sumeria: Blood burns like fire; it always burns through. (Red)

So, I know I’m not the only one (particularly among newer fans) who prefers to buy the trade/collected editions of comics rather than the individual issues. However, as anyone who has given even a cursory glance at such can tell you, it is not particularly easy or intuitive to figure out what order books go in, as they’re rarely numbered, and what with retitling books and changing numbering schemes every few years, it wouldn’t be incredibly helpful even if they were.

I searched the internet for some kind of organized master list that would show both the reading order for individual titles, and for titles relative to each other (desirable because of crossovers, events, and the fact that Wolverine is in Every Damn Thing) but I didn’t find anything really comprehensive. Hence this Endeavor.

Read more... )

Recently, I began a great and mighty Endeavor. You see, I wanted to start reading comic books again. Specifically, Marvel comics in the main 616 universe. (For the unaware, Marvel embraces the concept of "alternate realities" so endemic to comics to the extent of having one character [Reed Richards, of the Fantastic Four] actually create a numbering system for them. 616 is the principle reality in which the majority of Marvel titles are set.)

But actually figuring out what books I wanted to buy turned out to take quite a lot of research, and eventually, a really elaborate chart. Since I don't think my situation is all that unique, I wanted to post such chart upon the interwebs, that others who might find it Of Use would have the option.

Being a chart showing in what order marvel comics should be read, from 2009-present, and an overly-verbose explanation as to my reasoning in constructing it. )

Edit: Now contains Fantastic Four, Hulk, and Wolverine-related titles.

Edit 2: Now contains Spiderman, Daredevil, and other solo titles, and I am begining to incorporate the new post-AvX Marvel Now! titles.

Edit 3: Now largely complete for 2009-present, working on 2000-2009.

Edit 4: Now replaced by complete version over here.

Books I ordered arrived today; baby!Loki, yay! (Baby!Loki is awesome; I highly recommend the new Journey into Mystery series. Highly.) And, luckily, it turns out I guessed right about what books I wanted, so double yay!

It kind of annoys me that there was guesswork involved, though, I have to say.

I mean, I'm a nerd. I read a lot, and I like to re-read things. I enjoy comics, but since I like to have nice copies of things, and I don't like to buy things twice, I usually prefer to wait until the trade/graphic novel version of something comes out, rather than pick up the monthly comic books. I hang out almost exclusively with other nerds, many of whom do follow quite a few of the monthly releases.

If I think to myself, "I want to own a nice hardcover copy of baby!Loki's adventures, as begun in Thor #617 and continuing in Journey into Mystery #622 onwards", it should not take me an hour of research across multiple websites to decide which books contain those issues, and at the end of said research, I should not feel only mostly sure that I've ordered the right books.

Would it be so hard, Marvel and DC, to maintain some kind of list of what issues are in what trade edition, that one could reference? For that matter, given that a lot of your characters move freely through books, why is it that I cannot go to your site and say, "I want to read about Iron Man!" and obtain from you a list of the graphic novels he appears in in chronological order?

Because I have to say, given how much work it is for me, who follows comics, to figure out what I need to buy to get the stories I'm interested in, I have to expect that any casual or returning reader has a non-zero chance of giving up and wandering off.

(I suspect this would also be a good way to increase their sales to women by lots, since ladies are way more likely, I think, to be invested in character arcs. Put together a list of, say, all graphic novels in which Magneto figures heavily, arrange them in a sensible order so people can follow the story contained therein, and Magneto fangirls will buy them.

In conclusion: baby!Loki is awesome. Anyone who ever wanted to see a redemption story wherein Loki decided evil had gotten too predictable, so why not kill himself and be reborn as an adorable 8-year-old version of himself that wasn't burdened by all his issues: Marvel has what you want.



May 2013

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