Comixology Unlimited Review! Is It Worth It? What Should You Read?

Comixology shocked the comics world (and plenty of creators) this week with the announcement of Comixology Unlimited, the digital comics answer to Marvel Unlimited, Spotify, Netflix, and subscription library services.

The promise of a “Netflix for Comics,” spread across various publishers and genres has been the holy grail of digital comics readers about as long as I can remember (I have long-term memory issues). Is Comixology Unlimited the answer to all our comics bingeing prayers?

The new Comixology digital library
Cool, but limited

Unlimited, As In ‘Defined by Limitations’

One of my absolute least favorite criticisms of Marvel Unlimited is that it’s not “truly” unlimited. Technically speaking, this is correct. Marvel does not place brand spankin’ new comics in the MU library until 6 months after their release, and there are blind spots in the catalog that a dedicated team regularly updates.

That said, Marvel Unlimited has full, complete runs of the vast majority of Marvel series since 1961. For $9.99 a month you can read every issue of Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Iron Man, Thor… and on and on and on.

That is insane value.

Comixology Unlimited, on the other hand, is very intentionally limited. You can not binge read comics much at all, and the library is instead designed to give you a taste of a wide variety of comic book series. For example, you can read the first two volumes (12 issues) of The Walking Dead, but if you want to continue on with a series that now ranges well over 150 issues, you have to purchase the remainder on Comixology.

For a service calling itself “Unlimited,” it’s pretty reasonable to observe that it is actually very limited.

This doesn’t mean Comixology Unlimited isn’t still a good value.

At launch (May 2016), Comixology Unlimited includes first volumes and single issues across almost all the non-Big 2 (Marvel & DC) publishers. For a 30 day free trial and subsequent $5.99 a month you can read all sorts of great Image, Dark Horse, Boom, Fantagraphics, Manga books (and many more).

Considering a single trade of a first volume is typically in the $9.99 range, that’s steal absolutely one of the most affordable ways to sample some great comics. For any readers who haven’t been locked into my Hoopla Digital suggestion, this is also likely the first option for Image and Dark Horse books. That’s absolutely an exciting development for comic book readers everywhere.

What Should I Read In Comixology Unlimited?

Below, I’ve highlighted books that are available in Comixology Unlimited at launch (May 2016). Books that I include in my best comics of all time are bolded and italicized like so. You can see all the particular rankings over at Dave’s Faves. If I think is an absolute must-read, I’ve noted as much below as well!

Image Comics

Saga Vol. 1 – MUST READ!
Pretty Deadly Vol. 1
Trees Vol. 1
Sex Criminals Vol. 1 – MUST READ!
Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta Vol. 1
Shutter Vol. 1: Wanderlust
The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1: The Faust Act – MUST READ!
The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye – MUST READ!
The Fuse Vol. 1
Bitch Planet Vol. 1: Extraordinary Machine
Black Science Vol. 1 – MUST READ!
Revival Vol. 1: You’re Among Friends
The Fade Out Vol. 1 – MUST READ!
Nowhere Men Vol. 1: Fates Worse Than Death – MUST READ!
Savage Dragon Vol. 1: Baptism of Fire
The Manhattan Projects Vol. 1 – MUST READ!
Rat Queens Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery – MUST READ!
Invincible Vol. 1: Family Matters – MUST READ!
Fatale Vol. 1: Death Chases Me
East of West Vol. 1: The Promise – MUST READ!
Prophet Vol. 1: Remission
Stray Bullets Vol. 1: Innocence of Nihilism
Witchblade Vol. 1: Witch Hunt
Tech Jacket Vol. 1: The Boy From Earth
Satellite Sam
Rising Stars Vol. 1: Born In Fire
Morning Glories Vol. 1 – MUST READ!
Manifest Destiny Vol. 1
Ghosted Vol. 1

Dark Horse Comics

MIND MGMT Vol. 1: The Manager – MUST READ!
Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon #1
Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 1 #1
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Classic #1: All’s Fair
Terminator Omnibus Vol. 1
Chronicles of Conan Vol. 1: Tower of the Elephant and Other Stories
The Witcher #1
Ghost #1
Dragon Age: The Silent Grove #1
Emily and the Strangers Vol. 1: The Battle of the Bands
Axe Cop Vol. 1
Baltimore Vol. 1: The Plague Ships
Angel: Long Night’s Journey #1
Aliens #1: Outbreak
Hellboy Vol. 1: Seed of Destruction – MUST READ!
Hellboy Vol. 2: Wake the Devil
Hellboy Vol. 3: The Chained Coffin and Others
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952 #1
Halo: Escalation #1

IDW Comics

Locke & Key Vol. 1: Welcome To Lovecraft – MUST READ!
Transformers: Robots In Disguise (2011-) #1
Judge Dredd #1
30 Days of Night Vol. 1
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #1
Star Trek (2011-) #1
Rocketeer Adventures #1 (of 4)
G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes (2011-2013) #1
Richard Stark’s Parker Vol. 1: The Hunter – MUST READ!
Samurai Jack #1
Danger Girl: Revolver
Transformers: Classics #1
Dungeons and Dragons #1
The X-Files: Season 10 #1
True Blood (2012-2013) #1
Godzilla (2011-2013)
The Maxx: Maxximized #1
Ghostbusters (2013-2014) #1
G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes, Agent of Cobra #1 (of 5)
Star Trek: New Visions #1: The Mirror, Cracked
Borderlands: Origins
Winterworld (2014-) #1
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Classic #1
Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #1
Transformers: Primacy #1
G.I. Joe (2014-) #1
Garbage Pail Kids #1: Comic Book Puke-tacular

Oni Comics

The Life After #1 – Not on my list, but loved the first issue.
The Bunker #1
Princess Ugg #1
The Sixth Gun Vol. 1
Stumptown #1 (of 4)
Wasteland Vol. 1: Cities In Dust
Letter 44 Vol. 1: Escape Velocity
Scott Pilgrim Vol. 1: Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life – Color Edition – MUST READ!
Queen & Country Vol. 1: Operation: Broken Ground
Archer Coe and the Thousand Natural Shocks Vol. 1
The Auteur Vol. 1: Presidents Day – Weird and shocking, and I was pretty into a couple issues.
Terrible Lizard #1 (of 5)
Ares & Aphrodite #1
Orphan Blade #1
Part Time Princesses #1
Possessions Vol. 1: Unclean Getaway
XOC: Journey of A Great White
XOC: Journey of A Great White
Mermin Vol. 1: Out of Water
Courtney Crumrin and The Night Things Vol. 1: Special Edition
Alabaster Shadows
Helheim Vol. 1: Witch War
Meteor Men

BOOM! Comics

Adventure Time
Bravest Warriors Vol. 1
Six Gun Gorilla #1 (of 6) – MUST READ!
The Woods #1
Help Us! Great Warrior #1
Steven Universe Vol. 1
The Midas Flesh #1 (of 8)
Dead Letters Vol. 1
Clive Barker’s Next Testament Vol. 1
Irredeemable Vol. 1
Hexed #1
Teen Dog #1
Hacktivist Vol. 2 #1
Giant Days Vol. 1
Jim Henson’s Storyteller: Dragons #1
Farscape Vol. 1 #1 (of 4)
28 Days Later Vol. 1: London Calling
Sons of Anarchy #1 (of 6)
Day Men #1
Hellraiser Vol. 1
Garfield #1
Mouse Guard Vol. 1: Fall 1152
Peanuts #1
Herobear and the Kid: The Inheritance #1 (of 5)
Suicide Risk Vol. 1
Regular Show Vol. 1
George Perez’s Sirens #1

Fantagraphics Comics

Hip Hop Family Tree Vol. 1 – MUST READ!
Love & Rockets: New Stories #1
The Complete Peanuts Vol. 1: 1950-1952
TEOTFW
Maggie the Mechanic: The Love & Rockets Library – Locas Book 1 – MUST READ!
Barack Hussein Obama
Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 1: Strange Suspense
Happy Hour In America #1
Fran
Four Color Fear #1 (of 4): Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s
Unlovable Vol. 1 #1
MOME Vol. 1
Today is the Last Day of the Rest Your Life
Barnaby Vol. 1
Percy Gloom
‘Taint the Meat…It’s the Humanity!
Doctors
The High Cost of Dying and Other Stories

Dynamite Comics

Red Sonja Vol. 1: Queen of Plagues
The Shadow Vol. 1: Fire of Creation
Bob’s Burgers Vol. 1
Uncanny Vol. 1: Season of Hungry Ghosts
Green Hornet: Year One
Army of Darkness: Ongoing Vol. 1: Hail To the Queen, Baby!
Garth Ennis’ Jennifer Blood #1
Magnus: Robot Fighter Vol. 1: Flesh & Steel
Queen Sonja Vol. 1
Warlord of Mars Vol. 1
Vampirella Vol. 1: Crown of Worms
Project Superpowers
Project Superpowers
The Green Hornet Vol. 1: Bully Pulpit
Masks Vol. 1
Django/Zorro #1 (of 7): Digital Exclusive Edition
Army of Darkness/Xena: Warrior Princess – Why Not? #1 (of 4)
Classic Red Sonja Remastered #1
Sherlock Holmes #1 (of 5)
The Boys Vol. 1: The Name of the Game
Kirby: Genesis Vol. 1
Red Sonja: Revenge of the Gods
Red Sonja: She-Devil With a Sword Vol. 1
Battlestar Galactica Vol. 1
Dejah Thoris and the Green Men of Mars #1 (of 12)
Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist Vol. 1
Pathfinder Vol. 1: Dark Waters Rising
Army of Darkness Vol. 1: Ashes 2 Ashes
Amanda Hocking’s The Hollows: A Hollowland Graphic Novel

Why Choose Comixology Unlimited?

