Loyalty to a certain comic book series can be a hard thing to shake. I enjoy reading comic lines from DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse, even if I haven't always been pleased with the creative directions they have taken over the years. My favorite publishers have done some questionable things with their imprints, but I am still hooked on the comics-reading experience. Of course, I still expect good characters, storylines, and presentation out of these comics.
If I wanted to read series from those publishers on paper, I could walk into a comic book shop, stock up on my monthly titles, and read them in one single place. But let’s be real: I no longer read comics in print. I haven’t bought comics on paper from a shop since these three publishers started putting their comics online.
In our previous post about comics readers, we looked at apps that let you load comics from your own collection and from publishers who make DRM-free versions of their titles. But some of the largest publishers of US comics—including DC, Marvel, Image Comics, IDW Publishing, and Dark Horse—don't fall into this category. What are the easiest ways to purchase comics from these publishers, and which of these apps offer the best features in reading technology? As a follow-up to our look at DRM-free comic readers, we decided to review five apps that let you purchase and read these comics on your iPad.