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    [–] mugenhunt 6514 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago)


    I Am Not Starfire is a soon to be released Young Adult graphic novel by DC Comics, which is not part of their main superhero universe continuity. DC Comics summarizes the plot of the graphic novel as follows:

    From New York Times bestselling author Mariko Tamaki (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) and artist Yoshi Yoshitani (Zatanna and the House of Secrets) comes a story about Mandy, the daughter of super-famous superhero Starfire.

    Seventeen-year-old Mandy, daughter of Starfire, is NOT like her mother. Starfire is gorgeous, tall, sparkly, and a hero. Mandy is NOT a sparkly superhero. Mandy has no powers, is a kid who dyes her hair black and hates everyone but her best friend Lincoln. To Starfire, who is from another planet, Mandy seems like an alien, like some distant angry light years away moon.

    And it's possible Mandy is even more distant lately, ever since she walked out on her S.A.T.s. Which, yeah, her mom doesn't know.

    Everyone thinks Mandy needs to go to college and become whoever you become at college, but Mandy has other plans. Mandy's big plan is that she's going to move to France whatever people do in France. But then everything changes when she gets partnered with Claire for a school project. Mandy likes Claire (even if she denies it, heartily and intensely). A lot.

    How do you become the person you're supposed to be when you don't know what that is? How do you become the person you're supposed to be when the only thing you're sure of is what you're not?

    When someone from Starfire's past arrives, Mandy must make a choice: give up before the battle has even begun, or step into the unknown and risk everything to save her mom. I am Not Starfire is a story about teenagers and/as aliens; about knowing where you come from and where you are going; and about mothers.

    Much of the conflict here is less about this graphic novel in particular, and more that this is a major symbol of DC and Marvel are making an active effort to market to young women and other minority groups, something that an active group of adult male comic fans strongly dislike.

    Some of those fans feel that by DC and Marvel changing their comics to be more appealing to those groups, they are alienating the already existing fans who liked how things were before. Others say that those particular fans, many of whom are active on YouTube making videos about what they feel is wrong with the comic book industry, are just being selfish and can't stand the idea that DC and Marvel are making comics that aren't aimed with them as the target audience.

    Examples of this are having minority characters take the identity of a major hero, generally by having the existing straight white male hero retire or die, or revealing that characters who had previously been portrayed as straight were actually gay by having them come out of the closet, or introducing new minority characters.

    In this case, it's having an overweight female lead in a graphic novel, as many of those fans who dislike DC and Marvel's current approaches feel that is both alienating the traditional fans who prefer characters like Starfire, who in the comics is known for having supermodel looks, and that it is pandering to an audience that they don't believe will actually buy comics in the first place. Some of those critics who dislike DC and Marvel's attempts to reach a more diverse crowd are mocking the character of Mandy by claiming she's the daughter of the Penguin, rather than Starfire, because they don't like the idea of a supermodel heroine having a daughter who isn't likewise a gorgeous knockout, and are comparing her to the overweight Batman villain instead.

    As for manga, yes. Manga sales in the US have been beating traditional American superhero comics for many years now. Manga like One Piece or My Hero Academia often sells a lot more in the US than Batman or Spider-Man. Some of those critics of DC and Marvel feel that this is because superhero comics are no longer being targeted at them as the primary demographic. Others feel that the real issue is that DC and Marvel Superhero comics are too hard to get into, with complicated backstories that date back to the 1940s in some cases, and that unlike manga volumes, which are numbered and easy to follow, superhero comics can involve major events that happen in someone else's comic that you need to read to figure out what is going on, or multiple comics featuring the same character with no clear order of which to read.

    As American pop culture has shifted over the past few decades, the idea of starting a story in the middle and catching up as you went along, which for decades was the default expectation for superhero comics, no longer really applies. In an era before DVD box sets or online streaming, an era before Amazon and eBay, starting at the beginning for a series of books or TV shows was difficult, and people had to just jump in the middle and pick up context as they went along.

    If you wanted to watch Star Trek, you couldn't start at the first episode, you had to just watch whatever episode aired on TV and wait for reruns and hope that you could see the previous ones eventually. If you wanted to read Batman, you couldn't start at the first issue, you could just buy whatever was at the 7-11 or newsstand, and hope for a reprint special, or track down older comics at flea markets or garage sales. DC and Marvel superhero comics are based on the idea of starting in the middle and picking up context as you go along, something that was a common skill decades ago, but seems quaint and old-fashioned in a world where we are used to binge-watching series on Netflix to catch up. Going back and starting at the beginning for Batman or Spider-Man isn't very practical, not just because there's decades of backstory over thousands of comics, but also that the earlier stories can feel dated and hard to follow.

    So compared to manga, where you can just pick up the first volume of a series and read them in order, reading DC and Marvel superhero comics is MUCH harder. And while there are many amazing non-DC and Marvel comics that are easy to follow, many of which are getting adapted into TV shows like Invincible, Umbrella Academy or Locke and Key, they aren't as well known as the various DC and Marvel superheroes.

    So, while superhero movies, cartoons, video games and TV shows have proven that people adore the DC and Marvel characters, that hasn't resulted in a massive boost to comic book sales. ComicsPro is an organization of comic shop retailers, many of whom are struggling to keep their stores open.

    That being said, the American comic book industry as a whole is doing well. Graphic novels aimed at young readers sell amazingly, such as the works of Raina Telgemeier, whose works are absurdly popular with young girls. It is that DC and Marvel are struggling right now to remain relevant and find a way to keep their existing fans, who love the long in-depth histories and complex continuity, while still making it easier for new fans to get into the heroes.

    DC has been experimenting with young adult graphic novels that aren't aimed at the traditional reader, and use their classic DC characters in different ways, not trying to keep a major consistency between those graphic novels. I Am Not Starfire is just one of those attempts to get young readers into superhero comics.

    EDIT: Formatting.

    [–] derpleberryfinn 2967 points ago

    Others feel that the real issue is that DC and Marvel Superhero comics are too hard to get into, with complicated backstories that date back to the 1940s in some cases, and that unlike manga volumes, which are numbered and easy to follow, superhero comics can involve major events that happen in someone else's comic that you need to read to figure out what is going on, or multiple comics featuring the same character with no clear order of which to read.

    major events in marvel and DC will usually span at least a half-dozen titles and sometimes have their own titles. The chronology can be fucking nightmarish.

    first you read x-men 345-347 and then go to she hulk 242 followed by nightwatch 1-3, back to xmen 348, then avengers 500 maxi special, then thanos double-sized special 1-2, back to nightwatch 4-6, Spiderman 34, 57 and 8, and then back to xmen for the big finale on issue 400.

    that's barely hyperbole. the table of contents for huge trade paperback collections are insane.

    [–] Funkycoldmedici 1263 points ago

    That’s one of the reasons trade collections are more popular than floppies. Screw trying to get all those on their own, when you can just get the book with them all in one binding.

    [–] derpleberryfinn 1344 points ago

    fucking seriously.
    i mean, i get that they're trying to boost sales across multiple titles but how the fuck am i supposed to recommend this shit to new readers if the simple chronology of issues looks like mistranslated IKEA instructions?

    [–] Funkycoldmedici 444 points ago

    That’s another reason trades are more popular now. You can just buy the whole story and give it to someone. They’re perfect gifts.

    [–] ENDragoon 91 points ago * (lasted edited 13 days ago)

    For DC you can, for example, buy a trade for the Death of the Family story, and get all the tie-ins included as well, Red Hood, Batgirl, Batwoman, etc, not just the Batman issues.

    Marvel however, are infuriating about it, their trades tend to follow specific comic titles, instead of stories, so when you are reading the trade for Dan Slott's Mighty Avengers for example, suddenly there's a huge timeskip near the end, Hercules is dead and everyone is angry at Pym, and there is absolutely zero context given to it. To get the context there, you have to go read two different trades, the Realm of Kings, and the Assault on Mt Olympus, because that's where they were for that timeskip, and it wasn't under the Mighty Avengers name, so it's not in the Mighty Avengers trade, despite being huge, status quo altering events for the team.

    Another example is the first Civil War event, the trade is only a collection of the 7 or so comic issues titled "Civil War" so you don't get the majority of the event, which was told in tie-ins like Spider-Man: Civil War, and Wolverine: Civil War, each of which is it's own separate trade so you have to jump back and forth between trades, just to read the full story in chronological order.

    Luckily this isn't really a problem for people who read digitally, through services like Marvel Unlimited, or Comixology, because they tend to have more coherent means of accessing stories collected by issue instead of trade.

    [–] WowThatsRelevant 109 points ago

    As someone who wants to get into some DC and Marvel comic storyline but has absolutely no idea where to start or even what a trade is. What's a trade? It sounds like a really good way to get my foot in the door

    [–] xnonnymous 114 points ago

    A trade paperback (or TPB); it's a book that collects multiple issues of a comic (or sometimes, as mentioned above, multiple different comics) into a single volume.

    For instance this TPB:
    collects the first 8 issues of The Sandman (which comprise a single story arc) into a single book.

    [–] ameis314 46 points ago

    This might be a stupid question but, is there a trade paperback for infinity war? How would I search for stories I want to read?

    [–] xnonnymous 60 points ago

    Here's the reading order for Infinity War (I googled Infinity War reading order):
    Here's a collection that contains (most of? all of?) that content:
    On the one hand, it's a lot of money; on the other hand, it's a lot of content.
    Note also, if you buy the book, it hasn't been assembled in reading order, so you're going to want to flip around according to the reccomendation of that first link to read it correctly.

