Marvel Comics has done the unthinkable and released a new set of tools that will allow app and web developers to integrate their site with comic data. The new Marvel Comics API taps into Marvel’s vast library of comics—from what’s coming up, to 70 years ago. This represents the first API program by any major comic book publisher and provides an innovative way for fans to interact with Marvel Entertainment and Marvel’s digital content.
The Marvel Comics API is a set of web services that give fans access to Marvel’s rich repository of data about over 30,000 comics and 7,000 series. The API lets fans access information from Marvel’s 75-year publishing history, including cover art, characters and comic book crossover events. Developers will now have the opportunity to create personal applications and websites that express their individual appreciation and experiences with Marvel Comics. From feeds on blogs to mini-applications, developers everywhere can use the Marvel Comics API to create compelling digital experiences using Marvel’s treasure trove of data.
Developers can can access only six resource types using the API and all offer a wellspring of options, they are;
Comics: individual print and digital comic issues, collections and graphic novels. For example: Amazing Fantasy #15.
Comic series: sequentially numbered (well, mostly sequentially numbered) groups comics with the same title. For example, Uncanny X-Men.
Comic stories: indivisible, reusable components of comics. For example, the cover from Amazing Fantasy #15 or the origin of Spider-Man story from that comic.
Comic events and crossovers: big, universe-altering storylines. For example, Infinity Creators: women, men and organizations who create comics. For example, Jack Kirby. Characters: the women, men, organizations, alien species, deities, animals, non-corporeal entities, trans-dimensional manifestations, abstract personifications, and green amorphous blobs which occupy the Marvel Universe (and various alternate universes, timelines and altered realities therein). For example, Spider-Man.
Peter Olson, VP of Web & Application Development says, “Our API program is a cool new way to explore and interact with Marvel Comics. Unlike lists of books, movies, or news articles, our comics are an inter-connected web (no Spidey pun intended!) of data spanning 75 years. It’s the relationships between them that are fascinating. Everything is connected and continues to expand as more comics are released each week. With our API program, once again, Marvel is changing the comics and publishing technology landscape.”
Developers can create accounts, access the API, test drive queries in interactive forms, read documentation and ask questions at Marvel’s new Developer Portal at developer.marvel.com.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.