The Newbie's Guide To Comics

5:51 PM


Comic books are scary and confusing and weird. Also pretty awesome.

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I'm a huge Marvel fan. Give me your Avengers and X-Men and let me flail over them all day long. But comic books have always been something far-off and scary to me. Because let's face it: comics are weird. Especially Marvel comics. Like, you guys, what even is happening in most of them. There's a swirl of plotlines and character arcs. It's alien and weird and gross. People die but not really all. the. time. (Lookin' at you, Jean Grey.)

Once I plunged in, though, I found a whole world of stuff to be learned from comic books. 

So here's some reasons why you should read them, even if you're not the hugest superhero geek. 

They're wildly inventive. Seriously, I've read plotlines like you wouldn't believe. Aliens and X-Men vs. Avengers and boarding schools and anything else. The people who write these storylines have an eye for the bizarre, unique, and creative, and you don't have to look past the cast of characters to see that. It really stretches the brain. 
This is Squirrel Girl, the true Marvel hero.

They're good stories. A good comic manages to show a fully developed character in a handful of panels, with the advantage of having visuals. Color schemes can convey theme. They show you how to tell a story in a concise but still beautiful way that gets the point across and doesn't waste any space. Whole story arcs can be put together beautifully and excitingly and all that important stuff.
Ms. Marvel is hilariously fantastic. 
They can get personal. It's true that a lot of comics are very much explosions and constant action and shooting stuff up and using mutant powers and Wolverine being angsty, but a few comics are stunningly person. The new Hawkeye comics, for example, go deep into being an ordinary dude in a super world and PTSD/depression, as well as family. Ms. Marvel is about figuring out who you are. Uncanny X-Force talks about ethics and doing the right thing and what is the right thing, anyway, when all your options end up with someone dead? That's my favorite side of comics.
The Hawkeye comics are my faves for so many reasons.
They're flat-out funny. Obviously this is the best reason. I don't think I need to tell you that when you put Deadpool, Cyclops, and Wolverine together on a team, things get heated. Not to mention Wolverine being the principal of a school. Or Hawkeye in general. Or everything about Daredevil. If you need a laugh...comics are here for you. 
This is the glory that is Fantomex.
Also...
The art is beautiful. There are so many different styles and color schemes. Just consult any of the pictures I've shared today for proof. 

In short: comics are wonderful. They get down to the dirty personal side of things sometimes. They're the most sarcastic things you've ever read. They're a completely different experience from regular books, but the visual aspect of storytelling is something I'd like to get into more. It makes me wish I could draw, sigh. Long story short, you should be reading them. Even if you aren't super into Marvel or think you don't know a lot, it's easier to jump in than you might think! Just pick a story arc, get Issue #1, and jump right in. But since some are easier than others... 

If I've convinced you yet, here are some recommendations to start/keep on going with. (I will mention that I'm way more into X-Men than I am Avengers, so you'll find more of that.)

If you're 100% percent new to the comic scene...go with the new Ms. Marvel. (no prior context is needed and it's super light and funny.) 

If you like torturing yourself with feels, go for Jason Aaron's Wolverine.

If you're into dark and morbid stuff with darkly sarcastic humor, and you also want to see Deadpool and Wolverine in a room together, go with Uncanny X-Force. (it's worth nothing that this one is slightly more mature and darker in all ways, especially gore, though.)

If you want to laugh nonstop, can take a few cheesy issues, and want to see Wolverine try to handle impertinent kids, grab one of my favorites, Wolverine and the X-Men.

If you're ready for Hawkeye to be your new favorite hero, love gorgeous minimalist art, and want to cry your eyes out and give Clint a hug, or if you're anyone at all, please go read Matt Fraction's Hawkeye. (All New Hawkeye is a very good run, too.)

If you like cool art and cool heroes and puns and a slighty confusing concept but a mind-twisting (literally sometimes) plot, read Mark Waid's Daredevil.

Go be awesome and read all the comics. 

Or not. I can't tell you how to live your life. 

Do you read comics? Do you have any favorites? Throw some recommendations at me, so I can read moreeee.

21 comments

  1. Hawwwwwwkeeeeeyyyyeeeee.....

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  2. I'm more of a DC girl, but I need to read more about Wolverine and Daredevil (I love them both). And if you're looking to break into the Batman comics, which can also get super weird and complicated, I'd go with Gotham Academy, Robin: Year One, or one of the Elseworlds (Gotham by Gaslight is very good).

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    1. Wolverine is just my favorite. I don't know why, but he is. xD

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  3. I love Marvel Comics. I don't get a chance to read them as much as I want though. My personal favourites are like the very first X-Men comics, anything Deadpool, and also Gambit comics. Gambit's comic books are beautiful.

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    1. Gambit is a beautiful human and I definitely need to read more.

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  4. I haven't read any of the comics yet, I want to though.

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    1. You really should! It can be kinda hard to get into at first, but then it's totally worth it.

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  5. I've read the first issue of the new Ms. Marvel, but I really want to read Matt Fraction's Hawkeye! I was just looking at it at BN and will have to see if my library has it. I'll definitely be checking some of these others out as well! Thanks for the recommendations!

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    1. I'll recommend Matt Fraction's Hawkeye to ANYONE. It's so incredible.

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  6. I love comics (especially Marvel!) but I find them hard to read. I think it's because I'm not just reading, I'm looking at the pictures and I get distracted by all the details. I really want to get my hands on some Ms. Marvel comics :)

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    1. Ms. Marvel is just fantastic. And yeah, it's a very different reading experience, and hard to get used to at first.

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  7. YES!
    Comics are amazing. my favorite books, although I dont think they're well liked among comic book nerds, is the Ultimate X-Men books. because when I was like, in middle school, those were the first ones I picked up and thats what made me fall in love with Marvel.

    I actually just finished 2 of the new Ms. Marvel comics. I've liked them so far. although the first one was my favorite :)

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    1. Oooh I need to look at those! I'm a huge sucker for anything X-Men.

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  8. I really haven't read comics, but recently-ish my Marvel obsession flared up and I've realized that I really need to. I just never knew where to start because it's all such a mess. Thanks for the recommendations! I've wanted to read Hawkeye for a while now.

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  9. I want to read them alllllllll!!

    I haven't actually EVER sat down and truly read a comic, (beside's a bit of Star Wars Omnibus awhile ago -which is cool and geeky btw)

    Love making comics, I considered doing it professionally, but getting one panel wrong is enough to drive me bonkers, so I'm sticking with writing.

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    1. *needs the Star Wars thing instantly yes*

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  10. THIS POST IS COMING AT THE PERFECT TIME AND ALSO I HAVE THE FIRST HAWKEYE COMIC CHECKED OUT FROM THE LIBRARY SO /EXCELLENT/.

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    1. AH YESSSS I MUST FIND OUT WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT IT BECAUSE I LOVE IT OKAY

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  11. *is bookmarking this post because of helpful linky links* :O Similar to my comment on your Star Trek post... this is something I've wanted to try out, but didn't know where to start. Thank youuu.

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hey. hey. talk to me. i'm a fan of comments and flailing with you. go for it.