October 11, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Comic books have been a popular pastime for generations of young people. They have also continued to be a source of pleasure – and feverish criticism for plotline breaks and quality – well into adulthood. Marvel Comics, one of the most storied publishing houses in the genre, has brought its library to Android through an official app just released to the Android Market.
If Marvel Comics appears familiar at first glance, it’s because the app shares the same architecture as the DC Comics and Comixology apps. If you’re familiar with either app, you’re probably also familiar with what Marvel offers. So why grab this particular app? Well, because this is the one with franchises that you’ve waited for. Issues from The Avengers, X-Men, Spider Ultimate, and more can be purchased and read in this app. Comics are viewable according Series, Creator, Popularity, or Storylines, and there are hundreds of different options.
Reading comics as good on both a phone and a tablet. While the app is not optimized for Honeycomb, it scales up nicely, so an entire page is viewable on a 10-inch screen. Users can focus on a panel with pinch-to-zoom, and swiping left or right will navigate to the next page. Artwork that spreads across two physical pages required a bit of zooming in-and-out on the phone, but the app was an otherwise enjoyable experience.
Marvel Comics offers several free issues, often the first in a series, to give users a sense of which volumes would interest them. Purchases are tied to a Marvel.com account and viewable across devices. The app supports search and filtering to narrow down choices, and the featured section highlights issues that may be worth your $1.99. Once you’ve built a library, My Comics houses all of the downloaded issues and organizes them according to those that were Recently Added/Viewed, or according to Series or Creator.
Note: Marvel.com Digital Comics Unlimited users report that they cannot use their subscription with this app. That subscription plan appears to be limited to a PC or Mac device only. This app is for purchasing and viewing on a mobile device.
- Android 2.1 or higher required, works on tablets
- Pinch-to-zoom on panels/pages
- Issue details and user ratings
- Purchase digital issues for $1.99
- Find local comic book shops with physical copies of an issue (tap “Buy in print”)