Comic books have a massive fan following. While the perception is that it only appeals to children, comic book lovers don’t belong to a specific age group. Thanks to the digitalization of comic books, it is now possible to get access to the oldest comic books from the top publishers of the time, including legendary DC characters like Superman, Batman and Marvel heroes like Captain America, Spider Man and several others. There is an entirely different branch of comics that originates from Japan. Known as Manga, this has a different appeal and millions of fans from across the world.
So how does a comics lover get their hands on some of the best editions out there? Well, there are multiple ways wherein you can get your comic book fix. If you’re someone who uses your phone a lot, there are plenty of apps to help you out. However, if you prefer reading on a bigger screen like the laptop, there are websites that cater to your needs.
In this article, we’re going to talk about dedicated sites and apps that can help you read comics on your phone or laptop.
Read Comics Online with These Sites and Apps
This is a widely popular comic books gathering website that has been in operation for about 10 years now. The best part about this website is that major publishers like DC and Marvel publish all their content here. It is also worth noting that some independent publishers also post comics here. You will also find some special manga series on Comixology, which makes this a comprehensive platform for all your comic books needs. It is worth noting that Comixology was acquired by Amazon five years ago, so users who bought books and comics on Amazon will find that some of their titles can be read on Comixology. Only titles with the Comixology badge on Amazon will be synced with the Comixology network.
It is also worth noting that Kindle users can import their digital comic books on Comixology for free. Some users may have to use the web browser comic reader (especially on Windows), which is considered to be slower than dedicated mobile apps. But for the sheer volume of content available here, we recommend Comixology to all comics lovers.
The name is pretty self explanatory and the folks at Marvel Comics make sure of that. This is like an all-you-can-eat comics service that runs on a monthly subscription cost of $9.99. For this price, users get access to over 25,000 Marvel comic books. For those who cannot stand browser readers, Marvel has its own web reader for users who read this on their browser. It is worth noting that the library of comics is updated every month, so you have new comics to check out practically each month.
Subscribers of this service also get some additional perks like up to 15% off on Marvel Digital Comics Shop purchases as well as a membership kit. While digital comics are extremely convenient for all, one area where it falls behind is the time it takes to arrive online. Comics on this service arrive a few months after their original newsstand release, so if you’re a curious fan, this will probably not work for you. As you would think, the service only includes Marvel comics, so if you’re looking for some DC characters, you will need a separate subscription. But at $9.99, it’s still a very good bargain for fans.
While DC offers a similar subscription service as Marvel, the benefits here are far greater with the subscription cost cheaper at $7.99 per month. For this price, users get access to all the DC cartoons, movies as well as TV series, covering old as well as new content. There is a curated collection of digital comics included with the subscription. Comics can be read on your television, smartphone or streaming device like the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku.
This makes a great deal of sense, especially compared to Marvel Unlimited. That’s because DC is also offering video content along with a wide variety of comics. The complaint most users will have here is the same that we mentioned with Marvel’s offering – lack of characters from other publishing houses. However, if you’re a loyal DC fan, a DC Universe subscription is the best way to celebrate your favorite childhood characters.
If you love comic books across a wide range of genres and segments, webtoons.com will definitely strike your fancy. This service comes with an incredible collection of independent comic books, although there are no titles from big publishers like DC or Marvel. The platform has been supported by several major artists, including the Late Stan Lee. The best part is that each comic listed on webtoons.com is optimized for mobile use, so you’ll get vertical scrolling panels here. Naturally, the makers also have dedicated mobile apps for Android and iOS, so you’re not limited to just the browser version with Web Toons.
All comics on webtoons.com are available for free, so you do not need a credit card or payment information to start using the services. There are fan created comics available as well, which is definitely worth checking out. The open nature of the platform means there’s something for everyone on webtoons.com. You get to choose between genres like Fantasy, Romance, Drama, Superhero, and so on. The Discover portion on the website is also worth checking out if you’re in the mood to check out new and underrated content.
Japanese comics or Manga is massively popular world over. However, there are very little legal options to enjoy Manga at your leisure. Well, eManga.com happens to be one of those sites where you can easily scour through the rarest Manga titles that you may not find elsewhere. The site also lets you buy physical books, so you have that option as well. You can purchase and download volumes in formats like PDF, ePub, PRC, MOBI, and CBZ, which covers a broad segment of formats supported by devices around us.
While pricing is dependent on the title you’re buying, one can estimate that it will cost around $8 per title on average. It is worth noting that despite its name, eManga.com doesn’t include titles like Fairy Tail, Naruto, and so on, which is a bit of a letdown for fans. Thankfully, the titles available on the platform hold up on their own. If you’re truly in the mood to discover some rare Manga titles, this site is your best bet out there. Be sure to check it out.
This is Marvel’s dedicated app for subscribers, featuring access to over 25,000 titles and several other goodies. Moreover, subscriptions can be bought in annual variants as well, helping you save significant amount of money compared to monthly subscriptions. This will only set you back by $69, which is pretty decent considering what it brings to the table. Since a mobile device is designed for offline use, the app allows subscribers to store up to 12 comics for offline viewing, allowing you to read them anytime, anywhere.
Some of the popular characters here include Spider-Man, Captain America, Deadpool, Thor, Captain Marvel, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Defenders, Star Wars, and several others. The app has a handy curated lists section helping you navigate the last 80 years of the Marvel Universe.
