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Miser

Comic Books Thread - where to start?

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Hey,

I'm sure there's at least one big comic book fan here. Was hoping to discuss comics.
I want to actually read classic comics but not really sure where to start.
I'd really love to read great stuff involving the following heroes:

Thor
Superman
Batman
X-Men
Dr. Fate
Spiderman
NightWing

To start with.

Also was wondering -
I've read in comments that before the movies came out, Iron Man and Captain Marvel were B league heroes in the world of comics at best - is this true?

And for comic fans, why do you feel Marvel has become so much more relevant/bigger than DC? Was it always that way?

I read Superman comics as a kid but we would just buy whatever was on the rack and I watched X-Men and the Batman and Spiderman animated series but kinda fell out of it because comics were considered dorky at the time....So no idea where to pick back up or where to begin really....

 

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Captain America was always A list in terms of name recognition, but as far as sales and the importance of his character, it had dipped over the years.

 

Iron Man was always a B lister.  He was A list to Marvel fans, always, but virtually unknown to anyone that didn't read Marvel comics.

 

Marvel was never more relevant than DC.  Marvel were aimed at younger readers, and DC was willing to be more "adult" and sophisticated.  DC's movies were way more successful and Marvel couldn't get a movie made to save their lives.  Both companies were in big trouble when the comics markets crashed in the 90s.  Marvel actually went bankrupt and had to be rescued.

 

People have short memories now cause of the movies.  Now suddenly it's Marvel that has all the hits and DC can't make a movie to save their life.  Maybe in a decade it'll turn back around.  Maybe people will just get so tired of all this capeshit that they won't want any more movies.  I don't know.

 

As for as comics, sales were up for both, but I think Marvel used to sell more based on their youth oriented marketing, particularly Spider-Man and X-Men books.   DC had strong sales too, but also had "critical acclaim" from stuff like Watchmen and Sandman.

 

Now, the characters you asked about specifically have been around for decades, some of them almost 80 years, so there's literally thousands and thousands of stories to go through.  I've recommended several to you many times, but you ignored me then, so I don't see why you won't just ignore me again, but for anyone reading this that's actually interested, here goes:

 

Thor

 

I've never been a big fan of Thor or other overly powered characters so I haven't read much, but the general consensus is the best Thor stuff ever put out was by Walt Simsonson in the 80s.  There's probably complete paperbacks collecting all of it.


Superman

 

John Byrne did great things with Superman in the 80s, and Dan Jurgens in the 90s.  Really amazing, multi-layered stories that took years to unfold.  But that's hard to access for new readers so you can't go wrong with "All Star Superman" by Grant Morrison.


Batman

 

Way, way too much to list here, but "Dark Knight" and "Year One" by Frank Miller are essential, and I also really think the Englehart/Rogers issues from the late 70s may be the best ever.   The Animated Series we all loved from the 90s was based heavily on those issues.  Also, the whole Bane/Azrael thing from the 90s was fun.

 

X-Men

 

Again, there's too much to even start here...Chris Claremont wrote X-Men like a continuing soap opera for decades.  Honestly, I think he's overrated.  For my money, the best X-Men series was "Ultimate X-Men" by Mark Millar from the early 2000s.

 

Dr. Fate  Really obscure character, but I'd recommend the four issue mini series from 1987.  If you like that, there's more from the 80s and 90s.


Spiderman

 

I never cared much for Spider-Man.  He was just boring to me.  I don't know what's considered his essential "story" but I do know nobody ever drew him as well as Todd McFarlane in the late 80s.   He's the one that gave him the "big eyes."  The only Spidey stuff I ever read was by McFarlane...when he left, I lost interest.


NightWing

 

I don't know that Nightwing has had en essential story as a solo character.  He's had plenty of mini series and regular series, but nothing was really special.  He seems to work better as a supporting character, either with the Teen Titans or when he comes back to work with Batman.  I always liked the idea of Nightwing, this grown up, mature, experienced Robin, but I found that the actual execution of the idea was usually boring.

 

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29 minutes ago, EstrangedTWAT said:

Captain America was always A list in terms of name recognition, but as far as sales and the importance of his character, it had dipped over the years.

 

Iron Man was always a B lister.  He was A list to Marvel fans, always, but virtually unknown to anyone that didn't read Marvel comics.

 

Marvel was never more relevant than DC.  Marvel were aimed at younger readers, and DC was willing to be more "adult" and sophisticated.  DC's movies were way more successful and Marvel couldn't get a movie made to save their lives.  Both companies were in big trouble when the comics markets crashed in the 90s.  Marvel actually went bankrupt and had to be rescued.

