Thrillbent, the digital comics publishing website founded by writers Mark Waid and John Rogers, has spent the past two years offering up free comics for pretty much free.

In a Wednesday blog post, Waid unveiled what he's calling "Thrillbent 3.0," which adds another layer of content that Waid is calling a sort of "Hulu Plus of comics." Fans can pay a $3.99 monthly fee -- about as much as the cover price for most Marvel single issues -- to access a collection of titles including a revived version of Waid, Barry Kitson and Chris Sotomayor's Gorilla Comics/DC series Empire. There's also a free new app available for iOS that gives fans mobile access to the material.

If you're not familiar with Empire, which first ran in 2000, then again 2003 and 2004, its a series that followed a Doctor Doom analogue supervillain named Golgoth who conquered the world and then actually had to run the place. Subscribers to the new Thrillbent get a free download of the original Empire graphic novel.

Other titles include Insufferable: Home Field Advantage by Waid, Peter Krause, Nolan Woodard and Troy Peteri; the horror series The House in the Wall by James Tynion IV, Noah J. Yuenkel and artist Eryk Donovan; The Best Thing by Seanan McGuire; and the returning The Damnation of Charlie Wormwood by Christina Blanch, Chris Carr, Chee, and Peteri.

Waid further explained the subscription price:

We honestly think that $3.99 (again, the price of one print comic) is a really, really good deal for what you’re getting (several new comics a month from award-winning creators, plus full access to the entire back catalog of over 250 existing comics). You can still purchase downloadable, DRM-free PDFs from our storefront if you want to read our comics offline or gift them or mash them up into dark Tumblr fantasies or what have you, and if you’ve already got an existing Thrillbent account, yes, your previous purchases transfer over to this new system.

The new Thrillbent app synchs with fans' Web purchases similar to ComiXology, Dark Horse Digital, Viz Manga and iVerse's platforms. An Android version of the app isn't available just yet, but Waid says one is in the works.

 

 

Thrillbent 3.0 is another interesting digital comics experiment, and it'll certainly be interesting to see how its initiatives play out.