Like a lot of young boys (and girls, too, actually), I loved comics.
My brother used to have a big box full of comics and I would read them whenever I was able to, even though e wasn’t too fond of me touching them due to my habit of “enhancing” them by practicing my signature in them, or adding some extra colour with my crayons. I don’t even want to think about how much some of them could be worth today.
My brother was a big DC Comics fan. He had all the usual stuff, like Superman, Batman and a couple of wonder Woman tossed in there. He also had quite a few Brave and the Bold, Green Lantern/ Green Arrow and others, including some little-known titles with characters like Black Orchid and Prez.
I have very clear memories of reading those comics and imagining what it would be like to have super powers. I also for some reason thought that there was a far-off land where Superman and Batman were the rulers, complete with thrones and crowns. Don’t ask me which one of them was the queen.
My brother didn’t care for Marvel comics, aside from the Fantastic Four, which I considered one of the most boring comics in existence at the time. Despite that, when I first started hounding my parents for comics of my own, I was drawn to Marvel for the most part. Spider-Man was easily my favourite hero and although there were others that I liked quite a bit as well, he was the only one whose comics I collected.
Until high school.
Sometime in grade 8, I started reading comics regularly, spending my own allowance on them. I started with Spidey, of course, but on a whim, I picked up a copy of the first Wolverine limited series #1 largely because I knew the character from the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends cartoon. I liked it much more than I expected to and bought the rest of the series. After that, it only made sense that I should start reading X-Men. That lead me to New Mutants and everything just ballooned from there. I picked up a handful of DC comics, including the near-mandatory purchase of the death of Superman, but the only DC comic I read regularly was Shadow of the Bat, because I was able to start it at issue 1. Today, however, things have totally reversed themselves.
I started feeling nostalgic about comics a few years ago. I would go out occasionally and pick up a trade, or a limited series, but I never really collected anything. Part of it was the price; comics had become quite a bit more expensive over the years and I feared that I would end up with 25+ titles per month again, which would be too expensive. The other thing, however, was that the modern storylines just didn’t interest me. I didn’t care for the way heroes had become progressively darker, or how villains like Venom (or even worse, Carnage) had become so popular. I had enjoyed characters like Wolverine and to a lesser extent, the Punisher years before, but now that so many heroes had become excessively violent and mass-murderers had gained immense popularity, comics didn’t have the same old appeal. I often thought about picking up one or two titles anyway, but when I would hear about the various storylines in the books I was considering, I quickly reconsidered.
I am a big fan of heroic heroes. if you have read some of my other posts, that may already be clear. I had signed up for Marvel Unlimited in order to read the old comics I had loved again (I sold my collection, which is one of my all-time biggest regrets) and to read from the point I had stopped collecting through to more recent years in an attempt to see where Marvel had “gone wrong.” I didn’t touch DC at all, but not for any particular reason. When New 52 came out, I thought I might check it out, but ultimately chose not to because I didn’t like the direction that they were going with it.
So when Rebirth was announced, I wasn’t sure what to think. I figured at first that it was just another reboot, but when I started reading about what was planned and how the goal was to “bring back the legacy and the optimism” that had been missing, I decided to check it out. A friend suggested that I pick up Lois and Clark, which I did and I loved it. In one issue, it felt more like Superman than anything I had seen in the New 52. Suddenly, I was excited.
When Rebirth launched in earnest, I decided I had to get on board. I picked up several titles: Batman and Detective, Superman and Action, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Titans and Teen Titans, Superwoman and Supergirl, Batgirl, Nightwing, Justice League… If my budget had allowed, I would be reading everything.
Initially, Superman stood out. This was the real Superman again. I loved it, but there were so many other great moments in the other books as well. The return of the original Wally West was another high point, which actually made me more emotional than I think any comic ever has.
There have been highs and lows; I didn’t really care for the idea of a Bat-team in Detective, but it has grown on me steadily. But what has surprised me the most is Wonder Woman. It is probably my favourite at the moment. I am loving every issue.
If DC can keep this up, they will have me on board for the foreseeable future. I would strongly recommend picking up any of the Rebirth books. They certainly have restored my sense of optimism. It looks like heroic heroes are back and I couldn’t be happier.