I’ve been out of the comic book loop for a long time, with sporadic reintegrations into the comic book community for short periods before disappearing again. My history with comic books is steeped heavily in a variety of issues from both Marvel and DC, from the eras of the 60s to the 80s mostly. My uncle had given me several big boxes of these comics, his personal collection from over the years, and I read through most of it (before they were destroyed in a flood… long story). I was more a Marvel fan (still am), enjoying the Avengers, Doctor Strange, and the X-Men (and spin-offs of). But I had some fun in the DC universe, mostly with the Doom Patrol and the Legion of Superheroes. Throughout the years following my childhood, I’ve collected some trade paperbacks and graphic novels, and a few bundled collections of comics, but for the most part it’s a habit that I don’t take part in.

Recently, I’ve started checking some stuff out of my local library’s graphic novel section, and I’ve wanted to talk about some of my reads, but haven’t had a particular place to do so. So I figured, Bardsworth is a comic, there are bound to be some comic book readers here, right? If not, I won’t bother doing this again, but for now, I thought I’d talk about some of the things I’ve recently read.

Watchmen – Yeah, I had never read it up until recently. And, to be honest, there’s not a whole lot that I can say about it that hasn’t already been said throughout the years. Blasphemous to some, I saw the movie before reading the graphic novel. I enjoyed the movie, and still do even after reading the source material. I can see where some hardcore fans could get a little irked at the movie version, but I don’t get the hatred for it, except that it’s cool to jump on the “I hate Zack Snyder” bandwagon. Sorry, I don’t go for mob mentality. In any case, I loved the graphic novel, although I’m not sure I’d ever bother to buy it because I’m not sure I’ll ever read it again.

Doctor Who: Fugitive – Being a Whovian, I figured I’d love the comics. And I liked the writing, but the artwork… holy moley, what was up with it? It’s terrible, and I almost stopped reading it because of that. But the story kept me going to the end, although despite the cliffhanger I’m not sure I want to bother moving on. That was the first strike against publisher IDW in my eyes.

The Rocketeer: The Complete Adventures – I loved the movie The Rocketeer when I was younger, and I never got to read the original comics, so I was a little excited when I found out IDW was going to be publishing a new series based on the story. Well, I’m still in the midst of reading it, and… ugh, this time the artwork is pretty good, but the writing is awful. Inconsistent characters, forced dialogue, pacing that needs to be slowed way down. It’s a disappointment, a big disappointment. Not sure if I’m going to finish it. The second strike for IDW.

The Death of Superman – I’ll be honest up front: I hate Superman. I’ve never been interested in him as a character, I grew up thinking he was overpowered and overhyped, his sense of morality got on my nerves, and let’s not even talk about his costume. I know that DC changed him or has done other versions of him over the decades, but I don’t care. Just never liked him. So – and yes this a bit sick – I wanted to read his death. Again. I read it back when it first happened (I knew a guy who had collected them all), and decided to do it again. Really, it just cemented why I didn’t read much of DC at the time. The characters didn’t interest me, the writing was over the top, and I never found the artwork to be on par with most of Marvel’s. I’m sure you could argue with me on those points, but I’m speaking from limited experience, so while you’re probably right, it won’t mean much to me.

I’m in the middle of one more right now, and I’ll be checking out more soon. I’m thinking of grabbing up some of the recent Green Lantern stories (one of the only areas of the DC universe that ever really grabbed my attention) and maybe a random choice by an indie publisher, just for fun. Feel free to make suggestions, too – the selection at my library is slim-pickens, but I could probably special order them.