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back to article KA-BLAM!! Marvel Comics opens super-powered data API to web devs

Comic-book giant Marvel Entertainment has built a huge database stuffed with information about its characters, comics, and creative talent throughout its more than 70-year publishing history, and now it wants to see what independent developers can do with it. The company behind Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Hulk, and …

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Collective noun for users of this API

Should we call developers who use this Uncanny XML-Men?

(ducks)

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Re: Collective noun for users of this API

BOO! Hiss! (Upvotes)

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Facepalm

Re: Collective noun for users of this API

International JSON League?

Wait... wrong company.

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How about...

(Es)CAPED Crusaders, for those who bail out or get ejected?

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Go

Hmmm, interesting...

So, who wants to bet that Marvel's data dump to developers is going to draw more interest from software developer than DARPAs recent catalog of advanced milspec software research does? Personally I think that this is going to have a lot of codejockeys humming the Spiderman (Spiderpig) theme song!!

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Interesting, but more than a test bed?

Interesting idea, and makes perfect business sense, after all Marvel's most valuable asset is likely its data, and the massive history behind it.

Would be incredibly useful for those of us already building data driven apps/ sites in this theme. A few issues there tho:

1. Only a 1000 calls a day? Ok, so its a Beta but still, thats quite a low limit.

2. Its a Beta. Hmm. If its anything like Google Beta's then it will ALWAYS be a beta.

3. Basing your app's data services on an API that is actually advertising that its probably going to change is super risky, unless you just really enjoy re-writing your apps every few months.

From a fanboy point of view it raises an interesting brand issue. Marvel are undoubtedly one fo the 'big dogs' but this sort of thing would be much better if it was cross brand. But I guess that would require a whole lot more co-ordination.

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Anonymous Coward

One definition of 'not enough coffee'

In the '60s I was Warren Worthington lll, while my sister was Bobby Drake. Marvel was published in the UK as 'Fantastic'. I don't remember if I used to subscribe to it or if it was my Dad (in his 20's) but it was me got the annuals. I was too young to understand the concept of 'subscribing', so if it was me had it, Dad was the one who engineered it. 'Fantastic' was printed in black and white, so it was a revelation when Marvel Comics were acquired. Essentially they were imports, so you didn't see them often at first (like 'Firesign Theatre' a few years later).

A few profiles ago I responded to a comment here with 'What the...Wagner!' and was, frankly, disappointed that it didn't elicit any responses. For some reason the only other guy I ever knew who got 'Fantastic' and I thought that quote was hilarious; even, I believe, before we discovered another import (that, these days, tends to be home produced).

Here's a bastardization of a 'Fantastic Annual' quote "When stone meets stone...jesus it don't half smart!". I fully expect that one to fall on stony ground (hur, hur, hur...he said 'stony'!).

So, 'Jesus' only exists in the spellchucker capitalised? Same with 'God'. That's a bit religiously-correct, isn't it? I used to look like 'English Jesus'. About thirty years ago. I probably still do, if you account for the age, which, if you convert it into Jesus Years is probably about right. It would explain why I was accosted by a bible basher in town the other day!

I didn't look like Jesus in the '60's, mind. Actually I'm not sure what English Jesus looked like as a kid. But when I wasn't Warren Worthington lll I was Dr. Donald Blake. I've still got his walking stick.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One definition of 'not enough coffee'

Looked at myself in the mirror this morning and realised now I look like Mahatma Mahesh Yogi. I used to hate being called a 'guru' on the newsgroups; now I look like one.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One definition of 'not enough coffee'

I got Fantastic in Kenya.

Then it merged and became Fantastic & Terrific.

Then it disappeared and I had to beg to get the more expensive American imports.

I don't read as many Marvel comics nowadays - apart from some independents (and Groo), it's mostly 2000AD for me.

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Limited appeal

Surely is API can only be of interest to comic book collectors/readers, and only ones that know enough software to be able to query the database. Apart from allowing someone to be even more nerdy by giving them instant access to every detail (which most comic book fanbois already know), how would this information be used. To avoid legal litigation perhaps? To prevent plagiarism maybe?

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Fun

This sort of thing is as likely as anything to get a kid into programming - I know I would have gone for it a few decades ago.

Good for them for doing something they didn't have to do with only a very sketchy idea of what might result - hope this sparks a trend for making such data sets available.

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hmmm

We could call it Web spider man...

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I think you'll find that "Ka-Blam" is trademarked DC Comics...

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