Say you, perchance, want to read comic books. But maybe you don’t have the cash to spend on them. If only there were some sort of day where comic books were given away for free? Well, you are in luck, dear reader, because tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day.
I feel like I have been waiting all my life for an all-female Marvel team comic. Marvel doesn’t have the best history with female led titles. They cancelled some of their most popular titles like X-23 and She-Hulk, and some never even make it to a shelf when Marvel gets too nervous about “taking a risk” with a female-led title.
Because Marvel is less likely to take chances on new titles, for the longest time DC Comics has been wiping the floor with Marvel in terms of female-led titles. DC has always had THE female comic with Wonder Woman, but has followed that title up with other consistent female led titles like Birds of Prey, Batwoman, Batgirl, Supergirl, and several others. When it comes to female representation in comics, Marvel tends to pale in comparison—until now.
Recently, Marvel has been stepping up their game with titles like Captain Marvel, Red She-Hulk, and Journey into Mystery. Now finally, Marvel is giving us an all-female superhero team with Fearless Defenders!
Right now, the team is more of a duo as the comic writers attempt to set up and build the team. In this first issue, we meet heroes Valkyrie and Misty Knight who fight mercenaries and zombies. Hell yeah!
I personally never really knew much about Valkyrie and Misty Knight before this comic. I only knew a little of Valkyrie from Thor. Apparently, these characters were chosen to introduce the fans to some minor, but awesome characters.
We have a diverse cast developing with Misty Knight as an awesome black female character, while Valkyrie and Annabelle Riggs, an archaeologist and friend of Misty’s, seem to both be queer characters. The comic even provides us with an awesome lesbian kiss between Valkyrie and Annabelle.
The story is awesome and well written. It moves at a fast pace, keeping the reader entertained. Cullen Bunn, the writer, provides a feel for the characters so that readers who have never heard of Misty Knight or Valkyrie won’t be terribly confused.
My only and, quite honestly, biggest problem is with the art. The cover art is to die for, and I really wish Mark Brooks would have done the art for the comic book as well. Will Sliney, the main artist, constantly gives the characters annoying poses worthy of the Hawkeye Initiative, especially to poor Misty Knight who is really over-sexualized.
Aside from the sexist poses, I just really don’t like the art. During the awesome lesbian kiss I noticed that Valkyrie’s hand was really poorly drawn and defined. Her fingers were clumped together making her hand look like that of a Barbie doll.
But please, please, please, don’t let the art scare you away. Fearless Defenders truly is an awesome comic and it needs to be supported if Marvel is going to continue to publish it. It has diversity and a great story. It’s definitely a comic worth picking up.
We usually use this column to recommend the superhero books that we think you should pick up. (At least I do.) And that trend is not likely to stop (I’ve just started reading the new Journey into Mystery arc with Sif and The All-New X-Men, so look forward to those in a potential future post). But today we’re not talking about superheroes.
We’re talking about cartoon characters.
“Isn’t there some overlap?” You ask. Well, yes, superheroes can be cartoon characters. But today I’m talking about characters that were animated first, and then expanded to comics instead of vice-versa—and in particular, I’m talking about Adventure Time.
Now Adventure Time currently has two titles out: a basic Adventure Time comic about Finn and Jake, and a separate book called Marceline and the Scream Queens. Because I find the actual Adventure Time show often hit or miss with its surrealist humor, I didn’t really want to spend my hard-earned cash on a comic I may or may not have liked, so I can’t tell you about the Adventure Time comic series. But Marceline is my favorite character, and she has a criminally low number of appearances in the actual show, so I snatched up the book she headlined as soon as I saw it. Continue reading
Do you see the guy currently dominating this banner? Who is it? Is it Superman? Damn right, it’s Superman! But it has come to my attention that some people who are new to comic books think Superman is lame.
I’m only going to say this once. Superman is cool.
The main reason that many people think Superman is lame is because of how he has been mishandled in movies and TV shows. Furthermore, people tend to think that Superman is actually this really great, squeaky clean guy and, thus, has no depth of character or anything interesting to offer. They couldn’t be more wrong.
