If you’re a keen comic fan but can’t work out why you should pony up the cash for a digital copy when the hard printed copy is so much better, Marvel will soon be offering both for the price of one.

The company behind such legendary titles as “X-Men” and “Spider-man” will soon be including digital copies of its superhero comic book titles bundled in with the cost of the printed editions, allowing fans to enjoy comic books on the go with smartphones without messing up the cover or pages.

From June 2012, selected printed comics will feature codes for use with Marvel’s Comics app, allowing readers to download digital editions for both iOS and Android devices.

Marvel's app on the iPad.

“At Marvel, we’re always looking for ways to bring the worlds of print and digital media together to deliver the best comics experience for our fans,” said Marvel’s Peter Phillips. “With this next step, fans will soon be able to buy their comics from their favourite retailers but also enjoy them on their mobile devices and tablets, all at no extra charge.”

We’ve contacted one of the major retailers of Marvel comics in Australia to see if this will be coming to local comic book fans.

 

UPDATE (2:02PM): One of Australia’s biggest comic retailers – Kings Comics – got back to us with the news that the digital download feature has been in both DC Comics and Marvel “printed comic books for some time now”.

“DC Comics were the first to offer same-day digital download codes with copies of ‘Justice League #1’, packaged in a sealed-bag Combo Pack, and a fortnight or so later Marvel Comics decided that was a pretty good idea and started offering same-day digital download codes with bagged copies of ‘Avenging Spider-Man #1’,” said Jim Papagrigoriou, manager at Kings Comics.

“The digital download codes have now spread across many of the major comic book titles across the comic book industry, like ‘Green Lantern’, pretty much the entire ‘Ultimate Comics’ line (Spider-Man, X-Men, and the Ultimates), ‘Batman’, ‘Detective Comics’, ‘Action Comics’, and a couple of others.”

According to Mr. Papagrigoriou, there is no Australian printer of DC or Marvel titles, meaning that all titles sold in Australia affected by Marvel’s announcement above will include a download code.