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Marvel giveaway crashes Comixology's servers

What's it take to bring down a server at SXSW? A denial-of-service attack? Malware? Try: 700 free digital comic books.

Marvel Comics' giveaway of 700 No. 1 issues has run into a villainous snag. Marvel

AUSTIN, Texas--Marvel Comics announced yesterday at its 1 p.m. South by Southwest panel here that it was giving away 700 first-issue comics, spanning its entire publishing history, via its Comixology-powered app.

Barely six hours later, Comixology tweeted that its servers had buckled under the traffic load.

The comics deal was slated to last only until the end of SXSW Interactive on Tuesday, giving fans of Spider-Man, Wolverine, the X-Men, and the Avengers around 60 hours to download as many of their favorite No. 1 comics as possible.

Both Marvel Comics and Comixology declined to comment for this story. It's currently not known when their servers will be back up, or if the giveaway might be extended. However, Comixology CEO David Steinberger tweeted that people who get an error when downloading will still be able to get the comic they wanted to buy. His company later clarified via its Twitter account that "purchasing" a comic covered by the giveaway would still be free.

We'll update here when Comixology's servers have risen, Phoenix-like, from their offline grave.