Graphics novels are an acquired taste. The industry seems to recognize this, and tries to make it easier to get into comics with initiatives like Free Comic Book Day, when you can just walk into almost any comic book store and leave with a free book in hand. That’s just one day a year, however; what if you’re curious about comics right now, but not curious enough to actually schlep over to a bookstore and buy a physical book?
DC Comics has you covered. This free app combines a comic-book reader with access to the DC Comics online store, letting you pick and choose out of a huge catalog of comic books. The store features classic heroes from the DC universe, such as Batman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman. You can browse the store by genre, creator, publisher, and even storyline. Prices range from $0.99 all the way to $4.99 per issue, but if you’re just looking to get started, plenty of free offerings are available, too.
Your purchased comics are downloaded directly to your phone (for offline reading), and you can read them in the same application. DC Comics makes it easy to read comics on a phone: Instead of making you manually zoom and pan through a large page on a small screen, the app uses something called “Guided View” to let you view the comic panel-by-panel, with funky animated transitions between panels. It makes the whole comic-book experience feel much more cinematic, and is lots of fun to use.
Other than Guided View, DC Comics doesn’t have a boatload of features and customizable options, but its sane defaults and huge catalog certainly make up for that. If you’re looking to get started with comics, this is one app to check out.