Hello everyone! Iselynne here, bringing you a brand new monthly comic book column!
Those of you that read the video game section of the site might have seen some of my reviews and articles there. Now, however, I’m leaving the comfort of my gaming cave to explore uncharted comic book territories.
Here’s the deal: For many years I have been wanting to get into the Marvel comics. I watched Marvel cartoons as a child, and as I grew older I enjoyed many of the films based on the vast universe (mostly the Marvel Studios films). But comic books were not a thing I grew up with. It was just not something that my parents would buy, nor something that my friends were very interested in. It was only when I got older that I learned about Marvel, DC, and other comic book publishers. As a teenager I got my first job in a bookstore that focused on geek culture and it was there that I started to understand the massive scope of the Marvel universe. I thought that there was no way I would ever be able to figure out how to approach it.
It might not seem like a big deal to start reading comics. When it comes to graphic novels with a single storyline, I completely agree. You find a story that appeals to you and start reading. I have read a bit of manga and graphic novels throughout the years, so I’m not new to comic book reading in general. But the Marvel universe is a whole different beast. Marvel has been releasing comics since 1939, meaning that there is 76 years’ worth of comics to figure out. And it’s not as simple as a few storylines either! There are alternate universes, reboots, retcons and major crossover events. Not to mention the massive number of characters that can show up at any time. How is a new reader supposed to find their way? Every time I have thought about starting to read Marvel comics, I have been intimidated by the sheer volume of the franchise. I walk into a comic book store and browse the Marvel section only to realize how clueless I am. I pick up a new volume of Saga (one of my favorite fictions ever), and leave, utterly defeated.
Instead, I spent time online reading about the comics, instead of actually reading them. I read about characters I was interested in, story-lines I liked, and how some events affected the universe. However, I have only dipped my toe in the water, and most of the universe is still unexplored.
Now it is time to muster my courage and dive in head first. Doing so without doing any research at all is probably a very bad idea and will most likely leave me more confused than where I started. But I will keep the research to a minimum so that it becomes a true exploration of the universe. Every month I will write about which comics I have read and my experiences with them. I will not be writing reviews or posting story spoilers, instead the column is about experiences as a Marvel novice starting their journey. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to rightfully call myself an expert, but at least it is something to aspire to. The journey will be long, but I’m very excited to get started.
I have chosen to mainly focus on comics running between early 2000’s and now. That is still 15 years of comics to explore, so I should have a lot of material to cover. If I happen to get very attached to certain characters, then I can start looking at earlier volumes about them. For starters, I think it is better to not bite over more than I can chew, so it will probably be best to tackle one era at the time. I am also more interested in crossover events and comics about teams like Avengers and X-Men. I’m not saying I won’t read comics focused on single characters as there are characters I’m interested in learning more about. I just happen to like the dynamics of teams better.
Hopefully the Kuma Kreations community will help with feedback and advice as I move forward. While I have chosen a starting point for this month, there is no telling where I will branch out from there. Maybe some of your suggestions will introduce me to characters and stories that I had no idea existed. Or maybe some of you are novices like me, and can find something in my experiences that will help you start your own journey. I am really looking forward to seeing where I will end up a year from now or even further down the line. Let’s make it a journey to remember!
First off this month is Marvel’s Civil War. Whose side will I be on?