Monday, April 15, 2013

The Comic Book Post

The last time  I wrote about comics was a little over a year ago   At that time I had been reading a few issues of the New 52 relaunch for about six months.  Since then I have continued to stick with it, so this post is about what I am currently reading.

In September of 2011, DC comics hit the reset button on their entire universe creating a new jumping on point for people, and it worked. I am one of the new readers they drew in, and I know I am not the only one.  As of right now, I monthly read three titles.   Batgirl continues to be my favorite.  I explain why in my previous post, I liked to.  The story telling in Batgirl continues to be very well done, and Barbara Gordon is very easy to relate to.  She has a certain "everyman" appeal to how she is being written.  This series has me completely hooked, and more than any other I am in it for the long haul.

I also continue to read Batman, because it is Batman.  Batman has continued to be excellent.  I occasionally check in on some comic blogs/news sites and the word "legendary" is getting used a lot with this current run of Batman. For the most part the Batman series has consisted of two long story lines.  The first, the Night of the Owls, but Batman against a new foe, the Court of Owls- the secret controllers of Gotham City.  The second big story line was Death of the Family which was the biggest Joker vs. Batman story ever.

  I have continued to stick with All Star Western as well.  This is a Western(ish) series that places bounty hunter Jonah Hex in a 19th century Gotham City.  I have enjoyed the series, but I feel like the stories keep ending to quickly.  Each story arc has a great set up, an outstanding cliff hanger, and then a super rushed ending.  It has not helped, that for several months the back up story was one that I really did not like or care for.   I think at some point Hex is going to have to leave Gotham, and when he does that might be a good jumping off point for me as well.

One of the main reasons, why I am considering dropping All Star Western is because I want to keep the number of comics I read down to a manageable number.  If I am not careful, I could easily see my monthly "pull list" ballooning.   I read these on the iPad, which has several advantages.  One of the disadvantages though is pressing download and entering a password does not always feel like real money.

There are a couple of series I am considering branching out in.  For the past couple of months, I have been reading Red Panda.  This is a very pulpy hero who uses science to fight against supernatural forces.  The first two issues have been really fun, and they have also only cost 99 cents, which has been a big plus.

I also the past couple of months have checked out Green Arrow again.  Green Arrow is a super hero I like, and who I started reading at the beginning of the New 52 reboot.  However, I dropped the series for a variety of reasons.  The series got a new creative team, who are giving it a strong noir type of feel. I really want to get back into this series, and I like the idea of sticking with the current arc and seeing where it goes.

Last month, I also picked up the new Justice League of America (with the Indiana cover!)
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This was a fantastic first issue, and I really want to read more.  However, I want to keep the total number of series I am reading down to four.

The New 52 reboot was so successful for DC comics that Marvel (the other big comic company) wanted in on it, and has the Marvel Now initiative going on.  This is not quite a reboot like the DC one.  All of the Marvel comics universe contuinity is still present.  However, they coordinated it so that all of their flagship titles are at a good jumping on point, and to show that they re-titled many of them and started them back over at #1.   This was a few months ago, and as a promotion they recently made all of the Marvel Now #1s free for a limited time.  I read them all, and I only really liked a couple of them.  Even though they had series at good jumping on points, I still fell lost in some of them.  This was especially true for FF #1 and New Avengers #1.  I did like Savage Wolverine quite a bit, and the first issue did leave me wanting to read more.

Of the Marvel books, the ones I liked the most were Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers Arena
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I liked the Sci-fi super hero take of Guardians of the Galaxy.  Other than Iron Man, who was kind of squeezed in, I was not familiar with many of the characters, but the 24 pages that introduced them made them all seem interesting and left me really wanting to know more about them, and what was going to happen next.

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Avengers Arena is essentially The Hunger Games with super heroes, which sounds like an awesome concept.  Of all the Marvel books this is the one that I would want to read.  Reading the Marvel books is a hard sale for me though.  One of the advantages of the DC comics is that a month after they are released the price drops by $1.  This means that I have been reading the issues one month behind their actual release.  Marvel does not drop prices like that, and many Marvel books cost $3.99 (as opposed to the DC $2.99).  Still, Avengers Arena  is one that I might like to get when the issues get collected into trade paperback form.

I was really big into comic books in middle school and early high school.  My involvement with them this time is much more restrained, but I think I might be in for the long haul.  Connor is really starting to show an interest in comic books.  For example, this evening for a bed time story I "read" him two Batman comics.  That, by the way, was his choice (and it was 100% unprompted).  We have taken two trips together to the comic book store, and he absolutely loves going there and looking around.  Since his birth, one of my small hopes is that comic books is something that Connor and I could share together, and it looks like that might be happening.


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