It’s Wednesday, so here’s a post about comic books

When I was a kid, I was a DC Universe guy all the way, with rare forays into the Marvel Universe to read a few X-Men books, and the occasional Silver Surfer 100 page spectacular (remember those? I loved those oversized one shots in the 70s and 80s.)

I realized last week, though, that the bulk of the DCU does absolutely nothing for me these days, and I’ve stopped reading DC books, even Batman, which I don’t even recognize at the moment.

The Marvel Universe, however, has been blowing my mind and pleasing me greatly for at least the last year, mostly because Brubaker, Fraction and Gillen all write Marvel titles, that kick all kinds of ass. I’ve been reading Captain America, Uncanny X-Men, Invincible Iron Man, Secret Avengers, Thor, and Osborn, and I eagerly anticipate every Wednesday with an excitement I haven’t felt since I was a teenager.

Yesterday, via Reddit, I came across this article at Platypus Robot: A Marvel Universe Primer. It gives some basic history of the Marvel Universe, and suggests some starting points for new readers. If you or someone you know is interested in reading some amazing stories but don’t know where to start, check this article out; I think you’ll find it quite useful.

What are you reading these days? Who's that artist or writer you will follow to the ends of the multiverse? And where are those pictures I ordered? Is Don on the phone?

126 thoughts on “It’s Wednesday, so here’s a post about comic books”

  1. You might like this store’s website. They are running a March Madness-style brackets/voting contest on comic book teams. They also have a great monthly podcast–a roundtable discussion that is basically your buddies sitting around talking about comics for an hour or so:

  2. I’m an elementary librarian, and Babymouse does a brisk business with my girls (written by Newbery honoree Jennifer Holm). By brisk I mean, Can’t Keep Them On the Shelves.
    The Jeff Smith Bone series also appeals to both genders.

  3. I am 100% the opposite. I grew up on marvel, loved it, and find I don’t recognize the characters I loved the most, especially Spider-Man. You name some really good writers, but I can’t get into the Marvel universe these days. It seems like everything is a big event or crossover, and DC is just as guilty. Still, my favorite books right now are Batgirl, Flash, iZombie and Walking Dead. Batgirl is such a classic style comic and really needs more people to check it out. i know it’s hard with 50,000,000 bat books coming out a month, but this is the only one I haven’t dropped.
    Writer wise, I follow everything by J. Michael Straczynski and Robert Kirkman. You can’t really go wrong there.

  4. I came in to plug Terry Moore – glad someone beat me to it. Strangers in Paradise totally revitalized my love for comic books. It’s my go-to title for the “Oh, I don’t like comics” crowd and hasn’t failed yet.
    Echo is also fantastic so far, and a little more in the super hero direction than Strangers, albeit still with Terry’s trademark character-centric storytelling.

  5. I stopped reading comics around the time of the 2099 series. They totally screwed up all of my favorite titles with these weird alternate realities. Magneto ripping out Wolverine’s admantine? WTF? Also, besides all the alternates ruining my base, my buddy’s comic shop went under, so I lost my easy base to pick them up. But I used to read X-Men religiously. I got into it just after Mutant Massacre, when Rogue and Dazzler were fighting over Longshot, and they were taking trips into Mojoverse, and Storm HAD NO POWERS!! and she kicked ass more so then, with a mohawk and no powers, than she ever has with powers. My last comic purchase was one of the D&D comics actually.
    Recently, I tend to read gaming books when I want something to read. I carry my D&D books in a backpack to work with me, and when it is slow, I flip through them, while listening to the Podcast adventures of Acquisitions Inc., and yelling at the math errors, forgotten bonuses, Everyone suffering because Jerry kept forgetting to add his Healer’s Lore bonus to his heals. heh heh heh.
    I’d be tempted to get back into Comics, but the prices. Have to be a dictator of a small country in order to afford a comic habit these days.

  6. If you are liking Thor, I highly recommend the Walt Simonson run (probably one of the best runs ever). Between the Casket of Ancient Winters / Malekith the Accursed, Beta Ray Bill, Kurse, The Hela curse…it’s just one of the best ever.

  7. Marvel has Captain ☠☠☠☠. Isn’t that enough?
    On the DC side, I will always have a soft spot for the Marvel family. I grew up reading the Shazam comics, and always thought DC has done such a disservice to “The World’s Mightest Mortal!” Hopefully they’ll straighten that out soon.
    I always liked Kirby on the DC side from the 70’s…OMAC, New Gods, and then the original Eternals on the Marvel side.

  8. Wil,
    I like the fact that we live in a free comic book world which gives artist of both DC and Marvel the freedom to create their stories. They are only comic book stories and I like them.

  9. Anything by Adam Warren. I’ve been pleased with everything I’ve read by him. His series Empowered is a great take on all the superhero tropes and hes added some interesting things to the Marvel universe with Iron Man:Hypervelocity, Live Wires, and Galacta:Daughter of Galactus.

