Now is a great time to start reading comics
X Men hit theaters almost 20 years ago and more or less ushered in the modern era of comic book movies we live in today. Once Iron Man and The black Knight both arrived in 2008, it was over. There was no turning back. Fast forward to today and the properties of comics, not just superheroes, are the most sought after in Hollywood, whether in film or television form. With that in mind, and given the current state of affairs, there has perhaps been no better time than now to get started in comics.
The current situation in the world has put many of us in a state of self-isolation while practicing social distancing. The cinemas are closed. Bars and restaurants generally do not work, except for take out. We are stuck at home for the foreseeable future. And we can only stream so much Netflix. So why not curl up with a good book? Or, in this case, a comic, which is a medium that perhaps not enough people are taking full advantage of, given the influence they have become in the larger field. pop culture landscape.
That’s not to say editors like Marvel Comics and DC Comics do not attract a large number of readers. The comic book industry as a whole exceeded $ 1 billion in 2018. But when you consider that a movie like Avengers: Endgame, on its own, can now gross $ 2.8 billion at the global box office, good enough to become the highest grossing film of all time, it looks like the comic book industry that powers Hollywood is itself- even eclipsed by adaptations of these stories.
I can’t say I’m rightly waiting for comics, in their purest form, are for everyone, but given the popularity of these stories in other media, it surprises me that more people aren’t looking for the source material. Did you like Captain marvel? Look forward to the arrival of Captain Marvel 2? It turns out that Carol Danvers was part of the pages of Marvel comics since 1968 and has appeared in over 3,700 issues, including several different solo series. Similar scenarios can be presented for virtually any comic book properties in movies or television. do you like to The walking dead? The Robert Kirkman comic that the series is based on recently ended its series and has 193 issues to enjoy. Don’t get me started on Batman or Superman. It’s a bottomless chasm (and I mean it in the best possible way) that one could rush down and never get out. An all-you-can-eat buffet of superhero goodness that could last almost a lifetime. The same could easily be said of Spider-Man, the Avengers, and many other superheroes who have become undeniable global icons of pop culture.
One problem I can understand for new readers is that getting into comics can be a bit daunting. There are decades of history to walk through. Fortunately, the comic book industry as a whole recognizes this and is doing what they can to make it easy, relatively speaking. Various series are numbered, so it’s relatively clear where this particular story begins and ends. Additionally, commercial paperbacks, which are the most common form of editions collected in the industry, typically contain a relatively contained narrative arc within an ongoing series. In addition, Marvel, CC and other publishers have plenty of resources on their websites to help direct readers to the right stories, as well as set the right reading order. Local comic book stores are also great resources. In my personal experience, comic book store workers are knowledgeable, passionate and helpful. They are there to guide readers and help get the right book (s) in their hands.
Another possible barrier to entry is cost. The cover price for a new comic is usually around $ 3.99 these days. It can add up quickly. Fortunately, there are plenty of more affordable ways to go about it. Marvel Unlimited, for example, is essentially Netflix, but for Marvel Comics, and has over 27,000 issues available. It costs $ 10 per month, or $ 69 per year. There’s also Comixology Unlimited, which costs $ 5.99 per month and offers comics from a wide variety of publishers. DC includes a digital comic book library with a subscription to the DC Universe streaming service. Other than that, most comic book stores have discounted totes that can be a treasure for new readers. Libraries are also a vastly untapped resource in the modern age. Many libraries now also offer digital comics. It really is a great way for new readers to explore essentially for free.
Of course, that might seem a bit like an assignment compared to just hitting the play button. But there’s a reason I urge people to look beyond the screen to find the stories that inspired the movies and TV shows that many of us enjoy. I loved the worlds created by people like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and countless others for as long as I can remember. But there was a time in my youth when superheroes were about as uncool as they get. I stopped reading comics for fear of being socially ostracized, more than I already was then. Then it happened. I remember the day. I was looking X2 in a theater opening weekend with a friend of mine who didn’t read any comics in 2003. When Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine started tearing up that SWAT team in the mansion, I felt something had changed. People have understood. My friend understood. Everyone understood. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t on the page. Those movies, when executed well, were going to endow these characters and these types of stories like I always have.
Some die-hard fans didn’t like, and maybe still don’t, the idea that some people are just fans of movies / TV shows that feature comic book characters. I’ve always thought it’s wonderful that these adaptations help people appreciate these stories and find love for these characters. Why does it matter if these discoveries were made outside the confines of a comic book? That being said, I think there is a lot of joy to be had for these same people if they dig into the source material. To quote Rage Against the Machine, “It has to start somewhere. It has to start someday. What better place than here? What better time than now?”
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Movieweb.