Comics are easier to read than ever these days thanks to digital services, but even digital comics can be an expensive habit if you pay for them a la carte. That makes subscription services like ComiXology Unlimited handy for those who want access to a wide variety of comics without going broke.
ComiXology Unlimited shares some similarities with other digital comics subscription services like Marvel Unlimited and Archie Unlimited. But it differs both in the size and limitations of its digital libraries, with its own set of pros and cons.
What is ComiXology Unlimited?
ComiXology Unlimited is ComiXology’s digital subscription service. Like what Netflix and ComiXology’s parent company, Amazon, provide for TV and movies, the service allows you to pick and choose from a vast library of comics, manga, and graphic novels at no extra cost. ComiXology, a digital platform where you can purchase single issues and trades, has been around since 2007, but its subscription service only launched in 2016—and, unfortunately, it’s still available only in the U.S.
ComiXology Unlimited cost
After a 30-day free trial, ComiXology Unlimited is $5.99 a month, which is cheaper than Marvel Unlimited and Archie Unlimited.
You can access ComiXology Unlimited through the ComiXology app (available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire) or website, and in order to sign up, you’ll need to merge your ComiXology account with your Amazon account if you haven’t already done so. Once you sign up for ComiXology Unlimited, the features are integrated into the app. If you’re using the website to view ComiXology Unlimited, you can switch between comics to purchase and comics to “borrow,” the term ComiXology Unlimited uses when you read one of its available issues or trades. Eligible issues and trades are marked with a white ribbon that says “Unlimited” in the bottom right-hand corner of an issue.
Although not everything is available to read through ComiXology Unlimited, readers can still benefit from a subscription when they purchase items. ComiXology offers subscribers a 10 to 15 percent discount off books—even newer single issues and traders—from several comic publishers including Marvel, Image, IDW, and Dynamite.
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ComiXology Unlimited comics
Unlike Marvel Unlimited and Archie Unlimited, which both offer a wide range of comics published by their own respective companies, ComiXology Unlimited is a one-stop shop for many publishers. Publishers you can read through ComiXology Unlimited include Image, Dark Horse, Archie Comics, BOOM!, Marvel, Valiant, Oni Press, and IDW Publishing. (According to ComiXology, it is the only service to host Image and Dark Horse books.) Each of those publishers offers a wide variety of series to read from bestsellers to lesser-known comics.
Every month, ComiXology Unlimited features a tab that showcases the hundreds of new issues and volumes added to its library of more than 10,000 books.
While you can purchase DC Comics issues and trades within ComiXology, none of DC Comics’ titles are available to borrow in ComiXology Unlimited. (DC Comics is still the only major comics publisher without its own subscription service.)
What are the downsides of ComiXology Unlimited?
While ComiXology Unlimited has plenty of titles for readers to choose from, its selection dwindles tremendously once you pick on a series to read, requiring readers to pay more to continue—and not just for issues that have been recently published. For example, you can start to read issues and trades of popular comics like Saga, The Walking Dead, and Ms. Marvel through ComiXology Unlimited, but you will only be able to read through a handful of issues before you have to pay to read further.
ComiXology Unlimited was clunkier to use with the iOS app than the website, and if you don’t know what you’re looking for in ComiXology, you’ll have a hard time picking something out. (The website version of ComiXology Unlimited does include links to spotlights of several publishers’ comics.)
And before you get your hopes up, you should know that ComiXology Unlimited does not include comics-related movies or TV shows.
Is ComiXology Unlimited worth it?
The short answer is, it really depends on what you’re looking for.
If you’re mostly a Marvel fan, Marvel Unlimited makes more sense. Not only is there more to choose from, you’ll be able to catch up much closer to current issues than you would on ComiXology Unlimited before having to pay to read on.
But if you’re new to comics and want to test out several series before settling on your pull list, or if your comics interests cross over several publishers, ComiXology might be worth checking out. It’s the cheapest of the digital subscription services, and ComiXology Unlimited’s selection includes some of comics’ most popular series—many that often appear on beginner guides. And if you’re willing to pay to keep up with your favorite series, the ComiXology Unlimited discount certainly doesn’t hurt.