With hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of issues available, figuring out where to start in the world of comics is an intimidating process.
But is ComiXology Unlimited a good deal? Let’s see what’s on offer to help you decide whether it’s worth paying for.
The “Netflix” Model
ComiXology Unlimited can be compared to Netflix, kinda; for a monthly fee, you get access to everything that ComiXology has made available. This isn’t everything that ComiXology has, though; it’s only a subset. Still, thousands of comics will keep you busy reading for a long time, and it’s certainly a lot cheaper than buying digital comics online.
Another similarity between ComiXology Unlimited and Netflix is that the available comics will rotate monthly, giving you access to new issues and removing access to others. How they’ll rotate and exactly what will be available once the Unlimited plan has been fully rolled out isn’t yet known.
ComiXology Unlimited will set you back $5.99-per-month, which is pretty reasonable when you consider just how much reading it lets you do. However, it’s important to look at the available selection of comics before deciding whether or not it’s right for you.
What’s Available on ComiXology Unlimited?
This is, of course, a very important consideration. Is ComiXology Unlimited going to be worth your money? To find out what was available, I did some browsing on the app on my iPad. I started by looking through the “New to Comics? Start Here!” section. Here are some of the notable things I found:
- The Walking Dead, Vol. 1 and 2
- Scott Pilgrim, Vol. 1 and 2
- Locke & Key, Vol. 1
- The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 1–5 and Snoopy’s Thanksgiving
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10, Issues 1–6
There are plenty of other comics in this section, but these are the ones that caught my eye. The Staff Picks section has a few more notable offerings:
- Judge Dredd (2013), Vol. 1 and 2
- Serenity, Vol. 1
- Elfquest: The Final Quest, Issues 1 and 2
Again, there are a lot more, but those stood out to me. To see what else was available, I thought I’d look for some of the series that I’m familiar with to see which volumes and issues could be read with an Unlimited subscription. Here are a few that I found:
- The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1
- Saga, Vol. 1
- 30 Days of Night, Vol. 1
- Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1
- Black Science, Vol. 1
- Attack on Titan, Vol. 1
There are a lot of comics from Image, Dark Horse, and IDW on ComiXology Unlimited, which gives you access to some of today’s most popular series… but the Unlimited plan is notably lacking when it comes to your favorite Marvel and DC books. I ran a search for a few Marvel series that I either really like or would like to read (Avengers vs. X-Men, 1602, Ms. Marvel), and got no hits whatsoever.
All of these comics are available to buy from the ComiXology website, a great comics website in theor own right, so you could get the issues or collections, but they’re not included in your $5.99 monthly subscription. You won’t be getting Wolverine, Batman, Wonder Woman, or any of your other favorite classic comic heroes with this plan.
ComiXology says that the Unlimited plan will be “growing and changing” over time, but exactly what that means for the selection is anyone’s guess — it’s a safe bet that it won’t include Marvel or DC, though.
Is ComiXology Unlimited a Good Deal?
The unlimited comics subscription scene is a surprisingly small one: beyond ComiXology, Marvel Unlimited is the biggest name in the business, though there are a couple of other subscription services that offer digital comics. Marvel’s service, however, will run you $9.99-per-month, making it notably more expensive than ComiXology.
Obviously, the biggest deciding factor in choosing one over the other is going to be the comics you’re looking for. If you’re a Marvel fan, ComiXology isn’t going to do it for you. If you want books from smaller imprints like Dark Horse, Image, Dynamite, and BOOM!, then the cheaper option will be a good choice.
Another thing to consider is that ComiXology, at least at the moment, seems to only have the first few volumes of any given series. Saga, for example, currently has six volumes in print, but only one is available on the Unlimited plan; you’d have to buy the other volumes and download them to the app.
While many Marvel series are the same on their own Unlimited app, there are a lot of runs that are complete. I’ve read both Avengers vs. X-Men and Civil War on Marvel Unlimited, both being relatively recent releases, and I was able to read all of the volumes in both series.
If you plan on downloading comics to read offline, there’s another difference between the two services that you should be aware of: ComiXology offers you the ability to download 50 books, while Marvel limits you to 12. Most people aren’t away from Wi-Fi long enough to read 12 books, much less 50, but it could be a consideration for you.
In the end, ComiXology does feel a bit like an attempt to drive up sales by getting people hooked on the early issues of comics and not giving them the later issues, at least until a few months later. Despite this, it could be a good fit for people looking to explore what the comics world has to offer.
After looking into what’s available on ComiXology Unlimited, it looks like it’s a good choice for newcomers to the world of comics. There are some really phenomenal titles available, but you’ll only be able to read the first few volumes, after which you’ll have to pay full price to download the digital versions.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if you want to binge-read an entire storyline, it’s just not going to happen on ComiXology. That being said, there’s a huge world of comics and graphic novels that will likely appeal to people who people who haven’t done much reading of either, but are interested in seeing what’s out there.
There are great illustrated works for people of any literary taste, and this is an app that will help you discover the breadth of the comics world. And for that, it’s a subscription worth considering (just remember that there are also a lot of digital comics you can get for free).
Are you thinking about subscribing to ComiXology Unlimited? Or does it not seem worth the price? What about Marvel Unlimited or another comics subscription service? Feel free to share your thoughts below!