30/07/2008

One small step for mankind, one giant leap for comics.

Introducing people to comics is great fun. They're full of questions and you're bouncy with glee that you get to answer or at least give your opinion in a knowledgable way, while being stared at with starry eyed awe. The one question that isn't always quite so easy though, is;
"Where is the best jumping on point for.."

Now, jumping on points for individual characters can vary from the recent trade to a change in writer, to a specific issue a while back and some extensive Wikipedia research. Jumping on points for the big two, universally, usually varies from event to event, with Marvel coming out well ahead for being new fan accessible.

Marvel seem to have grasped the art of the jump on point fairly well, with a lot of mini series and adequate back up for their ongoings as well the recent accessible "event", Civil War, which acting as a great jumping on point and marker to read back or forward from. The X-books aren't quite as simple to just jump in to, with a wide selection of X-titles with numerous crossovers running in and out of each other over the last few years, for a strong jumping on point you'd really have to go back to House Of M.

DC on the other hand tend to opt for long running, continuity heavy series, with little explanation or reference of what has gone before. To get a grasp on the state of the DCU and what it's characters have gone through you must really head all the way back to Identity Crisis and follow it through the major events that spiralled after that, Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Infinite Crisis, 52, Countdown and now Final Crisis, seemingly the least accessible of all. DC are trapped by their own continuity, their own fan base and their own company. Catering to the silver age and a fanbase that holds them back from innovation. DC itself a subsidary of Time/Warner, a subsidary of AOL and bring in barely a portion of the profits and subsequently are falling behind to Marvel on several fronts.

Wherever you jump on, if the character catches your attention there's always ways to find out more and to find out what you should be reading to head in the right direction. All else fails you, head to Wikipedia or just ask around, like I said...introducing people to comics is, and should be, fun.

1 comment:

Gemmar said...

I'm a Marvel fan at heart but I would have to say that Marvel comics in general aren't the best if you're just jumping on unless you plan on going back to as you say, House of M or WAYYYYY back to Dark Phoenix Saga where I first jumped on.
DC were always better (though I'm loathed to admit it) for someone looking for a starting point.
What you said about Marvel being v. new fan accessible is for the most part true but the problem I had when getting into Marvel was getting to grips with the crossovers.
Dc didn't have that problem v. often. I'm saying "didn't" as I have no idea of the state of DC comics these days. Haven't read an issue in years but way back you could pick up a DC comic, any title and understand it 'cause it was usually just one story per issue. I grew up reading back issues though so I'm really in no fit state to be talking 'bout DC lol. I'm gonna go now, I'm tired and probs not making alot of sense.