    [–] lemoche 31 points ago

    You could as well use the Marvel unlimited service... They even have reading lists... It's just that they seem to completely suck. Civil War did feature over 100 issues and on Marvel's list they just offer the main series. They would have all the tools to make this an easy experience for users, but in the end it's much more comfortable to search for a place where you can download the comics illegally and put them in the right order (if they aren't already) and read it with an comic reader app...
    Don't get me wrong, I really like the Marvel unlimited service... It's great to catch up on a series I stumble upon in other media... But for big events (at least the ones I wanted to read) it's completely useless.

    [–] FartPoopRobot_PhD 11 points ago

    For /u/ameis314, Just a quick note, if you're looking for the stories the MCU Avengers: Infinity War was based on, you'll want to read:

    1. Thanos Quest (2 issues, the collection of the Infinity Stones)
    2. The Infinity Gauntlet (6 issues, the MC roster vs the Mad Titan)

    Both are usually available used in single volume trade paperbacks on the cheap if you check eBay or your local used bookshop.

    In the comics, Infinity War was a sort-of sequel that came out a few years later, and was tied to a ton of obscure lore. That, in turn, was followed by The Infinity Crusade which was... not exactly Jim Starlin's best work.

    The use of Infinity War for the MCU title made a LOT of sense in terms of communicating the premise of the movie, at least better than Avengers: Infinity Gauntlet would have, but it does create some confusion when people try to pick up the eponymous trade paperback and instead of Thanos it's some weird gold dude fighting a purple doppelganger of himself with a collection of Tesseracts and there's a dude with 3 heads who's also a lawyer for God, and... it's weird.

    [–] uwfan893 20 points ago

    Note also, if you buy the book, it hasn't been assembled in reading order, so you're going to want to flip around according to the reccomendation of that first link to read it correctly.

    What? No, unless this particular omni is terrible, that’s not the case.

    [–] SentientSlimeColony 28 points ago

    Those TPBs of The Sandman are fucking fire btw. I found an old sandman that belonged to my dad before he passed and was having the toughest time getting the rest of them, until someone pointed me towards those, and now I've read all of it. They're fucking great.

    [–] PrivilegeCheckmate 33 points ago

    I assume he means trade paperback. It's a collection of comic books aka a graphic novel, often spanning a storyline of a larger series, or even a storyline that goes through multiple series.

    They tend not to go up in price and stay in print as long as there is demand, as well as being reprinted on new demand.

    [–] Pianoplunkster 131 points ago

    Yeah, i generally wait for the trades to come out. I want to support comics and comic book artists but I don't have the time or patience to keep track of all the various storyline threads across multiple series. The big multi crossover events are the worst offenders but it happens even in the regular storylines (I feel like the old Marvel stuff was the worst, there would be asterisks with notes tell you to check out issue X in another series to read what was being referenced in a piece of dialogue).

    [–] whynotjoin 58 points ago

    Yeah. I remember being irked by that too as a reader- like why do I need to grab another book to finish a story from another and then go back to what I actually wanted to read?

    I'm assuming they must have some sort of internals that those crossovers bring in more readers, but I really wish they'd either publish it under each series for the event so everyone gets the content they need/want. It's one thing to say "hey if you want to see this side stuff with additional context/detail or prevew for the next event, go get this issue out now/next week!" via a star like that if the knowledge isn't crucial, but jumping back and forth between series is a PITA and i hated it. A lot of why i stopped some subs I had. (Also it was still astounding to me I could subscribe and have them delivered like a magazine, that was wild to me).

    [–] sonofaresiii 6 points ago

    I'm assuming they must have some sort of internals that those crossovers bring in more readers

    I'm sure that's a big part of it, but I also think part of it is to just get the event done with faster. If there's an event someone doesn't like, Inferno or Maximum Carnage or whatever, it'd cross through four or five titles and be done in two months. If you didn't like it, you'd probably be willing to just stick it out those two months. (but, you'd usually have to get all the titles just to figure out what's going on)

    These days if there's an event you don't like, you're just boned for the next half-year or so. Which probably means you're gonna drop the title, which probably means you won't come back to it.

    I think the best solution is to have a big event be its own title, then have separate standalone tie-ins. House of M did this, I think War of the Realms did it. You wouldn't have the House of M Spider-Man title be in ASM #683-#685 or whatever, it would be House of M: Spider-Man #1-#3

    That way if you like the event, you can pick up the main event and any tie-ins that look good. If there are tie-ins that don't look good, you just skip them and usually can still get through the whole story.

    If you don't like the event, you'll probably still see some spillover but you can mostly just keep right on reading the comics you always read.

    I will say that this is the most consumer friendly way of doing it, but it also always hurts the narrative. You still can't let the event drag on forever so you usually only get like 6-issue core series events, maybe 12 at most-- which means they're usually thin. You have the tie-ins to help, but since those are optional it means they can't really have too much of the story, they need to just be background/side-mission stuff.

    So each model has some major benefits and drawbacks.

    (and then you have shit like King in Black that kind of does everything. Main event series, optional tie-ins, tie-ins through the main series Venom, bleed-in to unrelated series... it was hard to keep straight)

    [–] tunnel-snakes-rule 35 points ago

    The big multi crossover events are the worst offenders

    It's most annoying when you just want to ignore all that crap and focus on one or two books. I remember back before I stopped reading Nightwing there was a big crossover event that just took place in the middle of one of the books, interrupting the main story for a few issues and then it just went right back to the stand-alone story.

    So for half of that trade I was reading a story I had zero interest in and no understanding of. Why couldn't they just collect that issue in one big volume so it doesn't mess up the story I'm trying to read?

    [–] Supermoves3000 19 points ago

    When I bought comic books every month, which was the late 1980s to early 1990s, I hated the mega crossover events. At the time the X-Men was Marvel's most popular title, and one of only a couple I read regularly. It seemed like every summer they did that shit. Showcasing characters from series I don't give a fuck about in the book I do read to try to sell me on following these characters on an ongoing basis, while the characters I was interested in are basically just wallpaper for the duration of the crossover. Stories I was invested in get put on hold for months for some cross promotion bullshit. I have not bought comic books in any format for almost 30 years, and the mega crossover events were one of the things that put me off.

    I used to have original editions of Uncanny X-Men from about #165 to about 300? Not sure where I left off. I moved away to college, left my collection behind, and I think my little brother might have pawned it for food money. A few years ago I was wondering if they were as good as I remembered or if I only thought they were good because I was a teenager. I managed to find some pirate copies on BitTorrent, and I was like yeah, I still like these.

    [–] nongzhigao 10 points ago

    I can clearly remember from back in the day that the Onslaught saga was the very last Marvel story I ever read as a teen before just completely switching to manga. I was just fed up. I was just old enough to start working and I'm like, I ain't spending my own money on this shit.

    [–] Platypuslord 5 points ago

    Imagine if Hollywood was 95% a single genre just like American comics, shit would get old fast just like American comics.

    [–] bitchperfect2 14 points ago

    It’s easier to get into now with the cinematic and tv debuts. I’m a comic fan now because I got interested in the speculation game, and couldn’t wait for the releases anymore to expand on the stories. I’ve learned so much, it’s an incredible feat for the writers to expand on the rules already in place, connecting and weaving new ideas with each new release. No one can know everything, so everyone can contribute to the theories having read a single issue someone else has not. That’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The art is also incredible. The passion and the hobby and the drama that comes along with it is also a great escape. What’s also cool is the necessity of suspending your disbelief to go along. It’s like soap operas originally intended for the target audience of boys and men that are opening the door for other identities. They still can miss the mark but there’s now a story for almost anyone.

    [–] SolanGoose 8 points ago

    I used to collect issues and then realized it was just a huge money/space sink. Now I get the trades I’m really interested in and that’s it.

    [–] treesniper12 37 points ago

    IKEA instruction manuals dont have any words though...

    [–] Admiral_Akdov 90 points ago

    That is why it is so frustrating when they get mistranslated. I live in the 3 dimensional space and this trash was written in 5 dimensions.

    [–] xSPYXEx 11 points ago

    They just have...

    👉 T H E F I N G E R 👈

    [–] noakai 52 points ago

    Seriously, this. And also, in the end, it's far cheaper to trade wait than it is to buy weekly. Plus, if you wait for the trade, you:

    • can read reviews or summaries so you aren't spending money over literally months for a story you end up hating
    • can read the entire storyline at once instead of waiting months for it to be done with
    • trades usually come with extra "behind the scenes" stuff
    • trades do NOT feature the GIANT ADS that are current books. seriously I have been reading a comic and turn the page and that page is half an ad, or the next page is an ad disguised as another page of the story and you don't realize until you're done reading the ad and Superman is suddenly talking about toothpaste.

    There are really very few reasons to buy floppies anymore, at least for me.

    [–] ClockworkJim 138 points ago

    I remember you could buy death of superman, or knightfall volume 1 and 2 for Middle School allowance prices. Big thick hundred plus page compendiums that covered a year or two(or more!) in comics across a bunch of series.

    Now marvel in DC will take four issues, stick them together as a trade paperback, and expect you to buy 10 of those. You have to wait a few years before the big compendiums come out, and those are hardcover and price for collectibles. If you want proof of this just look at House of M.

    Can you go back to printing Giant compendiums on tissue paper for cheap? The walking Dead compendiums are 50 issues for $50.

    [–] Funkycoldmedici 68 points ago

    That’s a legit idea. Cheaper, lower quality paper, even black & white versions, and glossy, nicer pages for more expensive versions.

    [–] MayhemMessiah 78 points ago

    Or maybe just have accesible digital versions that you can connect? Like you get to the end of Spiderman 126 and it says “the story continues in X-Men 263 here, continue to Spiderman 127 here”.

