X meets i: Marvel comics on iTunes

Marvel is to launch motion comics on iTunes, allowing you to watch slickly animated versions of characters like the X-Men. But will this kill the comic book?

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Expertise Films, TV, Movies, Television, Technology
Richard Trenholm
2 min read

At New York Comic Con, Marvel announced that it will bring 'motion comics' to iTunes. A trailer for the first release, Astonishing X-Men, has now appeared and is presented here for your viewing pleasure. As you can see, a motion comic involves partly animating existing comic art -- in this case, that of John Cassaday -- along with sound and speech effects. And rubbish music, apparently.


It's not the only way for an online audience to get comics on the go. ClickWheel brings some seriously awesome content from the UK's own legendary sci-fi weekly 2000AD, among others, to your iPod touch or iPhone with an iTunes app. Marvel's motion comics also look similar to the recent semi-animated take on Watchmen.

With the price of individual comic issues on the rise, comics fans are predicting a shift towards trade paperbacks, which collect series of issues into one book. This could be another nail in the coffin for print comics, with older fans' appreciation of the physical book perhaps not shared by the younger generation of digital natives.

This Craver likes the idea of using new technology, but we still think that, for the same reason as films on phones are just wrong, animated comics on phones just aren't comics. We see motion comics as a separate way of presenting properties like Marvel's Captain America, Iron Man and the Fantastic Four, which will hopefully stimulate comic readership in the same way that films based on comics tend to.

According to Marvel head honcho Joe Quesada's Twitter feed, details of the iTunes deal are still being hammered out. We'll be watching with interest. Excelsior!