When the iPad was released, comics fans were stunned by Marvel's incredibly lax response of wait-and-see and no-big-deal, especially given the fact that Marvel is owned by Disney, where Steve Jobs sits on the Board of Directors.
Yet last night, the earliest iPad reviews started going up, and people started noticed a little Marvel icon on the device's screen. Then Chicago Sun-Times writer Andy Ihnatko, a technology writer, and noted comics fan, showed it on Twit.tv, as well as posted this article, going into as many details as he was able. The full review will have to wait until the app's release. As of now, it's not in the app store.
Here's what we know. The app was developed with Comixology, known for their iPhone apps. It's based largely on the aesthetic of the iBookstore, and offers upright viewing mode like a traditional comics page, but at 7.5 inches instead of 10. Turning the iPad to landscape, gives you different viewing options, like zooming in to the page and panels.
What we don't know is what the content will be. Will it be the current offerings from Marvel's Digital Content Unlimited, and if so, will users have to stay connected to the web in order to use it? Marvel has made some of their stories available for the various digital comics companies that have sprung up, but will this cover the same ground, or something else?
In any case, it's clear that Marvel has made an early splash, and will jumping in, if not head first, than at least feet first into the iPad and digiatal realm, so they see the potential.