Comics are more popular than ever before, thanks to the MCU and now, the DCEU making headway in Hollywood. This has exposed some of the best and complex characters of the last century into the mainstream. Think Punisher, Batman, and the clown prince of Gotham.
Comic Book Reader Apps
I prefer tablets over smartphones when it comes to reading comic books. It gives me more screen estate to read and view art without having to zoom in and out too much.
With that thought in mind, here are some of the best comic book app for Android, in no particular order.
ComiCat is an offline comic book reader that will scan your device for comic books. It supports a huge array of file formats like CBZ, CBR, PDF, CB7, CBT, Zip, Rar, 7z, and PDF. Apart from this, it is a feature-rich app with search, catalog options, password protection. Coming to the actual comic viewing experience, you get different orientations and different view modes like Fit Visible, Fit Width, etc.
ComiCat is quite slick while loading the comic books due to the local caching of the files. This enables it to quickly render books in the highest resolution. For manga fans who like to read left to right and vice versa, the app supports both reading ways. Other options include parental controls, cloud sync, bookmarks, and gestures.
Watch out for the virtual shelf. It’s beautiful. It will cost you $2.99 though. There is support for SD card and cloud storage services with sync enabled.
- Beautiful UI,
- A number of modes and file formats,
- Cloud storage, and parental control.
- I couldn’t find any!
Verdict: ComiCat is one of the best comic book apps with a host of features and options to choose from. Overall, it has a good UI and a nice visual representation.
Unlike ComiCat, Challenger is a free app with no ads that firmly challenge other comic book reader apps. Challenger supports PDF along with the following comic book format like CBZ/ZIP, CBR/RAR, CBT/TAR, CB7/7Z, DjVu, and ePUB. It comes with an internal comic book downloader as well.
While not being feature-rich, Challenger comes with certain nifty tricks. You get both single and double-page viewing modes, infinite scroll with pinch to zoom, multiple orientation support. If there is a viewing mode that exists, Challenger supports it. The only downside is the traditional UI which just gets the job done. The good thing is that it comes with cloud storage so you can access your catalog on the fly.
- No ads
- Supports a lot of file formats, viewing modes
- Cloud storage and FTP support
- UI is not up to the mark but will do.
Verdict: The Challenger dev team focused on functions and features instead of bells and whistles which is not bad for a free app.
3. Comics (comiXology)
Comics is so good that the eCommerce giant, Amazon, decided to buy it for an undisclosed amount. It is a Freemium app that will open your doors to more than 100,000 comics books. Unfortunately, the subscription model is US only ($5.99). The premium model offers a catalog of 10,000 comics including from the likes of Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image.
You can also offline download comics and novels to your phone’s SD. It also supports multiple devices. The most notable feature has to be the Guided View. It helps you read your favorite comics and view the artwork. Even on smartphones, Comics offers a cinematic experience. If you do log in with your Amazon account, all the comics and novels from Kindle are synced within the app.
- Guided View feature is cool
- access to Marvel, DC, and other comic brands.
- It cannot import the local library, only available for US residents.
Verdict: If you can afford the subscription, Comics by Comixology is the ideal app to get. You get access to a large catalog from Marvel, DC comics and some other big comic houses. The only downside I feel is the lack of local comic collection.
Download Comics (comiXology)
4. Astonishing Comic Reader
Quite a popular app, Astonishing Comic Reader runs on the freemium model. The app comes with minimal material design. It has some advanced features like collecting comic books, automatic start of the next issue when you are done with the previous one, intelligent suggestions based on your reading habits, automatic sync, etc.
The cloud storage feature will set you back $2.49 which is called the heroic account. It also comes with few add-ons like user statistics and a favorites option. This is the only app on this list that allows casting your comic books on any screen remotely.
My most favorite feature is the ability to create custom wallpapers from my favorite pages using the Muzei app. It supports DRM-free content in CBR, CBZ, and PDF file formats. It comes with different orientation and navigation options including support for adding tags.
- Beautiful UI & wallpapers with no ads
- cloud support
- searchable tags, and the ability to collect comics
- A limited number of file formats; doesn’t support zips.
- Requires another app for wallpaper
Verdict: Astonishing Comic Reader is a good looking comic book reader app with a lot of features in the free version and cloud and sync support in the pro version.
Download Astonishing Comic Reader
5. Perfect Viewer
Perfect Viewer, though in Beta, is one of the best comic book reader apps on the Play Store right now. It is completely free with no ads. It supports the following file formats: CBZ/ZIP, CBR/RAR, 7Z/CB7, LZH, CBT/TAR, PDF, HTML, TXT, and EPUB. There are different orientation and navigation options with 5 viewing modes. Upon installing a plugin, you will get cloud storage and FTP.
Unlike the Astonishing comic reader, you don’t need a separate app to set custom wallpapers. It also has a bookshelf but it is not as good as ComiCat. You also get the usual features like add to favorites, bookmarks, and gesture support. There is also cast to screens support for Google Chromecast.
- Supports numerous viewing modes and file formats.
- Supports Chromecast & cloud storage platform
- UI is less than stellar but can’t really complain about an app that is free.
Verdict: Perfect Viewer is a serious competition for any paid app that allows you to manage your own collection of comic books.
Download Perfect Viewer
6. CDisplayEx Free Comic Reader
CDisplayEx Free Comic Reader is another free comic reader app. While the name might not be the greatest aspect of the app, the UI certainly is. CDisplayEx only lets you read comic books stored offline and on remote servers. However, the free version only lets you set up FTP, SFTP, and Samba. For cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc you need to purchase the paid variant which costs around $6.
Apart from the basic features such as different viewing modes and reading directions, CDisplayEx also provides custom gesture controls. You can even customize the scroll distance, duration, image size, etc. My favorite feature is the automatic sorting of comics in reading, read, unread, series state.
- Sorts comics as reading, read, and unread state
- Customizable gestures and tap controls
- Download comics offline
- FTP, Samba support to import comics in the free version
- Paid variant includes cloud services support
- UI still looks traditional and less intuitive
Verdict: CDisplayEx Free Comic Reader is a great offline comic book reader. It is an ideal choice for people who have huge offline collection of comics.
Download CDisplayEx Free Comic Reader
ComicRack is also available on the Windows platform which means you can easily sync libraries between your PC and Android. This is its greatest strength. The sync will happen via USB (free version) or WiFi (pro version at $6.49). Apart from Wi-Fi sync, the pro version only removes ads.
The app can create live wallpapers automatically from your comic book covers. Apart from the conventional file formats, it also supports webcomics. All the usual features like gesture, orientation, color, and comic book management that you would expect from any good reader are present. One particularly useful feature is the ability to sort books by viewing states as completed, unread, and reading.
- Live wallpapers and good UI
- Tight integration with Windows and remote sync option
- Pro version is expensive for what it offers
Verdict: The free version is good enough and there is not really a need for the pro version unless you need the WiFi sync. The ads, I found, were not affecting the experience negatively.
These were some of the best comic reader apps for Android. If you are looking for a free comic book app, Perfect Viewer or CDisplayEx is a cool app. In case you want something beautiful and care to upgrade, ComiCat is an awesome looking app with all the features you could ask for.
If you want to go all-in with a subscription, Comics by ComiXology is the ideal option. You also get access to some of the biggest names in the comics world.