Hey, I get it. Comics are hard.
Hollywood can’t seem to get enough superheroes and it would seem that I can’t either. A few years ago, I wanted to go straight to the source to get my fix, but getting into comics can be… daunting. Where do you start? Do you have to start with #1? There are more than 10 different teams of Avengers?! These are the questions that haunted me when I entered the fray.
In light of this, I thought I would start a new feature here on Fangirly where I try and help you read some comics by highlighting series that are easy to begin. I am by no means a comic expert, but we can do break into this world together.
My first piece of advice on getting into comics: Just jump on in.
The good news is that there are new series or runs starting up all the time, but I’ve also learned that you can jump into a series whenever. They always give a suitable summary at the beginning of each issue and re-introduce characters regularly. Also, let’s face it, the plots to comics aren’t that complex. The name of the comic is usually the good guy, they are more often than not trying to save the city from a bad guy, and bad guys are distinguished by some sort of scar, snarl, or furrowed brow.
The most difficult thing about getting into comics is knowing which series to read, but only you can know the answer to that and you can only find out by trial and error. If there is a character you like from the movies or TV shows, start there. Go to a comic book store and browse for a character or even art that speaks to you. Or even better yet, ask your trusty comic book store guy (or girl) for recommendations based on what you typically enjoy. There is so many different stories, styles, and characters out there that you’re bound to find something. Soon enough, you will find your niches and be into comics!
Finally, on to my recommendation!
For me, I have found that my niche is sassy ladies who kick some butt, so I thought I would highlight my current favorite of that variety: Mockingbird. This is a great series to help you get into comics because while the character of Mockingbird is not new to comics, this is her first stand alone series and it is soooo good. The new series, written by Chelsea Cain with art by Kate Niemczyk, features agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bobbi Morse who was recently injected with some experimental serums. As we know from other comic book stories, that does not always work out well so Bobbi is being monitored by the S.H.I.E.L.D. medical clinic. It is a lot of fun to see superhero medical pamphlets and cameos from some familiar faces in the waiting room.
Even more fun is the character of Bobbi herself, who is feisty, tough, but also vulnerable as she deals with the side effects of recent “enhancements”. The series is “puzzle box” meaning that the issues will jump from story to story in a somewhat disjointed manner but ultimately culminating in an arc that will make more sense. This could potentially be challenging to read as a series, but the individual issues are fun enough that it doesn’t bother me.
I can’t recommend this series enough and really just more people to read it so I have someone to talk to about it. Plus, this is a great series to break into because it is only 3 issues into the series, so go to your local comic book store or online comic reader and pick it up! You won’t be disappointed (hopefully).
Do you have any favorite series? What are you reading? Is there one you want me to feature? Let me know.
3 thoughts on “Let’s Read Comics: Mockingbird”
Mockingbird is fantastic. Issue #3 might be my favourite, and one that I think deserved a lot more attention than it got, as it’s an absolutely fascinating exploration of how society fails tween girls. It was brilliant commentary, while also being really fun.
Some other books I’d recommend: Ms. Marvel (obviously, because anyone not reading that is wrong, it is the quintessential YA superhero comic), Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (one of the funnest comics ever), Patsy Walker aka Hellcat! (also hilarious, and adorable), All-New Wolverine (Laura is the Best Wolverine Ever, and the book is really fun, with some great humour), Captain Marvel (a strong series), Black Widow (Samnee and Waid are telling an enthralling and exciting story), Black Panther (a very smart comic tackling some complex themes), Power Man & Iron Fist (so much fun, so much heart, the first arc had a strong focus on the friendship between two women who met in prison), Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur (delightful all-ages fun with a black girl genius as the lead), Nighthawk (off to a strong start, exploring racial politics), Scarlet Witch (a series of really interesting done-in-ones that are still building a larger story, with each issue having a different artist, which allows for a great variety of stories).
And yes, I love the fact that I can recommend so many amazing books with women and people of colour in the lead roles. This is without even getting into team books, or some of the great solo titles that have white men in lead roles.
Sooo, you basically just listed all of my favorites! Ms. Marvel is the best and is basically what got me into comics (I’m a late comer). I feel like Marvel is doing much better by it’s female characters in the comics than in their other mediums.
I am a big big advocate of non-superhero comics. They are much easier to get into (far fewer options and they haven’t been running since the fifties) and they are doing even MORE interesting stuff with representation and diversity and crazy storytelling.