I grew up on X-Men comics and used to spend my allowance just to buy trading cards and the latest issues of the biggest storyline at the time: Age of Apocalypse. While comic book collecting was all the rage when I was a kid, the culture slowly died out as the years wore on and comic books began to gather dust.
Around two years ago, I tried reviving the habit. Now that proved to be quite expensive, and it was simply head spinning to keep track of older storylines. Most of these older comics were in book form and that took out some of the thrill of poring over each page – I was always anxious not to wear out the spine in order to preserve the books for years to come.
Now that Marvel Comics has arrived for the iPad, this gorgeous blow you away app speaks of truly bigger things to come. More importantly, to a generation weaned on the internet and Youtube, how to make comic book reading and collecting alive and relevant. Reading comics on this app is as intuitive as it can get and is the closest thing to reading a physical comic book and all the fun and thrill that comes with that reading experience. The resolution is clear and crisp, and the images gorgeous. Reading it on a tablet device is simply unparalleled. You can check out the whole page in one sweeping view, or you can zoom in, frame by frame, play with animated transitions, or rotate the iPad any which way you like to make the reading experience more comfortable and intuitive.
While the app itself is free and offers free comics for download, most of the content is paid, at about $1.99/comic. Now based on user reviews, many users with digital comic subscriptions at Marvel.com are pretty furious about the existing arrangement which does not port over their existing collecions to the iPad and makes them rebuy the comics for viewing on the iPad. If this is true, then it’s not cool. However, for non-subscribers such as myself, the a la carte approach works for me, for now, although of course, a reduced price of the comic to say $0.99 each or a special collection for a set price would also be fantastic. I also noticed that it takes a while for new issues to pop up on the App Store, and most featured comics are older issues, so a faster delivery of new titles would be better.
Still, these issues aside, if you just want to read a back issue of Iron Man or X-Men and grab an occasional comic or two, this app is perfect for your comic book experience.
Verdict: If you’re *gasp* undecided about this gorgeous comic book reader, well it’s near perfect and free. Go get it now.
Dev: Marvel Entertainment
Link: Universal version