Wikipedia: A Novice Comics Reader’s Best Friend

I really enjoy reading comics. Until college, I never really did because I didn’t have any nor any friends who read comics. My friend Kyle bought me Frank Miller’s Sin City after the movie came out. Since then, most of the comics I have are from him, buying me various trade paperbacks for me for my birthday.

Between buying a few myself, Kyle, my girlfriend, and interestingly enough her parents, I currently own the following:

Steven King’s The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger

Blackest Night*


Astonishing X-Men

Batman: Cacophony

Batman: Year One*

Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash

Batman: The Long Halloween

Batman: Dark Victory

Batman: The Dark Knight Rises*

Green Arrow: Quiver

I Am Legend

*Denotes books I’ve reread several times

I recently sold a bunch of DVDs at a great used book store here in NYC called Book Off on 45th and 6th. While there, I discovered they have a graphic novel/comic book selection and while waiting for them to call my number, I sat and flipped through a couple books. While they were used, they still weren’t cheap so I wasn’t able to buy as many as I wanted, but I did pick up Crisis on Infinite Earths which I just finished last night and both volumes of Batman: Hush. Clearly I like Batman books, can you tell?

Being a novice to comics other than Batman, I don’t really know much about the DC or Marvel universes. Especially with huge crossover books like Blackest Night and Crisis…, I really have no idea who anybody is or what they are talking about. Blackest Night I read first and in that book many characters long dead are brought back to life to battle the living heroes, most of whom I had barely or never heard of and even more I didn’t know were dead. Crisis was written 27 years ago with the purpose of cleaning house within the DC Universe. Over the years, DC had created so many characters and so many “alternate Earths” that it was becoming absurd. Also they acquired many titles from failed companies over the years that somehow fit into the DC Universe, but many were very similar to characters they already had. I mean, how many Superman-s can there really be?

But in condensing 50 years of characters and stories, how the Effing H am I supposed to know who these people are? That’s where the wonderful Wikipedia comes in. I recently got a new iPod Touch that now has a camera and microphone, which means Voice Search is possible. While reading the book, when I would come upon a character like Psycho-Pirate New Dr. Light, I can pick up my iPod and ask who they are. This makes reading the book take that much longer because I’m stopping every few panels to learn who people are, but I’m learning so much more. It’s like actually reading footnotes in Shakespeare. “Oh, so THAT’S what that means…” Duh, that’s why they’re there.

Having finished Crisis, I’m torn as to how I feel about it. I expected a lot more character loose ends to be tied and really not a lot happened. The other Earths are merged into ours, a few heroes died, and the big-bad Anti-Monitor is gone. But since this was written almost as many years ago as I was born, there have been four NEW crossover crisis series:

Zero Hour: Crisis in Time
Identity Crisis
Infinite Crisis
Final Crisis

At least I know I’ll have plenty to read for the summer… And don’t look at me weird when you see me reading a comic on the train. At least it’s not Fifty Shades of Grey and you know I’m a home rubbing one out to it. Show some rapport, ladies!

(I’m stealing this from a lot of other blogs, but I think it’s a cool end for a post)

Song of the day: These Things are Mine by The End of America 


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