Yesterday, the final iTunes episode of Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. was released by Marvel. Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. is a comic book written by Brian Michael Bendis (New Avengers, Dark Avengers, everything Marvel) with art by Alex Maleev (Daredevil). This comic is a motion comic in that the backgrounds and images move, the lighting changes, and there are voice actors speaking the lines that would normaly be read in a comic book.
This first attempt at an original series debuting as a motion comic has gone quite well for Marvel. The first installment debuted as the #2 top selling television show purchased on iTunes. There are 5 episodes in all and they run between 10 to 12 minutes. Watch the first episode below to get a feel for what a motion comic looks like.
After completing the series I was quite impressed. The look alone, largely due to Alex Maleev's art, is worth the $1.99 price on iTunes. A standard printed comic book cost $2.99...a dollar more. Plus, at a run time of at least 10 minutes, it takes longer to watch the motion comic then it does to read a traditional comic book.
Story wise I like the idea of the motion comic because you hear the tone the writer is going for when penning the story. The pace of the book is set, the inflection of vocal moments are hit, and the settings literally come to life.
For traditionalist Marvel still offers the comic book in print. It generally comes out well after the episodes, but the art and story is the same. I personally do not like reading comics online (Marvel Digital Comics), but i thoroughly enjoy the motion comics for their mini-motion picture feel.
Though Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D. has completed it's motion comics run Marvel still has some upcoming stories in motion comic form. On October 28th Marvel is starting a run on Astonishing X-Men. Astonishing was written by Joss Whedon with art by John Cassaday. Their 25 issue run is considered one of the best X-Men runs ever written. Check out the trailer for Astonishing's motion comics below.