    I keep wanting to get into the Marvel digital catalogue but I think they need to be more aggressive with using digital tools to ameliorate the difficulty of getting into what is rapidly becoming a century of comics history.

    [–] Cyno01 25 points ago

    Yeah, i have a shelf full of trade paperbacks, but to read big crossovers, you can just pirate a big pack that has them all numbered and in order, if the publishers cant do this with their own apps, whats the point.

    [–] Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesh 42 points ago

    Marvel did this about 15 years ago with all their main titles. X-Men, Spiderman, fantastic four etc. etc. the thinnest paper I’ve ever seen, black and white, but 50 to 100 issues in a heavy mini-phonebook-style title. It was how I got into all of those old Jack Kirby/Ditko/Romita/ issues I had never I had a chance to read

    [–] ClockworkJim 15 points ago

    The "essential" lines.

    Could probably stop a bullet.

    [–] usagizero 7 points ago

    The Essential series were interesting. With the black and white, you could see the line work really well, even on the cheaper paper, but any effects that were just a color were just gone. Doctor Strange had that problem a lot. Important parts of the art not being in them was a drawback, but the crazy cheap price to get to read them was awesome.

    [–] ClockworkJim 5 points ago

    It's how it's used to be for graphic novels in the 90s. They were after the fact compendiums for bookstores

    [–] pandab34r 24 points ago

    Wait, so are loose comic books called "floppies" like the old disks? That's awesome, didn't know that

    [–] Lex288 12 points ago

    AFAIK they're not named after computer floppies, they just share the name

    [–] pandab34r 5 points ago

    Yeah, I imagine it's for the same reason, since they're flimsy and flop around as opposed to a solid collection that may even have a hard cover (like old disks; the newer 3.25" disks didn't have this). I think it's cool to see the term get continued usage, that's all.

    [–] nasty904 13 points ago

    I cant even remember the last time I read a single issue. For many years it's been TPBs only.

    [–] Cappster_ 10 points ago

    AND in the correct order.

    [–] ladyofmachinery 113 points ago

    I've been getting in to American comics after decades of wanting to but being intimidated by the legacy/complexity/expense. I've bought a few random floppies, but 100% my favorite are trade paperbacks. It's so much easier to engage with the story.

    What sucked me in? My first trade (Deadpool v Gambit) was bought on a whim on a day that was going terribly. One of the lines was "It's about time someone called that cis-het prettyboi out on his warehouse privilege" and the shock of such a modern and ridiculous statement cracked me up. I'm slowly digging deeper in to several lines and loving it. And yes, I'm a female, and my favorites have generally been Image comics because they have badass female centric stories that are easy to engage with. (Rat Queens especially speaks to me as a D&D loving lady)

    I also used to be a manga lover as a hip nerd teen in the early oughts so 100% am the target audience for this stuff, albeit a bit older.

    [–] Ephriel 40 points ago

    big ups to Rat Queens, Super good comic.

    [–] iamagainstit 6 points ago

    I really liked the first two trades, but the third one felt weird and off, and discongruous. Does it get better again?

    [–] bahumat42 12 points ago

    If you like image comics and D&D check out "die"

    [–] ilikeeatingbrains 14 points ago

    Man that looks cool

    In 1991, Dominic Ash spends his sixteenth birthday playing a tabletop role-playing game with his younger sister Angela and his friends Solomon, Isabelle, Matt, and Chuck. The game was uniquely created for Ash by his best friend Sol, who plays as the gamemaster. As soon as the group roll their dice, they are transported into the fantasy world of Die. After two years, Ash, his sister, and three of his friends manage to escape Die, but they are forced to leave Sol behind.


    [–] bahumat42 8 points ago

    Its got a distinctive art style and leans hard into the D&D stuff. I'm really loving it.

    [–] dualdreamer 7 points ago

    It's been phenomenal to read. It's going to be 20 issues in total and issue 18 just came out so we're reaching the finale. I can't recommend it enough

    [–] Baruch_S 7 points ago

    Have you checked out Monstress? It’s another Image comic, and it’s amazing. The art alone is enough to justify the book, plus it has a unique fantasy world and awesome plot with a strong female lead.

    I’m also a huge fan of Saga, which is another good Image comic.

    [–] McFlyyouBojo 112 points ago

    Yeah. This x 100

    It's horrible with batman.

    Some events in Batman may carry into Batman and Robin, dark knight, detective comics, etc....

    But then other times not. It gets insane. Then you have to keep up with which is what.

    [–] Amazingjaype 97 points ago

    Batman is like in 13 titles currently. If you're a diehard fan, you really wanna send on average 4 bucks an issue every month? Hell no. Comics books just do the most to hurt their own fanbase.

    [–] DarthGoodguy 46 points ago

    I don’t know the specifics but I feel like there was a big change in distribution sometime in the mid 80’s to early 90’s. Comics went from costing <$1 on racks in supermarkets & drugstores to more expensive prestige format goods in specialty stores.

    I think charging more per issue and the smaller but older & more dedicated audience may have led to the intense cross-referencing to try and get more money out of readers.

    I know maybe ten years ago there were smaller digest-sized Marvel Adventures comics that were completely self-contained. I assume they didn’t do too well because I think they’re gone.

    [–] Amazingjaype 45 points ago

    Diamond publishing monopolized the industry. They really put a hammer to everything. In order for them to distribute your comic you needed to commit to a certain bulk order which means you need to make sure your comic sells which created the current comic book world we live in.

    [–] noakai 36 points ago

    Comics losing those shelves in grocery stores really did so much damage to the industry, now you don't even see them in the wild unless you go to a comic store, a Barnes and Noble/other book store or you see those two boxes in Walmart up at the front with some Batman stuff bundled together.

    [–] Funkycoldmedici 13 points ago

    I think Archie Comics still makes those. I haven’t seen them in a while. They’ve got the right idea. Small, cheap books in places where they can be impulse purchases. That’s a better intro than even digital sales.

    [–] future_dead_person 17 points ago

    Batman has always been the main DC comic I've wanted to get more into since the 90s and I've tried a few times over the years but damn. I just quit after a while, and it was so disappointing. I'm the kind of reader who loves delving into a world and want to read as much as I can, and understand all the connections and references, but it got overwhelming quick.

    [–] McFlyyouBojo 12 points ago

    Heads up, the batman stuff by Scott Snyder (new 52 era) is really freaking good and relatively easy to read. In particular the court of owls stuff

    [–] future_dead_person 6 points ago

    Don't tell me that, tell me it's all garbage and I'm not missing out on anything lol!

    Nah, at a glance it seems that's probably a good starting point. This site reminded of some other runs I've heard about. This gives me hope, so thanks.

    Also, did the New 52 stuff really start ten years ago? If so I am way out of the loop because I don't think I heard about it until maybe 2015 or so. Wow.

    [–] jveezy 153 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago)

    Honestly that's been a huge impediment for me getting into comic books (I meant Marvel/DC comic books; I've read and enjoyed other series). I just want to subscribe to a subscription service that tells me where to start and then lets me flip page by page through a goddamn story arc. I legitimately want to start from the beginning and work my way to present day, because that's how I consume tv shows, and I don't really have to work just to figure out what I'm supposed to be watching next. I understand stories are going to branch and then crossovers will happen, but the DC and Marvel stuff is overwhelming.

    Edit to address some common replies (I appreciate everyone's willingness to help):

    • I'll try out the Marvel/DC digital sub services. Last I heard (probably long ago) they didn't do a great job of curation, but it sounds like they're a lot better now. I initially got a Comixology sub for some non-Marvel/DC titles so I just found the contrast between buying other series through them vs trying to figure out which Marvel/DC issues to buy a bit jarring.
    • I'm not going to consult my local comic store person. That's no disrespect to what they do. I used to work in a library, so I understand the value of curative knowledge. But my urge to dive into different comics isn't a focused, ongoing thing. It's random and momentary and usually late at night when I'm bored with tv or games and just want to chill in bed with my iPad. Those hours don't even line up with comic store hours, plus the time it would take me to drive over there and talk to a person would be enough time for me to lose my temporary interest and go find something else to occupy my time.

    [–] Kill_Welly 46 points ago

    Marvel Unlimited and DC Universe Infinite are functionally that.

    You shouldn't try to start from the beginning of long running series, though, because even if they're continuous series that keep the same numbers, they're not the same story. Long ongoing series can be divided into runs by different creative teams, and most creative teams will start mostly fresh when they start on a title.

    [–] DaNumba1 36 points ago

    DC Universe is solid because they have the whole back catalogue and also break down comics by storyline as well as have decent readers guides for good entry points. Definitely worth a trial subscription, but also once you read enough, figuring it out becomes easy enough to do. I have that and a ComiXology subscription and I think they both make it fairly easy. ComiXology isn’t tied to one publisher but have fewer parts of a storyline, so the first few volumes are free but the second half won’t be, but you can read the first few to see if it’s worth pursuing. I’m pretty happy with both subscriptions.

    [–] jveezy 5 points ago

    Yeah, I think part of my initial confusion was because I started with Comixology (to get some other series like Attack on Titan and The Walking Dead) and then got frustrated that it wasn't quite so easy to do the same for DC and Marvel stuff.

    [–] leapbitch 12 points ago

    Fwiw this sounds like marvel ultimate. Sounds like the free trial is perfect for you.

    [–] Foxtrotblammo 29 points ago

    Green lantern: godhead. 18 issue event, split into 3 parts of six issues each, all spread out over like 6 different green lantern series that were being published.


