DC Comics launched an app last week that makes its comics available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Prices range from free to $2.99 per issue and digital comics will be released the same day as print versions. Payment is quick and easy as the user makes purchases through their iTunes account.
This weekend I downloaded the app and within two minutes was looking over a variety of DC comics. What did I find? All of the usual DC fare including Superman, Jonah Hex, Justice League, Green Lantern and many more. The app also includes a section for featured comics, one for free reads and another for new releases. (I also really liked the browse feature which allowed me to search the comic database by series, genre, creator, imprint or storylines.)
I figured the best way to begin my iPad comic experience was to check out a free download and Neil Gaiman’s Batman Black and White: A Black and White World seemed like a perfect place to start. So I opened up the comic and ... WOW! The art is beautiful (and beautifully displayed on screen) and Gaiman's writing is fantastic. It's Batman and the Joker like you have never seen them before – they are co-workers. Just fellow comic book stars rehearsing and putting together great comic book scenes, whining that they don't have bigger parts. My only complaint was that the comic was so short that I wanted more. But I couldn't be too upset considering that Batman Black and White was free and I was able to download the stunning eleven-page story in under a minute.
After the Gaiman I decided to purchase a color comic and was immediately drawn to Fables written by Bill Willingham. It turned out to be a clever tongue-in-cheek look at living in a fairytale where you “Never discuss personal hygiene with a bridge troll. Never trade casserole recipes with a black forest witch. But above all, when talking to Snow White never mention the dwarves.” The comic was a fast read, beautifully rendered on the iPad with the characters looking just as good digitally as they do on paper.
So what is my ultimate conclusion about the new DC Comics app?
Buying Process: Painless
Cost: Well worth the $0-$3 per comic
Selection: Limited, but more to come
Overall Experience: Fantastic