So my wife has been pregnant for 38 weeks, which means the wait for our baby has entered the final countdown. Cue the sweet sounds of Europe. I am of course very much looking forward to becoming a father (I haven’t decided if I’m going to be more like Hugh Beaumont in Leave it to Beaver, or Darth Vader in the Original Trilogy), but it means I won’t have as much time to do the things I enjoy doing right now. I am of course referring to playing video games and reading comics.
I’ve been plowing through Batman: Arkham Origins. I defeated the Mad Hatter in a level that was very reminiscent of the Scarecrow stage in the original Arkham Asylum. It wasn’t nearly as good as the Scarecrow level, but it was a nice change of pace from how the game usually plays. I’m hoping to finish the game before my little guy makes his first appearance, so it looks like I’ll be having a lot of late nights in my immediate future. Here’s a picture my wife took of me playing the game. It’s exciting, I know.
Another thing I’m hoping to do before I start having to change dirty diapers every 20 minutes is get through the pile of comics I have waiting for me. I have a few monthly books to read, plus a bunch of collected editions. Here is what I have in my hardcover/softcover reading pile:
X-Men: Age of Apocalypse Omnibus
Sandman volumes 5-10
Batman: The Black Glove Deluxe Edition
Gotham Central volumes 1 & 2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles volume 4
As you can see I have a lot of reading ahead of me. And on top of all that, I get new books every week. While taking some time to organize my books over the weekend, I decided to think about whether or not I should continue to read all of the titles I am currently collecting. The first step was figuring out exactly how many titles I buy on a monthly basis. The answer is a lot.
As I sat in my thinking chair (pictured below) and carefully boxed up my books, I considered which books I really wanted to keep following, and which ones I could live without.
This is what I figured out:
Afterlife with Archie – This book is only one issue in, and it is definitely worth continuing. Zombies plus the Riverdale Gang equals awesome. I will give anything to see Moose punch through an undead head.
Uncanny Avengers – I initially started reading this book because it promised Rick Remender writing and John Cassaday art. Remender is still writing but Cassaday left interior art on the book pretty early on. Remender has turned this book into a continuation of his work on Uncanny X-Force, which is cool, but I don’t know if the direction is interesting enough to keep me buying it every month. This book is on the proverbial bubble.
Batman – Court of Owls, Death of the Family and now Zero Year. This book is pure win.
Batman/Superman – Jae Lee’s art was cool on the first arc, but with a new artist this book doesn’t have the draw (pun intended) it once had. I won’t be picking this one up again anytime soon.
Deadpool – I really liked Daniel Way’s run on this book before the reboot, but when the new creative team took over I think things took a turn for the worse. I’ve given this book a lot of chances, but I don’t know if I’m going to make it past the current storyline.
Detective Comics – The book took a bit of a dip a while ago, but the Wrath storyline really picked it up again. I’m going to keep going with this one.
Green Arrow – I started reading this title when Jeff Lemire started writing, and it hasn’t disappointed me. I will continue bringing this book home every month.
Hawkeye – Great storytelling, great art. This book is a treat to read.
Judge Dredd – This book is huge surprise. I wasn’t sure after the first issue or so, but it has turned into one of my favourites. The Judge has recently battled robots, cannibals and has now teamed up with a guy who could see (and now smell) the future. Yup, it’s as awesome as it sounds.
Lazarus – A terrible future where the rich rule the world and there are genetically enhanced assassins running around? Sign me up for more!
Red Sonja – I started reading this book when Gail Simone started writing. As much as I love a warrior who fights in a chainmail bikini, I don’t think it’s worth shelling out $4 a month to keep reading it.
Satellite Sam – You wouldn’t think a black and white comic about a 1950’s science fiction television show would work, but it does – especially when there are secrets, sex and secrets about sex. I want to see where this goes.
Sidekick – What does a sidekick do when his boss is killed? According to this comic book, he turns into a total mess. The former sidekick, Flyboy, tries to become a real superhero, but things keep getting worse as he is manipulated by a super villain, who keeps having sex with him. Yeah, you read that right. I’m going to keep reading this one, just so I can find out exactly what’s going on.
Superior Spiderman – I liked the idea of this book initially, but I’m already getting bored with a Doc Ock Webhead. That said, I’m going to keep reading because it seems like Peter Parker will be back as Spidey fairly soon.
Ultimate Spiderman – I started reading this book because it tied in with the United We Stand/Divided We Fall storyline in the Ultimate Universe, and I kept reading it afterwards. The latest arc was called Spiderman No More, which made no sense because Miles Morales was pretty much Spiderman the entire time. Anyway, I don’t think I’ll be reading this one anymore. In other words, Spiderman? No more. See what I did there?
Star Wars – I love the original trilogy, so it makes sense that I would love a Star Wars comic that takes place between New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. I’ll keep buying this one.
Swamp Thing – If you had asked me yesterday if I like this book, I would have said yes, but when organizing my comics I realized I have two regular monthly issues and an annual I still haven’t read. If I really liked this book, I wouldn’t be backlogged by 3 issues, right? I’m going to finish the books I have, then determine whether I’m going to pick up any more.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – This book has been awesome lately. They are in the middle of the City Fall storyline, and it feels like a real event. I look forward to reading this book every month.
Wonder Woman – Wonder Woman is now the God of War. Need I say more? No, but I will. Things are gonna get crazy!
X-Files – Mulder and Scully are back, and it makes me very happy. The first arc was pretty good, so I hope they can keep it going in the second.
Various X-Men books (X-Men, Uncanny X-Men and All New X-Men) – Okay, so these 3 books (along with Wolverine and the X-Men) crossed over as part of the Battle of the Atom storyline. Let me recap what’s going on with the X-Men: There are two X-Men teams (one led by Wolverine, the other led by Cyclops), plus the original X-Men, who traveled forward in time to the present. There are also members of the future X-Men and future Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in the present. I don’t know what any of this is about, nor am I sure I care to figure it out. I have decided I’m going to stop reading the adjectiveless X-men book, but I’m going to give some serious thought to whether I need to read any of the other X-Men titles going forward.
So by my count, I am currently reading 23 different series, from 7 different publishers. I have already determined that I am going to continue following at least 14 titles, and that there are 5 books on the proverbial bubble. That leaves 4 books which I have already decided I am not going to read any more.
Do you feel better now knowing how I feel about all the comic books I read? You do? Great! Do you feel that I used the word feel too many times in the previous sentence? I feel the same way.
Before I sign-off, here are some summary statistics for you math nerds out there. Below you will find the number of books I am going to continue to read, number of books that are “on the bubble”, and the number of books I am no longer going to read, by publisher. Yay math!
Publisher – continue reading – on bubble – going to stop – total
DC Comics – 4 – 1 – 1 – 6
Marvel – 2 – 4 – 2 – 8
IDW – 3 – 0 – 0 – 3
Image – 3 – 0 – 0 – 3
Dark Horse – 1 – 0 – 0 – 1
Dynamite – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1
Archie – 1 – 0 – 0 – 1
Nothing makes a blog post better than numbers.