Comics have been bringing joy to people for over a century, but how we read them is always changing. Whether it was the change from buying comics at newsstands to having a pull list at your local comic shop, reading single issues and transitioning into picking up trade collections or graphic novels instead, there’s always been many ways to enjoy comics. Now thanks to the internet there are even more ways to find new favorites and many of those spaces also offer the ability to read comics for free! From library apps to comics companies there are a ton of places to get your comics fix without paying a penny and we’ve curated a list of the ten best ones here!
The easiest to navigate — and most used — service on our list is Webtoon. The app and desktop version of the platform are great and feature an unmatched selection of free comics. While you won’t find all of your standard comic shop heroes here, Webtoon offers stories in all genres, with over 1 million titles to explore. Fantastic horror comics that have inspired hit Netflix shows like Hellbound sit alongside delightful romance smashes like Lore Olympus, and DC Comics biggest hit in years Wayne Family Adventures originated here just like the now New York Times bestselling fantasy Lore Olympus. Webtoon has revolutionized the way people access and make comics and it is completely free. While users can pay to read extra chapters or new entries quicker than usual, you can use Webtoon and access its massive catalog without ever spending a cent. As well as the great selection you’ll quickly lose yourself in the platform’s infinite scroll format that allows you to easily read comics on your phone or iPad.
Our next recommendation is the brilliant library app Hoopla. The only caveat is that you will have to get or have a library card — which you can get at your local library or online — but it’s a worthwhile effort for the massive catalog of comics, audiobooks, and novels you can access. Along with iconic series like Invincible and collected editions of Y the Last Man, Hoopla also offers up weekly new comics from publishers like Archie Comics and IDW. Their vast library includes thousands of books that are super easy to read on your phone or tablet. Hoopla also has an impressive movie catalog of on demand films and if you get a library card for Hoopla you can access other video rental services like Kanopy. When it comes to scope and selection there’s no better free way to keep up with your favorite comics than Hoopla.
The Viz website is a treasure trove of free comics offering the opening chapters of an eclectic array of beloved Shonen Jump and Viz titles to read. The site currently offers access to a ton of their biggest manga including My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer, One Punch Man, The Legend of Zelda, Assination Classroom, Choujin X and many more. They also have a great selection of seinen and shoujo series available too like Maison Ikkuko, Skip・Beat!, and Fushigi Yügi. This is a really easy way to try out new series or revisit old favorites before deciding whether or not you want to commit. And the interface is really easy to navigate on the desktop. If you prefer to read your comics on an app Viz also has an app that allows you to read free chapters that includes over 10,000 comics but access to that full catalog will run you $1.99 a month. But you can currently get a free seven day trial before subscribing letting you read all those sweet hits.
Weekly Shonen Jump was a trailblazer in the manga app game with their app launching with an impressive $1.99 price tag. Now it costs $2.99 a month, but the reason we’re bringing it up here is because if you download the app you can access multiple chapters for free without a paid subscription. The great thing about this app — and the Viz one — is that it updates weekly with new chapters. Titles like Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Dragon Ball Super, and One Piece are all available on the same day that they release in Japan, and if you want to know some of the free comics you can access they include smash hits like Chainsaw Man, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Kaiju No 8 and all have multiple chapters available to free members.
Though you might not realize it, the Marvel website doesn’t just have in-depth editorials and explainers about your favorite heroes, it also features a selection of free comics you can read. While the titles are far harder to find than on the Viz site, if you’re a keen lover of Spider-Man, the X-Men, and other Marvel heroes it’s worth the google search to find them (we of course have linked to the correct page above). Right now you can read almost fifty free Marvel comics that run from exciting number ones like Venom, Giant-Size X-Men and Thanos to Free Comic Book Issues and even entertainingly weird promotional books the company has made for licensors and corporations like Lexus and Ford. Though it’s not an extensive collection there are some great titles here that can help you get to know some of your fave heroes a little better.
DC Universe Infinite
The DC Universe membership gives you access to thousands of comics for $7.99 a month. But what you might not know is that the desktop version of the site also allows you to read Free Comic Book Day issues from the publisher. The lineup of free comics changes but currently they have a selection of 13 books you can read including Batman, Suicide Squad: King Shark, and Wonder Woman: Rebirth. It’s a small selection but definitely worth checking out if you love the infamous villains and beloved heroes on DC’s roster. Plus if you want to read more they currently offer a seven day free trial that allows you access to the entire catalog!
Dark Horse Comics
Another unexpected place that you can find some great single issue digital comics is the Dark Horse website. Their free comics hub currently boasts over 100 comics, which is more than both of its big two competitors. That library includes titles like Hellboy, Mass Effect, Overwatch, Umbrella Academy, and Stranger Things. More akin to the Marvel library this includes Free Comic Book Day books alongside regular issues and tie-ins. The only catch is that you need to make a free account to access the books, it’s definitely worth it though as you can actually download the issues to read offline as well as just reading them in the browser.
Barnes & Noble
One of the most well kept secrets when it comes to legal ways to read free comics is the Barnes & Noble website. If you download the Nook app to your favorite device you can download and access almost 1000 comics spanning the gamut from fantasy manga to DC superheroes. Whether you’re looking for YA comics like Raven Loves Beast Boy and The Nightmare Before Christmas: Zero’s Journey or full issues of series like Batman and Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Barnes & Noble has a surprisingly eclectic collection. And if you want manga then you’ll be happy with the extensive supply of lesser known titles that you can access for free.
There are 100s of free comics to read on comixology though to find them you’ll have to search “Free Comic Book Day” once you’re on the site. The good news is that not only do they have an extensive collection of FCBD books including titles from Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and more but you’ll also find other gems hidden in the results. Some of the current standouts include Marvel Voices #1, the first appearance of in Detective Comics #27, Fatale #1, and Chrononauts #1. Just make sure that you’re “buying” the ones that don’t say Kindle Unlimited underneath. Comixology also means that you download the comics and can read them offline. Though it is a little bit more work you can build an impressive library of digital comics through Comixology.
Our final entry takes us back into the web comics space. Tapas has a ton of original comics by a variety of independent creators, and while like Webtoon they put some chapters behind a paywall you can generally explore and read most of the titles and chapters for free. Some of the most popular series there right now include The Witch’s Throne, Torte and Lacey, and The Beginning After the End. While you’re not going to find characters you already know here you may well discover some new favorites and expand your comics reading horizons.
Looking for more free entertainment? Check out our guides to free websites and apps below:
Rosie Knight is a contributing freelancer for IGN covering everything from anime to comic books to kaiju to kids movies to horror flicks. She has over half a decade of experience in entertainment journalism with bylines at Nerdist, Den of Geek, Polygon, and more. Rosie is a published comics author who has written titles including Godzilla Rivals vs. Battra and The Haunted High-Tops. She co-hosts the weekly Crooked Media pop-culture podcast X-Ray Vision. When she’s not writing, you can find her playing Dragon Ball FighterZ or rewatching weird old horror and martial movies in her free time. She loves making comics and zines as well as collecting VHS and reading much manga as humanly possible. You can find her on social at @rosiemarx.
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