Want to get into the history of comics? Get a tablet!


When the movie Iron Man released in 2008, it changed the way comic book movies were viewed. The movie launched what is now known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, currently the highest grossing movie franchise in U.S. history. These highly successful movies have opened up the worlds and histories of characters like Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel), Tony Stark (Iron Man), Steve Rogers (Captain America), and Natasha Romanov (Black Widow) to a brand new audience.

All screencaps in this article were taken on the ZenPad from within Marvel Unlimited or ComiXology.

(New X-Men #24, 2004)

There are many reasons why you might not have chosen to delve into comics until now. The immense backlog of titles can leave a new fan wondering where to start. There may not be a comic book store in your area, or you may have had experiences which left you feeling uncomfortable diving into comic book culture. Comics are also a pain to store, even compared to regular books.

The good news is that a great tablet can solve all of these problems.

Skip the backlog

Comic book fans love stories. We can tell you all about our favorite spreads, creators, issues, runs, characters. If you talk to us, you might think that it’ll be impossible to ever get caught up, or that if you start right now, you’ll be missing out on tons of great stories.

It’s not, and you won’t. Despite what some fans think, you don’t need to know every word of X-Men lore to know how much it hurt when Wolverine died, any more than you needed to read every book in the western canon to understand why everyone loved hating Gone Girl.

(Cover of Guardians of The Galaxy #1, 2015)

The best time to start reading comics is whenever a title or series grabs your interest. Now, however, is a particularly good time to pick up comics in either the Marvel or the DC universes. Marvel just underwent a huge event called Secret Wars which pulled in all their “spin off” universes, and so it now has one consolidated set of story lines for fans to follow. After facing a great deal of criticism for a huge lack of diversity in both characters and creators, DC did something similar this summer, destroying their “New 52” brand and recommitting to character.

Use technology to make reading and storing comics easier

I didn’t get back into comics until I owned my first tablet. I’d had unfortunate experiences when I shopped at my local comic store, and it had killed my interest in the format overall. It wasn’t until a friend and I discovered that comics had entered the digital age that I got back into them. After three issues read on a laptop, I invested in my first laptop.

Comics reading is the #1 function of my tablets. I’ve owned four different tablets over the past five years for the express purpose of collecting and reading comics, and without question, the ZenPad is the best.

(The All-New All-Different Avengers #1, 2015)

The two comic book apps I use are ComiXology and Marvel Unlimited. ComiXology is a storefront for all the major and many indie comic publishers, and has what is generally agreed to be the best reading app for the niche. Marvel Unlimited is Marvel’s subscription-based backlist of comics, for those days when you actually do want to read books from the ’90s — or older! In general, a book shows up on Unlimited around six months after its first publication, and Marvel is slowly adding its older books. At this point, DC does not have a similar app.

Things that make reading amazing on the ZenPad:

    • Amazing storage! Many tablets have low hard drive storage, and rely on SD storage. With the 32-gig ZenPad, I have more than 25 gigs available for comic storage.
    • Unbelievable resolution. A note: to use the ComiXology app with the ZenPad, you’ll need to turn off “Prefer HD Downloads” in your settings before you download your books. As you can see from my images, though, the display is beautifully crisp.
    • Perfect responsiveness. Even with a well-known tablet I bought earlier this year, I find myself fighting to turn pages because of how the tablet detects touch. The ZenPad is the first tablet which never ever gives me grief about page turns.
    • Subscriptions! No more pull list at the comic book store, no more problems with the store running out before you get there, no more dealing with the comic store at all. My comics are delivered on release day, no problems.

Comics have come a long way from their early origins, when they were considered cheap entertainment for kids. Comics are diversifying both creators and characters, becoming more accessible for more readers, and upping the game for reading entertainment.

(All-New Wolverine #1, 2015)

Still not sure where to start? Try All-New Wolverine, a fantastic title where Logan’s clone Laura Kinney takes over the mantle of Wolverine. Read Alias, the 2001 series by Brian Michael Bendis that inspired this month’s Netflix Original Series Jessica Jones. See what Image has to offer with the greatly acclaimed Saga, or see what’s happening with creator-owned comics over at Bitch Planet.

There’s something awesome for everyone in comics, and with a fantastic and affordable tablet like the ZenPad, it’s easier than ever to get access.

All occurrences of “ZenPad” on this website refer exclusively to “ASUS ZenPad.”