The 10 Best Ways to Read Comics Online for Free
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Marvel and DC have gained a lot of new fans with their increased cinematic presence, meaning a boost to the comic book industry as a whole.

Unfortunately, visiting your local comic book store can prove expensive. Single issues typically cost $3.99, with milestone issues and variants costing even more.

Thankfully, you can save some money by using these sites to read comics online for free. No matter what kind of comics you’re into, you should find them on one of these sites.

1. Marvel Unlimited

read free comic previews

Let’s start by going straight to one of the big publishers.

If you’re looking to read comics online you probably know Marvel Unlimited as a paid-for service, and this is largely true. With a monthly or annual subscription, you get access to over 25,000 comics.

However, Unlimited offers a taster of series, also giving you the chance to try out its smart panel interface. There’s a good mix of big-name characters and lesser-known heroes so you can explore the Marvel Universe. Of course, you’ll see a lot of Issues 1s, but keep checking because it further features entire miniseries for you to enjoy.

2. DC Kids

read free DC comics online children previews Batman

DC is sometimes criticized for lacking the humor and accessibility Marvel is known for. You’ll certainly get this impression if you watch Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy or Tim Burton’s early 1990s Batman films.

However, the company’s animations are much loved and heralded. DC Kids is an extension of that, giving youngsters a good entry-point into comics.

There’s not a vast array of issues on offer, but it includes episodic releases like Shadow of Sin Tzu and premiere issues of Tiny Titans, Super Friends, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. If you’re trying to introduce the next generation to the medium, this is a perfect place to start reading comics online.

3. ComiXology

read digital Marvel DC

If you want to read comics online, ComiXology is tough to beat. It’s primarily an online comic shop (and one of the best apps for digital comics The Best Apps for Reading Comics on Your iPad The Best Apps for Reading Comics on Your iPad There are many reasons to buy an iPad, but few are as nerdy as the pursuit of a digital comic book reader. Read More ), so most issues cost money. But there’s a large, frequently updated collection of free issues available as well.

In addition to Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and other industry giants, you’ll find manga, independent releases, and issues from smaller publishers. If you find a series you like, you’ll probably have to pay for the rest of it. But the mobile app provides a great reading experience, so it may be worth the money.

4. DriveThru Comics

read free digital comics online catalog

You won’t find the big two here: Marvel and DC are absent from the list of publishers on DriveThru.

However, there’s a large collection of books with a variety of comics that span genres and styles. And you will find Marvel and DC’s bigger competitors, like Valiant Comics, Top Cow, and Aspen Comics.

Most first issues are free, and if you like the series, you can buy subsequent issues from the store. Many of those that aren’t free are available on a pay-what-you-want basis.

The filters in the search menu on DriveThru can be used to browse genres, formats, publishers, and prices. Use them to narrow down the selection of comics and start exploring. It’s hard to know what you’ll find here, but DriveThru is always a good place to read free comics online.

5. Amazon Best Sellers

free comics graphic novels kindle Marvel DC

You might not think of Amazon as a good bet for finding free comic books. But there’s a surprising amount of free content available if you know where to look. A good place to start is the Comics and Graphic Novels Best Sellers list. Click Top 100 Free to see the most popular free titles available for download.

You can also filter the list by genre on the left of the screen, helping you find the comics you’re interested in. The list is updated hourly, so check back regularly for new titles.

6. Digital Comic Museum

read online public domain golden age comics 1930s 1940s 1950s

If you’d like to see the genesis of the comic book medium, check out the Digital Comic Museum. You can spend days reading free comic books from the Golden Age (1930s-1950s). The titles and characters may not be familiar—though Captain Marvel (now more widely known as Shazam) does show up—but you can see how the Golden Age books had a strong influence on today’s works.

If you’re looking for modern comic books, you won’t find any here. Nonetheless, it’s fun to browse through some of the classic titles from 60 years ago and see how the artwork and storytelling have changed. Today’s publishers stand on the shoulders of giants.

7. Comic Book Plus

read free public domain comics golden silver age

Established in 2006, Comic Book Plus takes a similar stance to the Digital Comic Museum, showcasing Golden and Silver Age comics that are in the public domain.

Except this site goes above and beyond the call of duty. It’s an archive celebrating the whole genre, meaning it includes a number of features you won’t find elsewhere. There are sections devoted to fanzines, pulp fiction, non-English comics, newspapers and magazines, adverts, booklets, public information posters, and even coloring books.

Comic Book Plus is a great resource for comic book fans, graphic designers, and historians. Once you start exploring, it’s incredibly difficult to stop.

8. GoComics

syndicated comic strips garfield peanuts newspapers

Not all comics feature superheroes. Comics are a part of everyday life—such is evident from the number of humor strips you can find in newspapers. GoComics is your #1 resource for syndicated strips.

There are two subscription options: free and paid-for. Fortunately, the former is all you really need (although, of course, we encourage readers to support the service). GoComics offers a massive catalog including lesser-known cartoons and popular names like Peanuts, Dilbert, and Calvin and Hobbes.

There’s even three categories for our favorite Monday-hating cat: Garfield, Garfield Classics, and Garfield Without Garfield.

9. ElfQuest

free comics epics fantasy

Elfquest is an award-winning independent comic that has been running since the late 1970s. Every issue released before 2014 is available for free on its website. If you like sprawling fantasy worlds, this is for you. There are several series available that detail the adventures of different characters and story arcs.

The series has now concluded with the Final Quest story arc, which can be purchased from Dark Horse. The publisher has also released the complete ElfQuest series in collected editions. But you can get a good head-start on the series by reading the rest of the comics online for free.

