Any readers here? I imagine more so amongst the “old timers” here.
For me is started with reading my older brothers X-men comics. And talk about a time to start: Right before the Dark Phoenix saga!
However Spiderman was/is my favorite. I had read as far back as around #100 through the years and had come to undertand most of the backstory. However for Christmas I got Amazing Spiderman on DV; AT#15 to ASM #400. Simply awesome. I have read up to #171 (late 70’s when they were released).
Simply Awesome. Hands and shoulders above the crap written in the 90’s and especially 2004. “Sins Past???” Grrrrr, Gwen Stacy forever!
I’ve never really been into the long superhero comic book series, although I too cut my teeth on my older brother’s X-men stuff! In the past couple of years I read a lot of trades or stand alone books. The best of them include:
-Transmetropolitan (everyone must read this book. It is amazing.)
-Kingdom Come (deconstructing superheroes is neat)
-Ronin (Frank Miller is pretty good, and this is interesting noir/cyberpunk sci-fi)
-oo and Frank Miller’s Batman stuff (The Dark Knight, Dark Night Returns)
-Batman: Year One
-Preacher…(ish. I used to really like it but when I went back to it last summer it seemed kind of gimmicky)
-The Watchmen (again, incredible book. If you have not read it, do so post haste!)
I’ve been told that “Y the Last Man” is good, and I never did get to finish “Rising Stars” (which was definitely good). I also enjoyed one miniseries, whose name I can’t remember, that was about Superman’s life if he had been raised in the Soviet Union instead of the United States. In December I started to read “Persepolis,” but again have not finished it yet.
i ised to read spiderman/x-men/2000ad quite a bit when i was a kid/teenager. used to love the sinister dexter and slaine (have just read both slaine novels in the last month) and the judge dredd stories were pretty good.
anyone read 2000ad’s ‘i was a teenage tax consultant’? that was freaky
also i got back into commando comics for a short while before xmas (take that you nip!)
have every warhammer monthly issue up to around 50 (including 0 and extras) except for number 9, which i just cant get hold of anywhere. it sold out about 3 weeks after printing!.
I’ve never really got comics -always a bit pricy for me and I prefered novels- but my best mate spends a fortune on the things. Apparently its much better to get them on CD now, not to mention cheaper and less prone to cause panic about wrecking that classic edition
Ad noted I only got really into Spider-man. I liked X-Men, but I could always relate to Peter�?Ts/Spider-Man�?Ts problems being a t�?Tween/early teen. This was late 80�?Ts/early 90�?Ts.
For me, re-reading these rushed back amazing memories. I remembered the sadness of reading the story arc of �?oThe Night Gwen Stacy Died�?�, like it was the first time. The original comics that this entailed (#120, 121, and 123) happened in May-July of 1973. I was four months old, so I did not read it until nearly 15 years after the fact. The fact that is such a sustained controversy years later, has such resonance is awe-inspiring. The fact that it still feels like and ache stands testament to the awesomeness of the giants of the genre.
While it would be considered sappy by today�?Ts standards I don�?Tt find it so. Its something that was so pure between them that made it eternal. And even thou they butchered it, it was nice to see the story in Spider-Man I, even if they substituted MJ for Gwen�?� if only he hadn�?Tt caught MJ in the movies�?�. Don’t get me started on the retcon of “Sins Past”… ugh trying to add more depth to a character that has been dead for 35 years… Bleck. Sometimes people need to leave well-enough alone.
The villainy of the act was way cool to me too. That fact alone launched the Green Goblin to one of the vilest arch villains of any genre.
I�?Tve read many stories. Comic Books, novels etc…, over the intervening years and nothing matches the power of the story arc involved. All too often since the 90�?Ts, writers in any genre have tried to duplicate the success of this by promising �?oNever Seen Before�?�, �?oThings will Never be the Same�?� etc, etc, blah, blah, when all are barely concealed attempts to boost sagging sales. Sound familiar to anyone?
Only problem is they fall flat with the over reliance of the cool, trench coat, sunglass wearing anti-hero that thumbs his nose at every authority figure, often for no other reason to do it. Wolverine is often singled out as everyone�?Ts favorite character (not all be ut a lot of people I know), not withstanding the crap they did in XM2 and XM3, Wolverine was at his best when he showed his human side. Claws cool, attitude cool, powers cool, unrequited love for Jean Grey made the story all that much better IMHO.
Before I get labeled an �?oold dude�?�. I�?Tm not, as noted I came along long after the original story was told. I�?Tm all for today�?Ts stories too, sometimes them seem to just try to hard to appear so trend setting like they are trying to hit a home run every time, Or for those of you outside the US, win the FIFA every time The parts they miss is that sometimes the best stories, the ones that mean the most and stand the test of time are those that are the simplest on their most basic level. The only series that has come close to that level of character depth and caring is GRRM�?Ts �?oASoIAF�?�.
For those interested here is a quick link to Wiki (yes I know, I loathe it sometimes too) and others:
Also why is it important it heralded the end of the Silver Age of Comics and the birth of Bronze Age. Which in turn leads to now what is called the Modern Age with its gritty realistic stories in almost any genre: movies, books, video games: The Hell-Boys, the Judge Dreads, dare I say Matrix, etc, etc�?� Prior to this story line, heroes never failed, or at least not so spectacularly, nor did main character die. Hell. GRRM has main characters dying every chapter it seems in ASOS and AFfC! In fact may writers today (especially in the comic genre) admit that reading this as kids or fans and helping solidify their thoughts on future careers.
It’s interesting that this particular Spiderman story arc was so influential in the development of the genre in general. One of the reasons that I’m not really into superhero comics is because of the total lack of continuity, and of hackneyed plots/subplots/alternate universes/clones/rereleases/resurrections/ one-dimensional characters and so on. Certainly kudos to the writers of the original “death of Gwen Stacey” story arc (it’s like the death of Optimus Prime! altho slightly less ballsy), but nevertheless, how many times has Spiderman been redone in the last decade? ie “ultimate” version, xtreme futuristic versions, just plain “let’s do it again with different writer’s” versions, teen soap opera version, retro versions, etc. That’s the big flaw in the superhero genre imo in that the stories never end, and are never immune to tampering for marketing reasons (although at the same time, the continued popularity of the genre is interesting because of its mytho-cultural implications).
As for the “gritty antihero,” this trend can certainly be irritating - although it seems to have calmed down somewhat. I blame Spawn, personally. As above, what I personally find interesting about superhero comics is the possibility to deconstruct them (which is why a movie, for example, such as Batman Begins was really good - altho still a rerelease, I suppose).
Ultimately the point is that imo comics that have original, self-contained story arcs with original characters and some infusion of interesting, creative (original!) storytelling are “better” (again imo) than more “traditional” alternatives. Hence part of the reason why Transmetropolitan and The Watchmen are so good in my opinion.
Meanwhile, for the record, even tho the movie X3 was terrible, I thought Hugh Jackman as Wolverine was the best part of all of those movies.
Agreed the overexposure or Spider-Man in the 90’s and 00’s has left me with no desire to read any of them. Marvel was so good at staying consistent then feel asleep in the 90’s… And before the new it they had the mess you so accurately discribe. Simple put it never was like this until after 1993 or thereabouts.
The precedent it set thou mostly likely allowed for the death of optimus, especially considering the timeframe. The shockwaves started in the spring of 1973…