DC Comics Rebooting With Same-Day Digital Release on iOS, Android, and Web (Video Demo)

Image courtesy DC Comics

Superhero movies got you thinking about jumping back into comic books, but you aren’t sure how? Well, DC Comics has a big opening for you: a full relaunch of all titles at issue #1! Better yet, they’ll all be released in digital and print versions on the same day! And yes, the digital versions are available on iOS, Android, and PC/Mac. Let me show you how.

In a story on USA Today, DC Comics announced a total relaunch of their superhero line. All titles are starting or restarting at issue #1 with 52 titles total. Seen here is the preview image of the new Justice League of America, which looks a lot like the old Justice League of America with jazzed up costumes, plus Cyborg. The big number flip starts with this title on August 31st.

What makes it relevant to us is that all titles will be released in both digital and print versions on the same day. Currently, very few if any titles are released in digital on the same day as print and that’s only of the few that are released in digital at all. Most digital comics are collections of major story arcs or crossover events. Just having all new titles released in digital format, same day as print or not, is a big deal.

So how can you get in on the new digital comics action? Fortunately, DC Comics distributes digitally through the cross-platform Comixology system.* They have apps for both iOS and Android. For everyone else, there’s a Flash-based online reading system. And lookee here: there’s a GBM Shortcut showing all three. Tablets used are my Fujitsu T900, my wife’s iPad 2, and the HTC Flyer I just received for evaluation (more on that soon).

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As a lifelong superhero fan and someone who’s been inside the comic book industry (as a copywriter for AnotherUniverse.com back when that name meant something), I admit to a fondness to paper comic books that even years of tablet enthusiasm and digital advocacy cannot erase. But for new generations to enjoy the classic stories I grew up reading, digital is the only way to go. Reading (and destroying) an original copy of Flash #123 as I did just isn’t a feasible option nowadays.** Not sure I’ll be on board immediately for the new stuff, but a few of those classic storylines have started to reel me back in.

* Cross-platform for DC Comics at least. Marvel (owned by Disney, owned in part by Steve Jobs) is iOS-only.

** I’m not kidding. I read “Flash of Two Worlds” to death. Sorry, world.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    So – is there integration?
    Can I buy on one platform and read it on the others, switch back and forth, bookmark, etc?

    Also – what are the prices of comic books today generally?
    And are the paper and digital version the same price?
    It would be nice if they had a system to buy the hard copy and get the digital version free.

    • Sumocat says

      I switched between the same comic on all three tablets. On iOS and Android it needs to be stored locally, while its through the server on the web interface. It does not sync last page/panel read across platforms, but frankly bookmarking isn’t really important with comic books.

      As for prices, brace yourself: $2.99 is the norm for paper and digital. Crazy, I know. DC does run specials on digital versions though with 99 cent days on certain runs or themes, and there is usually a freebie a week. A few weeks back, the Neal Adams run on Green Lantern/Green Arrow was on sale for 99 cents an issue.

      A paper + digital deal is a great idea, but almost impossible to implement. Either they’d need to generate a unique code for each book that syncs to their digital database, or it would only work through direct subscription, which would further undercut the direct sales shops.

  2. Anonymous says

    So – is there integration?
    Can I buy on one platform and read it on the others, switch back and forth, bookmark, etc?

    Also – what are the prices of comic books today generally?
    And are the paper and digital version the same price?
    It would be nice if they had a system to buy the hard copy and get the digital version free.

  3. Mel Odom says

    Digital means the colors never fade and the staples don’t loosen.  Of course, you can’t resell the comic later, but I’d be happy with not having to store it or worry about it, and definitely find it when I’m looking for it.  Are they going to do the same with graphic novels?

  4. Mel Odom says

    Digital means the colors never fade and the staples don’t loosen.  Of course, you can’t resell the comic later, but I’d be happy with not having to store it or worry about it, and definitely find it when I’m looking for it.  Are they going to do the same with graphic novels?

  5. Mel Odom says

    Digital means the colors never fade and the staples don’t loosen.  Of course, you can’t resell the comic later, but I’d be happy with not having to store it or worry about it, and definitely find it when I’m looking for it.  Are they going to do the same with graphic novels?

    • Sumocat says

      Sorry, I didn’t see this until now. I have seen plenty of limited series listed in the DC Comics app, but no graphic novels. I assume it’s a matter of the higher price tags on GNs.

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