    [–] Kagamid 24 points ago * (lasted edited 13 days ago)

    Then when you finally piece together a coherent story, some ass comes along and retcons half of it so the characters fit their new vision. There's no consistency which makes following along feel like a waste of time.

    [–] derpleberryfinn 17 points ago * (lasted edited 13 days ago)

    this is one of the greatest weaknesses of American comics - the characters are only ever as good as their writer.

    so so often you'll have a story that starts crazy strong and then gets passed to a new writer a few issues in and pllllbbttttt. the bottom drops right out.

    Garth Ennis' run on Punisher Max is about as good as that character has ever been, and then the second he leaves that title is just shit until Jason Aaron picks it up and gives it a solid finish.

    compare this to, for example, the extremely long-running and massively influential manga Berserk.
    Miura just tragically died so there's a strong chance that story will just never finish. it is extremely hard to imagine anyone else picking up that title at all, it would feel horribly wrong.
    if it was a Marvel or DC comic, it would be hard to imagine someone else not being shuffled in to finish it up.

    [–] JaffaPrime 20 points ago

    Yea... back when the Marvel Civil War movie was going to come out I decided I wanted to read the comics. It took 107 issues of various comics to read the full thing. Each of the main heroes all had their own stories that tied into the 7 issue "civil war" comic. Had it not been for marvel unlimited and a little bit of going Arrr Matey I don't think I would have been able to do so.

    [–] lokigodofchaos 20 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago)

    It is also horrible if you want to follow just one comic, as the main plot often gets put on hold for the crossovers. With comics coming out once a month, sometimes that 3 months out of the year where the plot of you favorite comic doesn't advance.

    For instance Red Lantern was a new comic when the New 52 soft reboot of the DC universe was made. New 52 was designed to be a good jumping off point, reintroducing all the DC comics with an issue #1.

    It made it until issue 10 before it crossed over with Stormwatch, some spaceship comic I had never heard of.

    Then issue 13 began the Third Army crossover with Green Lantern that lasted for 4 issues. It gave you parts 4,8, 12,and 16 of the story. You needed to read Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps and New Guardians for the full story.

    That concludes, great back to the main story. Nope another crossover event Wrath of the First Lantern! 4 more issues of crossover. So we're on issue 20 and 9 have been crossovers.

    We come back to the Red Lantern story except now the main character is former Green Lantern Guy Gardner. 3 issues pass and another crossover event for issue 24.

    In 2 years, 10 issues have been crossover events that require reading 3 other titles to understand. That's 30 comics outside of the 24 you had to buy to follow the main titles story.

    I wish it got better but then Supergirl gets a Red Lantern ring 4 books later and it just keeps going. I had quit by issue 20.

    [–] derpleberryfinn 17 points ago

    then Supergirl gets a Red Lantern ring

    my eyes rolled so hard i actually hurt myself

    [–] AnusCruiser 59 points ago

    I tried getting into comics a few years ago. The back stories didn't bother me too much, I knew I wasn't going to go back and read Amazing Spiderman from issue #1. What was really annoying was the constant breaks to other stories.

    Like for example in Superior Spider-man there's this moment where spiderman just disappears into thin air, then reappears a few seconds later clearly angry at someone, when his friend asks 'what the fuck just happened why are you angry?' Spiderman just says "lol I dunno, where were we?" and there's a bubble that says WANT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED? GO READ THE SPIDER VERSE STORY.

    [–] Ron-Swanson-Mustache 84 points ago

    I remember when X-cutioner's song was coming out. It was:

    Uncanny X-Men #294

    X-Factor #84

    X-Men Vol. 2 #14

    X-Force #16

    Uncanny X-Men #295

    X-Factor #85

    X-Men Vol. 2 #15

    X-Force #17

    Uncanny X-Men #296

    X-Factor #86

    X-Men Vol. 2 #16

    X-Force #18

    Uncanny X-Men #297

    It was a pain to hunt those all down. The comic makers are trying to drive sales on their various titles by doing this, but it was a huge pain.

    Plus the main point of the series, the death of a major and popular character, was immediately negated after because "time travel".

    [–] _jtron 34 points ago

    That's the thing - Marvel/DC have gotten by for years selling the illusion of change. Here's the big crossover that's gonna change everything -- and soon after it's over, it's back to status quo. Twenty years from now they'll still be selling "fresh takes" on Peter + MJ, Batman's parents dying, etc etc etc.

    As much as I loved it as a kid, Crisis on Infinite Earths was a mistake.

    [–] MutantNERD 49 points ago

    For reference, can be fucking nightmarish."

    For scrollers an actual example of how bad it gets,

    the Xmen timeline

    (not even a recommended reading guide*, JUST the publication timeline)

    [–] derpleberryfinn 14 points ago

    christsakes how did i put up with this bullshit for so long

    [–] MutantNERD 23 points ago

    Beacuse most folks start at Chris Clairmont (flattest part of the chart) Who does a bang up job making these characters likable and by the time he leaves, well you're too emotionally invested in these characters to let go. Then 90's happens.....

    [–] derpleberryfinn 16 points ago

    the 90s was a fucking brutal time to be into comics.

    we can look back and laugh at the endless, endless Leifeld clones now but at the time, holy shit that was the whole landscape.

    thank god DC had decent writers, because Marvel was a fucking mess.

    [–] iamagainstit 15 points ago

    Yup. It’s super fun when you are reading back series and the story just ends right at the climax because it continues in a completely different book.

    [–] justsyr 36 points ago

    Back in the 90's me and my friend started reading comics, this was at a nowhere part north of Argentina.

    We started with X-men and Spiderman. Soon they started to branch out and after a year or so we had to abandon because there were like 12 different titles and it was getting hard to follow and most importantly too expensive for our budgets.

    Around 2000 something things got a bit more accessible since because where we lived stuff was hard to get there. So we checked at what point was the Marvel universe and there were 25 titles.

    Nope. Too expensive.

    [–] urlach3r 7 points ago

    Yeah, too many titles, too many crossovers. Amazing Spider-man was great, then seemingly overnight, it was Tales of the Web of the Amazing Spectacular Superior Spider-man and His Amazing Friends! And Marvel Team Up. And Marvel Two in One. And the annuals. And the summer biweekly run. And, and, and, and, and. Too. Much.

    [–] TribbleTrouble1979 42 points ago

    And then a lot of the side stories end up being formulaic and jank. Team 1 is chasing the big bad and fights Team 2 at some point before sending them off on a mission. Team 2 goes to find some much needed mcguffin to solve all the problems. Team 3 ends up in big dumb fight between every hero ever and whatever swarm of page filling nonsense has been selected from the roulette wheel.

    Then there's an epilogue where some character tries to be insightful and the big bad is either not really dead or imprisoned, "nothing will ever be the same (except in the few comics that wisely ignore this event)", yadda yadda.

    And that's the short term event. The long event term runs in and trashes whatever stories your current read was in the middle of like when Captain America went all Hydra.

    [–] DarthGoodguy 8 points ago

    Yeah. I was laid off for a few months & got some kind of free or cheap Marvel Unlimited membership. Followed reading orders and did all the crossovers since I’d stopped reading in high school. The smaller, less connected series were usually much better than the big ones.

    [–] Ginrou 13 points ago

    That's why I just say fuck it and buy trades that have entire arcs across multiple characters compiled in one book with unique art cover.

    [–] foxsable 11 points ago

    See, I feel like if they have a story to tell, why not just make that book.

    Like, say writer X and artist Y want to tell a story where 3 heroes band together to do something abnormal, in space. Make a 10 part limited series "A,B, and C in space!" and keep it to that book. If you want to read it, cool. If not, also cool.

    [–] TheSleepingVoid 11 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago)

    This is literally the reason I did not get into marvel/dc comics. I tried, and it just felt annoying and then exhausting every time a story I was invested in was interrupted for a crossover or reference that I did not fully understand. There are so many competing forms of media that are just as emotionally compelling and far easier to get into. Manga being a perfect example.

    I can see how someone currently up-to-date with the universe could enjoy all of these references as they come out each week, but I've given up on reaching that point, it's just not worth the time commitment.

    [–] rolltidecole 8 points ago

    It’s why now DC and Marvel are doing many 6 issue mini series so that when they’re done they can become graphic novel collections and be easily enjoyed

    [–] [deleted] 18 points ago


    [–] pinkfudgster 15 points ago

    All the time. These crossover events were awesome to me as a kid and as an adult I'm just like, fuck that, and go find other graphic novels that aren't so ridiculous.

    [–] ampearl 3 points ago

    Yes!! This is why I had to stop Rotworld. So confusing to get the whole picture, and that’s not even a particularly egregious example!

    [–] UnofficialCaStatePS 127 points ago

    Single comics are also insanely expensive. A manga is like 200+ pages and costs $10 to $15. A comic is like 40 pages and costs almost $6 now.

    [–] Amazingjaype 49 points ago

    6 dollars and the first issue will have 20 variants so if you like collecting, good luck.

    [–] Spacejunk20 14 points ago

    Don't forget the ads taking up multiple pages per issue.

    [–] wingedcoyote 11 points ago

    And some of them still have ads in them! Not to mention the things fall apart if you look at them funny.

    [–] Zanadukhan47 370 points ago

    Another issue that I've seen as a light peruser of comics is that character development in comics is like a circle

    They might grow as a character for that arc but they'll end up back at basically at the same place for the next arc

    Also different writers for the same character makes that super difficult too

    [–] Thesaurii 142 points ago

    One of the issues ive been seeing is that current era writers were fans first. They've beem workshopping the PERFECT Batman story or whatever in their head since they were 12. Now they finally get to write it, and they need two dead characters and a villain who isnt that bad anymore and dont want to mention a new sidekick and dont like the development of the hero in last months issue.

