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The best comic reading for Android and iOS that you should know about

Comics are a terrific and diverse storytelling medium, capable of dazzling readers with exhilarating superhero adventures, shattering hearts with adult romances, and teaching readers with historical or biographical retellings. Unfortunately, they aren't the most portable of formats - try transporting a longbox of single issues. Fortunately, there is no shortage of digital comics options anymore, with the top comic readers ensuring you have vast archives of old material, brand new releases, and creative content made specifically for reading on your smartphone or tablet.


Founded in 2007, comiXology is the grandfather of digital comics sites, and you most likely have an account with them even if you aren't aware of it. Following its acquisition by Amazon in 2014, the comic book specialized service is now available to all Amazon customers. It's almost a comic store in your pocket, with by far the most titles from nearly every publisher - including Marvel, DC, Image, and Boom Studios - plus the ability to set up a "Pull List" (automatically buying each issue of your favorite titles so you never miss an issue). You'll be spoiled for choice if you combine regular deals, a slate of free content, original titles exclusive to the platform, and an optional subscription service called comiXology Unlimited(opens in new tab) offering an even larger assortment of comics for $5.99 / month. comiXology's Guided View - close-up transitions allowing you to read comics one panel at a time, which is excellent for reading on your phone, while also allowing creators new storytelling possibilities for digital-exclusive titles - remains a pioneer as a comics reading software. Unfortunately, comics purchased elsewhere cannot be imported into your collection, and iOS users cannot purchase comics through the native app. You'll need to go to the comiXology store for that (opens in new tab).


By far the most interesting alternative when it comes to digital comics, Madefire doesn't simply act as a storefront and reader - it introduces a whole new media category with "motion comics". Madefire provides comics with in-panel animation, music, and sound effects to bring tales to life, including stories from DC, Valiant, Transformers, and even Blizzard - including Overwatch, Starcraft 2, and World of Warcraft titles - joining exclusive Madefire originals. There is a large collection of free and paid content for both motion and static comics, albeit the UX for reading the latter falls short of its competitors.

Crunchyroll Manga

Another manga-focused app, however this one includes titles from a broader range of publishers than Shonen Jump. Big titles such as Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, and Cardcaptor Sakura are joined by buried treasures including Okitenemuru and Father and Son, and many will be published simultaneously with Japan. However, while many titles have at least the first chapter available for free reading, much of the content here requires a subscription to Crunchyroll's anime streaming service. The reading experience is inconsistent; page-to-page scrolling is smoother than in Shonen Jump, but landscape compatibility is lacking. If you turn your phone sideways for a double-page spread, you'll only see each page vertically, which must be scrolled from top to bottom.

Shonen Jump

The Shonen Jump app could be the finest offer in comics right now. The three most recent chapters of some of Japan's most popular manga series are free to read, and are published on the same day as Japan, but for the pittance of $1.99 each month, you gain access to a simply absurd archive of content to dig through. Do you want to read One Piece from beginning to end? There are 985 chapters and counting available for your reading pleasure. Want to read all 235 chapters of Akira Toriyama's excellent previous series Dr Slump? That's included, as is every chapter of Goku's escapades, from his debut in 1984 through the most recent chapter of Dragon Ball Super. There's also the option to purchase collected volumes of each title, though we're not sure what the incentive would be other than possibly preventing titles from leaving the library in the future. The reading experience isn't as sharp as some digital comics applications, as there are no panel transitions, but it does enable landscape views, so double-page spreads look great. Overall, Shonen Jump is a fantastic treasure trove of manga, both new and old.

Marvel Unlimited

If keeping up with the latest Marvel Universe escapades isn't your top priority, Marvel Unlimited might be for you. It's a terrific chance to catch up on the histories of Spider-Man, Black Panther, the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Avengers, Hulk, Iron Man, and many, many more, with an archive of 27,000+ comics from the publisher's 80+ years. It also employs a panel approach akin to comiXology, branded "Smart View," which allows users to swipe among panels on their phones or have a full page view on a tablet or desktop browser. However, the price is a touch high - almost the same as a Netflix package - and you can only download a maximum of 12 titles for offline reading.


With its own dedicated app, the renowned British sci-fi comic now delivers zarjaz thrills directly to your pocket. Do you know what "zarjaz" means? No worries, you'll be able to learn the publication's unique language owing to a selection of free publications putting up a best-of platter of Rebellion titles. You can also purchase individual single issues of 2000AD dating back to 2003, graphic novel compilations of characters like Judge Dredd, Rogue Trooper, or Sláine, or subscribe to either the weekly 2000AD or the monthly Judge Dredd Megazine. The lack of a library view is perplexing - you must instead filter to "bought" or "downloaded" from the store pages - but the reading experience is tidy, with seamless page transitions.

Dark Horse Comics

Dark Horse's past archive contains far more than Hellboy, as proven by its dedicated app. Along with Mike Mignola's famed paranormal skull-cracker, there's revolutionary material like the original The Mask, hard sci-fi like The Massive and video game adaption EVE, superheroes - both real and deconstructed - and even a slew of manga, including the legendary Astro Boy. As a result, as a comics reader, it allows both left-to-right and right-to-left advancement, and it offers an intelligent panel-zoom option that practically rivals comiXology's in terms of performance. Regrettably, some regional restrictions on particular content (typically on titles Dark Horse has licensed rather than created independently) may not be obvious until a series has already piqued your interest.


Chunky is a pure reader aimed solely for the iPad, moving away from digital comic stores. The lack of iPhone compatibility, as well as the absence of Android tablet support, may disappoint, but this is a software meant to make your digital comics appear as nice as possible, which means the largest screen available. Chunky will automatically upgrade low-resolution material, with quite stunning results - as the developer states, it's "made by graphics-geeks, for comic-nerds." It supports CBR, CBZ, and PDF formats. It also organizes your collection automatically when you load files and recognizes metadata tags from ComicRack and ComicBookLover. Indeed, the deeper you delve into Chunky, the more options you'll discover, like auto-contrast features, parental controls, western and manga reading modes, and portrait and landscape display support. Best of all, it interacts with nearly every cloud storage service available, allowing you to simply import your comics into the app.


Consider this Android's retaliation: a full-featured reader app that isn't available on iOS and works on both phones and tablets. While it lacks fancy upscaling capabilities, it does handle almost all popular digital comic formats, provides right-to-left viewing for manga, smoothly integrates folders, and allows readers to move files across home networks. It's also a power user option, with a plethora of highly detailed choices to play with, even down to the pace of page transitions. Unfortunately, "free" means ad-supported, but an optional one-time payment removes these ads and unlocks functionality for cloud storage integration, as well as various other added features like Night Mod.

Astonishing Comic Viewer

Astonishing by name, incredible by nature. On the surface, this is another reader that accepts CBR, CBZ, and PDF files, curates your collection, integrates cloud storage, and supports western and manga reading directions. When you dig a bit deeper, you'll discover that it also supports continuous reading across issues, sharing favorite panels or pages, and even casting your comics to other displays - reading comics blown up on a 4K TV is an unforgettable experience!

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