 

People have short memories now cause of the movies.  Now suddenly it's Marvel that has all the hits and DC can't make a movie to save their life.  Maybe in a decade it'll turn back around.  Maybe people will just get so tired of all this capeshit that they won't want any more movies.  I don't know.

 

As for as comics, sales were up for both, but I think Marvel used to sell more based on their youth oriented marketing, particularly Spider-Man and X-Men books.   DC had strong sales too, but also had "critical acclaim" from stuff like Watchmen and Sandman.

 

Now, the characters you asked about specifically have been around for decades, some of them almost 80 years, so there's literally thousands and thousands of stories to go through.  I've recommended several to you many times, but you ignored me then, so I don't see why you won't just ignore me again, but for anyone reading this that's actually interested, here goes:

 


To your last point - it's not that I ignored you so much as I just never got around to it out of laziness and forgot to be honest.

Youth as in like, preteens or what? Like when you were a kid/teen what were the general audiences of both comic lines age wise? 
 

And why couldn't Marvel get a movie made to save their lives - were they that like, low in mainstream public recognition? And around when in the 90s did the comic market crash would you say?

You have to remember, I'm a bit younger than you so like, all the shows and shit were probably marketed toward people my age. Even like as "mature" as the Batman animated series, there was all sorts of merchandise and stuff aimed at people my age at the time - in the mid 90s. The Spiderman show seems, at least from my POV, like it was aimed at kids, same with the X-Men show. I've shown you all the toys I had based off X-Men at the time. Batman Forever was huge for me when it came out. Would you say they were skewing toward the kid demographic in general - not just that film but comics in general? Or was I just caught up in a zeitgeist? Interested in seeing that period of time - where comic book movies were rare and Marvel not the monster it is now - from the perspective of someone who was actually INTO the comics.

It's said by the way that comic book movies are the only thing holding up theaters. Industry wise, Hollywood has never been in worse shape and it's said in 15-20 years the theater will go the way of the Drive-In; I've read stuff that says comic book movies are basically propping up a dying industry and giving it more life than it would otherwise have. Maybe at some point it'll crash from fatigue but I feel like people are too sheeplike nowadays and too 'programmed' to shake their love of comic book movies...So I don't know. I can't see a time it'll be lame to like comic book films but who knows, maybe this next generation coming up will think it's dumb.


 

Edited by Miser

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I already responded to the first wall of text so I'm not gonna go through the next one; it's exhausting.

 

Ask me one question at a time and I'll answer you.

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9 minutes ago, EstrangedTWAT said:

I already responded to the first wall of text so I'm not gonna go through the next one; it's exhausting.

 

Ask me one question at a time and I'll answer you.

 

  Why couldn't Marvel get a movie made to save their lives - were they that like, low in mainstream public recognition? And around when in the 90s did the comic market crash would you say?
 

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Marvel characters always had a lower public recognition than DC's.  After all, Batman and Superman were from the 30s and most Marvel characters were from the 60s.

 

The reason Marvel couldn't get a movie made was simple: money.  Batman got made cause it had that Warner Brothers money backing it up.  Marvel had nothing in the 90s and studios weren't throwing around the kind of cash needed to make decent, super hero movies with good effects.  But there was plenty of low budget trash like Tank Girl and Barb Wire and even some attempts at Marvel stuff like a Captain America movie and Fantastic Four movie that both basically got shelved cause they sucked too much.  A Punisher movie starring Dolph Lundgren where he didn't even wear the Punisher skull and was basically direct to video.  Marvel's attempts to make movies were a complete joke until Sony and Fox made X-Men in 2000 and Spider-Man in 2002.

 

As for the exact date of the market crash....hard to say...but by 1995, 1996 for sure.

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Never really read comics other than The Eagle and Roy of the Rovers. 

 

I sort of got into the Punisher in the 90s. 

 

Now I’ll look at anything by Daniel Clowes or Alan Moore but it’s still reading which is painful. 

 

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59 minutes ago, EstrangedTWAT said:

Marvel characters always had a lower public recognition than DC's.  After all, Batman and Superman were from the 30s and most Marvel characters were from the 60s.

