Talking about comic books, TV shows, movies, sports, and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A life lived productively

My current job gives me about 30 hours of work a week. I’m going to venture a guess and say I’m using those extra 10 hours each work to indulge in my childhood addiction. I’m not talking about flogging the ol’ clown in the corner. I’m talking about comic books!

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of comics. I mean A LOT of comics.

The pusher to me falling off the wagon and needing a stronger daily fix –

You see, Marvel has an online service that allows you to read thousands of their comics for a modest monthly fee (About $5/month with a yearly membership).

Currently they are boasting 5000+ issues available online with each weekday adding 5 more. Mostly, they have digitized older comics such as the first 100 or so issues of their flagship titles such as Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, Uncanny X-Men, and Fantastic Four, but they also try and get you hooked on their current monthly titles by offering you a taste to the tune of the first 6-10 issues of a newer series.

Now keep in mind I’ve only been a member for a month. Here’s what I’ve read so far –

Avengers 1-60

As Opalnan pointed out – Hulk’s hiding in a circus by juggling elephants. A lot of the dialogue is repetitive and boring but the introduction and interaction of many marvel mainstays keep me wanting to know more.

Black Panther 1-18

Written by the guy behind such cinematic gems as House Party and Boomerang, Reginald Hudlin. I was a huge fan of Christopher Priest, his Quantum & Woody series as well as his take on the Black Panther, but I think Mr. Hudlin take the Panther to an epic level and handles his royalty and place in the Marvel Universe with skill and respectability.

Captain America 1-13

Ed Brubaker is a genius. When I originally heard Bucky was the new Captain America I was dumbfounded. There was no way Marvel could make that seem realistic. In steps Brubaker. Not only did he legitimize Bucky as a bad ass, but the sense of foreboding in the first dozen issues of the series is tangible with the knowledge that Steve Rodgers will be dying off.

Civil War: The Confession 1

Brilliant short story examining the dichotomy of war.

Emma Frost 1-18

I feel this series could have been great had it been allowed to run its course. After all, Emma was evil. Figuring out how she got there would have been glorious.

Moon Knight 1-10

Great design / Batman ripoff. I love how the writer full acknowledges how pathetic Moon Knight was and uses it as a storytelling device to showcase the characters' seeming insanity.

Also read - Astonishing X-Men 1-9, Books Of Doom 1-6, Bullseye: Greatest Hits 1-5, Various issues of Fantastic Four, House of M 1-8, Punisher Bullseye 1-5, Dr. Strange - The Oath, and dozens of others. I need a girlfriend . . .


  1. Yeah, Hulk in that first issue of Avengers is comics gold. Like many Silver Age books, Avengers gets a bit repetitive, but it benefits from frequent lineup changes/guest stars and, of course, all those building blocks of the MU.

    I read the first few issues of Hudlin's Black Panther (the ones Romita Jr. drew) but left after the brief X-Men crossover, returning for the occasional crossover-related issue. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't Priest's Black Panther, and time and money, as always were at a premium.

    Ditto Moon Knight, of which I read the first dozen issues or so, but it was HEAVILY decompressed and I found I just didn't have the time or money to devote to a character to which I had such little attachment. I bet it reads a lot better in one sitting, and I know of at least one other blogger over at Comics Should Be Good who continues to like it despite repeated harassment for doing so.

    Cap is indeed pretty amazing. I just read issue 37 (I'm WAY behind in my new comics reading) and I took a moment to marvel (pun intended) at the fact that 37 issues in and Brubaker is essentially still telling the story he started in issue 1. Sure, there's arcs and chapters and interludes and whatnot, but really, his whole run has been one big Captain America novel. I'm excited to see how far he can take it, especially since I know he has most of it mapped out already.

    I haven't read much of the Emma Frost stuff, though I've probably got a few issues laying around...

    Oh, and be wary of Marvel's online wares; as I recall from something I read when that program launched, I believe they take stuff down after a certain period of time, so you might need to prioritize for fear of something you really want to read disappearing.

  2. Especially nowadays, comics are being written with the trade paperbacks in mind. This always leaves me impatient when reading the monthly comics. It's so much easier to go to Borders and read the TPB for free in one sitting. By doing this, my guilt tells me I should stick with the monthly charge for so their company is at least making some money off of me.

  3. Also, I wonder if VP HULK has any comments on his circus days . . .

  4. I definitely think Marvel's approach to web comics is a smart one; there's many different ways to read and enjoy comics and it'd be foolish for them to not cater to all those various formats in a cost-effective way.

    Oh, and I'm fairly certain our esteemed VPs only comments would be "Hulk Smash!"

    Apparently that's all the eloquence "the people" want from their leaders...

  5. Well I've talked with the VP and he says that his elephantjJuggling days are long behind it. It was a different time and he was desperate. He does not endorse the jungling of animals.

    But he may be saying that because PETA is currently bombarding his limousine with cabbage. Hulk HATES cabbage.

    However, Hulk did say that he still stands behind his intergalactic gladiator days. And then added, "Hulk Smash."


Comment. Please. Love it? Hate it? Are mildly indifferent to it? Let us know!