Panels and Colors

It’s been around two years that I’ve been reading comics (regularly), thanks to the New 52 and Brandon at Wizard’s comics. There’s been some ups, downs, and complete blindsides. But, one thing has really stood out to me – how does DC keep making such awful decisions?

I don’t want to make this post into a big ‘bash DC’ thing that people that are way more in tune with things are able to do in a much more intelligent way than I feel I can, but as a consumer, its becoming increasingly difficult to justify continuing to support the things DC does that I DO like a lot because of what has been happening to the other stuff that I like. It’s putting me in a position that I just don’t know what to do – do I continue to buy the stories that I like and supporting the titles I think have really interesting characters, or do I just walk away on principle?

I don’t know what the answer is. I guess I’ll have to talk with my trusted comic advice folk on that.

Changing gears a little – Marvel, on the other hand, has been engaging me big time lately and seem to be doing lots of things ‘right’ in the eyes of this consumer.

Last night, I read the first three issues of the current X-Men event, Battle of the Atom. HOLY HELL. It’s so good. The event isn’t like the  events I’ve read from Batman (Night of the Owls) where the other titles have tie-ins and aren’t really necessary to read. Each book is engaging the main story. Each book is necessary reading. Each book doesn’t seem ‘shoehorned’ in so that they can throw a special event banner on the cover. When I heard about the event, I was a little weary, given that I didn’t really know if I was buying into something worth my time (and money). In short – it has been so far.

(Edit: A reader asked what X-titles I was reading to get a sense of how much knowledge I have of what is going on with the mutants. I’m only reading X-men. Battle of the Atom #1 does an excellent job of summarizing the major plot points you need to know to get into this event.)

Feeling my way through the masses of books that are available (and of interest to me) has been a really eye-opening experience. I’m glad that I’ve picked up this hobby and I expect that I will keep buying comics for years to come.

Colored pages…

One of my good friends has always been into Comic books.  I’d read them here and there, but never collected.  As I got older, I became more intimidated by the huge history of the characters, which hindered me getting into the books.

Along came the Ultimate line from Marvel.  Everything was reset.  It was a great starting point.  I read Ultimate X-Men and The Ultimates for a while, in trade paperback form, but I found that the stories weren’t very strong as time passed.  I stopped reading them.

I discovered Gaiman’s Sandman, which I enjoyed and also benefited from me starting from square one with that character as well.  The Watchmen was another that I really enjoyed (and of course, I read because of the movie).

For my birthday one year, I received the Batman: Hush trade paperbacks.  I loved it, but the six or so titles that featured Batman confused me.  I didn’t understand why there were so many titles, what the differences were and how important it was to follow them all.

This year, I heard about DC relaunching their titles, starting everything back at #1.  I talked to Brandon, the manager at Wizard’s Comics University about the relaunch and got a good sense of what the different titles would be like and to just get an idea of what was out there.  I wanted to read Batman stories.  He pulled out a copy of Detective Comics #854 from his personal collection and gave it to me to try out.  It was the first issue of the Batwoman: Elegy story.  The art was amazing.  The Batwoman character blew me away.  I promptly picked up the Trade Paperback (at Chapters, it was close and available, sorry Brandon!).

Anyway, with the relaunch, I’ve got three titles that I’m definitely putting in a file: Batwoman, Batman, and Detective Comics.  Several other titles were of interest, but I was unsure about them.  On a one-issue  trial: Justice League, Justice League Dark, Batman: The Dark Knight.

In anticipation, I re-read Hush.  I caught something I hadn’t caught before, which I really liked.  When in Gotham, everything seems to have a sense of darkness or dread about it.  The city isn’t a pure place.  You can tell by the way everything is depicted.  The action moves to Metropolis, and the city is completely different.  It’s bright and hopeful.  Every panel shows this.  It was really need to realize and really added depth to the locations.