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How To Legally Read Comic Books Online

Updated on August 24, 2012
DC Comics Main Page
DC Comics Main Page | Source

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Like everything else in the 21st Century, more and more stuff is becoming digital and can be found and purchased online: Shopping, movies, television shows, music. Yet sadly, many of the things that were once considered New Age are going the way of the Beta-max (if you don’t remember those, than I’m VERY old; and I was a kid in the Eighties): reel-to-reel, audio cassettes, VHS cassettes, CDs, DVDs, vinyl record albums and now even the comic book.

Once made out of pulp and filled with childish silliness and cut-out ads for x-ray glasses, the comic book has evolved from, more or less, newsprint entertainment into sleek, top-notch books on par with hardback novels and chic magazines. But even today, more and more comic books can be downloaded and read directly on your computer or other devices, such as iPads, the PSP/Vita (through the PlayStation Network Store), the Amazon Kindle Fire, and Barnes and Noble’s NOOK.

For many die hard comic book collectors, the thought of the physical comic book going the way of the dodo is unfathomable, but for those casual readers who are simply interested in reading the stories, the convenience of downloading them and having them readily available at their fingertips is enticing. The following are some Comic Book Company websites where you can legally download and read comics.

DC Comics Digital Comics
DC Comics Digital Comics | Source

DC Comics

DC Comic: for digital comics issues of classic DC characters including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and other favorite characters. DC Comics has seen a boost of popularity in recent years with the success of the Christopher Nolan-helmed / Christian Bale-starring Batman movies, the popular Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City video games, and the rebooted New 52 Comic Book Universe. Along with the popularity of these movies, games and new books, there are now the digital comic books (both new and old issues) and selective digital-only comic book. Creating an account for DC Digital is free and you can purchase comics for various prices (single issues start at $0.99). You can also get newsletters, emails and even sync your Marvel Comics digital account with your DC Comics account. The site offers exclusive Batman: Arkham Unhinged digital comics for $0.99. The older books are $1.99. DC even offers selected free digital comics and sneak peeks.

Marvel Digital
Marvel Digital | Source

Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics: for digital comics of Spiderman, Iron Man, The Avengers and X-Men; among others. Marvel Comics have always had a huge and loyal fan base, with multimedia outlet for decades (toys, video games, and cartoons). With the monumental success of the recent movies (Spiderman, Iron Man and the record-breaking Avengers movie), Marvel has continued giving their fans different ways to enjoy their favorites characters. Signing up for Marvel’s digital account is free. Many comics issues vary in price ($1.99, $3.99, and $4.99). There are also free books a week for every month (there are archived digital issues of previous months and weeks free issues). The site also offers apps for iPads, iPhones, iPods, and Android devices.

Dark Horse Comics Digital
Dark Horse Comics Digital | Source

Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse Comics: for digital comics including popular television and movie characters and properties such as Star Wars, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel & Faith, and Conan The Barbarian; among other books. Signing up for Dark Horse Digital is free. They also offer free apps for the iPhones and other mobile devices. They have a large free digital comics catalog. Downloading each issue is priced at $2.99 per issue. Recently, they have added a special deal (50% off) for selected original Dark Horse titles.

IDW Publishing Digital
IDW Publishing Digital | Source

IDW Publishing

IDW Publishing Comics: for digital comics of lesser mainstream comic book characters and titles such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, G.I. Joe, and Doctor Who. The digital site has recently expanded its partnership with ComiXology (a digital comic book provider). The digital books are now available the same day as the printed issues are available in the stores. The digital issues go for $3.99 per issue. The graphic novels and the comic collections vary in price from $2.99—$14.99. The site offers free digital comics for each week and month. Signing up for the digital comics is free through a ComiXology account.


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    • Edgar Arkham profile image

      Edgar Arkham 5 years ago from San Jose, CA

      It's worth it if you really enjoy online comics. I'm a bit on the fence for the online comics (it feels like I'm turning my back on the pulp books), but it's worth it for in my opinion.

    • Geekdom profile image

      Geekdom 5 years ago

      I read this article on my old profile and went back to it because of the Marvel Section. I am thinking of signing up for their unlimited reading collection. I wanted to see if you had any feedback.

    • Edgar Arkham profile image

      Edgar Arkham 5 years ago from San Jose, CA

      Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      AaronHubb89 5 years ago

      Man, I wish I would have had read this hub years ago lol...I kept scrounging around for everything I could...but now I have comixology so I think I'm good...good hub...thumbs up and rated up on interesting and useful.

    • Edgar Arkham profile image

      Edgar Arkham 5 years ago from San Jose, CA

      Thank you for reading. Now I don't feel too old.

    • profile image

      Domenick Dicce 5 years ago

      Don't worry, I remember that small little section in Tower Record's video section where the Beta tapes were. They also had some cool laser discs. :)

      Great article.

      I use Comixology because they offer the free comics. Usually they are garbage but every now and then a good one pops up.