Going Back To Comics

Let’s talk comics books

It’s a lot harder to take a picture of comics than I thought.

The last time I picked up a com­ic, was when I was still a kid. I nev­er col­lect­ed, but I read the ones I could get my hands on. About a year ago, I read the whole Civ­il War event in antic­i­pa­tion of this year’s movie, and then the Age of Ultron event. I was hooked. I real­ized I’d been miss­ing out on so much sto­ry absent from the movies. I learned more about char­ac­ters that were friends, were roman­ti­cal­ly involved, then come togeth­er to solve a prob­lem. I was see­ing char­ac­ters I’d liked in film (and some that I wasn’t too fond of) in a whole new light.

Fast for­ward a year, and I’m read­ing comics on a reg­u­lar basis now. I start­ed my col­lec­tion about a month ago, and want­ed to share what I was read­ing. But I also want­ed to share how easy it actu­al­ly is to get into comics, if like me, you’d been intim­i­dat­ed to do so in the past.

Let’s start with some vocabulary

One of the first things you need to learn when join­ing a new com­mu­ni­ty is the lin­go! If you’ve been inter­est­ed in read­ing comics you might have heard some of these terms before, but if not, you’ll def­i­nite­ly hear them as you move forward.

First off, let’s talk about the dif­fer­ent terms for comics. From what I’ve learned, there are four dif­fer­ent types of com­ic books:

  1. Sin­gle Issue — Sin­gle issues refer to one sin­gle com­ic, prob­a­bly the thing you think about when hear­ing about a com­ic book. They are one issue, are part of a larg­er sto­ry, and depend­ing on the pub­lish­er and title, usu­al­ly come out once a month.
  2. Trade — Trades are a com­pi­la­tion of 5–6 issues in one book. They come out either in paper­back or hard­cov­er. While fun to read — because you get a nice chunk of sto­ry to digest all at once — they can be a bum­mer because they don’t come out until after all 5–6 issues have been pub­lished (obvi­ous­ly). The major draw­back being, you’ll be about 5–6 months behind every­one else read­ing the title.
  3. Omnibus — An omnibus is the com­plete run of a com­ic, all com­piled into one book. So let’s say that a par­tic­u­lar run of a com­ic had fifty-two issues, they would all be com­piled into one giant book giv­ing you the run from start to finish.
  4. Graph­ic Nov­el — A graph­ic nov­el isn’t tied to a par­tic­u­lar com­ic book run. These are a whole sto­ry from start to fin­ish in one book. To me, they’re like the movie ver­sion of a com­ic, it’s a whole sto­ry from begin­ning to end in a book.

Anoth­er impor­tant phrase you might want to know is pull list. Your pull list is basi­cal­ly the list of titles that you read.

With the basics cov­ered, let’s get to some rec­om­men­da­tions! I should pref­ace these rec­om­men­da­tions by say­ing that I’m a huge Mar­vel fan, so all but one title is Mar­vel. If you’re not a fan of super­heroes and what not, then my rec­om­men­da­tions might not be for you. But, some of the gen­er­al things I’ve learned might be.

My pull list

These are some of the titles I’m read­ing, I haven’t ordered them in any spe­cif­ic way. I rec­om­mend each of these.

All-New All-Different Avengers

The premise is pret­ty great with this one: a team you wouldn’t think that’d come togeth­er, has done just that and makes up the All-New All-Dif­fer­ent Avengers. Sam Wil­son is Cap­tain Amer­i­ca and is deal­ing with race issues that come up with being in the spot­light. Tony Stark’s but­ler, Jarvis, strug­gles with under­stand­ing if he’s impor­tant to the team. Oh! And Kamala Khan as Ms. Mar­vel is an Avengers fan-girl, just so hap­py to be here, and kick­ing butt all the same.

The younger mem­bers — Kamala Khan, Miles Morales, and Sam Alexan­der — help you see what it’s like to be the newest mem­ber of the Avengers, and how awe­some that can be, yet the respon­si­bil­i­ty that comes with it. The chem­istry between Kamala and Sam is brew­ing, and it’ll be inter­est­ing to see where they take that. There’s anoth­er romance going on, but I won’t spoil it for you.

