10 Great Digital DC Comics for Under a Buck

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You’d be dead wrong if you think that comics are just for kids these days. With the relaunch of 52 of DC Comics’ classic titles, including Batman, Action Comics and Aquaman, audiences have a second chance to dive head-first into the worlds of some of their favorite superheroes.

With the recent launch of DC’s app store across all digital webstores—including spots for the iPad, Nook and Kindle—Tech-savvy readers have a chance to enter this world all over again. Luckily for us, most introductory issues are only a dollar or less in the webstore, and we’ve compiled 10 of our favorites that you can get on the app for the cheap.

10. Action Comics #893

Writer: Nick Spencer
Price: Free
Near the end of the first successful Action Comics run (it started in the ‘30s, after all), we get a peek at what might be a confusing story for many to hop into. But what’s notable for some crossover fans is that it features Chloe Sullivan, who was made popular in the series Smallville, for the first time. Here we still get a little bit of classic Superman action while introducing familiar faces for TV watchers.

9. All-Star Comics #8

Writer: William Moulton Marston
Price: Free
Ever wonder what Wonder Woman first looked like? We’re not talking her origin story here, we’re saying her first appearance in a comic book of all time. All Star Comics #8 makes that a reality for readers, introducing her through this classic-looking reader and giving you a peek into the past—all for the cost of your time to download the comic.

8. Batman #1

Writer: Scott Snyder
Price: 99 cents
See Also:Death of the Family Preview(Free), Batman 101 (Free)
We all know the story of Bruce Wayne losing his parents and taking on the powers of his most-feared creatures (those are bats if you’re not quick to follow along). But Scott Snyder is still telling that tale well, and this version is a timeless one. It kicks off with plenty of action, with Batman taking out tons of Arkham Asylum’s worst (including a quick plot twist with a certain green-haired, lipsticked individual). It’s what we most expect from a Batman tale—Darkness, mystery, capes, cowls and loads of fatality-free battles.

7. 52 Week One/Infinite Crisis #1

Writer: Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka
Price: Free
See Also: Batman 101 (Free), Superman 101 (Free), Wonder Woman 101 (Free)
The seven-issue Infinite Crisis might have not left room to tell the entire story, but that’s where 52 comes in, a weekly comic that details the missing year at the end of Infinite Crisis. Here we see all the familiar faces—whether they’re Clark Kent or Batman—but it’s also the introduction to the star-studded, way cool Infinite Crisis series as well.

6. BatGirl

Writer: Gail Simone
Price: 99 cents
Although Batman might have got all the on-screen glory this summer, Batgirl isn’t a series to dismiss in the New 52. Here, we’re greeted with an action-packed opening sequence that still gives us a rich backstory, where Barbara Gordon recovers from an injury that’s carried through the Joker-heavy (and indisputably great) Killing Joke series. This issue in-particular ends in a cliff-hanger; the start of the telling of a great, layered story that intersects with Snyder’s Batman in the “Death of the Family” story arc.

5. Aquaman #1

Writer: Geoff Johns
Price: 99 cents
After being the butt of a few jokes in pop-culture recently, most notably in The 40 Year Old Virgin, it was a surprise for many when Aquaman came out as one of the New 52’s strongest titles. But that’s just what Geoff Johns (who also writes for Green Lantern), Ivan Reis and Joe Prado did with the series in the relaunch. The story follows Aquaman, who leaves the throne of Atlantis to fight crime by land. Its opening issue isn’t a snoozer, either, showing Aquaman stopping criminals for police and also shedding some light on his mysterious past. Without spoiling any details (the story’s been in print for about a year now), here’s a story that’s pays off to follow in the long-run.

4. Animal Man #1

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Price: 99 cents
See Also: Rotworld Intro (Free)
Buddy Baker is a family man by definition, but what happens when his daughter becomes one of the most powerful beings in his superhero side-world? Animal Man is one of DC’s New 52 standouts and its first issue is a gripping, convincing backstory behind a not-so-well-known character for the mainstream. Throw in an all-too-powerful daughter, undead animals and its interweaving story arcs with Swamp Thing in the fantastic (and in-progress) “Rotworld” arc, and you’ve got a selection that’s satisfying from month to month.

3. Swamp Thing #1

Writer: Scott Snyder
Price: 99 cents
See Also: Rotworld Intro (Free)
Although his on-screen time is far in the past, Swamp Thing remains one of comic readers’ most beloved characters after a successful reboot in the ‘80s from Watchmen scribe Alan Moore. Now it’s writer Scott Snyder who draws from the idea of three universal life forces, also seen and interlacing in Animal Man, called The Green, The Red and The Rot. As the avatar of the green, man-turned-swamp-creature Alec Holland is responsible for protecting all natural creations of the earth, and his documented struggle with monsters, the undead and his own humanity itself give Swamp Thing a heart—even if it’s made from vines and moss.

2. Action Comics #1

Writer: Grant Morrison
Price: 99 cents
Drawing on the age-old tale of Superman, Grant Morrison has crafted a superman origins story that just feels as intriguing today as it did in the ‘40s. Here we follow a fresh-faced Clark Kent, who hand-crafts a Superman outfit out of denim, a t-shirt, cape and working-man boots. It’s maybe not the Superman we’re used to on the big-screen, but this intro to one of America’s most-beloved heroes is maybe better.

1. Batman Incorporated #1

Writer: Grant Morrison
Price: 99 cents
If one Batman is great, then a whole world filled with versions of him is better, right? Here Eisner-winner Grant Morrison takes a vision of Batman as a global force, facing off against an organization called Leviathan. With some startling plot turns in the first few issues (including the very first intro issue), Morrison makes this one a selection that you’ll wish came out weekly.