Marvel confirmed this morning through a press release that their iPad App is real, is ready, and is a launch title for the device. The App itself is free and will be similar to ComiXology's current iPhone application for digital comics, as ComiXology handled development of the App. Individual issues will be offered at $1.99 each.
"Over 500" titles will be available at launch, with new titles added every week. Books will range from classic titles from the 1960s to issues as recent as 2009 and possibly even more recent releases. While no specific timeline was given of how long an issue must be on the stands at comic shops before it will show up on the iPad, and it will likely vary from title to title for the time being. Jonathan Hickman's run on Fantastic Four, which launched only last fall, was specifically cited as coming to the device, for example.
“The iPad is the first device that offers us a chance to present digital comics that are even close to replicating the experience of reading a print comic," said Dan Buckley, publisher and CEO of Marvel Publishing in the release. While the screen is slightly smaller than a standard comic book page, readers have the option of viewing entire pages (the screen's about the same size as a digest, the format most manga and many of Marvel's all-ages books are reprinted in), or in a panel-to-panel guided read.
Also included in the App is a comic shop locator, hoping to bridge the gap from digital to print. The locator will allow users to find a comic book specialty store with easy address and phone listings to "journey even further into the Marvel Universe."
Early adopters get a few comics for free, with New Avengers #1, Captain America #1, Invincible Iron man #1, and Thor #1 all available for "a limited time." Those without an iPad can also get the new App for their iPhone or iPod Touch, though with obvious limitations due to the size of the screens.