26 September 2007

All-New! All Different!!!

And now, the reboot.
When I started this blog over 2 years ago, I wanted to bring new readers into the medium that I loved so much. Most comics aren't exactly new reader friendly, and I wanted to provide jumping on points for the casual reader. Unfortunately, I got a little derailed.
First, I got a little discouraged when I realized that the original title of my blog, "Gateway Comics", was also the name of a chain of comics stores back east, and my blog would be pushed to the third
page of Google Links.
Second, I was wondering if I was really the best person to bring the casual comics reader into the hobby, since the majority of what I read is continuity-laden superhero titles that have become more and more entrenched in their own backstories.
Turns out both of these problems are relatively easy fixes.
My partner-in-crime Jessica is firmly entrenched in the online knitting community, and it seems that most of those people name their blogs "So-and-so knits." It amuses me for some reason, but it also gets its point across. "Here I am and here is what I do." Hence the new name, "Dan Reads Comics."
As for the other problem... there are a couple of diamonds in the proverbial rough. Who better to find them than someone who spends most of his time wading through the mire?
So here's the deal. I buy comics every Wednesday after work, and if something in my weekly pile strikes me as high quality AND new reader friendly, I'll post about it. If not, I won't. Simple as that.
So on to the next page...

X-Men: First Class

Premise: What were the original 5 X-Men like back in high school?

My favorite X-Men have always been the originals: Cyclops, Beast, Angel, Marvel Girl, and Iceman. My biggest complaint about the X-Men comics is that they seem to be walled off from the rest of the Marvel Universe. Apparently, writer Jeff Parker feels the same way, since this series features the aforementioned heroes and often has them interacting with the other heroes and villains of the Marvel universe. In one issue, they fight the Lizard (a Spider-Man villain). In another issue, Marvel Girl teams up with the Invisible Girl from the Fantastic Four. Doctor Strange, the Scarlet Witch, and Thor also make appearances over the course of the series.

Casual fans will also enjoy this series because each issue is self-contained (with the occasional two-part story). And most of the stories are told from a single character's point of view, which gives a fresh take on the interpersonal dynamics of the team, and also helps the reader empathize with these characters.

Recommended For: Old-school Marvel fans, kids of all ages.
Not Recommended For: People wondering why Wolverine isn't in this book.