Marvel Comics is keeping current as they have launched an Augmented Reality app called Marvel AR at South by Southwest Interactive. The app is being launched along side a line of comics called Marvel Infinite Comics, which will be available to readers from the standard Marvel Comics app for free when they buy the print comic with a digital coupon, when they buy the standard digital comic, or separately as a 99-cent digital download. The hybrid physcial and digital comic model hopes to provide a new level of interactivity to the comic book characters.
Infinite Comics tells a superhero story available only digitally, Marvel Augmented Reality supplements the printed comic as you’re reading it. In an interview with cNet Peter Phillips, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Marvel Digital Media Group, compared the AR app to DVD extras. “The AR app will show readers what the editor was thinking, what the writer was thinking, 3D extras, and pencil art.”
The first Infinite Comics story will tie in to Avengers versus X-Men and be written by Mark Waid, with art by Stuart Immonen and colors by Marte Gracia. These are big names in the comics business, so Marvel’s clearly not publishing throwaway stories, even if they are digital-only and feel more disposable.
Marvel Augmented Reality will be available as a free download on April 2. The first comic that readers can use it with is Avengers versus X-Men #1, available April 4 for $3.99. Marvel’s Infinite Comics, digital-only comics, will be available at the same time.
Marvel AR is powered by Aurasma, a San Francisco-based company that’s been making augmented reality apps for several years.
If you want to learn more here is an interview with Marvel editor in chief Axel Alonso about Marvel AR & Marvel Infinity Comics: