Comics are a rather…expensive hobby. And honestly, I’m just a 16-year-old; between subscriptions, back issues, and trade paperbacks (and the numerous other things I buy outside of comics), I’m not able to throw money around at this stuff. Though comics are one of my favorite forms of entertainment (outside of arcade games and cartoons, of course), they aren’t very cost effective. (Darn you, $3.99 comics!)
My current subscriptions are limited to The Amazing Spider-Man, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Spider-Gwen, and Silk, and I’m planning on dropping the last two due to their poor quality. However, I’m looking for something more. Of course, it’s not easy.
This is why when I add books to my pull list, they’ve really gotta mean something to me. Take, for instance, my Spider-Gwen and Silk subscriptions: At that time, I had just Spider-Verse (which I totally dug, dudes), and I totally liked these new Spider characters that had been popping up. So, I thought, “Hey, why don’t I subscribe to their ongoing series? That should be fun, right?” Unfortunately, no. They weren’t great. Total waste of $53.98.
But by now, I’m sure you see what I mean. When I go ahead and drop the $26.99 on a 12-month subscription, I want it to COUNT. I want a book that I’ll enjoy. (And unlike many comic “readers,” I’ll drop a book when it’s terrible. I’m not a completionist collector.) So, after doing much research, I said, “Man, I totally wanna subscribe to these comics. They really seem like they’ll jive with my personal tastes.” And so, I did. But in typical Wilcox Arcade and Comics fashion, I’m gonna write an article about why I did so, because why not.
Like I said, I’m dropping Spider-Gwen and Silk once my subscription is up. However, that leaves me with two comics: The Amazing Spider-Man and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. These aren’t exactly the most “serious” comics ever. I mean, Spider-Man has plenty of daring heroics and soap opera crud, but it also has a heaping of humor tossed in alongside the more serious aspects. (This is especially evident with Dan Slott’s run, in that he writes a very “jokey” Spider-Man.) And Squirrel Girl—heck, it doesn’t even pretend to be serious. Sure, it’s got overarching storylines, but it’s nothing crazy serious. Besides, the whole point of the book is to be funny. So, what exactly is my point in writing all of this?
Well, I suppose adding Daredevil to my pull list is just a matter of A) I’m looking to branch out from JUST Spider-Man, and B) I might like to try something more “serious.” And after reading plenty of reviews, Daredevil seemed like just the book to start with. For one, it’s a solo series, so I think it’ll have that “human” aspect that I so sorely desire in superhero comics. Also, He just seems pretty interesting, and as far as I know, there are a lot of great storylines in Daredevil’s history. Though it may seem kind of arbitrary, I think I’ll really like Daredevil’s ongoing solo series.
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man
I’m pretty sure it’s clear to all of you by now that I am a GIGANTIC Spider-Man fan. From the comics to the movies to the TV shows and the merchandise—I eat it all up, people. That’s why, when I heard Spidey was getting a second ongoing series, I was very interested. However, you’d be surprised to hear that I certainly wasn’t planning on subscribing immediately.
At first, I was kind of confused by what exactly this ongoing was supposed to be. Was it another “back-to-basics” 60’s-era Spider-Man like in Spider-Man: Year One or the recent Spidey series? Or was it supposed to be a second series that was imperative to following the main Spider-Man storylines? (Of which we’ve had many, mind you.) So with no clear answer, I just bided my time on this one.
Then, I dug deeper, made more of an effort to understand what it was all about. I learned that, yes, it IS following the current “Billionaire Peter” continuity, but it follows his average New York adventures in this context, rather than the huge stuff we see go down in Amazing. Back to basics, yes; ignoring continuity, no. (Marvel even describes the book as a “companion to the best-selling Amazing Spider-Man series.) And if my prediction is correct, Peter’s about to lose Parker Industries and go back to his roots in Amazing. The way I see it, that gives Marvel a perfect excuse to have storylines run through Amazing AND Spectacular, pretty much requiring me to subscribe to both books to have any idea what’s happening. I remember what it was like to read ASM without buying the Clone Conspiracy books back during that storyline—in short, it was awful. I don’t want that kinda confusion to ensue again.
Even if this isn’t the case, I have no problem with reading good Spidey stories from another writer. I like Slott quite a bit, but sometimes, it’s good to get a break from a near decade-long run. Also, considering that Chip Zdarsky had a pretty rad run on Howard the Duck, I have no doubt that Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man will be right up my alley.
Renew Your Vows
Like I said, I’m a big Spidey fan. No surprises there, right? But what makes Renew Your Vows so interesting that I’m willing to shell out another $26.99 for a THIRD Spider-title?
Three words: Mary. Jane. Watson. Oh, and that kid that they’ve got now. 11 words.
Though the effects of “One More Day” have been felt in the Spider-Man books for around a decade now, I don’t think anyone has ever truly tossed Mary Jane aside as Peter’s one true love interest type-thing. Think about it: She’s pretty much always the love interest in adaptations (unless the writers feel like being “different”), and many non-comic readers still associate Spider-Man with Mary Jane, because why wouldn’t they? For all outsiders know, Peter and Mary Jane have been married, or at least dating, this entire time. It’s sorta like a Superman/Lois Lane kinda deal, ya know?
But also, I just needed to shake up my Spidey stories a little more. Like I said, Slott is good, but I need some more perspectives. Also, my AP European history teacher recommended this book, so that makes it good by default. The only possible worry I have with this book is that I won't enjoy the alternate continuity. That's one of my problems with Spider-Gwen; for whatever reason (despite how much I like Gwen Stacy in general), I don't care for its take on the Spider-Man history. It's just okay. Renew Your Vows, probably has better potential.
Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur
This is actually a series that I’ve been monitoring for a long while, but my limited funds (and reluctance to try anything that wasn’t a Spider-title) has caused me to drag my feet a little bit. But now, I’m totally ready to branch out and subscribe to some Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.
You see, Marvel’s pretty much completely abandoned the idea of, you know, actually trying to make good comics for kids like they used to. Now, it’s mostly limited to lazy Disney XD comic adaptations. However, note that I said MOSTLY—there are still comics that younger folks can read, and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur happens to be one of those comics.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m not a giant fan of grimdark stuff. Heck, I even think Kraven’s Last Hunt is ridiculously overrated. That’s why, when something as well-written and well-drawn and Moon Girl pops up, AND it’s good for young readers and older readers alike, I just have to try it out. And of course, if I don’t end up liking, I can always fail to renew my subscription. However, I don’t think that’ll be the case.
I really, really like comic books. The only thing is, I’ve played it a little too safe throughout the years. It’s mostly been mainstream Marvel stuff for me; I don’t even read DC’s stuff, let alone indie comics. So yeah, I kinda wanna branch out. That’s why, in lieu of now having a comments section, I’d like to know what YOU think I should be reading. I want some more books in my pull list. (Just keep in mind that I don’t read that violent stuff, which keeps me away from Old Man Logan big time. I’m just a kiddo, remember?)
And speaking of all these new comics I’m going to be getting, that provides with a lot more blog material. More titles to read equals more titles to review, and that can only be good for you. (Rhyme, people.) Sure, I could have reviewed Spider-Gwen #22 this week, but I haven’t been reading it for a while, and I don’t want my general feeling disappointment to affect my ability to review the issue properly.
So with all of that being said, I guess I’m finished here. I’m HIGHLY considering becoming Wilcox Arcade and Comics AND Cartoons, because they’re kind of the “three pillars” of my entertainment-related interests. What do you all think? I’m positively itching to talk about O.K. K.O.: Let’s Be Hereos and KidsClick TV, but like…I’ve already got so much crud on my schedule (three AP classes this year and a part-time job). What do I doooooooo?
Anyway, keep it real, ya sweaty nerds, while I go sort out my actual responsibilities. Also, I would have liked this article to be longer, but I had no time and I figured it was a readable length. Eh, what can I say. By the way, please note how I published this "Thursday Comic Post" literally 17 minutes before "Thursday" was no longer a thing this week. I am very disappointed in my sleep/blog schedule.