Hi, all of the previous posters have given you some good advice. As an experienced orchardist, let me throw in my 2 cents. If you are on a small lot in suburbia, I would definitely avoid anything that can propagate onto, over, under or across to your neighbors property. So that eliminates black locust and comfrey. A seeding type comfrey can get extremely invasive and over time so can black locust. You can do a non seeding type comfrey but for now lets do something quick and easy. You are on the right path though thinking about a beneficial planting to augment your apple tree. Depending on your zone and to add a quick fix for the short term (this growing season), the very first thing is to put some mulch in a ring of about a 3' radius around your apple tree and about 4-6" thick. Use what you can, grass, hay, wood chips but get something down as a welcome mat for worms and nematodes to start working your subsoil. Next, I would consider planting a ring of giant sunflowers under that mulch around your tender apple tree to give it some much needed shade from the coming July/August sun. I know it says to plant the apple tree in full sun, but please trust me on this one, I have had lots of experience killing young trees by baking them in the sun
Once your sunflowers are about 1ft tall, then plant a planting of pole beans/bush beans intermixed in the spaces around the sunflowers and apple tree. The pole beans will use the sunflowers (that are now about 2-3'' when the beans are sprouting) as a natural lattice and also quickly add nitrogen to the soil and give you an edible crop. The birds will give you some very rich 'guano' fertilizer when they show up to eat those mature sunflower seeds. You can even save a few of the sunflowers and beans to use as seeds for next year . This planting will look very nice a be a good conversation piece in suburbia. After harvest you have a ton of biomass (leaves and stalks) to mulch your apple tree with. Then in the fall you could go with a more perennial companion planting to accomplish the same thing that your sunflower/pole bean guild did but on a longer term basis, many of the things Tel Jetson mentioned in his post to you.
This is my version of the "Three Sisters Guild" that I have used very successfully on several fruit trees. It was a guild planting popularly used by some of the plains Indian tribes but instead of an apple tree they used squash plants and instead of sunflowers, they used corn:)