I’ve been reading a lot of comic books lately. (I’ve noticed that I go through phases with my reading; sometimes it’s a lot of comics, sometimes mystery novels, sometimes New Yorker articles, and so on. Right now it’s comics. But I digress.)
Marvel and Comixology ran a promotion a few years ago where they gave away a whole bunch of #1 issues, and I snagged about 200 individual issues from that. I’ve dipped into them occasionally, but recently I’ve been reading a lot of them. (For a while, it was hard to keep track of which of these I’d read and which I hadn’t, but I’m now using the new “archive” feature in Comixology to remove the ones I’ve read from my library.) Most recently, I read quite a few X-Men issues. It’s a weird experience, just reading a bunch of #1 issues from various X-Men series and mini-series, outside of any particular context. My main takeaway from that is that X-Men continuity is so convoluted that there’s really no point in paying attention to it at all. You really need to not think about it, and just take any individual story on its own merits.
This article about Brian Bendis’ All-New X-Men title is a great example of how insane it is to try to make sense of X-Men continuity. This is the series where Bendis brought the original young X-Men from the past into the present, where they (apparently) coexist with their present-day selves. (My head hurts.)
DC isn’t much better, of course. I recently read the new Rebirth Special, and, while it’s pretty well done, I think it would be impenetrable to someone who hasn’t followed DC continuity for years. I also recently read Ambush Bug: Year None, which (though it’s almost a decade old now) works surprisingly well as a companion to the Rebirth Special. (And makes almost as much sense as some of DC’s and Marvel’s recent output…)
I also have a few issues of Convergence in my reading pile, which was one of last year’s big “event” comics from DC. I picked them up on a whim, and they’ve just sat in the pile for the last year. I may move them to the top of the pile, since I seem to be in the right mood for this kind of story right now. If they’re any good, I suppose I’ll pick up the trade so I can read the rest of the story.
And I also intend on reading Grant Morrison’s Multiversity at some point, but I think that one’s going to be a doozy, so I’m not in any hurry to pick that up.
I will also admit to being curious about Civil War II. I picked up issues zero and one at the comics shop, and I’ll probably read them soon. I don’t know if I’ll convince myself to pick up the remaining issues as they come out, but if it’s good, I’ll at least pick up the trade when it’s released.
Whew. I can already see the point, two or three months from now, where I get tired of reading about guys in spandex hitting each other and switch back to reading Agatha Christie novels or something like that.