Marvel Unlimited’s library is updated every week with new titles as well as some memorable old comics. While you may not necessarily get fresh content here, Marvel Unlimited is an excellent comic books app for your mobile device given the features like offline viewing and easy scrolling of pages. This app will also let you try out some free sample comics from time to time, which is a good way to try out the service before you actually use it. Just as with the web version, Marvel Unlimited gets content about six months after the comics hit the newsstand. This app is free to download, although continued usage may require an in-app purchase.
Astonishing Comic Reader
This is an independent comic reader app that helps you read digital comic books in a classy and functional user interface. Paired with Muzei and a Chromecast, you can even read comic books on a bigger screen. The app lets you import your existing comic books in CBZ and CBR formats, giving you the ability to read all your content on this app. Since the app is highly customizable, you can choose to navigate the pages of the comic book using volume buttons, gestures or onscreen buttons.
The app also allows to take Snapshots of your favorite comic book page which can then be turned into a phone wallpaper. The app has something known as an intelligent suggestions feature which gives you suggestions based on what you’re reading. However, there’s no integrated store here, so think of this as an excellent comic book reader for your mobile device. This Android app has been around for a while and has seen over 500,000 downloads. It’s free to download, although you will find ads and in-app purchases here.
This is yet another excellent third party comic book reader app that can alleviate all your annoyances with traditional comics related apps. Firstly, this app simply has no store of its own. This means the user has to bring in all their content that they’d like to read. The best part, however, is that this app supports a wide range of formats, even image formats like JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, WebP, TIFF etc, allowing you to store comics or related content in a wide range of formats. The app comes in three reading modes – vertical, horizontal and page mode, letting you choose what works best for you.
Given the nature of the app, it’s more of an all-format file viewer than a dedicated comic books viewer. However, if you have comic books in PDF, EPUB or CBZ format and are looking for a decent place to read it on, Perfect Viewer will definitely come to your aid. Since it also supports Chromecast, you can read your books or comics on the big screen as well. Moreover, the app is in no way designed to leech money off customers, so you can be assured that there are no ads or in-app purchases on this app. With over 5 million installs, the app is massively popular on the Play Store. The app has been around for quite some time, which is why it’s compatible with any device that runs Android 2.3 or higher.
This is DC’s dedicated app for its premium DC Universe subscription, offering you content from all across the DC Universe from the past few decades. This also includes a wide variety of comic books available at your leisure. However, this is a subscription only offering. But at $7.99, this is much cheaper than most subscription offerings we’ve come across. The downsides remain that this only covers DC characters, leaving out beloved characters from other universes. This app also gives you access to new DC shows like Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, Stargirl and Harley Quinn, most of which are set to be released this year.
In terms of comics, the app comes with the ability to save comics in your lists, select HD or SD quality for comics from the Settings, and even engage in discussions with fellow comic book lovers. Subscribers also get access to exclusive DC action figures and rare merchandise that may not be sold publicly.
While it may be lacking in terms of characters, the amount of content you’re getting here in addition to the comics is truly bar none. Minus the content deal, this subscription simply wouldn’t make sense. Getting a subscription gives you both web as well as app access. Since this is a relatively new app, it is only compatible with devices running Android 5.0 or higher. The app has no ads or in-app purchases, so you will have to purchase a subscription on the browser version of DC Unlimited before using this app.
This is an exceptional independent comic book reader app for Android that lets you bring in all your existing comic book collections. For those familiar with the Windows version of ComicRack, it can sync all your titles with the mobile app, assuming you buy the paid license from the developer. The ad supported version still lets you sync comic books, but over a wired USB connection. If you have too many titles to manually transfer, it might be worth considering the purchase of the paid license.
ComicRack has multiple viewing modes, so you have the choice to pick what works best for you. The app makers have also included a live wallpaper that showcases all your titles, which is a fun way to customize your wallpaper. If you’re looking to import existing titles, you’ll be pleased to know that the app supports CBZ and CBR formats natively.
The developers recommend users to try out the free version of the app before purchasing the license to check for any compatibility related issues. It should technically work with devices running Android 2.2 and up, so almost every new device out there should be compatible with this app. As you know very well, nothing worthwhile is sold for free. The paid version of the app is currently sold for around $5.99, which is a small price to pay considering the fact that this is a one-time purchase and not a recurring subscription. However, the paid license only makes sense if you’re also using the Windows version frequently.
Comics by comiXology
Comixology is home to one of the largest collections of premium comic books from around the world. This includes titles from Marvel, DC, manga, graphic novels, and several other genres. In total, you have access to around 100,000 comic books on this app alone. Users are offered a 30-day free trial of Comixology’s premium subscription service which will give you access to 10,000 graphic novels, manga titles and comics. However, this is only valid for residents of the U.S. right now.
You can move all your downloaded comics to an SD card of your choice, thus helping you save internal storage space. The makers of the app also offer multiple reading options including cinematic and immersive modes. As we have pointed out earlier in this article, Comixology is owned by Amazon. This means you can sign into Comixology with your Amazon credentials and get started on your subscription. Some titles sold on Amazon with dedicated Comixology badges can be read within the app, allowing you to bring your older Amazon purchases into the fold. In terms of sheer collection and the kind of choices available to choose from here, there is no doubt that Comixology is one of the best online services to enjoy comic books.
If you want to continue the premium subscription after the free trial, you will only be charged $5.99 per month, which is cheaper compared to Marvel Unlimited as well as DC Universe.