I tend to go back and forth about how I feel about Marvel. Somedays a few of their "spokespeople's" (in quotes because they aren't formal ones, but when part of a big company all your actions reflect on the company) actions are rather bully-like in their tactics and narcissistc, bringing shame to the name Marvel and now Disney by association. While other days they do stuff that truly surprises me.
The recent moves that have truly surprised me are from their current business moves. I'm sure they have other moves computing away to generate more fans, but right now they've done a handful of things that all I can do is applaud it on the business end of looking towards the future.
Specifically I'm speaking of the new digital initiative starting with Avenging Spider-Man. Providing digital download codes for a copy of a comic you bought in store is magnificent and shows a gesture of good faith towards local comic shops. This initiative essentially let's you have your cake and eat it too. So remember to redeem your codes so they don't stop doing this! It's a great move that counters a recent bad trend over at DC of charging the same for a digital copy as a print copy and as I said, it doesn't take sales away from comic shops like a theif in the night. This move is nothing but beneficial to all and shows they care about looking into new mediums without abusing the wallets of consumers or merchants alike.
The other move of theirs that I just cannot praise enough, is what looks like the new Venom event will be testing. I'm speaking of the .1, .2, .3, .4 issue move for character crossovers into other titles. This move lets those who are interested get the titles easier they already read, and doesn't force non-interested parties into biting because a title they do read is caught up into it. It lets writers and artists continue their stories without having to shoe-horn in a new story they hadn't planned on that could throw off their run's momentum. Something Marvel has had a pretty bad habit of lately (barring Collision, that was a unique way to do it with each title having a different perspective and focus to build into the bigger picture).
Moves like these show that Marvel does care about their customers and fans. Alongside some of their charitable contributions, it reflects a better and smarter Marvel. Here's hoping they expand on this trend without overdoing it, and continue to cut back on some of the more vocal arrogance of the past that's made other companies and talents a little leary of working with them directly again.