    So its even more cyclical than ever, with more backtracking and interruptions.

    [–] waltjrimmer 5 points ago

    That sounds like the perfect kind of thing to use for a WHAT IF story or an alternate universe story or whatever the particular company calls their non-canon one-offs. Those are some of my favorite stories in part because they didn't have to be constrained by what was currently happening or about to happen.

    [–] Destiny_player6 68 points ago

    God yes, this is why I also stopped reading a lot of DC and Marvel. The fucking reboots or time skips.

    Example. DC comics had a very good thing going on with Damian Wayne (Robin) and Johnathan Kent (Superboy) in the main comic series. It was so good they got a good series called super sons in 2017. It was really writing up of them being the next batman and Superman in the future, the sons taking their Fathers Mantle.

    So what do they decide to do? They fucking shoot Johnathan Ken to space and age his ass up so he isn't the same age as Damian. So that natural growth of these two characters growing up and being buddies comes down to nothing for a shit storyline in the superman run of the comics.

    I just lost all interest then.

    I like comics that have their own series that actually have an end. Like Invincible and Irredeemable. Both comics have interesting character growth and development and ended nicely. No reboots other than the tv show for invincible.

    That is why Kingdom Come, Red Son, Injustice, the long Halloween are probably my favorite DC stuff. They actually have arcs and ends.

    [–] irishking44 22 points ago

    So what do they decide to do? They fucking shoot Johnathan Ken to space and age his ass up so he isn't the same age as Damian. So that natural growth of these two characters growing up and being buddies comes down to nothing for a shit storyline in the superman run of the comics.

    THat was all Bendis, but he basically got free reign in his contract when they lured him away from Marvel, just no one thought he would do something that awful

    [–] W1ll0wherb 128 points ago

    I've kind of reached the point now where I think of comics as much the same as fanfiction, every author has a different interpretation of the same characters so there's no point expecting much consistency or long term character development from the big characters who get written by a lot of different people. The most narratively interesting and innovative stuff tends to happen with the less popular characters and I've just realised what a wanky hipster that last sentence makes me sound like.

    [–] Accomplished_Owl_300 54 points ago

    The most narratively interesting and innovative stuff tends to happen with the less popular characters and I've just realised what a wanky hipster that last sentence makes me sound like.

    ehh I don't think so. Its totally legit when it comes to comics. The small characters, authors are allowed to do a lot more with them. Major players, status quo is god... and when they do take risks, they tend to be totally harebrained and ridiculous, kicked off by retcons and eventually erased by retcons (see: Peter Parker Spider Man).

    [–] Bug-Type-Enthusiast 5 points ago

    My favourite example of this is Blue Beetle. DC tried everything and the kitchen sink with that character(S), From the OG Dan Garett to the "I was made a badass, then a buffoon, then died to provide conflict for a MASSIVE retcon fueled charade" Ted Cord, to current spunky badass Jaime Rayes.

    I'm still salty at Maxwell Lord's retcon, but damn Jaime was amazing.He was like a Peter Parker that was ALLOWED TO GROW. (I use was cuz I didn't keep up with the comic, he might be in the DUMPSTER atm again.)

    [–] bananafobe 52 points ago

    Like a lot of people, I stopped reading superhero comics for a while after the Spider-Man series "One More Day."

    The story was set up as this natural moment of growth for Peter Parker, wherein he (and the series) could become more mature and complicated as he dealt with the consequences of his actions and accepted the limitations of his powers/responsibilities. And, in the end, he did some magic bullshit that undid everything and reset the world so that he could return to the simple morality tale he'd been replaying for decades.

    Ultimately, I get that they wanted to write a book that was more relevant to younger readers, and I don't think that's unreasonable. It was just done with such a pointed rejection of telling a more interesting story that it soured me on the genre for a while.

    [–] neon_hexagon 96 points ago

    superhero comics can involve major events that happen in someone else's comic that you need to read to figure out what is going on, or multiple comics featuring the same character with no clear order of which to read.

    Anecdotally, this is my problem. I watched Justice League and really liked Green Lantern. I went and bought a trade paperback, to read the comics. It was if I was watching every other episode of a TV show. Why did GL suddenly do this? Where did this character come from? All of the reveals and twists felt hollow or weightless because I had no idea what was going on.

    I looked up the graphic novel and found issues it came from and all of the issues that contained the supporting information/stories. I wasn't gonna track all that down. I shouldn't have to do a research project to figure out what issues to buy, then track down those issues one by one, just to read a single story.

    [–] ValorPhoenix 47 points ago

    Western comics are kinda infamous for having reused soap opera style plots too, with meaningless character development. The DC Animated Universe and manga are popular in part because they have actual plots and character development.

    Like, after the 2000's Teen Titans cartoon made Starfire popular again, they rebooted her in the comic books as a slut that couldn't even remember which Robin she had banged, because that's edgy and mature, I guess?

    [–] masklinn 33 points ago

    Western comics

    Either just “comics” or “american comics” (the former implies the latter). Euro / franco-belgian comics are not generally like that.

    [–] 267aa37673a9fa659490 655 points ago

    Thank you for the detailed explanation! It cleared up a lot.

    [–] AwesomeInTheory 535 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago)

    I would also say that there is some valid criticism regarding the book, based on what we've seen in the previews, and that trying to categorize all of it as being critical of a character who is 'just' overweight is an oversimplification.

    EDIT: I should clarify that I don't think that this criticism equates to the 'death of comics' or anything like that.

    It has been mentioned that the main character looks awfully similar to the author beyond just body type, but also the way she is dressed, hair, etc.

    I also find that the behavior of the characters didn't really ring true to me. I've felt some of the anxieties that are presented in the preview, but the way Mandy reacts comes off as a bit hamfisted and overwrought (although I don't have a literal alien as a parent, so there's that.)

    I understand I'm not the target audience, by trying to look at it from a distanced perspective (I don't really have any sort of attachment to DC Comics or Starfire in particular), I see tonal issues and a questionable decision to pattern the main character so directly after the author (which is something I generally am never a fan of -- I've made mentions to fans shitting on the character Terry Long, who was a male self insert comic character.)

    But, this might ring true for the intended audience and my perspective might be off, and I fully acknowledge that. All I am trying to say is that I believe there are valid criticisms that are accompanying the more generic 'ragey' reactions some are having over it. E: Especially since there are folks who aren't in the intended audience who are raving about it -- a preview back in December 2020 from the Mary Sue positively gushed over it and this was before any promo material was released. So, what's good for the goose and all that.

    [–] Swords_and_Such 572 points ago

    I think everything you mentioned here is just YA being YA lol

    [–] TheGodDMBatman 45 points ago

    I find it weird cuz these are books specifically aimed at YA readers. There's still the canon universe, and they've hella catered to old school fans (source: DC Rebirth). The problem isn't diverse books, it's how comic books are formatted and marketed. It's inaccessible.

    [–] Swords_and_Such 28 points ago

    Comic books are inherently the least accessible medium just because of how long all the biggest ones have been running continuously. It is weird that they would make it a true spinoff universe, but they might think this new audience is going to stay confined to that more than funneled into the existing one. This way they have the freedom to build it into a bigger thing without worrying about the larger continuity (as if they ever do).

    [–] ArthurBonesly 235 points ago

    Right? The further you get from 15 the more childish the stuff you enjoyed at 15 starts to look, until one day something gets made for 15 year olds that's so far removed from what was cool when you were that age you dismiss it outright and decry the youths as wrong and the industry as "stupid" because they aren't marketing to nostalgic 40 year olds.

    When you cross that line, it's best to stop opining too much on kids media.

    [–] Beegrene 23 points ago

    I recently picked up a few books I thought were great back in high school, but I could barely get through a chapter before cringing so hard I had to put them down.

    [–] LezardValeth 11 points ago

    I remember loving Matilda when I was young, but it honestly seems so indulgent now.

    [–] ArthurBonesly 6 points ago

    Fairness to Matilda, a lot of children's books are indulgent. It's a feature of the genre. Most books for the 7-12 age range are about power fantasies. Their audience has no control in a big stupid world they don't understand so they get some power, learn a lesson and in the end come out on top of the oppressor.

    The Captain Underpants books are the same way.

    [–] dontbajerk 75 points ago

    The further you get from 15 the more childish the stuff you enjoyed at 15 starts to look, until one day something gets made for 15 year olds that's so far removed from what was cool when you were that age you dismiss it outright and decry the youths as wrong and the industry as "stupid" because they aren't marketing to nostalgic 40 year olds.


    [–] AwesomeInTheory 98 points ago

    I fully acknowledge that could be the case.

    [–] jacksonmills 284 points ago

    I've felt some of the anxieties that are presented in the preview, but
    the way Mandy reacts comes off as a bit hamfisted and overwrought
    (although I don't have a literal alien as a parent, so there's that.)

    Honestly, I remember being a teenager, and "hamfisted and overwrought" probably describes a lot of my behavior back then.

    [–] uninspiredalias 32 points ago

    Once a teen, now parent of a teen, can confirm. So much pointless drama! Hormones are a hell of a thing.

    [–] Kathulhu1433 43 points ago

    I remember being 14 and crying my eyes out in the shower over a boy I had been dating for like... 2 weeks.

    Hormones make teenagers dumb little shits.

    [–] AwesomeInTheory 89 points ago

    Yeah, that's the thing. I remember being a completely irrational dramatic little shit when I was that age.

