Getting into Comic Books

I have always loved comic book movies and TV shows – I adored X-Men: Evolution, Teen Titans and Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and I got my dad to take me to see Spider-Man when I was 10 years old and have since gone to see just about every Marvel and DC movie in the cinema. So I love these characters, I love the films but I had never gotten around to trying the source material – the comic books.

Now don’t give me that “fake geek girl” nonsense because I have nothing to prove. Everyone has to start somewhere, and if the start is from the TV shows or a movie then that’s fine, and it’s also perfectly fine if they never feel like picking up a comic book in their life. Wikipedia is perfect at filling in the blanks of a characters backstory anyway.

My comic collection (minus Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon 'cos that's at home)

My comic collection (minus Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon ‘cos that’s at home)

About a year ago a friend bought me Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon because he knew that I liked Hawkeye a lot (Clint Barton gives me a lot of emotions OK!) and also because this story arc was getting a lot of good reviews. I really enjoyed reading it, it was my first comic and it made me laugh and I loved the art style.

In October a different friend took me to a comic book store in London called Orbital Comics. He was going anyway and when I said that I’d never been to a comic book store but would love to he invited me along. I really liked it in Orbital Comics, the staff were friendly and it was great being with someone who could recommend me stuff. I ended up leaving with six different comics and £85 lighter – oops!

I bought Hawkeye: Little Hits (the second vol. of the Hawkeye book I got given before and I still loved it), Five Ghosts Volume 1: The Haunting of Fabian Gray, Wolverine and the X-Men vol. 1, Wolverine: Old Man Logan, The Losers Book One (because I love the film), and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Avengers. Out of those six I’ve read three of them, Hawkeye, Five Ghosts and Guardians of the Galaxy. I already knew that I liked Hawkeye but I was really surprised how much I liked Five Ghosts, it’s got great art and is kind of like Indiana Jones. Guardians of the Galaxy I liked well enough but I’m not going to make the effort to get the next volume.

I haven’t gotten round to reading either of the X-Men books or The Losers but that’s mainly down to being a bit busy and not finding the time to sit down with them. Earlier this week I returned to Orbital Comics to see if they had the first issues of Ms. Marvel and Loki: Agent of Asgard because I’d heard nothing but good things about them – unfortunately they were both sold out (I wasn’t that surprised to be honest) but instead I picked up Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight and Young Avengers: Style > Substance.

I haven’t picked up Captain Marvel yet but I devoured Young Avengers when I got home. I haven’t fallen for a group of characters that I knew so little about like this for ages. Yes I know about Loki thanks to the movies but this is Loki in a kid’s body (I have no idea how that happened) and I only know Kat Bishop/Hawkeye thanks to Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye series I’ve been reading. While I’m enjoying Hawkeye, I don’t think I loved it as quickly as I did with Young Avengers. I like all the characters, how awesome Kate Bishop and America Chavez are and how Loki is what one would call a little shit. This book made me laugh out loud and I love the art so much. I’ve ordered the second volume which will hopefully turn up in the next week – I think that’s definitely a sign at how much I like these characters and their stories, I’m desperate to find out what happens next – yes I could get digital issues onto my kindle (especially now I’ve found out that ComiXology has an app) but I like the physical copies so much more.

I guess what I’m saying is this – I’ve now realised that I’m not going to like or love every single comic that I pick up, and that’s alright. For instance the 1990’s X-Men cartoon was my gateway into the world of comics but I haven’t even really made the effort to pick up the two comic books I have of them. That’s OK though, I’m sure I’ll get round to giving them a go sometime soon. Not everyone’s going to like the same thing and that’s OK too. The next series I’m interested in giving a go is Secret Avengers starring Black Widow, Coulson, Hawkeye, Maria Hill and Nick Fury and that’s thanks to my love of those characters in the movies. The movies are a great way to make people new fans of these characters and if they haven’t read every single comic starring said characters that’s quite alright.

Buying comics is an expensive pastime so it’s good to find what I actually like and enjoy and spend money on those instead of feeling like I must continue with a series just because I’ve started it. Comic books are just like any other books, so if I’m not finding myself enthralled then I’m just going to put that issue down and try another one.

It's AMAZING go read it now!!!

Young Avengers art is AMAZING go read it now!!!

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2 comments

  1. I loved Young Avengers. It was my top Marvel comic of 2013. (My top comic overall was Pretty Deadly, by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios.) It was fun, clever and had a subtle depth. And I loved that every issue had at least one really clever layout – the “Everyone should be a superhero” spread from the first issue, Noh-Varr’s club rescue, and so on. And of course, the book was a great exploration of what it means to be 18. Metaphor!

    I adored Captain Marvel. Kelly Sue DeConnick is one of my favourite writers – I prefer her over her husband, Matt Fraction – and she does such wonderful work with Carol. She writes some of the most human characters in comics. Having the fifth and sixth issues drawn by Emma Rios was a treat, too. Because Emma Rios is amazing. My all-time favourite comic book artist. I’m looking forward to the new volume of Captain Marvel starting in March.

    1. Ooh I’ve heard good things about Pretty Deadly too – think I’ll look into it when I’ve caught up reading the comics I’ve already got. I loved Noh-Varr’s club rescue and when Loki saved Wiccan from the blank comic pannels – that was just so unique and interesting.

      Have just started Captain Marvel (only read the first two issues) but I’m liking it so far. I think as I get into comics more, different writers and artists will start having more meaning to me and I’ll figure out who I like more than others.

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