Barnes and Noble has unveiled its new Nook Tablet, a new touchscreen device designed for, among other functions, reading digital books -- including comics. The Nook Tablet will jump out of the gate with a selection of Marvel Comics titles that the publisher said will grow to become the largest collection of its graphic novels (or collected editions, if you prefer) available on any digital platform. Titles available on launch will include Civil War, Invincible Iron Man and Marvels.

Nook Tablet users will be able to purchase Marvel's digital products through the Nook Bookstore. The same titles will also be available on Barnes and Noble's Nook Color. Prices for Marvel titles have not yet been released.

"This is a huge opportunity for Marvel-and the entire comics medium-to reach a wider audience than ever before thanks to Barnes & Noble's exciting new NOOK Tablet," said Peter Phillips, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Marvel Digital Media Group in a press release. "Barnes & Noble is committed to offering customers a broad array of Marvel graphic novels, both digitally and through their massive in-store selection, which can only help bring fans into our exciting world of Super Heroes and unparalleled storytelling."Featuring a 7-inch screen, 1GB of RAM,16GB of storage and retailing for $249, the Nook Tablet offers a cheaper alternative to users without the need for the vast functionality of Apple's $499 iPad, but the new Barnes and Noble device is more specifically targeted at Amazon's recently announced Kindle Fire. Also on sale next week, the $199 Kindle Fire is to be, at least for a time, the exclusive home of digital DC Comics graphic novels, a move that prompted Barnes and Noble, as well as Books-A-Million to remove all of DC's Fire-exclusive print books from its traditional stores.

Marvel graphic novels have been available on the publisher's comiXology apps for iOS and Android since September, and include titles that will be available on the Nook Tablet upon its launch. While such products will continue to be available via the Marvel app on other devices, Editorial Director Ryan Penagos, who live-tweeted the Nook Tablet unveiling in New York, said that the B&N presentation claimed the Nook Tablet will have the "largest collection" of Marvel graphic novels "than any other tablet".

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