Unlimited Marvel?

(Editora��s Note: A�TLDR, Shut up Marvel and take more of my money!)

We are not just about games here at 2 Guys Gaming. A�I used to be a comic book collector. A�Wait. A�That isna��t the right verb tense. A�I still have boxes of comics in my closet. A�My name is Shawn and I am a comic book collector (a�?Hi, Shawn.a�?) currently on hiatus. A�I started collecting as a teenager, but got rid of that collection when I no longer wanted to move those boxes. A�I picked up the hobby again a few years ago after moving into our house because I knew that we wouldna��t be moving again for a long time. A�Also, several of the story lines at the time intrigued me. A�This was during the Infinite Crisis at DC and Civil War at Marvel, so they didna��t disappoint. A�The books became more and more expensive but the profit margins stayed more or less the same for local stores. A�After moving once for cheaper rent, our town store finally went under and I had no easy access to that particular paper drug.

I kept collecting The Walking Dead, Y: A�The Last Man, and some of the Ultimate Marvel titles for a couple of months. A�The Ultimates were the first to go, then inexplicably Y, and finally I gave up on The Walking Dead last year just when it is reaching its most popular. A�I know I sound like a hipster, and I just might be, but I like the original stuff better. A�The story is getting too depressing for me in my old age. A�With the habit finally kicked, like any addict, I was ripe for another. A�As our oldest son grew up, I noticed that he shared my affinity for video games so I told him about Pokemon. A�He started playing and immediately became a Pokekid. A�When I then told him that there was a card game, we started visiting that section of Wal*Mart and Target more often. A�During one of these trips, I saw that Magic cards were still a thing. A�Enter a new cardboard crack (a�?Hi, Shawn!a�?) after I picked up a Deckbuildera��s toolkit. A�Most of my hobby budget has gone to Magic since giving up comic books.

The reasons for this are threefold. A�First, a new set of Magic cards are released only every few months instead of every week. A�Instead of spending 25-50 dollars per week, Ia��m only spending 100-150 about three times a year. A�Second, the cards are much smaller and easier to store. A�I have thousands of cards stored in boxes that take up the same room as only a couple hundred comics. A�They were much easier to sort into those boxes, too. A�While the comics remain in disarray, the cards are separated by color and card type. A�Third, I rarely read comic books more than once. A�All of those comics sitting in my closet are most likely fated to remain there until the estate sale. A�I am constantly changing decks and adding new cards, so even the ones in storage probably wona��t stay there very long. A�If they do, they still have a chance to be played eventually. A�Fourth (1, 2, 3, 4? A�Bear with me, Ia��m only a mathematician), the cards have a more immediate and larger resale value than the comics as long as you play the market right. A�This article isna��t about Magic. A�This article isna��t about Magic. A�Sorry, many of my recent articles have been about Magic. A�ThereA�is a point to all of this. A�What is the point? A�Oh, right. A�Magic clearly became my hobby addiction of choice.

However, as an adult child, I never truly outgrow any of these frivolous endeavors. A�Therefore, when I received an email for a free (or discounted, I cana��t remember) month of Marvel Unlimited, I took notice. A�I promptly forgot all about it and missed the promotion. A�Luckily, there are many free comics available on the app to get me hooked and spend my money. A�Leta��s see what this app is all about.

The first thing I do is scroll to the free books to see what is available. A�I recognize most of them from when I last collected, but a few catch my eye like the first issue of Red Hulk. A�That was about the time that I stopped reading. A�There are also two versions of Guardians of the Galaxy, one from 2008 and one from 2013. A�Finally, I recognize and file away 1602. A�I saw the title when I collected, but never checked it out at the time. A�Nothing else interested me in the free bin this month. A�They have other titles like Deadpool, but I feel like Deadpool by himself might get old. A�I really liked his team up title with Cable, but that one isna��t free if they offer it at all. A�Still, those 4 books might be enough to get me to sign up for a membership for a month at least.

