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Despite international lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s been a strong month for Marvel Unlimited, the online platform which publishes digital comics and boasts over 27,000 issues from the vaults.
If you’re starved of physical comics, Unlimited is a fantastic way of getting your regular comic fix. Here are the must-read releases of June 2020.
Thor (2020) #1
Marvel shocked everyone when the company added the first four issues of this new Thor series onto Marvel Unlimited, far in advance of their schedule. It was likely in a bid to help out comic stores during the Coronavirus outbreak, as issue 5 went on physical sale shortly after The Devourer King came to the digital service.
New Thor scribe, Donny Cates had substantial shoes to fill: Jason Aaron had written for the God of Thunder since 2012 and was a massive hit. Fortunately, with their debut issue, Cates and artist, Nic Klein, immediately proved worthy to wield Mjolnir.
Dr. Strange (2019) #1
Stephen Strange is not solely the Sorcerer Supreme anymore. After making a deal with a demon, he has control of his hands again, meaning he can go back to being a surgeon too. Are the two lives compatible?
Writer, Mark Waid explores new territory here, daring to put Strange back in the operating theater while banishing mystical threats. It’s a coy move: seeing the “ordinary” and extraordinary butt heads is an interesting avenue which opens up plenty of fresh directions. And both turn out to be scary!
Plus, Phil Noto’s on art duties, so it looks gorgeous.
Eternals: Facsimile Edition (2019) #1
Before The Eternals movie is released next year, read this remastered edition of the god-like beings’ first issue.
Jack Kirby returned to Marvel in 1976 with stunning new visions. Chief among these were the Eternals, Deviants, and Celestials. The debut issue feels almost too big for digital comics, so load it up on a large screen and revel in its glorious scale.
The full 19-issue series (1976- 78) is all on Marvel Unlimited.
Spider-Man 2099 (2019) #1
Miguel O’Hara popped up in Amazing Spider-Man recently as Marvel indulged in its 2099 line once more. Sadly, the focus seems to have shifted again, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Spider-Man 2099 is featured heavily again when Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 is released in 2022.
This one-shot reintroduces Miguel’s backstory, particularly Alchemax, but primarily acts as set-up for Nick Spencer’s main Spidey run and the other 2099 tie-ins. Nonetheless, it’s always great to spend time with O’Hara, especially if you’re well-versed in his lore.
Daredevil (2019) #14- 15
Two issues of Daredevil dropped onto Unlimited this past month, and the comic continues to be one of the best ongoing series on the shelves.
Appropriately, these two issues are seemingly about opposites. But the lines are blurred as Matt Murdock catches up with Cole North, the police officer who has been hunting for Daredevil; and Wilson Fisk, the former Kingpin and now Mayor of New York, loses his powerful grip on the city.
These issues are full of sound and fury, signifying – well, a great deal, actually. The Man Without Fear is slowly finding his way back into the light.
Invaders (2019) #12
Chip Zdarsky’s tale of age-old alliances, political tension, and nostalgic dissonance draws to a close with the concluding part of Dead In The Water. Can Namor and his Second World War teammates, the Invaders, stop the plot to drown Earth?
This maxiseries has come some way to redeem Namor, examining how a man can suffer prolonged PTSD and turn against his former friends. That’s not to say things end smoothly, however – Invaders mulls over the nature of forgiveness, and the waters Namor treads are certainly muddied.
Sub-Mariner Comics (1941) #21
The first nine issues of Sub-Mariner Comics have been available on Unlimited a little while now, but the rest of the series (which ran from 1941 to 1955) languished in obscurity. But now, further issues have been added, beginning with #21, from September 1946. It’s especially interesting to see the vibrancy and optimism of Bill Everett’s Namor stories, so shortly after the conclusion of World War II.
The Card Killers is a charming ditty that weighs in at just 14 pages. That’s because this issue’s four other strips are yet to be added. Unlimited is a gateway to the past, but there’s still so much potential to be unlocked.
To Be Continued…?
A number of debut issues with new creative teams means readers have had plenty to enjoy.
But signs that the Coronavirus lockdown has affected Marvel crept in towards the month’s end: only four issues were added to Unlimited in the last week of June. Might the service rely more heavily on adding archive materials? We’ll just have to wait and see…