Why Do I Read Comics?

Why I Read Comics?
By: Christopher Johnson

Have you ever wondered why people read comic books? Well, I can not answer for everyone but I can answer for myself and present before you four reasons why I read comics. Maybe by the end of this you will discover if comics are for you. Do you like big unimaginable situations…no? Well. then maybe big eccentric plots or toned down single story plots are more your thing…still no? Well surely deep characters will get you interested into reading? Okay,,,okay but comic books do have comedy. These are four reasons why I read and after explaining maybe you might agree!

The first thing I think of when I think of comic books are the unimaginable situations. The fantasy, stretching your imagination further then you ever thought it could go. One thing I love about comic book is the visual adventures forcing you to think outside the realms of reality and see things that are impossible and will never happen. Imagine the city of New York, everything is the way it has always been but there is something different. Suddenly normal people with no powers suddenly have the ability to stick to walls and shoot webs (Ignore the fact that after a couple days they mutate into evil spider creatures). In the Marvel Universe this happened in a spider-centric event called “Spider Island”. Written by Dan Slott he had some fun with this and even gave Mary Jane and J. Jonah Jameson Spider powers. Fortunately, he had Aunt May take a trip to Boston because he did not want her to have these kinds of powers. Of course none of this lasted and honestly the story wasn’t that deep but it was still cool to take trip into a land of spider creatures.

Most comic books may only be roughly 28 pages but within those 28 pages can either be one complete story or a section of a larger story. These deep stories told in such a limited amounted of space fascinates me so much. To demonstrate this I would like to discuss “Into the Grave” a Scarlet Spider story. This incorporated several factors in so many key points that should be in a great story. For example this story connects to the past which shows continuity but not only that they explained what happened in the past so readers are not lost. We also see massive character development, a meaningful death, intense action and a gripping story involving Kraven the hunter. For these reasons “Into the Grave” has all the making for a great story which is why I read comics but that is simply a small plot comics also have these big multi book events called…well…um EVENTS! One of my favorite events is Civil War. Civil War was hero vs hero but what I liked about it is that it tackled the question “Who do these heroes respond to and what to say they don’t want to turn on us?” It involved the government wanting to register each hero so they could keep public records on everyone. Some heroes went along while some didn’t then a war broke out. I really can’t go into all the details of what made “Civil War” great because then the article would be too long but Civil War was a very good event that no event has matched yet.

With that said the third thing that I really enjoy about comics is character’s with deep personality. I will talk about Scott Lang(Ant man), Hank Pym (Ant man/ Wasp/ Goliath/ Giant Man and Yellow Jacket) and Marc Specter (Moon Knight), all three of these people suffer different problems. Scott Lang is a thief, Marc Specter deals with depression and Hank Pym has a ton of problems ranging from low self esteem to building the most dangerous enemy to threaten the lives of all avengers. I will go more in depth about “The Problems with Pym” at a later date. Now all I am listing problems so why do depression and stealing make me like these characters? Well, its the fact that there is nothing inherently good to cheer for that makes you want to see something good come into their lives. So, when you see these people do heroic things you know this is a huge moment in their lives. Another example of this is the Hulk. I know he is mainly known for smashing but the hulk is in interesting take on “Jekyll and Hyde” as both the Hulk and Banner are heroes but Hulk’s primitive instinct makes him seem almost villainous. The great character moments come when writers explore who they are when separated. Can they survive apart and who are they when separated? that is exactly what Marvel Comics writer “Jason Aaron” did when he wrote the Hulk. It really took an interesting twist onto the Hulk persona.

Each of these factors make me enjoy comics more or less depending on how they are used. Fantasy situations and deep plots when done right really make a comic shine but let me say bad comedy is so jarring that the books becomes boring because to me comedy should be used to keep the flow steady. Think of the comic book as a car and the comedy is the road. Good comedy keeps the ride smooth and enjoyable but bad/unnatural comedy is almost if the paved road had suddenly ended and you had to drive on very rough terrain. You can do it but it is very uncomfortable. To demonstrate this I will use the New Warriors as an example or rather the most recent run by Christopher Yost. This series embodies what I love about comedy because it felt so natural almost as if it was natural actions based on who they are. None of it felt forced and it did not disrupt the flow of the comic.

To top this off, there are four things that keeps me coming back to comics; stories that stretch the imagination, deep plots, intriguing characters and comedy. Comics are more then simple stories with pictures, they are rich and so full of great stories in an expansive world. In my next article I will talk about how I feel Avengers 3 will turn out based on roughly 6 different comic series.

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2 Responses to Why Do I Read Comics?

  1. codylibolt says:

    I agree that it’s the depth of personality that makes these stories most interesting! I’m really enjoying your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. michaelwaits says:

    Great post! I don’t really get into comics but your really kept my interest and showed me why they are entertaining to you. It almost made me want to become a comic reader. *Almost. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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