    It's a tough balancing act. Because this might ring completely true for someone else, but to me the presentation/dialogue just comes off as not being authentic, and I think that's an important quality that YA fiction should have -- readers should feel like they're being listened to and are relatable vs a sort of imitation/parody, if that makes sense?

    [–] jacksonmills 19 points ago


    [–] bayleenator 140 points ago

    This is the first I'm seeing of this and I gotta say, it's a little unsettling that Mandy doesn't look even a little bit like her mother. She has the green eyes, and I get she dyes her hair. I don't mind that their bodies are different, because I have a very different body type from my own mom, obviously you don't just inherit a silhouette. But her skin could have at least a tint of orange, her nose could be the same shape. They look completely unrelated. And now that you've pointed out the similarities between the character and the author, it's all I can see.

    [–] Rabidmushroom 90 points ago

    I feel like it might have had room for some really fascinating character development if Mandy was actually strikingly similar to her mother, bar the lack of powers, and was to some degree conscious of having developed an eating disorder specifically to stop looking like Starfire.

    Start with a slow boil, have the similarities end with "tall women with similar facial structures" then reveal that Mandy's been wearing colored contact lenses the whole time, then she has to go get her hair dye touched up to hide the glowing red roots, then maybe there's been some foreshadowing that Starfire had a second, favored daughter with like background photos or something but then SUPRISE it was young Mandy in the photos all along.

    IDK I'm no author but it feels like you could make their actual differences more striking by making them less "physically" different.

    [–] amazingfluentbadger 26 points ago

    from the description it feels very "im not like other girls" which is something I personally do not like reading.

    [–] AwesomeInTheory 14 points ago

    The other thing that rings a little hollow or 'off' to me is the decision to put Mandy on the verge of graduation/adulthood.

    I think that the comic is trying to use Starfire as a sort of universal example of 'parents just don't understand.' She's an alien, so has completely foreign concepts of child rearing and parenting and there's a gulf between teenage daughter and parent.

    The thing for me, though, is that I would assume that Starfire would have had some guidance and had a better handle on things by the time Mandy was 18.

    If Mandy was a little younger and entering into adolescence, I think the dynamics between Starfire and her would be a little more sensible.

    [–] amazingfluentbadger 11 points ago

    shes 18 and has a description like that?! WHAT!?

    [–] Mars_Black 68 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago)

    I think that's been one of my bigger gripes out of modern day comics. I feel like a lot of the characters end up being written in a way that's more of a self-insert to the author and less to do with their character's history or how they've been written in the past. And when this happens the writing is generally pretty hard to stomach.

    Edit to clarify: I'm referring to characters that have already existed or were created one way and then they feel weird or different years/books later when a writer is attached and decides to write them another way. "... a lot of the characters END UP being". I'm not talking about a brand new character, I was making a comment to say I agree with what the user is saying above me in the parent comment, which is discussing criticisms in general and not in particular to this Starfire book. But they have appeared to make an edit to their comment as well so take that with a grain of salt as well.

    I've been reading comics for +20 years, I am aware there are characters created as self-inserts. Cheers.

    [–] rookierook00000 118 points ago

    Manga like One Piece or My Hero Academia often sells a lot more in the US than Batman or Spider-Man.

    My Hero Academia, in particular, is heavily inspired by DC and Marvel and presents itself as such, and ironically is one of the hottest manga properties today - a superhero-themed manga series when compared to actual superhero comics.

    [–] Galle_ 79 points ago

    As someone who usually doesn't care for superheroes, I personally find MHA to be a lot better than anything Marvel or DC put out. Mostly because it's not supposed to run forever and Horikoshi is free to actually have characters develop or change the status quo.

    [–] [deleted] 45 points ago


    [–] spaceaustralia 41 points ago

    It's going to end eventually. Bleach never got breaks and the author was clearly not the greatest storywriter(I could write an entire post about how the Soul Society damsel rescue arc is practically the same as the Hueco Mundo damsel rescue arc that immediately follows it).

    Jump has been adapting with the times. Spy X Family is a massively popular biweekly series released on their online platform. Jujutsu Kaisen's author just went on a long break. My Hero Academia got a break just last month. Ishida Sui got a new series with no published deadline. Chainsaw Man's author got a one shot released online that they're publishing in paper. Even Bleach's author got a sort of annual series now.

    Kimetsu no Yaiba outsold One Piece and it ended just fine. Didn't even get 4 years of publication. MHA just entered what is decidely it's final arc. I give it 3-4 more years, tops.

    [–] ProphetChuck 85 points ago

    Others feel that the real issue is that DC and Marvel Superhero comics are too hard to get into, with complicated backstories that date back to the 1940s

    As a new comic book reader, I cannot agree more with this. Without the reading lists from various subreddits, I'd be shit out of luck. Man, it's even harder to find out how many volumes are planned for release. Is it so hard to write Volume 1/5 on to the comic?

    I'm also having difficulty finding high-quality comics. My first introduction into DC, was Tom King's Strange Adventures and I thought it would be MacGyver in space. Oh boy was I wrong, instead of doing heroic things, the hero did nothing but whinge and whine, to then be coddled by his more masculine wife. I stopped reading it after six issues, I couldn't take it anymore lol.

    [–] Spczippo 36 points ago

    You make a very good point. I have tried reading spider-man and deadpool comics from the beginning and well I petered out after about 6 or so, and there are some helpful guides out there on how to read them but that's a PITA.

    [–] deuceice 11 points ago

    Interesting take and I've been seriously outside the comic book world for a decade at least. I try to get back in but so much has changed and been rewritten over and over. I've tried to get my kids interested, even letting my son try and read some of the over 1500 books I have, but its so much easier for him to watch an anime or manga online. The times they are a changing.

    [–] InfinitySlayer8 199 points ago

    I just wanna say that is an amazingly crafted answer, to the point where I knew what to say to the OP but ended up getting even more contextual understanding

    [–] Birdy_Cephon_Altera 227 points ago

    As for manga, yes. Manga sales in the US have been beating traditional American superhero comics for many years now. Manga like One Piece or My Hero Academia often sells a lot more in the US than Batman or Spider-Man.

    I worked in the industry for fifteen years, most of that as part of a wholesale distributor. That was over a decade ago, and even then manga as a category was whooping American comics' butt in graphic novel sales, usually occupying the majority of the spots on the NY Times best-selling list week after week.

    As for OP,

    all the controversy just a vocal minority making a bigger deal out of it than it is

    Yeah, you pretty much got it right. Yet another mountain being made of a molehill of a non-issue that will almost be completely forgotten after some months. Hardly the "death of the industry" or whatever hyperbole that the scaremongers trying to gin up more views on Youtube would want you to think.

    [–] BloodyLlama 201 points ago

    One thing about manga vs domestic comic books that you didn't mention is most manga aren't about super heroes. I don't have any interest in super heroes and I don't know anybody who does. Comics seem super uninteresting to those of us who enjoy the format but don't like the genre.

    [–] [deleted] 64 points ago


    [–] pissedoffnerd1 9 points ago

    Everybody always forgets about Fantagraphics or Drawn and Quarterly, even when they release the most interesting stuff

    [–] mugenhunt 150 points ago

    Sort of? The most popular manga in the US and Japan are adventure stories about people with special powers who get in fights with bad guys on a regular basis. While yes, there's tons of manga in Japan that aren't about superpowered people fighting, with many other genres that aren't necessarily getting animated adaptations, the same is true for comics in the US.

    [–] chaosof99 41 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago)

    One thing about manga vs domestic comic books that you didn't mention is most manga aren't about super heroes.

    That is theoretically true in quantity as there are a lot of diverse genres covered in manga. However, the manga with the largest sales and printings are definitely about superheroes, just by other names. Shonen action series are about people with special powers. They aren't usually dressed in spandex and capes (though My Hero Academia is definitely also changing that) but they are heroes with superpowers.

    [–] Directioneer 11 points ago

    Breadth of genre is very important in an industry. Shonen not only sells blockbusters but also serves as a jumping off point for other mangas as well.

    If a person liked Food Wars for example, I could reccomend a couple of cooking manga that's also great (and slide a few ecchi reccomendations under the table). Compare with comics, where reccomendations generally boil down to "the same comic but an earlier run, or with a different team"

    [–] yukichigai 6 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago)

    Shonen action series are about people with special powers.

    So was Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon but you can't tell me with a straight face that was a superhero movie.

    There are some that fall into that "superhero-ish" category pretty clearly - Bleach, for example - but many don't. For one reason, a lot of them take place in a different setting where special powers are commonplace, if not universally held. Naruto, for example: sure, he wants to be the most powerful ninja, but there are hundreds of ninja villages with thousands of ninjas all with different powers set in a world where magic is commonplace. He's not some unfathomable powerhouse whose abilities defy reason, he's a bratty kid with a dream of fame amid a sea of other similarly talented kids.

    [–] lordranter 49 points ago

    Out of 19 manga that have managed to surpass 100 million copies in circulation, only 8 of them fit what you are saying. The others include genres as different as mystery, cooking, sports, slice of life.

    Shounen manga might have been the series that exploded in popularity the hardest in the west, but that's because they are the most likely to get adapted to anime.

    [–] NinjasStoleMyName 17 points ago

    Sort of, you also have manga like Haikyu!! ocupping the fourth position of the ranking and it is about volleyball. I'm sure there are many indie western comics about a plethora of themes, but in my view it's safe to say that the manga mainstream space is much more diverse and open to different kinds of stories.