  10. I’m about as big a comic book nerd you can get, with Iron Man tattoos and everything, but I feel like the Marvel Universe isn’t what I remember it being. Much like Wil said about the DCU (and I feel the same way about that, too), I don’t recognize what’s happened with the Marvel Universe. Brubaker and Hickman are okay, but Fraction, Bendis, etc., don’t seem to have a grasp on the characters’ core, and their writing is long, boring and drawn-out.
    I don’t want to sound like the grumpy, grownup comic fan (though I am 35 and have been reading for many, many years), but I think both Marvel and DC are screwing things up, and I feel the work is overrated. Civil War? Sheesh, thanks for making Iron Man a bad guy; I’m glad the movies showed the true hero.
    You want to read great Marvel comics? Check out Michelinie and Layton’s two major Iron Man runs, and their subsequent minis and one-shots; Kaminski and Hopgoods Iron Man run that resulted in War Machine and Stark dying (aka, put on ice) and brought back in a realistic manner; Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s X-Men; Simonson’s Thor; anything by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, etc.; Peter David’s Hulk; etc.
    Yeah, it’s retro, but I keep going back to those old Marvel comics and their creators vs. today’s stuff. Much like I’d rather listen to alt-rock from the 90s than the crap I’ve been hearing for the last decade (with some exceptions).
    Wow, I do sound old.

    “Get off my lawn, you punk!”

  11. Wil:
    Ironically, I’m basically the opposite. I was a Marvel zombie when I started collecting in my childhood, and then got into both universes during college. But truthfully I’m not fond of either universe right now and haven’t purchased a new Marvel issue in over a decade. (Pretty much since Joe Quesada took over.)
    Yes, I’ve *read* Marvel comics published since then – people lend me stuff to “prove” to me that it’s cool. “Just try it, you’ll LOVE it!” And I read it and then turn around and tell them everything I see wrong with it and either tick them off or they see my points, get disenchanted with Marvel and drop the books themselves. It’s not the creators are bad; I just don’t like the directions they’ve taken. As much as you ‘don’t recognize’ Batman today (and I can’t say as I blame you), that’s pretty much my entire view of the Marvel Universe post 2000.
    As for DC, well, they aren’t faring much better. I’m down to just Zatanna in the DCU, and the ocassional DCU miniseries that has nothing to do with the goings on in the regular line of titles (such as BATMAN: ODYSSEY by Neal Adams). I get the aforementioned UNWRITTEN and iZOMBIE from their Vertigo line also.
    From Dark Horse, it’s HELLBOY, BPRD, WITCHFINDER, BEASTS OF BURDEN, and USAGI YOJIMBO. Oh, they’ve also collected SINFEST and FINDER, which I read more online, but are worthy choices also.
    From Image, just THE PERHAPANAUTS currently, but if you’re already getting BPRD, you may as well not bother, because it’s essentially the same concept, just BPRD is more gothic and olde times mythology while P-Nauts is more modern myth / urban legends (and BPRD actually comes out regularly).
    From Oni, the COURTNEY CRUMRIN series by Ted Naifeh (in fact, anything Ted Naifeh does is worth checking out).
    Jeff Smith’s RASL (Smith is the creator of BONE; this is an adult themed SF story about a time/dimension-traveling art thief)
    From IDW, I recently got DOC MACABRE and John Byrne’s finally brought back NEXT MEN recently. And they’re launching a new ROCKETEER series, if you’re a fan of that.
    I think that’s about it off the top of my head. Everything else I read is found in the back issue bins.

  12. Not to nitpick, but most of that Image stuff you cite are reprints from Bendis’ Caliber Press and self-publishing days. I only like to point this out because I’m kinda tired of Image getting all the credit when it was Caliber’s editorial group (among them a little birdie working as an intern there
    ;-> ) who gave Bendis some of his earliest opportunities in the business.

  13. *GASP!* You mean you didn’t like Green Lantern and the Mood Ring Brigades? Perish the thought! (No, I totally get why you wouldn’t like that stuff. I’m particularly confused as to why rage would make you puke out all the blood out of your system through your mouth and how they manage to do said puking while not being bent over in pain, myself. *snickers while pointing at the senselessness of the writing*)

  14. I don’t know if getting into GL is worth it, but if you liked Batwoman, if DC can ever get the new ongoing launched (it keeps being delayed / resolicited), you may want to stick around for it.

  15. Since you mentioned the Walking Dead, you might want to seek out the precursor zombie series that ruled the comics industry from the 90s before Kirkman showed up, DEADWORLD, that is currently available from IDW.

  16. Strange. For some reason I thought it was written and drawn by Zander Cannon. I remembered not getting it because my reason for getting Top Ten was Gene Ha. No Gene = no comic, for me. I suspect that may have been the attitudes of many at the time.

  17. For me, Bendis is a great writer, for an artists I was big on a few oldies Swan, Buscema(sp), Golden for example. I mean nowadays there are really nice art, but it suffers abit.
    A few of my pulls are stopping but they were:
    -IDW’s D&D comic, i want to get into Moon Knight
    I am GL fan, but the who multi-colour rings bug the snot out of me.
    Also I am an Aqua man Nut, the early 200’s reboot with Veitch writing a fave until the sub-diego thing (ugh!)

  18. It’s been along time since I have actively collected comics, although I still have an extensive collection neatly bagged in my garage. Back in the day I rebelled against DC and Marvel (I have always disliked following the masses), and started reading “First” comics. Badger, Nexus, Dynamo Joe, Grimm Jack, etc…
    Loved the writing and the artwork in those books and have pretty much all of their comics and full runs of them too!
    Once DC had the “Crisis on Infinite Earths”, I did start reading Flash, and Wonder Woman and thought they were done really well.
    Somewhere along the line I fell out of collecting, but recently I have been following the “Buffy the Vampire” series and of course, my old friend “Groo the Wanderer”.
    I just started reading “Lady Death”. Not sure why, but we’ll see if it retains my interest.
    Thor was one of my few exceptions from the big named comics and I have a lot of them from his appearances in “Journey into Mystery” on. I just read they were kicking the Thor books into a restart this month with a Thor #1, so i think I’ll head over to my TFAW account and add him on the list.

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