The Avengers had their Endgame. The Flash, Arrow, and DC Super Hero Girls have wrapped up their current seasons. Fear not, true believer! Comic books and graphic novels carry your kids’ favorite heroes into new adventures! Unfortunately, not all of them are appropriate for young readers. But we found the best digital comics app for kids that not only offers parental controls, but is also free!
The Problem with Digital Comics Apps
The amount of content offered by the comic powerhouses is massive. Marvel Unlimited offers more than 25,000 titles and exclusive bonus content for $9.99 a month ($99/year). DC Unlimited offers more than 21,000 titles and its own exclusive video content for $8.00 a month ($75/year). Both of the companies also have apps that allow you to purchase single issues starting at around $2.99/title.
The problem? There are no parental controls within the apps that allow parents to filter that content. The control over purchased titles won’t limit the free previews, samples, or other content these companies have deemed as being appropriate for all ages.
One Solution: ComiXology Unlimited for Young Readers
Amazon.com owns ComiXology Unlimited, which offers access to 125 publishers and independent comic book creators. This means great variety. With this app, you can get more than 20,000 titles for $5.99/month — so it’s as robust as the Marvel or DC apps, but doesn’t contain all of their titles, which are the most well-known to most kids.
However, ComiXology has an edge with a “junior” app called Comics4Kids. Common Sense Media approves this app for readers 10 years and up. Parents can log into the Comics4Kids app, and kid-friendly content they have purchased at ComiXology will automatically download to the Comics4Kids app.
The Best Digital Comics App? Your Public Library
Libraries stock comic books — both print and digital versions — and your public library card is the most reliable way to filter that content on your child’s device. Plus, it’s free.
Overdrive (logo pictured above) and Libby are the library apps that link to your library card. Parents set “maturity levels” in the app (instead of the device) to automatically filter content. Using the App, readers check out books as if they were visiting the library, and content is automatically removed from the device on its due date.
The one negative is selection. Individual libraries decide what books they offer, so you won’t always find every title. However, most libraries have huge selections and you can use the app for multiple “locations.” Combine that with free comics books while ensuring the content is appropriate, and we think it’s truly the best comics app for young readers.
Comic books and graphic novels offer young readers lots of options for adventure and imagination. While not all content is kid-friendly, there are ways to support your child’s interest in comics without opening the door to inappropriate content. This is getting kids to read — in many different forms — and that’s what matters most.