I picked Red Hulk as my first book to read. A�Ia��m not sure why I didna��t read it when it was released. A�Jeph Loeb is one of my favorite writers and a must read. A�I think that I was so enamored with the World War and Planet Hulk storylines that I didna��t think anything could top them at the time. A�Reading issue #1 of Red Hulk now, I was right. A�I never would have gotten past this issue back then. A�Thata��s not to say that it is bad. A�It isna��t. A�The story got me interested and left off with a cliff hanger that had me immediately wanting to read the next part. A�It just wasna��t on the same level as the other two stories and would have gotten an unfair comparison at the time. A�Now, though, I definitely want to read the next issue. A�Point #1 to Marvel Unlimited.

I went with the 2008 version of Guardians of the Galaxy for my second pick. A�Guardians used to be my favorite title when I was younger and Ia��m glad to see that it is getting love again. A�Marvel made what some would consider to be a niche story into one of the most fun movies that Ia��ve watched recently. A�Okay, leta��s read some Guardians. A�Well, thata��s disappointing. A�Not altogether surprising, but still disappointing. A�When I opened the app, it immediately informed me that it stopped working. A�This happens only about 20% of the time and the app always starts back up with no problem. A�It is a minor inconvenience, but it is real. A�I wouldna��t call this a full point deduction. A�I already dona��t like paying for digital content, though, especially buggy digital content from a publisher as large as Marvel. A�One half point from Marvel.

(As an aside, what is this score that Ia��m keeping? A�What scale am I using? A�How do I know when enough points have accumulated to purchase the app? A�This whole enterprise feels very arbitrary. A�Oh well, what are we around here if not arbitrary. A�Onward and upward!)

As far as the content of the two Guardians titles goes, they both more or less follow the standard for Starlord and the gang. A�Similar to the movie, Marvel uses both first issues to introduce the team of mostly lesser known heroes. A�Yes, I just made another thinly veiled reference that I liked Guardians before they were cool. A�Ita��s already been established that I am a wannabe comic book hipster.

I enjoyed the 2008 version better than the 2013 version. A�Both books were good in their own ways. A�Ita��s just that the 2013 book was written by Brian Michael Bendis. A�I usually like his stuff. A�His writing style didna��t seem to fit the personality of the Guardians of the Galaxy very well. A�I didna��t recognize the 2008 writers name, but he wrote the comic in a much more fun style. A�Guardians of the Galaxy is ultimately about the absurd and the writers (I just checked and there were two. A�Thata��s usually bad news for comic books or movies) captured that spirit much better than Bendis.

I also just learned that Neil Gaiman wrote the last free comic that I want to read. A�Yes, I am way behind the times, but we already knew that. A�Almost everyone is a fan of Neil Gaiman, even if they dona��t know, and I am no different. A�Well, I am different because I do know that Ia��m a fan. A�You get what Ia��m trying to say. A�Hopefully you do because Ia��m not entirely sure and I dona��t think that either of us is ready to suffer yet another of my lengthy explanations. A�So, we understand one another? A�Yes? A�Good. A�Leta��s move on. A�Arbitrary 3/4 of a pointA�to Marvel. A�Current arbitrary score: 1 and 1/4

1602 takes several familiar tales, some based in fact and some based in fiction, and fuses them into a whole new and highly entertaining story. A�Marvel Knights has always been famous for those types of comics and this one is a good introduction into the MK style, especially for non comic book fans. A�Even if you are a comic fan, there is enough to keep you interested and entertained. A�I dona��t know how the comics rotate into the free app, but this one is free right now. A�If youa��re somehow like me and never read it, I recommend that you give it a chance. A�Arbitrary 7/8 of a pointA�to Marvel. A�Current arbitrary score: A�2 and 1/8

Well, more or less, four for four (That was awkward to type and Ia��m sure just as awkward to read. A�Please dona��t try to read it out loud. A�Ia��m afraid of the potential consequences.) on the free comics. A�For the low, low price of 9.95 (or is it 9.99?), I can have access to the rest of the issues and thousands more. A�I know that the content is digital. A�I also know that I sound much older than I am by making that statement. A�Hey, kids, get off my lawn with your internets and iPods! A�At least it is good digital content and much cheaper than the alternative. A�Takes up a lot less room, too. A�That is not a small consideration for a pack rat like me. A�Ia��m going to do it. A�Ia��m going to sign up for the paid version of the app for a month and reassess at the end of my subscription. A�I didn’t get sued yesterday, so let’s try again today. A�Give me an excelsior!

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