I grew up reading comic books. I’m from a comic book family, but as I grew older I found there were certain comics and characters I knew nothing about. Or I would be unable to afford my own comic books and would miss important universe-changing story arcs because of it. I used to think that going to Wikipedia to look up anything about characters or story lines was wrong or cheating somehow, but it’s not, and don’t let anyone tell you different!
There are so many characters, story lines, and reboots that it is literally impossible for you to read all of of them. Do not, I repeat, do not, attempt to read every comic ever written about Nightwing or Captain America—that is way too much money and would take way too long for even seasoned comic book veterans.
Last time we talked about how movies and TV shows can expose you to new characters. As I said, if you like them you can look up and find out more about them, thus helping you figure out which comics you should read. Well, this is how you do it.
Occasionally you will be reading a She-Hulk comic and you will see a character that you have never met before. Let’s say it’s Ms. Marvel—obviously the comic (usually) introduces her as Ms. Marvel so you know who she is but you have no idea why She-Hulk used to be friends with Ms. Marvel, but now hates her. What do you do? If you look Ms. Marvel up on Wikipedia not only will you learn about her current fight with She-Hulk, you will also learn more about Ms. Marvel and her various incarnations, which may then cause you to get more interested in that character. Then you have a whole new character and comics to explore! That’s half the fun of comic books, meeting the characters, falling in love with them, and learning their stories.
Now there is a problem with falling in love with a character. Let’s say you are reading one author’s version of Harley Quinn, but then that writer leaves to write another character, and you HATE how the new author writes Harley. Or let’s say the new author is fine, but the new artist working on the comic seriously doesn’t know how to draw. It’s a problem that both new and old comic book readers face and we will discuss it next week!
See you then! Excelsior!