All-New Inhumans

Hard­core X‑Men fans seem to hate the Inhu­mans because of the atten­tion they’re get­ting these days. Because of the MCU (Mar­vel Cin­e­mat­ic Uni­verse) not being able to use the X‑Men, there’s been much spec­u­la­tion that the Inhu­mans are being used to replace them.

Pol­i­tics aside, the cur­rent run is fas­ci­nat­ing, and sees the Inhu­mans bat­tling bad guys and a bad rep­u­ta­tion amid a huge fias­co cre­at­ed by their own King, Black Bolt. The Inhu­mans also bat­tle dis­crim­i­na­tion, they’re mis­un­der­stood by humans and some­times even hat­ed as abom­i­na­tions of the the human race. While mutants have nev­er had a gov­ern­ment of their own, the Inhu­mans do, and there­fore, the issues are risen to a glob­al scale where they also need to tread the polit­i­cal land­scape carefully.

Captain Marvel

Cap­tain Mar­vel is one of my new favorite char­ac­ters. Until pick­ing up the new series, I’d heard lit­tle of her. This run sees Car­ol Dan­vers tak­ing a new job — which every­one thought would be a bor­ing desk job, turn into some­thing com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent. Cap­tain Mar­vel has real­ly cool pow­ers, and the writ­ing is a lot of fun. I found myself laugh­ing quite a bit.

Oh and the art­work! The art­work for this com­ic is so good, you could almost buy it for that. Each cov­er feels like a col­lectible piece of art, and the inside is no dif­fer­ent. I hear we’ll be see­ing Cap­tain Mar­vel in the upcom­ing Avengers: Infin­i­ty War movie, and after read­ing this, I’m real­ly look­ing for­ward to it.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Peter Park­er is now a suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man, and run­ning Park­er Indus­tries. Spi­der-Man is no longer just the hero of New York City, but takes on threats around the world. This is a title I didn’t see myself lik­ing any­more, yet I’m pleas­ant­ly sur­prised. I recent­ly pur­chased the first trade, then caught up with the month­ly issues, and I love what they’re doing with him! Yes, it’s a whole new take on Peter/Spi­der-Man, but it’s still ground­ed in the char­ac­ter we love. Nick Lowe, Edi­tor for the book, said it best in the back of issue #7:

ANYWAY, like most of you, I can’t iden­ti­fy with the CEO, jet-set­ting aspects of what we’re doing with Spi­der-Man, but I still find Peter to be Peter here. Heck, while he’s thrilled by all of what’s going on and what it allows him to do in the world, I don’t think HE’s com­fort­able with his cur­rent sta­tus quo.

Batman: Hush

This one isn’t a month­ly issue com­ic, it’s a graph­ic nov­el, but I had to men­tion it. I’m not fin­ished with it, but it’s real­ly great so far. I think it’ll end up being my favorite Bat­man sto­ry. If you love Bat­man — heck, even if you don’t — I think you’ll real­ly love this one.

You see things from Batman’s per­spec­tive, and solve the mys­tery with him. Most of Gotham’s char­ac­ters make an appear­ance in this sto­ry, and to me, it’s just clas­sic Bat­man. He hates ask­ing for help and receiv­ing it, but he def­i­nite­ly needs it to beat Hush. I love see­ing Bat­man work with oth­er characters.

How to get started

This is where most peo­ple get scared, I know I did. Peo­ple you know are talk­ing about comics, or maybe you lis­ten to a pod­cast where they talk about comics. Inside, you want to read comics too, you want to know what they’re talk­ing about, but some com­ic books are on issue #200. There’s no way I can read all of those”, you say to your­self. Well! Fear no more! It’s eas­i­er than you may think.

Do some research

You don’t have to start from issue one to under­stand the whole sto­ry. That’s what Wikipedia is for! In fact, pub­lish­ers like Mar­vel main­tain a wiki on their char­ac­ters that you can ref­er­ence. It’ll tell you who they are, where they’re from, what their pow­ers are, who they’re relat­ed to, tons of stuff. It’s an easy way to get caught up, so you can pick up your first book and under­stand what’s happening.

Right now is a per­fect time to start read­ing com­ic books too. Mar­vel relaunched most, if not all, of their comics last yearDC is doing DC Rebirth which is putting almost all of their titles back at issue #1. And even if super­heroes aren’t your thing, there is plen­ty to read.