10. The Internet Archive

free comics manga graphic novels issues

The Internet Archive has thousands of free graphic novels and comics listed. There aren’t many mainstream issues here, but you can find some gems, especially if you enjoy manga. Unfortunately, this repository can be very difficult to navigate.

Due to the huge amount of material and inconsistent labelling, searching for the name of a specific comic or character is your best bet.

Nonetheless, if you’re just getting into comic books and you want to see what’s available outside the mainstream, scrolling through the The Internet Archive and clicking on a few random comics is a good tactic.

Start Reading Comics Online for Free Now!

The sites listed above all let you read comics online for free. And they will allow you to revisit your favorites, explore the works of different publishers and creative teams, and get a glimpse into the past to see what the Golden Age of comics was like. All for free.

If you’re deciding between Marvel Unlimited and ComiXology Unlimited Marvel Unlimited vs. ComiXology Unlimited: Which Is Best? Marvel Unlimited vs. ComiXology Unlimited: Which Is Best? Here's our breakdown of Marvel Unlimited vs. ComiXology Unlimited, comparing the costs, content, and interfaces to pick a winner. Read More , check out our comparison of which is best.

Comics are enjoying a resurgence, and you can take full advantage of this if you know the best comic book websites to visit 4 Awesome Comic Book Sites You Don't Want to Miss 4 Awesome Comic Book Sites You Don't Want to Miss You may be a long-term enthusiast or a complete newbie. These are the best comic book sites and communities you need to be a part of. Read More .

Image Credits: Evart/Shutterstock

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  1. Ryan Dunlavey
    April 12, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you for editing this article to only lists legal sources of free comics.

  2. Ryan Dunlavey
    April 12, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    Dann, your article is irresponsible. It points to multiple web sites that illegally distribute comics works without the permission of the authors and publishers that own them (the first three entries listed here, the other six are legit). You're showing your audience how to steal, period. What's worse, the internet archive history of this article shows that it's been updated many times as pirate sites come and go, and this article ranks very high on a Google searches for "free comics" - to me that says that you're showing your audience how to pirate comics material willingly and willfully. This article's continued existence is damaging to my industry and the livelihood of my peers and myself. It's a slap in the face of content creators everywhere, not just comic book people.
    Make Use Of needs to delete this article and all its associated comments immediately.

  3. Robert Boyd
    April 12, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    How about tips on how to shoplift in comics stores?

  4. Ryan Dunlavey
    April 12, 2019 at 3:16 am

    Take down this article.

  5. Ryan Dunlavey
    April 1, 2019 at 2:18 am

    Those first three sites on your list are PIRATED comic sites - all the comics are uploaded illegally without the permission of the comic creators and publishers. It's stealing, period. This is irresponsible reporting.

  6. Ryan Dunlavey
    April 1, 2019 at 2:16 am

    HEY - those first three sites listed are PIRATED comic sites. All the comics are uploaded without permission from the publishers, and the comic creators and publishers don't get any money from the reading. It's STEALING, period.
    This is irresponsible journalism.
    You want free comics? Go to your local library - they have plenty, and most even loan out digital comics, and all are purchased 100% legally from the publishers.

  7. Joe
    February 15, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Empire-DCP-Minutemen-Scans

  8. DC Master Race
    July 25, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Hello Comic! has moved to hellocomic.to
    You might wanna update that link...

  9. Matty C
    July 23, 2016 at 9:56 am

    looking for the 94 superboy collection. readcomics.net and readcomics,to are both missing issues

  10. Captain Hase
    June 3, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    How does "getcomics.info" work? If I want to download a comic (it seems I cant read it online at all?) I get transfered to a site with attention line "You have requested a link to sh.st". If I then klick the "Get Link" button, I get directed to a nearly empty site and nothing happens. Thanks a lot in advance for any help :)

    • Anonymous
      June 28, 2016 at 8:10 am

      Read Comics Online for Free. Biggest database for Marvel, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics Online

  11. Naim
    May 31, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Hi! have you found a new page like Hellocomic? it was recently taken down...

    • foxxstory
      June 17, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      readcomics.net

    • DC Master Race
      July 25, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      Hello Comic wasn't taken down, it's moved to hellocomic.to

  12. melela
    May 22, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    thank you for this

    • Dann Albright
      May 25, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      You're welcome! Happy reading. :-)

      • Ryan Dunlavey
        April 12, 2019 at 3:19 am

        Your reporting is irresponsible.

  13. Joe
    May 14, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    whats the best site currently? Ive mostly used view comic. please and thank you

    • Dann Albright
      May 25, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      It depends on what you're looking for. I'd try Comixology or DriveThru first.

  14. jj
    May 8, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Hello Comic was recently seized, may or may not be returning.

    • Dann Albright
      May 9, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      Thanks for pointing that out. This article is a bit dated now, as things can change really fast. Maybe we'll have to work on updating it or getting a new one out soon!

      • foxxstory
        June 17, 2016 at 2:57 pm

        try this readcomics.net

        • Dann Albright
          June 21, 2016 at 1:26 pm

          Just checked this out, and there are definitely some good issues available; lots of new stuff. But that make me a little nervous that it'll get hit with a cease-and-desist pretty soon.

    • Ryan Dunlavey
      April 12, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      Good riddance.

  15. Bobby poo
    May 5, 2016 at 2:10 am

    This shit doesn't work

    • Dann Albright
      May 6, 2016 at 6:34 pm

      If you're willing to provide some useful information instead of a profane complaint, I might be willing to help you out.

  16. CoralineCastell
    December 10, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Just what I needed! Thank you. (: