/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

20 great, free iPad comic books

We sample the free wares available in the biggest iPad comic book apps and pick the best examples for casual readers, making it easy to build a virtual comic book library for the low, low, price of free.

ackermandan-square
Dan Ackerman
IMG_0045.PNG
1 of 20 DC Comics

San Diego Comic-Con Sampler

A cool sampler from the San Diego Comic-Con, with short stories from Batman, Super-Man, and others.

Available from the DC Comics app.

IMG_0046.PNG
2 of 20 DC Comics

Batman: Black & White series

A series of Bat-themed short stories, all in black-and-white, contributed by industry vets including Neil Gaiman and Klaus Janson.

Available from the DC Comics app.

IMG_0047.PNG
3 of 20 DC Comics

Blackest Night No. 0

A lengthy intro to a Green Lantern story arc--notable for its grim opening (at the grave site of a famous, and seemingly deceased, character). And since the Green Lantern movie is in production, you're likely to hear a lot more about this perpetual B-list hero over the next year.

Available from the DC Comics app.

IMG_0048.PNG
4 of 20 DC Comics

The Night Owls No. 1

A vintage comic-strip-style mystery from DC's indie offshoot label, set in 1926, mixing elements from "The Thin Man" to "The X-Files."

Available from the DC Comics app.

IMG_0050.PNG
5 of 20 DC Comics

Fringe No. 0

Short (really too short) sampler that intros a Fringe comic series about the early days of scientists Walter Bishop and William Bell.

Available from the DC Comics app.

IMG_0042.PNG
6 of 20 Marvel

The Invaders No. 1

A groovy trip in the "wayback" machine, this '70s series spin tales of classic heroes during World War II, including the original Human Torch (apparently some kind of robot) and Captain America, along with youthful sidekicks Bucky and Toro (all names it may be useful to know someday for a bar trivia night competition).

Available from the Marvel Comics app.

IMG_0040.PNG
7 of 20 Marvel

Ultimate Iron Man No. 1

One of a series of high-gloss re-imaginings of popular Marvel heroes, notable because it was written by sci-fi author Orson Scott Card.

Available from the Marvel Comics app.

IMG_0041.PNG
8 of 20 Marvel

Wolverine No. 1

I remember actually buying this inaugural issue of Wolverine's solo series as a nerdy youth back in the early '80s. Bonus--it has art by Frank "The Dark Knight Returns" Miller.

Available from the Marvel Comics app.

IMG_0043.PNG
9 of 20 Marvel

Captain America No. 37

Part of the Death of Captain America story arc, and relevant because we'll soon be seeing Cap up on the big screen.

Available from the Marvel Comics app.

IMG_0044.PNG
10 of 20 Marvel

The Incredible Hulk No. 1

Not even two humdrum Hollywood movies can screw up my childhood favorite--presented here in his short-lived inaugural gray (not green!) form.

Available from the Marvel Comics app.

IMG_0051.PNG
11 of 20 Warner Bros.

Inception: The Cobol Job

A single-issue prologue to Inception, it features the story of the protagonists' last job before the movie starts. A bit of an underwhelming read, if only because the source material sets the bar so high, but excellent background for completists.

Available from the ComiXology or Comics + apps.

IMG_0052.PNG
12 of 20 Dynamite Entertainment

Sherlock Holmes No. 1

The first issue of a fairly decent indie Sherlock Holmes series, with moody art and a Holmes from the classic Jeremy Brett school of "standing around looking serious."

Available from the ComiXology or Comics + apps.

IMG_0053.PNG
13 of 20 Top Cow

Wanted No. 1

The first issue of a cult series later turned into a largely unrelated Angelina Jolie movie. Created by Mark Millar, who went on to do Kick-Ass, another series that was adapted for film.

Available from the ComiXology or Comics + apps.

IMG_0054.PNG
14 of 20 Boom! Studios

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

A very cool idea--this series essentially takes the complete text of the Philip K. Dick novel (the basis for the film Blade Runner), and illustrates it in a comic book style.

Available from the ComiXology or Comics + apps.

IMG_0055.PNG
15 of 20 Viper Comics

The Middle Man

A lighthearted series about a do-gooder hero and his sidekick-in-training, this was picked up for a single season as an ABC Family TV series (and, in fact, was originally conceived as a TV pilot before a comic).

Available from the ComiXology or Comics + apps.

IMG_0056.PNG
16 of 20 Dynamite Entertainment

Project Superpowers No. 0

A Watchmen-like deconstruction of superhero myths, with art by Alex Ross.

Available from the ComiXology or Comics + apps.

IMG_0057.PNG
17 of 20 Image Comics

The Walking Dead No. 1

Highly touted, but honestly overrated, series about survivors of a zombie plague. Most notable because AMC is working on a TV mini series adaptation, which currently has a lot of buzz behind it.

Available from the ComiXology or Comics + apps.

IMG_0059.PNG
18 of 20 Rude Dude Productions

Nexus: The Origin Preview

A 14-page preview of the latest repackaging of a classic '80s sci-fi series. Unfortunately, it doesn't really do much to explain the concept (a space refugee dreams of mass murderers and is compelled to bring them to justice), but this was such a great series, it's definitely worth checking out.

Available from the ComiXology or Comics + apps.

IMG_0061.PNG
19 of 20 Top Shelf

The Surrogates No. 1

The first part of a five-issue miniseries about a near-future world where people sit at home while living their lives through robotic avatars (like that could ever happen). It was later turned into an unfortunate Bruce Willis action vehicle.

Available from the ComiXology or Comics + apps.

IMG_0058.PNG
20 of 20 SLG Comics

Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer

The promo blurb for this comic reads: "After seeing Geppetto die at the hands of vampires, Pinoccio swears revenge." I think that description pretty much speaks for itself.

Available from the ComiXology or Comics + apps.

More Galleries

2023 Toyota Sequoia debuts bold new look

More Galleries

2023 Toyota Sequoia debuts bold new look

57 Photos
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is ready to catch big air

More Galleries

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor is ready to catch big air

55 Photos
2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

More Galleries

2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

64 Photos
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is one cute ute

More Galleries

The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz is one cute ute

38 Photos
The best Nintendo Switch games to play right now

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play right now

41 Photos
2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: My, what big everything you have

More Galleries

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor: My, what big everything you have

75 Photos
2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gains S-Class tech and swagger

More Galleries

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class gains S-Class tech and swagger

49 Photos