Visit a comic store

Chances are, you live by a com­ic book store and you don’t even know it. I didn’t know how close mine was. I’m now a reg­u­lar. Your com­ic store will have peo­ple who real­ly love comics and can help you and answer questions.

If you’ve picked your titles, pick up the lat­est issue of the com­ic you’re look­ing for. Don’t wor­ry about start­ing from the first issue right now, just read the most recent one, and eval­u­ate if you like it. Do you like the writ­ing? Where the sto­ry is going? Is the art­work awesome?

If you haven’t picked titles, you can ask when you get there. Com­ic book read­ers love to give rec­om­men­da­tions to those who are just start­ing out. All you need to know is a rough sense of what you’re look­ing for.

Remem­ber, com­ic books are not only for those who love super­heroes. There is a huge vari­ety of com­ic books that touch on many dif­fer­ent top­ics and tell all types of sto­ries. It real­ly doesn’t mat­ter why or how you pick a title. You can pick based on the char­ac­ter, the writer, artist, what­ev­er. It’s all up to you.

Where to buy

There are tons of places to buy comics, so I’m going to only talk about a few that I’ve per­son­al­ly used.

Your local comic book store

I have to advo­cate for your local com­ic book store first. These stores are very under-appre­ci­at­ed. I love the face-to-face I get at the com­ic book store, they remem­ber my name, and I have my own bin where they reserve comics on my pull list just for me. It’s a great way to sup­port a local busi­ness too.

Some­times you’re look­ing for a back issue that your local store just doesn’t have, so you decide to buy online. I’ve pur­chased from this site, and have been hap­py. The turn­around is pret­ty quick, they pack­age your comics safe­ly, and they come bagged and boarded.


You won’t find the month­ly sin­gle issues here, but Ama­zon is a great way to buy trades and graph­ic nov­els. The price is good. All of the trades I’ve pur­chased except for one have come from Ama­zon. You can even pre-order trades that you know will be com­ing out soon.

There are two draw­backs though. I’ve noticed that trades become avail­able on Ama­zon about a week or so after they come out at the com­ic book store. So if you don’t want to wait, you’ll have to buy at the com­ic store. The oth­er issue is that Ama­zon doesn’t care about comics. Only one of the trades came in a pack­age that actu­al­ly fit the book. All the oth­er ones, have come cramped in box­es with oth­er stuff I had ordered, bend­ing the cor­ner. I’m not too both­ered, but I don’t like it.


I used this app once before it was acquired by Ama­zon. I wouldn’t rec­om­mend this route. I hear pur­chas­ing comics through this app has become very dif­fi­cult, and feel it takes away from the com­ic book read­ing expe­ri­ence. I love to feel the com­ic in my hand and then put them on my shelf. But that’s just me. I’m includ­ing it as an option because I know of oth­ers who use it and like it.

What now?

New comics come out on Wednes­day.

It’s like what Fri­days are for movies. Not each of your titles will come out on the same week, but new titles always come out on the same day. I usu­al­ly go to the com­ic book store on Wednes­day or Thurs­day because I’m impatient.

You can check’s new releas­es page to see what’s com­ing out. I always check to see what comics that are already on my pull list are com­ing out, and if there are any oth­ers I might be inter­est­ed in. You can even look at next week to see what’s coming.

If you want to see what oth­er peo­ple are pick­ing up that week, you can check the r/comicbooks sub­red­dit or YouTube pull list for [what­ev­er week here].” I per­son­al­ly real­ly like Nerd Burg­er, and have gone on to like stuff she rec­om­mends. There’s no short­age of peo­ple who want to share what they bought that week, and which comics you should be read­ing. It’s a mat­ter of find­ing peo­ple that have sim­i­lar tastes.

Final thoughts

That’s the extent of my knowl­edge right now. Remem­ber, I’m new to all of this too! If you have ques­tions or need a bud­dy, you can always get in touch with me via Twit­ter.

I hope you feel like you’re walk­ing away with some great rec­om­men­da­tions, and less intim­i­da­tion (if you felt that at all) than before. Hap­py com­ic book reading!