Comixology Unlimited is right for anyone relatively new to comics,  or who is simply looking to explore a wide variety of new series. As you’ve seen in the comics list above, based on Image Comics alone, you’ll get a great taste of books you like, and hopefully develop a passion for a number of series, whether it’s Saga, Rat Queens, or any other.

The other major advantage of Comixology Unlimited is that it utilizes Comixology’s digital reading technology, which is absolutely the best in the game. If you’ve purchased comics digitally through Comixology you know that the library and reading experience is second to none, and improving pretty regularly.

Borrowing a book through Comixology Unlimited (you can borrow up to 50 at a time for offline reading) functions about the same as purchasing, and you’ll have a book ready to download to your device (in app) whenever you choose. This makes Comixology Unlimited one of the best options for long trips, as you can set up your device with way more reading material than currently available on Marvel Unlimited (12 issues at a time).

 

What do you think? Is Comixology Unlimited the wave of the future, or a let down compared to what you were hoping? Do what feels right to you in the comments.

11 Replies to “Comixology Unlimited Review! Is It Worth It? What Should You Read?”

  1. Hey Dave, great review, and appreciate the reading lists (as always).

    Quick question… does Comixology work based on trades, instead of individual comics (a la MU)? MU’s offline reading has been pretty unsatisfactory for me, so this could be a huge selling point.

    Thanks!

    1. Its more trade oriented, yeah. Some series seem to be single issues, but im mostly seeing collected editions.

      Offline reading is wayyyyyyy better. I loathe math, but 50 x 6 (approximately average number of issues per collection) is probably higher than 12!

  2. First off I only recently discovered your site and I have to say I’m a huge fan. Thanks for all the content. Anyway, I’m not too fond of Comixology Unlimited. I don’t find it as user friendly as MU. Even though the offline content can be much more extensive than MU the whole process of selecting the book, “ordering” it and then the excruciatingly slow download time (maybe that is just me) is obnoxious. A part of me feels that once the free trial is over I’m essentially paying a monthly fee for samples. I contacted them to ask them about how often they will be rotating trades or titles or whatever. I haven’t received any response. I feel like if there was some sort of schedule or maybe a tag on the page for the trade indicating when it will be available on CU I would feel a bit better about keep my subscription. As it is it just feels like a gimmick to draw people in to buying the subsequent books.

    1. Hey thanks! Glad you like the site.

      I’ve had pretty slow download times as well, across a variety of connections. Definitely better if you prep a bunch of books at once.

      It is a bit like a sample platter, and the question about changes to the library will be interesting to monitor.

      Financially, I see why Comixology takes this approach. You get a taste for less, and that spirals into the long expensive descent of loving comics. I do wonder how this will hold up with consumers accostumed to binge culture. Imagine Netflix only including the first 2 seasons of Breaking Bad, then encouraging fans to buy the rest. There’d be riots!

      Will be interesting to see how it plays out for sure.

    2. Painfully slow download for offline reading on MU for myself as well. I had a cross-country flight for work back in March, and figured I’d load comics the night before for offline reading on the plane. Get on the plane? All of one comic downloaded correctly.

      1. I have noticed the offline downloads on MU are a bit… glitchy. I’ve downloaded issues on my Kindle and if I then take my Kindle offline I have no problems. If it stays online sometimes I’ll go back and they’re waiting to be downloaded even though I watched them download earlier. I haven’t had any problem with my phone though.

  3. I signed up for a 30 day trail last week and I don’t think it’s worth $5.99 a month unless more becomes available to you after the free trail. Eager to see if there’s a response on whether or not they plan to rotate titles too. I get access to more volumes and issues of what’s on my TRL through Hoopla, which is totally free. Also, the fact that nothing (unless I missed something) is available from Marvel or DC is a major let down for me.

    1. No there’s definitely no Marvel or DC. I can understand Marvel with MU being available. I hope with DC not being included we can expect some sort of DC Unlimited.

  4. Between Comixology unlimited being only a sampler service, the fact that several creators are not happy about it, I recently discovered Hoopla, and i’m happy with Marvel Unlimited it pretty much guarantees that i won’t subscribe to it.

    Also, can’t you still subscribe to MU for less than $9.99 if you pay a year at a time. I think i only ended up paying around $5.80 a month for my first MU year.

    1. I’m going all out during the 30 day trial, but othwrwise fall into the same boat. I have more than enough to read on hoopla and MU. Add some full runs of series, or DC, and its a new ball game.

      For MU, you’re correct, the annual subscription is $70 US.

  5. Discovered your web-site today and I’m already loving it!! Keep up the good work.

    Unfortunately Comixology unlimited is only available to the US and so readers like myself who live in Europe – in my instance, England — we are not able to use the service. If the service were to be available to Britain/mainland Europe I for one would be very interested in the service providing the service is 1) comparable to its US counter-part and 2) affordable say £8 per month.

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