Wow! Believe it or not, but it has been one year since Watcher Wednesday started! I have been grateful to the DAPs Team for letting me start it, and especially having DC and Wizard Victor contribute. So, what now? Where do we go from here? Well, there’s plenty more Marvel history and comics to encounter. I’ve even been thinking of expanding what this blog is about.
But, I want to hear from you, if you are reading! Please leave a comment about what entries you’ve liked, and what you would like to see more of. One bit of disclaimer. This was mostly set up as a way to introduce Marvel Comics to an average Disney fan or movie goer. I’m open to expanding it to the DC Comics realm, which is the other major comics and super hero movie company. But, it’s only if people are genuinely interested in this side. It only gets stranger from here. But, it’s a disclaimer because you may be wondering why Batman or Superman was never talked about in previous entries. And, with that, I leave you with a rehashing of the introductory Watcher Wednesday entry, with a few changes. Also with a new logo. Enjoy!
Is Superman part of Marvel?
I’m usually pretty understandable about mistakes people make on Disney and Marvel stuff. For example, calling Star Tours the Star Wars ride, or just Star Wars. Star Trek is even fine with me, as I recognize they are probably not sci-fi geeks at all.
But, the pet peeve I have about comics is making a huge melting pot of all comics characters. So, here is the who’s who of major characters in Marvel Comics, and the other comics giant: DC Comics (which is owned by Warner Bros.)
- Captain America
- Iron Man
- Ghost Rider
- Green Goblin
- Doctor Octopus
- Fantastic Four
- Dr. Doom
- Captain Marvel, not also known as Shazam, and does not have a red, white and yellow costume
- Namor, the Sub-Mariner
Not Marvel Comics (DC Comics)
- Wonder Woman
- Lex Luthor
- Green Lantern
- The Flash
- Any character that was in Smallville
- Justice League
- Captain Marvel AKA Shazam (hero with a red, yellow and white uniform…I know, kinda confusing)
The really confusing thing is that both publishers have done comics together, combining characters for one major story at random times throughout history.
What’s the difference between Marvel Comics and other comics?
Ahhh! The age old debate! Which comics publisher is better? DC or Marvel? For myself, it’s hard to compare. My favorite super hero is Green Lantern. My favorite hero team, and biggest collection I have is X-Men. I think the biggest difference is just characters. Plain, but maybe not simple.
What I’ve found is that Marvel’s characters tend to play off of the common man. Peter Parker/Spider-Man is that outcasted nerd that we can feel like. And there’s his grappling with responsibility when he really wants to do things that just benefit himself.
DC’s characters are about being larger than life. Superman is an ideal, someone that we’d want to rescue us. The stories in DC Comics are about epic battles, and heroes that interplay a lot with each other.
There is certainly nothing wrong with either universe. It’s just about preference and mood. And another way of looking at it is through another great debate: Marvel Comics is like Star Trek and DC Comics is like Star Wars. Star Trek is a little more about human nature, while Star Wars is about a saga – a grand, epic saga.
Okay, now you got me hooked. Now, where do I start?
For casual readers, I suggest the apps on various devices. Marvel has an official app for Apple and Android devices. There’s even a slew of free comics every week.
Another great place to start reading is picking up a graphic novel from the comics/superheroes/graphic novels section of Barnes and Noble. Sometimes public libraries will have a selection as well. Really, whatever storyline is collected is fun to read, but the earlier the collected comics the better. That way you have more of a back story for current events.
If you’re wanting to start a collection, this can be a bit more daunting. Supplies are needed, like plastic bags, backing boards, boxes to store, and a price guide. In more recent times, it’s harder to collect comics, as the publishers have picked up on what is collectible. It used to be that prints were limited and first issues were the most likely to go up in value. And then there was introduction and deaths of characters. Those issues would run out like hot chocolate on a cold day.
Nowadays there’s a new character coming up every month. First issues get huge printings, and series are rebooted practically every year. It’s a little harder to pick out the valuable hero commodities.
My suggestion: start reading first. Become a fan of a particular character or series and stick with it. Not every issue will be gold, but there will be times that issues will pop up to surprise people, and you’ll have the first printing! For example (and not a Marvel one, though), being a Green Lantern fan I started off with the second series run, obtaining every issue. After about 4 years, they switched out the main Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Introduced was a brand new Lantern, and he was the main one for another 10 years! The first appearance issue for the new guy (Kyle Rayner) is worth quite a bit more than its cover price. Never predicted in collecting the series. Just stumbled upon it. So, just start somewhere, and don’t try to guess what a collector’s item will be. It almost never works.
Another suggestion is to make friends with the local comic book shop guy. Yep. That guy. He knows what’s hot and what series is coming out soon. He knows when variant covers are out and what’s really worth getting. Sometimes the shops have a “subscription” service where they hold the books until you come pick them up in the week. And I keep saying “he”, but it could be a “she.” Comics are getting to be a cool thing, after all.
Uh…I still don’t know what series to pick up?
Yes, it’s still hard to tell what one may like. Here’s a rundown on the most famous Marvel series and good places to start. Pick one that sounds exciting and interesting to you:
- X-Men comics: The underdog team struggles to find a place in a world that hates them
- Spider-Man comics: The everyday, next door guy tries to balance having a personal life, and be responsible because of the role his powers have thrust him in
- Avengers comics: Even the strongest super-heroes find being on a team is hard. And their human weaknesses get in the way of trying to get the job done. Plus it affects the whole Marvel universe at times!
- A little sub-note on the Avengers line: The individual team members all have a mood to their series as well
- Iron Man is pretty tech heavy, and has that idealistic rich guy life glimpse, but also takes a look at personal demons for Tony Stark
- Captain America is about honor and patriotism
- Hulk is the line about dealing with the monster inside
- Thor…I can’t fully place Thor…it’s just a legendary comic series
- Fantastic Four/FF comics: A family that fights together stays together? It seems so, but is not easy, especially with trying to shape the future for all of mankind.
Well, that’s a wrap for now! Until next time, have a Marvel-ous day!