In my hometown you could buy Ultimate Marvel stuff re-printed by Panini in russian in most of literature stands. Thing is: i never had money for it, and when i did have some - i chose to save it. Delayed gratification tradition was strong in my fam :3
My best buddy actually did own some issues of ultimate fantastic four, ultimate x-men and a single issue of civil war but I HAVE NEVER BORROWED THEM to read. And by the time my interest in capeshit got strong, I had a PC and internets to download all CBRs and CBZs i wanted.
The closest i've been to "reading single issues in a kids room" was me finding buncha "Club Mickey Mouse" singles stacked in my cousings room once, while he wasnt home.
Pirating buncha scan-late manga when i was a teenager was "digital" allright.
I still bought printed mangas when I could afford it / access it. All those dusty Tankōbons of naruto, death note and GITS my mom still stores in a dusty box somewhere are THERE TO PROOF IT.
Then Comixology hit big, "guided view" on smartphone seemed mega cool and convinient. I would purchase a trade or two on sales, i would claim all freebies each week and then, if i really liked something after that first free issue - i'd pirate the rest and read on my PC.
Comixology unlimited never reached EU so I blame Jeff Bezos in all my sins.
Then there was a phase when I would "buy" buncha CBZ/CBR files as "charity" on humble bundle. That's how i got into top cow stuff. Also around this time "reading on a tablet in bed" became my favorite thing ever
And finally that's how I got to Marvel Unlimited.
I've been reading pirated singles of immortal hulk on my ipad. Once i got through all of the downloaded issues, right on a big cliffhanger. Pirating zips on an ipad wasn't AS EASY and laptop was in another room, so i just sighed and installed marvel unlimited.
Turns out Marvel Unlimited rocks. You can read most of the older titles (but not all of them!) in an adequate quality (but not the best!) when you want where you want.
The viewer is nice, the search "works", "reading guides" are mostly useless but the app was "fun to explore" for a while, "download all you want" policy is priceless when you travel and HEY you can finally pay money for comic books and "legally" have "all you can eat buffet" experience, like an adult you are.
Obvious shortcommings are:
In the end: The math is still good: 1 month sub is 9.99$, 1 volume of any capeshit trade is at least 9.99$ per volume too. Thanks, Marvel, i'll take the sub!
I'm already out of ideas for "what shall i read next" and on my search of "next good way" to obtain my digital comic books, so i can cancel on the goddamn sub which now feels more like a "church donation".
update: after "all the immortal hulk" and some curiosity titles i'm now on an all-daredevil binge, lotta stuff there.
I also wish sites like drivethrucomics catch up, both in assortment and pricing. What a life would that be.
If you haven't read immortal hulk yet - go read it, it's good.