Shortly after Amazon bought the big name in the digital comic book world, ComiXology, it removed the ability to buy from within the company's iPad and iPhone app. For some people, that wasn't a big deal because they don't mind shopping through a website. For others, however, it killed the experience because they couldn't easily browse and impulse buy titles anymore. If that's what you're looking for, read on to see our favorite alternatives to ComiXology.
This is the place to go if you're a fan of Iron Man,Spider-Man, Captain America, The Avengers, Captain Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy, or Fantastic Four are your thing. Marvel offers free comics every week, groups story arcs and different series, and shows issues based on creators so you can quickly find just the titles you're most interested in. The Marvel Comics app is free.
Need your Batman, Superman, Jonah Hex, Swamp Thing, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, or even Aquaman fix? DC is where you want to be. Along with featured titles, issues are grouped by imprint, series, story arc, and creator. Bonus tip: Publishers that use ComiXology for digital distribution all use a variation on the same app. Once you learn it for one publisher, you know how to use it for all publishers. The DC Comics app is free.
Image Comics is on fire -- figuratively, not literally -- with awesome titles like Chew, Saga, Stray Bullets, Sex Crimes, Girls, East of West, and Lazarus. Like DC, Image Comics groups content by featured, series, creators, and imprints. If you arem't familiar with their titles, download the app just so you can check a few out for free. The Image Comics app is free.
Dark Horse is home to the ongoing collection of Star Wars titles, Hellboy, Serenity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Emily and the Strangers, Tomb Raider, and Red Sonja. Dark Horse does its own thing outside of ComiXology, but the app is very similar to other comic book readers with featured, series, browse, free, and new categories. The Dark Horse Comics app is free.
IDW publishes Judge Dredd, Locke & Key, The X-Files, The Maxx, Ghostbusters, Star Trek, GI Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Danger Girl, Mars Attacks, and True Blood. Categories are grouped by featured and series with subcategories for just added and popular. The IDW Comics app is free.
If you can't get enough of everything Star Trek, there's a comic reader app just for you from IDW. The ongoing missions based on the JJ Abrams reboot, classic and Next Generation stories, movie tie-ins, and even the Star Trek TNG/Doctor Who crossover are available. The Star Trek app shows featured and series categories with subcategories like just added and popular. The Star Trek comic reader is free.
The great thing about all of these apps, except for Dark Horse, is that they tie directly to your ComiXology account. That means every title you've already purchased is still available to read, and you can keep buying the issues you want in-app.
The downside to loading up on ComiXology-compatible apps is that now your books are scattered across several apps instead of consolidated in just one. Still, in-app browsing and purchasing is a great thing, so in this case multiple apps is a small price to pay.