Fans who bought the first issue of the revived Miracleman this week may have noticed that the promised code for a free digital copy of the comic--standard with Marvel Comics's $3.99 releases--was nowhere to be found.
This is apparently because alterations made to the comic to accommodate Apple's (and by extension ComiXology's, since they have in the past refused to display certain titles on certain platforms to keep Apple and Android at bay) standards on nudity created a distinct product, and Marvel chose not to provide that distinct product--or the available "adults-only" version--for free.
Asked what made Marvel decide to scratch plans for free digital copies, Marvel's Executive Editor/SVP of Publishing Tom Brevoort wrote on his Formspring blog:
The need for differences between the material as originally printed, and what we’re permitted to release in the digital space. As aspects of the story are having to be adjusted in order to pass muster in the digital edition (whereas the print edition preserves the material as it was originally presented), it became untenable to link the two together.The comic is available in both an edited "Mass Market" edition and a 17+ "Parental Advisory" edition on ComiXology, with the Parental Advisory version not supported on mobile platforms. Only the Mass Market Edition is available on Marvel's own digital comics site.
While some might argue that the easy fix would be to connect the Mass Market edition to the comic, thus enabling users to buy it through the Marvel app, the alterations (while minor--it seems all they did was paint underwear onto a nude character in a scene) would likely rile many readers, some of whom are already not thrilled that Marvel chose to re-letter and recolor the classic series instead of presenting it in its original form.