I keep telling myself I need to read (and and review) some of these new comics that are coming out. I am a little bit, but not very much. It doesn’t help that the Big Two recently jad shake-up-the-world events that chilled much of my interest and I’ll admit that as good as a lot of the other companies are it is harder to know what to expect without rapidly investigating everything. On top of that my summer gig in the mountains pretty much cuts me off from the world for just under two months. With everything relaunching every two months and playing catch up just keeping up with what is coming out feels like a job.
That said, there I want to get caught up with the new Doctor Fate. The first two issues were great, or at least compelling. Captain America: White sounds awesome. I’m interested in Lemeire’s X-book and Bendis’ Iron Man was a fun first issue. If you are getting the impression that I am a Marvel fan, I won’t argue with you. I’m pretty omniverous when it comes to comics, but Marvel does seem to be my fall back company. It was what I read the most growing up, plus it is doing that thing which keeps me coming back: Marvel makes comics available.
Here comes the point where you are going to think this is some kind of paid advertisement. But it isn’t. Just a guy who is having a lot of fun reading classic comics and not having to feel guilty about it.
It is no surprise to anyone that free stuff is on the internet. A quick link and a shrug of the shoulders and all this and more can be yours. It is as tempting as it is easy. As a creator, even one in the minors, I will admit to feeling a little bit of the guilt everytime I give into that urge. How big that guilt gets depends on how much money I have shelled out in the past. I’ll admit that if I own at least two versions of the same thing I don’t feel much guilt for reacching into the internet for a digital copy as well. I have at two trades of Dark Knight Returns, the individual issues of DK2, and the absolute version of both. If I want a convenient digital copy for when I am on the train, I’m not going to feel bad for making that desire a reality. Is that a fair way to think about it? Probabaly not. But I can only pay for the same thing so many times.
Now, back to Marvel. As I said, I’ve always loved Marvel. But I grew up in a time when reading old stuff was difficult. Not the act of reading mind you, but of getting hold of those books. Want to read old issues of Spider-Man or X-Men? There are Classic X-Men and Marvel Tales, whcih you may or may not recognize as repritn books. Outside of that, good luck. Stop by a local comic shop, if there is one, and start learning how to judge an issue by its cover. To this day I don’t like cover art that differs from the inside art because I feeling ripped off from buying a comic based on an awesome cover, getting home, opening up the issue and being very dissapointed. If only those shops allowed us to take the issues out of the bags before buying. There are decades of comics that I wan tto rad but have never had the chance, or cash, to read.
Marvel is helping me with that with Marvel Unlimited. Thre subscription service that says, “Go and read all the comics you ever wanted. Or at least the ones we have scanned in. Which is a lot.” And let me tell you, there is a lot of good stuff in there. I’ve been reading Amazing Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men, Captain America, Invincible Iron Man and Mighty Thor from their first issues. Oh, man are they good. Just all around great stuff. I don’t want to say hands down better than what is happening today, but possible so. I just read issue 194 of Might Thor and am having a hard time thinking of another comic that maintained this level of intensity for this long. Since John Buscema took over the art it has read like nothing else of that generation. It almost reads like a denser version of the Walking Dead in how each issue leads into the next. No offense intended to Jason Aaron, but this satisfies the hunger for Thor in a much bigger way than anything recently. Same with Spidey and Cap. I have to wonder, why drink New Coke when Coca Cola Classic is in arms reach.
And again, guilt free. I pay my subscription fee and I get to just roll around in comic goodness. That is worth the cash to me. Still, there are some holes that need t be plugged. Marvel digital, get to work on upping some more Spectacular Spider-Man. I needs my Sal Buscema Spidey.
The only other thing I want to add is that even though I love myself some Marvel, if DC were offering the same type of all-you-can-read service, I would be elbow deep in Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, etc. I’ve never read Ostrander’s Firestorm. If only there were a service that made it easy to get to that didn’t come with guilt.