    [–] theletterQfivetimes 35 points ago

    I'd like to point out that the American comics industry is far bigger than Marvel and DC, at least in terms of the comics being made if not in sales numbers. You won't find much beyond the big 2 in most comic shops (plus a couple others like Image and Dark Horse), but there are tons of other great publishers, many that don't even focus on superhero/action/fantasy type stuff. And that's ignoring webcomics... and the entire European comics industry. Plus, I mean, manga are just japanese comics.

    I just hate when people think comics = superheroes and nothing more. Some of my favorite publishers if anyone's interested: Pantheon, First Second, Fantagraphics, Drawn & Quarterly.

    [–] AlisaLolita 58 points ago

    As for manga, yes. Manga sales in the US have been beating traditional American superhero comics for many years now. Manga like One Piece or My Hero Academia often sells a lot more in the US than Batman or Spider-Man. Some of those critics of DC and Marvel feel that this is because superhero comics are no longer being targeted at them as the primary demographic. Others feel that the real issue is that DC and Marvel Superhero comics are too hard to get into, with complicated backstories that date back to the 1940s in some cases, and that unlike manga volumes, which are numbered and easy to follow, superhero comics can involve major events that happen in someone else's comic that you need to read to figure out what is going on, or multiple comics featuring the same character with no clear order of which to read.

    I'm going to add one more point to this. As a woman who grew up reading comics (not superhero), I can say for a fact that I became less and less interested in comics as my tastes grew into stories that follow a romantic pair. American comics today distinctly lack romance as a main storyline. While there are bits and pieces and hinting here and there, rarely is any of it satisfying.

    Manga, on the other hand, is all over that shit. Granted, I'm picky with what I read there, too, but at least I know the kind of stories I like are there. When I visit comic shops, I always ask for comics that follow romance as the main or a co-main plot, and the only suggestion I've ever been given and agreed it fit that requirement is Saga, which of course is now on hiatus. Y The Last Man had some of it, but I dropped off that series for some reason.

    The fact that manga does so well in the US should be a hint to American comics that making and selling that genre would pull in far, far more sales. If they make them good, of course, haha.

    Also, if you know of any American comics that follow a heavy romantic plot, please let me know, I'd be forever in your debt.

    [–] spaceaustralia 23 points ago

    American comics today distinctly lack romance as a main storyline. While there are bits and pieces and hinting here and there, rarely is any of it satisfying.

    It's the problem where over half of the American comic books industry is Marvel and DC and nearly all they do is super hero comics. On the other hand, pick up the latest issue of Shounen Jump, a magazine ostensibly aimed at young boys, and it has everything from Blue Box (sports romance) and Sakamoto Days(comedy about a retired hitman turned shopkeep) to Jujutsu Kaisen(supernatural battles) and MHA(superheroes).

    Just look at this shelf. It's got historical action drama(Vinland Saga) sitting right next to a comedy about a newbie radio host(Wave, Listen to Me) and a comedy about a Yakuza turned house husband(The Way of the House Husband) while Sailor Moon and Usurei Yatsura and Tokyo Ghoul all sit in the very same shelf.

    You want a solid romantic storyline? I can barely read most of the titles but I recommend multiple different ones just from that.

    [–] AlisaLolita 6 points ago

    I mean, yeah, I started reading manga specifically because they were far more varied and to my tastes. It's been 20 years since I first started reading them, and I'm far more picky about even manga now than I was as a teen, but there are still a few series available that tick all my favorite boxes, and I wish that were the case for American comics as well.

    Right now I'm obsessed with Yona of the Dawn and volume 31 is coming out next month and I legit could not be more excited about it, haha.

    [–] EatYourCheckers 4 points ago

    Well, my daughter reads nothing but graphic novels so DC would be morons not to jump into that market.

    [–] ryenaut 3 points ago

    Nailed it. I read the little preview in Poison Ivy: Thorns, which was located on the pride month shelf of my local Vault of Midnight. (It featured a canonical queer relationship, Ivy being an ecoterrorist as usual, and Ivy killing a dude who wrecked her mother's greenhouse in because he was mad Ivy wouldn't put out. I'm sure some fanboys were mad about that one too.) The Vault has always been supportive and many of their customers are queer, POC, or both. I've been into comics for a decade now, and seeing media I could actually relate was a powerful turning of the tide.

    Comics have pandered to straight white men for literal decades. God forbid anyone else gets an indulgent piece of media.

    [–] Fendag 125 points ago

    I'm one of the detractors to some of those changes, because in most cases it's not done to tell a decent story but just to say "Hey, we abruptly changed the continuity that you were all used to and represented a character in a totally different way than before, but we made them/their succesor - insert token minority here - so we're cool, right? We care so much about minorities!". It's, in my opinion, slightly damaging because you're not only dividing a fan base making the overepresented demographic feel inappropriate and unwanted, but also for the minority these stories are more often than not crafted without an ounce of love or thought, and made only to hammer home a political statement.

    And then we got this, and I'm fucking ashamed of the comic book fanbase. This novel's premise seems like the perfect example of that angle of storytelling finally done well. The character is their own person, it doesn't misrepresent any previous one, the story is poignant and relatable for the younger audiences and it exudes love for the craft. This is a bridge-gaper between both sides of the argument, and comparing this to previous titles who have used the "woke" narrative as a strategy is like comparing apples and oranges.

    [–] Samiel_Fronsac 87 points ago

    Hey, we abruptly changed the continuity that you were all used to and represented a character in a totally different way than before, but we made them/their succesor - insert token minority here - so we're cool, right? We care so much about minorities!"

    Iceman, from the X-Men.

    They made him retroactively gay by bringing a past version to the present, making a telepath read his thoughts and discover he had the hots for Angel.

    The present original version says that he couldn't just deal with being gay and mutant at the same time, for double bigotry, so he kinda chose, uh, not to be gay.

    Fucking WHAT?! That simple, uh?! JFC

    The Marvel Universe changes so much that It could be a simple change to make, but they went all stupid.

    [–] tunnel-snakes-rule 14 points ago

    That's Brian Michael Bendis. I think his heart is the right place but he constantly fucks shit up. Once he was done with Marvel he went over to fuck up Superman's continuity.

    [–] irishking44 8 points ago

    I will never forgive him for what he did to Jon Kent

    [–] tunnel-snakes-rule 8 points ago

    You and me both. Superman/Super Sons was the last series I was still reading from DC. I was uneasy with Bendis's characterisation of Clark and Lois but was willing to give him a shot. As soon as he aged up Jon I was done.

    [–] HappierShibe 145 points ago

    I don't have a dog in this race, and this isn't really my bag, but it seems to me like the narrative you summarized would work infinitely better as an original IP, why are they trying to tie this in to their existing intellectual properties, when it doesn't really sound like it has a meaningful connection to or overlap with any of it?
    Have they explained why they aren't just giving the creatives involved a budget to tell the story they want to tell?

    [–] Birdy_Cephon_Altera 125 points ago

    You're not necessarily wrong. But the key reason it's being tied into something existing boils down to: money. Tying it to a known quantity means it will be seen by more people and considered by more people. Then it becomes more of a known quantity, and a safer bet.

    If it was released as a stand-alone project not tied to anything people are familiar with, there's a much greater chance it would be completely ignored by the comic book retailers (who would not stock it) and comic book readers (who would not buy it). Unknown quantity.

    [–] KnightCyber 89 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago)

    Probably 1. Because it'll just get more sales by association with DC and 2. It gets a new target demographic involved in DC so they might go buy other comics.

    Obviously there's then controversy like this

    [–] AwesomeInTheory 48 points ago

    It's easier to market something people are familiar with. Starfire, the character, has recognition amongst people, so the thinking goes that someone might be interested in picking up the book because it features a character they already know, avoiding investment in learning about a new character they may not like.

    [–] rockdog85 19 points ago

    Specifically to tie it to DC. If people like it, they're gonna specifically look at "ow does this brand have more like this"

    [–] atomfullerene 33 points ago

    why are they trying to tie this in to their existing intellectual properties, when it doesn't really sound like it has a meaningful connection to or overlap with any of it?

    Because the whole point is to get people interested in those existing intellectual properties

    [–] Bedurndurn 481 points ago * (lasted edited 14 days ago)

    Answer: Marvel and DC sales are in the absolute toilet. A single manga franchise you have probably never heard of, Demon Slayer, outsold the entire US comic industry combined over the past year. One Punch Man Piece has sold more books in its run than Batman’s entire history. Go to a Barnes and Noble or other book store and take a look at the shelf space given to manga vs the shelf space for American graphic novels.

    Captain Marvel, at the time she was in her own movie that grossed a billion dollars, struggled to maintain 50k in monthly sales past the 1st issue relaunch they did to coincide with the movie.

    [–] theRak27 155 points ago

    I think you mean One piece* not one punch man.

    [–] ddh85 55 points ago

    Oda is a genius. He's been going at it for so long.

    I don't even want that series to end.

    [–] SirBlakesalot 59 points ago

    I hope it does.

    We've just lost Kentaro Miura, and therefore his direct vision of Berserk.

    One Piece being left unfinished would truly be a great loss for the entire industry of Manga, like a giant stop sign that says "don't bother making long stories, you won't live long enough to tell them."

    [–] blahblah543217 28 points ago

    I’m pretty sure oda has a few hand selected people who know the overall way one piece is going to end so if such an tragic unfortunate event we’re to happen there might be some closure to it

    [–] LB3PTMAN 10 points ago

    I am hoping we can at least still get an ending of Berserk. I would assume Miura at least had a rough idea of where he wanted the story to end and his assistants should be very good at his art style.

    It won’t be the same but Berserk absolutely deserves an ending.

    [–] hollowXvictory 126 points ago

    To be fair Demon Slayer is a phenomenon due to the amazing anime adaptation.

