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Apple is Superman's digital Kryptonite

DC Comics' finest come to top e-bookstores, with villainous restrictions

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

DC Comics, home to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Watchmen, has started to sell individual issues of its comics on Amazon's Kindle, the iDevice menagerie and the Nook e-reader.

DC has previously sold graphic novels on the three electronic bookstores, but only offered individual issues through third-party apps.

The comics industry, like any other publishing niche dependent on dead tree sales, has struggled of late. DC and others therefore found working with third-party apps a handy way to get their products to market more rapidly. The company even released its own apps to help sales along, proudly talking up same-day digital-and-dead-tree release.

DC says the new deals mean “your digital options are expanding”, but The Reg can report the superhero shop has met its match in the form of Apple's walled garden as comics offered on Amazon only run on Amazon's tablets or the Android version of the Kindle app. Downloads to the iOS Kindle app appear not to be possible.

The same applies to Barnes and Noble's online store and Nook tablets.

iDevice owners can therefore only purchase digital comics from Apple's store and can only read them with Apple apps, a restriction that may be an annoyance.

If there's a superhero capable of breaking free of Apple's powers, The Reg is yet to read his or her adventures.

The new venture has, at least, slain the evil that is territorial copyright: our Antipodean Eyrie was able to download one of the new single issue comics, an experience frequently denied to those outside the USA thanks to publishers assigning rights to local outfits that decide not to issue e-books in the territories they control.

DC's relationship with third-party app comiXology remains unchanged. ®

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