Monday, April 23, 2007

The Comic Shopping Habits of the Occcasional Superheroine

The first book I see is "Fallen Angel." The cover has pink and orange on it. I smile. I like pink and orange. Also, I feel that I have an obligation to buy more comics starring superheroines. Something to support my gender. I wonder what issue it is. I'm hoping it's like, #1 or 3 or something. But it's #15. Bleh. There's just too much continuity I've missed. I'll wait for the trade. Yes, one day I'll buy the trade.

Then I get to "The Avengers." I notice that there are at least two different comics that say "Avengers." One has the word "New" in front of it & one has "Mighty." Bleh. I'm confused. I'll pick up the one with Ms. Marvel prominently on the cover. To support my gender. I note that Frank Cho is pencilling. There is a nude Janet Van Dyne covered with dew inside. I think of "Cloud" from the "Defenders." She was nude too. I think that was her superpower.

Then I notice a cover that looks like The Avengers but says "The Initiative." Huh. This is Slott's book. I like Slott. I should really support Slott's books. Plus, It's a #1. That's good. I like #1s, even for cheesy comics that I know will be cancelled within five issues. I just like to start from the beginning.

But then I see more comics with the word "Initiative" on the cover. Some of them have both "Initiative" and "Civil War." Now I'm officially flummoxed. I start to get literally dizzy. I ask the gentleman wearing the "Joss Whedon Is My Master Now" T-shirt,

"Is this 'Initiative'...some sort of major crossover thing? An event?"

Oh, balls.

Look, it's not the comics themselves that bother me in these crossover mega-event thingies, it's simply that trying to follow them makes me dizzy. The numbering system is just too complex and arcane for my tastes. I'm like that banned Talking Barbie doll. "Math is hard." "I like shopping." Dear DC, Marvel, Dark Horse, Image: I like shopping. Just put these all in trades, in continuity order, and give me a call when they're ready.

Women like trade-paperbacks. I hear this a lot. They like books. I don't know what it is. Maybe they just don't like going into the comic store every month. Maybe they're practical. I know one thing I don't like. Buying an issue of "Lone Ranger" #5 and then realizing I like the series so much I want to buy the trade. That means I will have the trade and issue #5 on my shelf.

This is all valuable marketing research, so listen up.

Anyways, next I pick up Buffy #2. Buffy #1 didn't have Willow -- my absolute favorite character -- in it, but they talked about her. In #2 they actually have her. I smile. I decide to pick up Buffy #2. To support Willow Rosenberg.

So far, I have supported my gender, Dan Slott, and Willow. I feel good about this. You know that phrase, "vote with your dollars?" I'm all about that.

Am I a cretin for finding the "Wonder Woman" #7 cover hot? Is this some sort of reverse sexism? But that's not why I buy the book. I buy it to support Jodi Picoult. A female writer. Gotta support the female writers.

Then I buy Justice League of America #8. To support Brad Meltzer. I feel real bad about the bad rap "Identity Crisis" got because of my blog. And then that whole flap about Power Girl's tits. I really want to support Brad Meltzer. I'm gonna buy this comic.

The tally is: supporting my gender, Dan Slott, Willow, female writers, and Brad Meltzer.

Is there anything else to buy?



  1. Just as long as you don't pick up World War III from DC. >_<

    And I really wouldn't call "The Initiative" an event. It's just a thing that's happening in the Marvel Universe that'll be forgotten once the Hulk returns and starts smashing.

    And you want to pick up Fallen Angel. Trust me. Remember Linda Danvers? Peter David's brought her back in this and the previous issue of Fallen Angel (albeit without giving it TOTALLY away and avoiding a lawsuit with DC).

  2. Funny, that's what I like about crossovers. The obsessive challenge of keeping track of them and the massive geek cred I get from having the whole thing straightened out when we talk about it at the counter. Piecing it together is part of the game.

  3. Hmmmm ... this give me an idea.

    Perhaps it is time to write an ongoing comic series about shoes.

    Maybe I can get Jodi Picoult to co-write it with me.

    Oh ... and Turner could draw it.

    I hear he draws rather sexy Manolo Blahniks.

    (Let's just not mention how he draws pumps, shall we?)

  4. Oh lord, this is exactly how I feel when I go in the comic shop.

    And I think the "women like to buy trades" thing is just pure common sense, because typically if you like a comic you end up with a smattering of individual issues AND the trade, which is ridiculous.

    And when I worked at a comic shop, I got high off the geek cred of following crossovers, too. But now it just annoys.