 

The reason Marvel couldn't get a movie made was simple: money.  Batman got made cause it had that Warner Brothers money backing it up.  Marvel had nothing in the 90s and studios weren't throwing around the kind of cash needed to make decent, super hero movies with good effects.  But there was plenty of low budget trash like Tank Girl and Barb Wire and even some attempts at Marvel stuff like a Captain America movie and Fantastic Four movie that both basically got shelved cause they sucked too much.  A Punisher movie starring Dolph Lundgren where he didn't even wear the Punisher skull and was basically direct to video.  Marvel's attempts to make movies were a complete joke until Sony and Fox made X-Men in 2000 and Spider-Man in 2002.

 

As for the exact date of the market crash....hard to say...but by 1995, 1996 for sure.

 

That makes sense. It's not my world so yeah. You followed this stuff before it was cool to, which I think is really cool.

You would think after seeing how big a hit Batman was in 1989 and how it continued to be a commercial success throughout the 90s that (big) studios would've been lining up to try to do all sorts of things, you know? It's odd in hindsight, but I guess I had to be there. 

You just have to remember it is hard for me to really fathom deeply an age where liking most of the things I like would've made you a literal social outcast. It's a different world to me. I liked comics as a kid in 97, 98 but stopped around '99 because I was the only kid my age I knew who was into them and people looked at me weird. Even then, being 9 or 10 and feeling odd is way different than being 16 or 17 and feeling the same as you might have back around the same time. It's a landscape that's hard to imagine for me.

Also, it really sucks that in the era when zany over the top ideas were huge, and the anti-white mega feminist sentiment hadn't set in, that none of the cool shit of the last ten years didn't happen. Like, Thor: Ragnarok say made in 1995 or 1996 with a metal/alt rock soundtrack.

Who is your personal favorite hero?

By the way, what do you think of the whole Superman idea (Kevin Smith) had? Think it could've worked?

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52 minutes ago, Miser said:

Who is your personal favorite hero?

By the way, what do you think of the whole Superman idea (Kevin Smith) had? Think it could've worked?

My favorites have always been Batman, Wolverine, and Iron Man.  It was especially bizarre for me to watch characters that only comic book fans knew literally become household names, like Iron Man and Deadpool.  There are lots of other characters I like in comic books that aren't necessarily heroes or villains. 

 

I see no reason why  Kevin Smith's Superman wouldn't have worked.  Would have come down to budget and casting.  I never actually read the whole script he wrote but it's been online forever.  He was absolutely huge in the late 90s as far as film critics were considered, and he based the story on stuff that was already going on in the comics, so it would have been fine I think.

 

Eventually, through the backdoors stupidity of Hollywood, that project became the Nicolas Cage/Tim Burton Superman movie which would have been a "Batman and Robin" level disaster.

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3 minutes ago, EstrangedTWAT said:

My favorites have always been Batman, Wolverine, and Iron Man.  It was especially bizarre for me to watch characters that only comic book fans knew literally become household names, like Iron Man and Deadpool.  There are lots of other characters I like in comic books that aren't necessarily heroes or villains. 

 

I see no reason why  Kevin Smith's Superman wouldn't have worked.  Would have come down to budget and casting.  I never actually read the whole script he wrote but it's been online forever.  He was absolutely huge in the late 90s as far as film critics were considered, and he based the story on stuff that was already going on in the comics, so it would have been fine I think.

 

Eventually, through the backdoors stupidity of Hollywood, that project became the Nicolas Cage/Tim Burton Superman movie which would have been a "Batman and Robin" level disaster.

 

Everyone I've ever spoken to says they can't imagine Nicolas Cage as Superman but somehow I can. Superman shouldn't be totally perfect.

Wolverine is my favorite. One thing I'm so confused about is when I was a kid - in the cartoon - he was known equally as Wolverine and Logan. Like the toys I showed you that marketed both Logan and Wolverine...Yet in recent years have tended to downplay Logan but in the 90s Logan himself was "cool"....Any idea why that is the case?

I hate Deadpool, at least in movie form. I don't get the appeal at all....You?
 

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Logan is his real name, Wolverine is his code name.  It's as simple as that.  Some people know him as one or the other.   It was actually revealed much later on that his actual real name is James Howlett, but very few people know that or refer to him as that.

 

I thought Deadpool was cool as hell when  he first appeared in New Mutants and X-Force.   I quickly lost interest in him when he wasn't done by Rob Liefeld.  That's when he became the "jokey" guy that breaks the fourth wall like he is in the movies.  I just liked the Liefeld version.

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14 minutes ago, EstrangedTWAT said:

Logan is his real name, Wolverine is his code name.  It's as simple as that.  Some people know him as one or the other.   It was actually revealed much later on that his actual real name is James Howlett, but very few people know that or refer to him as that.

