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Google Play Books signs on as DC Comics' latest sidekick

The home of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman finds a new world in the multiverse of digital bookstores to invade: Google Play Books.

DC Entertainment's weekly comics periodicals are now available from Google Play Books every Wednesday. DC Entertainment

Comic book storefronts on the Internet have been largely app-driven, but that's changing. DC Entertainment, which publishes DC Comics' broad pantheon of comics, on Wednesday started selling its digital periodical books on Google Play Books.

DC's comics also are available from its Comixology-powered app, the Comixology standalone app and Web site, Amazon's Kindle bookstore, Apple iBooks, and Barnes & Noble's Nook store, possibly the broadest reach from any publisher. Digital collected editions have been available on Google Play Books since last September, but this is the first time that the monthly books have been made available.

"Our Google customers were happy, but kept asking for our single issues," said Hank Kanalz, senior vice president of Vertigo and Integrated Publishing at DC Entertainment. "As you can imagine, this takes some work, so we wanted to build the infrastructure internally first, before rolling out."

Kanalz wouldn't confirm specifics, but did say that adding Google Play Books to its weekly storefront schedule did require "additional resources."

Kanalz said that he's not worried about undercutting sales on other DC digital distribution platforms.

"Even with the overlap of people using multiple devices, our Google customer is not cannibalizing our other sales -- in digital or in print," he said.

While Google Play hasn't been as censorious as Apple has with its digital storefront, Kanalz said that he doesn't anticipate any problems with Google. This could potentially be an issue, since DC's Vertigo line of "mature readers" comics often depict more graphic scenes of sex and violence, and use profanity.

Kanalz said that all of DC's Wednesday publications, the traditional day for releasing new comics, should be available now through Google Play Books.