, all of the publisher's superhero comics priced at $3.99 — including the likes of Captain America, The Amazing Spider-Man, and The Avengers — will included a code that can be redeemed through the Marvel Comics iOS and Android apps for a download of the same issue. Marvel piloted a similar program with a small number of titles last year. The publisher has been slowly moving its entire catalog over to day-and-date digital availability — rival DC already made the move last year — but the promotion will likely help assuage the fears of comic store owners by offering the digital versions as a value-add to traditional purchases, rather than as just a direct replacement.