  5. You should read Y The Last Man in trade, BKV and Joss Whedon both bow before the mighty female.

    Astonishing X-Men Kitty Pryde all the way.

    Im glad you got JLA #8, Brad's JLA is awesomeness and he is the reason I started reading DC comics (I personally loved Identity Crisis and thought it was one of the best superhero stories I have ever read... the part with Robin/Boomer was so chilling I was almost shaking it was that good)

  6. I can't recommend Blue Beetle enough. Fun, sweet, and the characters are drawn people-sized. Or, as John Rogers says: "You will notice the distinct lack of massive, levitating breasts, a choice further marginalizing us in the mainstream comics community."

  7. For someone just waking into comics, a comic book store can be tricky. People don't want to start in the middle of series, and they don't want to read about characters they don't know anything about. This is a uniform problem for men and women, and it leads to lots of GN sales for comic stores.

    But there are new series that are easy enough to get into and good. There are also long-standing series that can occasionally have a good jumping-on point. For example, Fantastic Four #543 - I never read the comic before because, well that's a LOT of catching up and who has that kind of time? But I had heard that this issue kind of broke down the past and set up for the future, making it a good jumping-in point for people. If you go to a good comic book store and ask for help, the staff should be able to help you find some good comics to get started on.

    And yes, sometimes you pick up a Lone Ranger #5 and then, because you love it, have to get the trade to catch the whole thing - that's the way it goes. At least you didn't pick up 1-3 and then have to pick up the trade.

  8. You're not the only person who remembers Cloud.

  9. I decided to read "Identity Crisis" because it was a murder mystery. I like mysteries. I dropped it after # 2 because I found it sickening that they were using characters originally conceived for children's stories for such "adult" fare. A friend later convinced me that I should read the entire thing in order to judge it fairly. I gave in and did so.

    Even if Meltzer had written the story with analog-characters (like Moore did with "Watchmen"), it still would have been a very poor tale. The revelation of the murderer's identity, motive, and method was completely unconvincing, bordering on ludicrous. It's one of the worst mysteries I've ever read.

  10. I would have to recommend INVINCIBLE from Image really for one reason only. It's a fun and wonderfully written (and drawn) book that reminds me of the stuff I was reading when I was 14 (Only back in 1984!). I picked up the first few trades last year and have gone out of my way to make sure I have gotten every trade since then and now have it on my pull list as a monthly book. It's absolutely the best comic out there today... bar none.

  11. Lewis,

    As a HUGE fan of Peter David's Supergirl (Linda Danvers is and always will be my favorite comic book superheroine) I was excited to see Peter do what he did. Great stuff huh?

    I have been praying that someone would smack Dan Didio in the back of his head and tell him to get the character back into the DCU. Making Linda a "mentor" to Kara and teaching her how to be Supergirl would be a GREAT idea... in line with what Peter wanted to do towards the End of his run anyway.

  12. Ditto that, Rocketeerz. My own vision for if by some chance I managed to write Supergirl was to have her seek out Linda for advice on life and Linda becoming a mentor figure for her. ^_^

    I admit, I was kind of hoping for more explanation of why she went to Bette Noire in its pages, but man-oh-man seeing Linda acting heroically is just awesome. ^_^

    I actually don't like all the tie-ins for events. Geek cred is nice, but with all the varying writers on the subjects, who can keep it all consistent? Take a look at the Marvel writers for Civil War: no one could agree on what the registration act said. "9,000 pages long" my ass, Quesada. Tell your writers EXACTLY what it said - talk to your own lawyers and see how they would write up a brief legal act for it if such a law were to exist.

  13. Anonymous7:54 PM


    Please don't buy Wonder Woman.

    You are actually supporting editorial control of books that force the writer to produce a bad story.

    Please buy the Fallen Angle trade. DC has some TPBs, so get those, and then buy the IDW ones.

    Or just buy the IDW ones and buy the trade also, because you'll support Fallen Angel even more. You can always try to sell the comic on e-bay.

  14. I buy what's fun to read NOT to support anything (except for Spike because he's a hottie, but then the IDW Spike series have all been really fun to read too). I LOVE going to the comic book store, I met my first husband there and I go there with my second husband once a month. I'd MUCH prefer to read a comic book than a graphic novel. The comic book opens wider without a gum paste spine.
    I wait until major crossover events are over, pile them all in reading order and read them all at once.

    Oh, and I hate buying shoes...but my doctor (and my daughter)ASSURES me I'm still female.