Admit it. You loved “Deadpool.” You probably enjoyed “The Dark Knight,” “The Avengers” or “Watchmen” too. Maybe you’ve binge-watched “Daredevil” or “Jessica Jones.” There’s also a decent chance your Sunday nights include “The Walking Dead.” (Mine sure as hell do.) But guess what?
These movies and shows you love are all based on comic books you’re probably too proud to pick up and read.
The nerd-bashing bullies of grade school are behind us, so why not read comics? After all, they’re the source material for your favorite flicks and television shows. While “Captain America: Civil War” is bound to be an entertaining superhero battle royale, the 2006 “Civil War” comic event featured hundreds of superheroes fighting to the death, not just the dozen or so that will appear in the movie. The riveting “The Walking Dead” ongoing comic is up to issue 151, which luckily provides source material for at least three or four more seasons of the hit TV show (including many of your favorite gruesome death scenes).
Comic books, despite the hokey assumptions that surround them, tell incredibly emotional and indeed action-packed stories of superheroes and everyday people like you and me. Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” and “Maus II” tell the tear-jerking tale of a family torn apart by the chaos of the World War II. Brian K. Vaughn’s “Y: The Last Man” follows the actions of the last remaining man on Earth after a strange plague wipes out everyone with a Y chromosome. These are moving stories that examine human nature: all of our fears, desires and morality.
But comics don’t just work with words; they feature incredible art that can evoke emotion in itself. Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko’s art on series such as “The Fantastic Four” and “Amazing Spider-Man” was so ground breaking that it continues to influence visual storytelling over forty years after their heyday. Steve McNiven is an artist who loves his dark reds, bringing the pain and anger of our beloved Wolverine to an almost tangible level for the invested reader of “Old Man Logan.”
It’s not too late to discover comic books for yourself! I rejected the idea of reading them until college, but now I appreciate the incredible storytelling powers comics have. If you’ve never picked up a good comic before, I ask you to forget the unfounded criticisms and take a chance.