Sunday, 11 March 2012

DC, Marvel and Me

Is it okay to like both DC and Marvel? YES. Because I do.

After many years of professing myself as a DC/Vertigo girl I've finally found a small space in my heart for the Marvel Universe. I don't know why it's taken me so long. I read a little X-Men and most of the big events but never really let myself get too involved. Mostly out of spite because I couldn't possibly like Marvel... ergh!

I look back at my childish attitude and laugh because ultimately, these little geek-schisms don't matter.

I've always been aware of comics so it makes sense that I would eventually become one of those "adults" that get frowned upon by colleagues for reading comics on their lunch break. My dad is a collector and has been reading them since he was a teenager. I remember flicking through his copies of Wizard and copying images of characters onto A3 paper when I got home from school.

(Actually, that's always been my problem with drawing. I can copy stuff pretty well without tracing but replicating something of my own... I draw a blank. Literally. If I'd have jumped that hurdle I might have even made a half decent comic artist *wishful thinking*).

Anyway, the first comics I read were things based on the TV shows and video games I loved as a kid. Like Sonic The Hedgehog, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Captain Bucky O'Hare. In my teens I started reading a few Vertigo graphics, specifically The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman. From there on, I was hooked.

I'll be honest though, I've only read a handful of DC trades and they're mostly Batman titles.  However, I've always loved the grandness of the DC Universe and Superman is perhaps my favourite hero. Mainly because of all he represents. I love the historical and cultural effect Siegel and Schuster's iconic Man of Steel has had on the world (well except trendy kids wearing the logo and having no real concept of Superman - like kids who wear AC/DC t-shirts when they've only heard Back In Black, if you're one of those people, know that I despise you).

I was so determined last year to read some Marvel titles and find my way in that I practically wrote off everything suggested to me (sorry, everyone). I read Iron Man Extremis and although I enjoyed it and thought the art was stunning, I was surprised that it didn't feel like the Tony Stark I knew to exist from the films and cartoons. So, when Fraction's Invincible Iron Man run was suggested to me I half-heartedly read the first volume before bed one night... when I was really tired and not in the mood to read. Thus, I never went back to it.

Next on my radar was Straczynski's Thor. I found it to be a pretty good read and will probably venture back to Asgard at some point. But I didn't hit it off with Thor like I'd hoped. I soon realised that this was my problem - I had become so determined to find a Marvel title that resonated with me that I failed to truly see how good the titles I was reading were.

So rather than pick a character that I thought 'might' speak to me, I just went all in and started reading The New Avengers. It's fast become one of my favourites and I'm really enjoying it, even a shaky knowledge of Marvel events isn't putting me off!

It's even made me research other characters I might not have necessarily chosen to read, like Ms. Marvel and Jessica Jones (I sort of fell in love with Jones after my friend Tim lent me his copies of Alias, too!). I've also started reading some Deadpool and he's awesome - I don't think I've laughed so much reading a comic in a long time.  

Of course that doesn't mean I've forgotten about Bats, Supes and the DCU. Last year was fantastic, my passion for DC was re-ignited by the new 52. My favourite of the DCnU titles have been Action Comics and All-Star Western (you gotta love Jonah Hex teaming up with Dr. Arkham!).

Those titles were the two I chose to stick buying the singles of. Although I really enjoyed Batman Detective Comics, Justice League Dark and Suicide Squad too, my meagre wage can't withstand more than a few comics a week. Still, that doesn't mean I won't be saving up to buy many of the trades come April/May! I've heard numerous great things about Animal Man for example, and will be picking that up too.  

I like that 2011 was such a good year for me and comics, personally. I found a way into Marvel's heart and rekindled past love courtesy of the DC reboot - I'm such a two-timing fan girl but who says you have to pick one!?

There's endless amazing comics out there so why restrict myself to one publisher?

It's like that time I used to be vegetarian and suddenly realised that if I really wanted, I could totally eat that delicious looking steak... and I did.

Never regretted it since.

Incidentally... you should watch this video, feels kinda relevant - the guy makes loads of these and they're awesome:

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