I’ve been teetering on the edge of picking up a current comic book series for a while. I mean, I have Sandman, and Watchmen, and a couple Marvel Essentials I picked up at Comic Con, and I’ve read the first two Runaways, but I didn’t really feel like I had properly gotten my feet wet because I hadn’t read anything with a big-name superhero(ine) in it.
I really wanted to pick up an ongoing series, but I wasn’t sure what to read. I would go into my local comic book store and awkwardly stare at the new release shelves and then buy a collection or an Adventure Time comic instead of just… asking for help.
And then I heard really great reviews of both the current Hawkeye and Captain Marvel books on Tumblr, over and over again, and I thought, “self, this is it. We are going to get these books while they’re in print and read them and open a new path in my road to ultimate geekdom.” So I grabbed my debit card, abducted my roommate to be moral support, and marched into the comic store ready to go. I talked to the guy at the counter! He was very helpful and nice! I was saddened to learn that Hawkeye #1 was out of stock and probably not getting another print run, and that Captain Marvel #1 was similarly out of stock but might be in next week. Undaunted, I put my name on a list, bought Hawkeye #2 and #3, and Captain Marvel #2-5, and marched home with my spoils.
So the friend of anyone who wants to start a series like Hawkeye but is foiled by an out of print #1 is Comixology. This website lets you buy a digital copy of the book you want, downloadable to several mobile devices or readable on the website. They have a really cool guided reading setup that guides you through each page panel by panel rather than making you squint at the entire page on your computer screen. This is where I found Hawkeye #1. And now I get to the actual review part of this post.
The first page of Hawkeye #1 states:
Clint Barton, a.k.a. Hawkeye, became the greatest sharpshooter known to man.
He then joined the Avengers.
This is what he does when he’s not being an Avenger.
That”s all you need to know.
This was terrifically reassuring to me as a new reader. I know what a Clint Barton is. I know what a sharpshooter is. I know what an Avenger is. That was all I needed to know to understand this comic. And before I say anything else, let me say this: Go buy it right now.
Welcome back, fanboys and geek girls: this is the series where I instruct new readers on how to get into comic books. Hopefully, you have been reading my past couple of posts and are now diving into the world of comic books with gusto and hopefully a little more confidence than you had before.
Today we are going to talk about video games and the fandom as they relate to comic books.
The reason I paired these two together is that for me they are both sort of wild cards when understanding comics, especially for new comic book fans.
By this point you have watched the comic book movies and TV shows, looked up characters that interest you, and started reading comic books. But wait, something terrible has happened! Maybe you started reading Runaways, but then the authors and/or artists left and went to a different comic and you just don’t like the new writers and artists working on the comic. Does this mean that you, all of a sudden, find Superman’s character boring? Or, do you find yourself feeling uncomfortable because of Harley Quinn’s new outfit?
This does not mean that you suddenly don’t like comics, Harley Quinn, or Wolverine, or whatever you are currently reading; it means you don’t like the author/artist.
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!
It has been a while since we talked about getting into comic books, so let’s get started by looking at my first recommendation:
1. Watch the Movies and TV Shows
Chances are this is one thing pretty much all of you have already done, so congratulations! You are officially one step closer to being a regular comic book reader. For those of you that haven’t, I suggest you check some of them out.
“But wait,” you say, “I have heard many comic book fans criticizing the movies and TV shows. How do I know which will enhance my comic book knowledge and which will turn me off comics forever, or worse yet, make me stick out like an obvious comic book noob?”
Excellent question! I personally believe that all comic book knowledge is good knowledge. Even the worst movie will introduce you to the basics. Who’s the hero? Who is the villain? Are there any love interests? What’s the hero’s back story? Etc. It will also introduce you to what most hardcore comic fans hate and why they hate it. Most Batman fans hate the movie Batman and Robin and/or think that the Adam West Batman TV series was ridiculous, but you will still hear comic book fans talking about them and even quoting them. Sometimes you have to understand the bad things to understand the culture.