Dark Horse has announced that the Dark Horse Digital app for Android will be shuttered next week, on March 25th, 2024. Purchased comics can still be read via the Dark Horse Digital website or the Dark Horse Digital iOS app

The app will be removed from the Google Play Store on March 25th, although users who currently have the app installed will be able to read any comics already downloaded before that date. The ability to download new comics will be removed with the update.

In a brief statement, Dark Horse shared that ‘after careful consideration we have determined that focusing our development resources on our webstore and iOS app is the best path forward for Dark Horse Digital.’

Screenshot 2024 03 19 at 6.20.06%E2%80%AFPM e1710890499562
The current Dark Horse Digital app page only advertises the iOS app

The move comes during a tumultuous few years for digital comics readers, as the stripmining of comiXology and the closure of Marvel and D.C.‘s own apps have reshaped the digital landscape in dramatic fashion. Although comiXology still exists in a butchered form via Kindlethere has been little consensus on what app will replace it as top dog…

Omnibus, a new-ish digital comics store and reader, has announced that they are releasing an iOS app specifically for the iPhone today, expanding their reach to mobile devices. The service was previously only available through their desktop site or via an iPad app.omnibus iphone graphic

Omnibus was announced at the beginning of 2023, and officially launched for iPad in May of the same year. Presented as an alternative to comiXology after the previously mentioned changes, Omnibus has quickly built partnerships with some of the largest American comics publishers, including Dark Horse, Image, and IDW.

The update from Team Omnibus added that wishlists were added as a feature on the web store, a brand-new store front is on the way this week, and reiterated that an Android app is coming soon.

Here is a current (as of March 2024) list of all publishers available through Omnibus:

    • ABLAZE
    • Ahoy Comics
    • Archie Comics
    • Black Panel Press
    • BOOM! Studios
    • CEX
    • darkhorse
    • Humanoids
    • IDW
    • Image Comics
    • Mad Cave Studios
    • Oni Press
    • Papercutz
    • Scout Comics
    • Silver Sprocket
    • Titan Comics
    • Top Shelf Productions
    • Valiant
    • Vault

It remains to be seen if other publishers will add their catalog to the app or jump to other nascent comics readers like GlobalComix or GoGo, but it’s fascinating to watch what companies decide to do post-comiXology. I’d love to hear from power users of these apps (including Kindle) to get their perspective on what’s working and what’s not, but I’ll be testing everything out soon to get a better feel for the ups and downs of all platforms.

Speaking of GoGo and their associates, Marvel has debuted the ‘Marvel’s Infinity Comics: Start Scrolling’ program within the Marvel Unlimited app. The program allows users to access over 100 Infinity Comics for free, without requiring a login. According to the press release, different stories will be cycled into the program this year.

Marvel's Infinity Comics: Start Scrolling for free!Marvel's Infinity Comics: Start Scrolling for free!

Jessica Malloy, VP of Marketing, Marvel Unlimited gave a brief statement in the announcement:

“Marvel Unlimited’s Infinity Comics were not only introduced to provide a new way to experience Marvel stories, but also to create additional avenues for fresh and under-explored corners of the Marvel Universe. The Start Scrolling program is truly an extension of that. And with titles being rotated regularly, we hope to keep welcoming in readers to our ever-expanding comic universe!”

Infinity Comics launched in September 2021 as a competitor to the vertical scroll comics popularized on webtoon, with over 1,000 comics released since then. The format has seen experimentation in the last few months, with a number of titles from Marvel’s main line receiving both a standard digital release and an Infinity Comic release. Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant was given this treatment (tribute to the late, great John Romita Jr. included), as well as the soon to conclude GODS and titles within in the new Ultimate Universe. Recent print editions of single issues have included the usual digital download codes as well as bonus comics, which have occasionally wound up being complete arcs of digital stories.

It’s been interesting to see the response to these comics. I’ve seen people within fan circles across X and other platforms excitedly share appearances of their favorite niche characters who wouldn’t normally show up, but that’s been the majority of chatter I’ve noticed. There’s a ton of fun to be had in these, as the format allows for more low-key stories that have a great deal of character and heart in them. The X-Line even used them during the recent Fall of X, with key moments for Firestar and Sunspot referenced in the flagship X Men. Hopefully these stories find a place in a physical format down the line, as a few X-Men Unlimited arcs have.

Keep it to the Beat for more news, digital or otherwise!


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