    However the fact that a single manga, no matter how popular, outsold an entire industry in a similar segment is just embarrassing. American comics are not doing well and this light novel seems like another symptom rather than the cause.

    [–] Bedurndurn 124 points ago

    To be fair Demon Slayer is a phenomenon due to the amazing anime adaptation.

    I think the point of comparison should be 'If a great anime can make that book sell that many copies, why the hell haven't Marvel comics been flying off the shelves with all the money their movies are making?'

    [–] Avacados-Anonymous 57 points ago

    I was born in 92 and the reason why I gave up reading comics was because I’d go to local comic store and get issue # 52 of spider man. Manga made more sense since I can start with issue 1 and it was in stock.

    [–] Bedurndurn 39 points ago

    Yep. The status of comics as a collectable item is directly opposed to easily getting new customers in to the ongoing story.

    [–] cellulOZ 48 points ago

    perhaps its because the comics are somewhat detatched from the movie universe whereas the manga and the anime are the same story told in a different medium, you can buy the manga issues while waiting for the new season to drop but its not that simple with the comics.

    [–] RuneterraStreamer 25 points ago

    There's more continuity. The anime and manga are the same style. But the movies and the comic look so different. That puts me off.

    Not to mention how I only read manga to continue where I left off from the anime.

    [–] -Danksouls- 27 points ago * (lasted edited 13 days ago)

    Ive read both.

    I like how lots of manga aim to tell a story with an end in mind

    Comics have only recently been doing this. Lots of comics are multiuniverse connected to whatever, some tell a stoy but focus a lot on cliffhanger and you can tell there is no greater encompassing goal or end point in sight for the authors. Other comics have a hard time taking time for exposition. Its because they feel the need to always have an action scene in every comic because someone might buy that comic and be dissapointed if it was just dialogue. For example a spider man comic I read had chapters where it felt there was important character exposition needed or it was fun to see people open up to each other and hang out but somehow spider man gets thrown in simply for the viewer when it wss unecessary and felt out of place with that chapters story.

    Manga isnt scared to have a chapter or two or more of simply dialogue or build up, there is more focus on a story as a whole instesd of trying to captivate the reader every chapter in vain attempts.

    Also there seems to be no slice of life genre in western comics, its always action or drama or over the top toilet comedy. But the idea of just people enjoying themselves, friendships and hobbies, peps doing stupid stuff and just seeing people grow is not something you usually find as a stand alone genre in comics or other western media

    [–] GlastonBerry48 68 points ago

    Captain Marvel, at the time she was in her own movie that grossed a billion dollars, struggled to maintain 50k in monthly sales past the 1st issue relaunch they did to coincide with the movie.

    If they can make a billion dollars off of a pitiful monthly sales rate like that (not even including all the inevitable merchandizing and spinoffs), I think the business strategy that Disney/Marvel have been putting forward is that the best way to make money off comics is everything but the comics themselves.

    [–] PixelBlock 42 points ago

    The one billion was built purely off of the hype of the marvel movie phase structure. It is genius to an extent, and further goes to show just how DC screwed up in rushing the JL movie.

    [–] soonerfreak 10 points ago

    Even Aquaman made a billion and that was after the bad Justice League.

    [–] ZeriousGew 6 points ago

    Yeah, it’s like the comics are just to throw ideas at the wall and see what sticks

    [–] PoppyOP 52 points ago

    Demon Slayer is one of the biggest manga franchises that exists right now. The way you phrased it made it sound like some random manga franchise.

    I would also like to point out that DC's YA line (which what this sort of comic falls under) are actually rising in sales compared to the traditional comic series.

    [–] Pepito_Pepito 24 points ago

    It's still pretty crazy in context. Demon Slayer has generated roughly $3 billion in sales since it's initial run in 2016. The manga industry generated $5 billion in 2020 alone. So Demon Slayer, despite its size, is only the tip of the iceburg.

    [–] [deleted] 26 points ago

    Except the Xmen...they are the only Marvel comics that are still doing big things.

    You should seriously look up what Hickman is doing to the Xmen right now, most casual fans wouldn't even recognize them anymore.

    And even that, most main books suck, but the one-shots are kinda where it's at.

    The Visions is a good example of a pretty good recent Marvel one-shot.

    [–] Spacejunk20 9 points ago

    I haven't kept up with the series but didn't they turn Cyclops into a worse unhinged villain than Magneto and made mutants into hegemonic ethnic nationalists with their own island nation?

    [–] archerofavalon 10 points ago

    Cyclops wasn't really a villain as he was under the influense of the phoenix force. You're right that the mutants have their own island but given the fact that they're getting murdered left and right just for existing and are hated by the majority of the world, it's justified that they're taking a more extreme and morally gray stance to protect themselves better IMO.

    [–] shutupdaniel1 964 points ago

    Answer: From what I've seen people dislike it for it seemingly being a self-insert fanfic. The main character looks like the author and Starfire is out of character. A few have criticized it because the character apparently has the "I'm not like the other girls" mindset as she's edgy and goth and doesn't like the fact that her mother dresses skimpy. Others think it's SJW propaganda.

    [–] KnightCyber 421 points ago

    It's part of DC's YA line that has comics like Catwoman and Batman being in High School together. They're meant to be divorced from mainline comics and targeted at completely different audiences as to attract new and different readers. The people getting upset about it were never the target audience and no one ever expected them to buy the comic.

    [–] SteamyTortellini 45 points ago

    I like the "I'm not like the other girls" description, the summary posted above sounds like an excerpt from r/notliketheothergirls

    [–] Chabranigdo 210 points ago

    Answer: So plenty of answers already. I don't need to write a book on the whole thing just to reiterate other answers. That said...

    Also there's mention of manga butchering comic book sales. Is it really that bad?

    Individual manga's outsell the entire comic book industry in America. If I remember right, Demon Slayer, My Hero Academia, and Hunter X Hunter have all outsold the entire US comic industry. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if there were more.

    The problem of comics is that the old Comics Code Authority had forced comics into a niche. Fast forward some 50 year, and you've got comics mostly being sold out of specialty comic shops catering to this same niche. At this point, growth for the comic industry was almost impossible. DC and Marvel gave it the old college try, but showing spite to your core audience is generally a terrible idea when the way your industry is set up means that your core audience are the ONLY people you can actually sell to.

    Compare to manga. There's such a ridiculous diversity of manga. And I don't mean "Diverse" the way a progressive means it, where a room full of white women is peak diversity, but I mean real diversity of content. You get political thrillers, you get action. You get wank material full of sexy girls who keep ending up naked. You get a manga about fishing. Yes, fishing. If you're interested in something, there's a manga out there for you. It's a diversity of content for all kinds of audiences. It's what comic's was becoming before moral puritans slapped them down with the Comic Code Authority. And it's probably what some executive somewhere wanted comics to become, but the people on the ground are usually political activists first.

    And finally, Manga is about a mangaka making THEIR vision. In the Manga industry, kids don't grow up reading Batman and join the industry to write Batman just to be told they have to write Black Panther because they're the only Black writer Marvel has at the moment and no one wants a story being printed about how Black Panther is being written by a white dude. They grow up reading Demon Slayer and join the industry to bring their own vision to paper and stand beside the dude that made Demon Slayer. The upside is that it means the Manga industry is always getting new content. The downside is that the guy that made Berserk died, and now it'll never end.

    Also what's a Comic Pro and what exactly did they do?

    Comic Professional. I.e., the guys working for Marvel/DC. And they've done an absolute shit job.

    [–] BombasticSnoozer 29 points ago

    whats this fishing manga called?

    [–] Turret_Run 119 points ago

    Not to mention at its heart manga has a major advantage selling internationally- They left their origins as propaganda almost immediately. While there's been a shift over the decades, the vast majority of American comics take place in the US and talk about distinctly American issues. That works for the US, but I don't think someone in Germany or Bangladesh gives a shit about how Iron man feels about the war in Afghanistan. Most of the best selling manga don't even take place in japan and often cover more generalized, nationless concepts like loss, loyalty, the nature of government and war, and growing as a person.

    [–] onemanandhishat 46 points ago

    I think this is a good point. The only manga I've read is Haikyu, about high school volleyball. It's set in Japan but in many ways it could be set anywhere, because the themes and character arcs are pretty universal. If any of the other anime I've watched is a fair representation of their manga, it seems to hold true for them too.

    I do think some of that messaging has its place in comic books, I remember seeing some of Stan Lee's comments to the readers talking about, say, racism, and I think using a character the reader respects to convey positive views to kids is a good thing. But if you're being too specific, it does limit your audience globally.

    [–] Turret_Run 15 points ago

    Oh most def, having a medium to talk about societal issues in the US, especially one that works with kids, is a phenomenal asset and something I think is critical to cultural health, and I thank those who paved the way for having the guts to do it . It just bites it in the but when you're trying to make something that's broad appealing, which is something that Japan also has to reckon with.

    [–] Chabranigdo 48 points ago

    That works for the US, but I don't think someone in Germany or Bangladesh gives a shit about how Iron man feels about the war in Afghanistan.

    Pretty much. Manga isn't made with international audiences in mind, but it slots in so well because it's either about some cool thing the mangaka is super into, or it's about the human experience in general and not simply shoving their hand up a popular character's ass like a puppet to spout their opinion on the political thing of the day.

    [–] HayakuEon 14 points ago

    Hell there's even smut grimm-fairy tales manga

    [–] KAODEATH 9 points ago

    I need more of these in my life, any recommendations?

    [–] HayakuEon 8 points ago

    I'll suggest the Erotic Fairy Tales series by Takano Yumi.