 

I thought Deadpool was cool as hell when  he first appeared in New Mutants and X-Force.   I quickly lost interest in him when he wasn't done by Rob Liefeld.  That's when he became the "jokey" guy that breaks the fourth wall like he is in the movies.  I just liked the Liefeld version.


What was he like characterization wise when done by Liefold?

 

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31 minutes ago, Miser said:


What was he like characterization wise when done by Liefold?

 

He was basically a mercenary version of Spider-Man.   Rob Liefeld wasn't very creative.  He essentially drew a variation of Spidey's suit and gave the guy a cool name...."Deadpool."   His real name is Wade Wilson, which is an even bigger rip off, cause DC had a mercenary character around for years called Deathstroke named "Slade Wilson."

 

He didn't really have much character or personality...he just looked cool.   But I was in 7th grade, so that's all I cared about at the time.  Cable was the same way.  I look back on that stuff now and it's pretty lousy, but in 1991 Liefeld's Cable and Deadpool were the shit.

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They weren't.  They were lazily slapped together garbage intended to sell toys.  UNTIL.....British write Simon Furman took over, and his run on the original Marvel TF comics is epic.

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@Miser read THE ULTIMATES, Vol 1 and 2

I know you will love them.

 

The cream rises to the top.

All of the best comic book story arcs from Marvel, DC, whoever, have been collected into paperbacks and reprinted many, many times.

If it's really good, it's at the library. 

There thousands of copies of the best stuff (Watchmen, etc.)

Anything really worth reading, you can borrow for free from the library, or buy on eBay for a couple bucks + shipping.

 

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Ultimates 1 and 2...Ultimate X-Men, so so so good.......Mark Millar deserves more credit than he gets.  He basically created the blueprint for the Marvel cinematic universe.

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I was the only one of my friends that read and collected comics and I kinda kept that a secret because I felt...geeky or something? I don’t know.

 

Spider-Man was pretty much passed down to me from my dad when I was 8. Those were the only comics I read religiously.

 

It was always my jam. Peter Parker was so relatable to me as a kid. I read all the main titles from the late 90s, to just when they started over to volume 2, to the late 2000s when Peter made a deal with the devil to save his already obnoxiously old aunt and retconned all the stories I’ve read up to that point. I also bought a shit load of back issues like the first appearance of carnage, the clone saga, and a bunch of shit that still mattered while I was reading it. But after “one more day”, that’s when I pretty much stopped. Couldn’t get into the “brand new day” stuff. And then when Peter died (for real this time!) and Doc Ock took over his mind...fuck off. Haven’t kept up in the last 10 years now. With any comics actually.

 

personally I’d go with ultimate spider-man, as it’s relatively new and a fantastic alternate storyline imo. In fact, they do a lot of stuff substantially better in that universe. I stopped right before that Peter died and they replaced him with Miles though, so I’m not sure from experience how that transition went. I also got into ultimate x-men during that time and like some of the other guys here, I also highly recommend it.

Edited by Bobbo

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On 3/29/2019 at 8:11 AM, Bobbo said:

I was the only one of my friends that read and collected comics and I kinda kept that a secret because I felt...geeky or something? I don’t know.

 

Spider-Man was pretty much passed down to me from my dad when I was 8. Those were the only comics I read religiously.

 

It was always my jam. Peter Parker was so relatable to me as a kid. I read all the main titles from the late 90s, to just when they started over to volume 2, to the late 2000s when Peter made a deal with the devil to save his already obnoxiously old aunt and retconned all the stories I’ve read up to that point. I also bought a shit load of back issues like the first appearance of carnage, the clone saga, and a bunch of shit that still mattered while I was reading it. But after “one more day”, that’s when I pretty much stopped. Couldn’t get into the “brand new day” stuff. And then when Peter died (for real this time!) and Doc Ock took over his mind...fuck off. Haven’t kept up in the last 10 years now. With any comics actually.

 

personally I’d go with ultimate spider-man, as it’s relatively new and a fantastic alternate storyline imo. In fact, they do a lot of stuff substantially better in that universe. I stopped right before that Peter died and they replaced him with Miles though, so I’m not sure from experience how that transition went. I also got into ultimate x-men during that time and like some of the other guys here, I also highly recommend it.

The thing about comics, is that the quality is so uneven.

There are no good or bad eras.

Mostly, the last 80 years of comics have been shit, punctuated by moments of blinding brilliance.

There is so much shit, you just have to keep mining for the gold

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