Hot on the heels of the Doctor Who BitTorrent Bundle comes another great release that may be of interest to MakeUseOf readers. BitTorrent has teamed up with comic book publisher Dynamite Entertainment to release The Dynamite Mega Bundle: a collection of over 200 issues from 30 different titles.
Amazingly, for all comic book fans who like a freebie or two, you can download the first issue of almost every title featured for free. The complete collection of all 200 issues is available as a pay-what-you-want (as long as it’s more than the minimum $6).
So let’s take an in-depth look at what’s included in The Dynamite Mega Bundle.
What’s in the Bundle?
Even if you’re not a huge fan of comic books and graphic novels, there’s a lot to like about The Dynamite Mega Bundle. This isn’t just a collection of niche superhero comics; it’s a great mix of work that has something for everyone.
Three of my favourite authors — George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, and Jim Butcher — have all either written a comic, or had their work adapted into one. I was delighted to see that all of them are featured in this bargain bundle.
George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards: The Hard Call
George R.R. Martin’s work always provokes controversy. While there are a lot of fans eagerly awaiting The Winds of Winter, his next A Song of Ice and Fire novel, Martin has plenty of other work for fans to check out.
Before Martin even started writing Game of Thrones, he created a shared superhero universe with a few other fantasy and science fiction authors.
The series is set in an alternate universe where, in 1946, an alien virus is accidentally unleashed, changing the world forever. Most people who contract the virus die a horrific death, and of the few who survive, almost all are crippled by it. However, a few fortunate people are transformed into Aces and gain superpowers. Martin edits Wild Cards issues more than he writes them, but it is still his hand that guides the series.
Included in the bundle is a complete graphic novel, The Hard Call by Daniel Abraham, set in Martin’s Wild Cards universe. This was my first taster of the Wild Cards series and I’m keen to check out more. If you’re eagerly awaiting The Winds of Winter, or even just the next episode of Game of Thrones, it’s definitely worth a look.
The Complete Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time
The inclusion of the complete 35-issue run of The Wheel of Time comic, adapted from Robert Jordan’s series of the same name, is a huge deal.
The Wheel of Time is one of the longest continuous fiction series ever written. The 14 novels follow the Rand Al’Thor and his companions as they fight to save the world from evil. The books are famous for their vast cast of characters, intricate plots, many shades of grey and deep mythological inspiration. After Jordan died prematurely, Brandon Sanderson finished writing the final books in the series.
While reading all 14 books is a big ask (it takes about a year), the comics cover the events of the first novel and are a great introduction to the series. Until this bundle was released, you couldn’t get a single issue for less than $6. Now you can pick up the whole collection for that price.
Jim Butcher’s Dresden War Cry
I only discovered Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files last year and quickly read every book published so far. Butcher’s series combines hard-boiled detective fiction with vampires, faeries, wizards, and other supernatural creatures.
The protagonist, Harry Dresden, is the only wizard listed in Chicago’s phonebook and serves as a consultant for the Chicago PD’s Special Investigations unit, which deals with the unexplained (and unexplainable) crimes.
While this may sound a ridiculous premise for a series of novels — and it probably is — Butcher manages to successfully pull it off.
The complete War Cry arc is included in the bundle. Although it’s set in the middle of the series, the comic is a standalone story and, even if you have never read any of the novels, you’ll almost certainly love it. If, on the other hand, you’re a fan of Butcher’s work but have never checked out the comics yet, do yourself a favor and pick up the bundle. You won’t be disappointed.
But Wait, There’s More…
I’ve only mentioned three of the comic book series included in The Dynamite Mega Bundle. There are still another 27 for me to work my way through. You can have a look at the full list of titles on the BitTorrent Blog but there really is something for everyone.
Next up for me personally is Kevin Smith’s take on Green Hornet. After that, the Sherlock Holmes Trial graphic novel looks appealing. There’s also a cross over between Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Zorro that sounds both crazy and awesome.
This Whole Thing Is Awesome
Although it is often conflated with piracy, we’ve argued before that there are many legal uses for torrenting. BitTorrent in particular is really trying hard to counter the bad image many people have of the practice.
Their paid bundles are a great way for publishers to provide content to fans in a way they clearly want to receive it. Even better, by offering that content at a reasonable price, BitTorrent can still make money without resorting to spammy ads and malware.
As these legal bundles become more common, I suspect that people are likely to move away from illegal downloading. I’m always keen to support artists when I can, but I will never buy physical products. These bundles strike an awesome balance.
While they will never kill piracy completely — the reasons people upload files are too varied — by embracing new technology rather than running scared, publishers like Dynamite and the BBC are giving consumers what they want, and will likely be rewarded for their forward-thinking attitude.
We’re sure you agree that $6 is practically nothing for a great collection of comics. So, are you going to pick up The Dynamite Mega Bundle? What are your favourite comics included within it? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Image Credits: Dynamite Entertainment