Comic books have influenced my life for as long as I can remember through movies, cartoons, video games, toys and more. However, up until recently, I’ve never actually read a legitimate comic book in earnest. For most of my life, I perceived the act of reading comic books as something that was too nerdy for me. By the time I warmed up to the idea, I had no idea where to start. With almost 100 years worth of DC and Marvel content out there, picking a logical starting point proved difficult.
For Superman and company, I knew that DC Comics had their New 52 initiative where they rebooted all of their franchises. But by the time I finally gained interest in reading, I was already years behind on content, and the New 52 omnibus is very expensive. While I pranced around the issue, Steff jumped in with both feet by buying the first Suicide Squad graphic novel. That book immediately won her over and she caught up within a matter of days.
In my heart of hearts, I really wanted to find that “New 52” style starting point for the X-Men. They’re my favourite comic book franchise and I feel like I followed them more closely than any other. One day, as if the comic book gods had heard my cries, I stumbled across All New X-Men #1: Yesterday’s X-Men. According to IGN’s quote on the top, it was, “the place to start reading the X-books.”
This immediately caught my attention and inspired me to read up on it. Turns out that Marvel did their own New 52-esque relaunch with Marvel Now. Perfect! Steff ordered that X-Men book for me and I haven’t looked back. All New X-Men #1 is fantastic and I immediately had a thirst for more. But what does more entail at this point? Catching up on this stream of X-Men can be done by reading the two graphic novels out now, which I could cover realistically in an afternoon. I could also dip my toe into some of Steff’s DC stuff, including her Suicide Squad books or her recently-purchased Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls, though working through that content wouldn’t last very long, either. It’s also just a small cross-section of starting points in the major comic book universes. I really wanted to read more X-Men, but even that means catching up on roughly a dozen different X-related books. Getting a taste of what’s out there can be a very slippery and expensive slope.
As if the comic book gods heard me yet again, Steff and I found the ultimate answers. Sitting on a clearance table at World’s Biggest Bookstore were both the Marvel Now omnibus and the New 52 omnibus for half price! While the total cost of both books at $150 still seemed like a lot, this would have been a $300 investment without the deal. After some back and forth between us, we picked up both knowing that this was likely the best offer we’ll ever find for both. So now between these two books, I have the definitive modern starting point for every DC and Marvel story. I can’t wait to dig into these stories in hopes of following along with many of my childhood favourites and fresh faces from the “beginning”.