Critics of the Church had been questioning the power of Rome for quite some time before Luther, and as others have posted, many shared the same fate. The excesses of the recent popes with the resale of indulgences, for example, to cover church debts caused many to question exactly what authority Rome possessed. What protests, or "heresies" that could be mounted remained local. What made Luther's condemnation unique in Germany was that by the early 1500's, most German nobles opposing the Church could read.
Gutenberg had developed printing in Germany in the mid 1400's, and the first mass production of bibles began. Concurrently, the literacy rate rose. By Luther's time a few generations later, secular works, although circumscribed by the Church, were also printed. Luther's 95 Theses was the first criticism of the Church that was printed and distributed, which meant that his "heresy" was the first widely read by those holding political power, namely, the same literate German nobles who were being unfairly taxed by the Church.
The the lives of Gutenberg and Luther, the facts of printing and religious revolution, historical forces of cause and effect, both occurring in Germany a half-century apart, should not remain obscured.