Thanks for all the responses to yesterday’s post about what you’re currently rereading (or would like to reread). As expected, I was reminded of several other comics I’d like to revisit, but that’s okay…I may not have time now, but it’ll give me something to do when I retire when I’m, like, 85 years old.
“…does anyone ever find themselves doing a re-read of a series they remember being ambivalent about, just to see if it’s still worth keeping?”
That’s a good question, I think…by and large, any series I was ambivalent about at the time I tended to drop from the buy list, so I don’t have a whole lot in that category. But there are certain series that I followed through thick and thin, like Incredible Hulk or the multiple Superman titles, that have had changes in creative teams, or storylines that didn’t feel like they were up to snuff. For example, the post-Peter David issues of the original Hulk run…I suspect they were perfectly fine Hulk comics, but my general impression from my reading them at the time is that they weren’t really a patch on what David had been doing with the character. Probably not a fair judgement call, and I think if I pulled those issues back out of the Vast Mikester Comic Archives and reread them, my assessment would be more charitable.
I made a joke in the title of yesterday’s post that my rereading of the ’90s Superman comics was solely to document the impact of the “Death of Clark Kent” storyline from…’93, I think? I was actually just giving them a reread because…well, I’d reread the Byrne/Wolfman post-Crisis reboot issues plenty of times, but had only given the later issues a single reading as they were issued (aside from the Death/Return of Superman issues, which are very rereadable strong serialized superhero storytelling), and I wanted to see how it held up as a continuing narrative. …Mostly, it maintains a fairly consistent continuity, which started to slip a bit once attempts to incorporate elements from the TV shows and movies, along with attempted rollbacks to pre-Crisis status quos, began to undermine the very reason the ’80s reboot was attempted in the first place. Not that I have any particular problem with that…I just think it’s an interesting phenomenon that I was able to watch as it happened, rather than piece together after the fact by researching back issues and investigating comics industry history.
Since yesterday I had a couple of folks mention “The Death of Clark Kent” as a real nadir of the franchise, which has me tempted to go back and look at it again. My memory of it is primarily a lot of running around and shouting and things blowing up, which to be fair describes a lot of superhero comics, so that doesn’t really bring anything to the table, there. My other memory is how this seemed the most blatant of attempts at grabbing some of that “Death of Superman” attention that had long since dried up. But I don’t remember hating this story, so perhaps I’ll look at it again and see if maybe if it was a storyline I tolerated more than enjoyed (much like how I discovered what I willingly put up with in some of the Superman annuals, last time I revisited some older Superman stories).
“Oh, and something that I re-read many, many times… the volumes of Matt Wagner’s MAGE. VOl 1 is AWESOME! I can read that any time or place.”
That’s another thing…I’ve probably reread the original Mage many, many times. The sequel series I read as it was coming out, and then again after it was completed. And that was pretty much it. …Not because I didn’t like it, but…I’m not sure why. Just, like with the rest of my comics, I never found the time, I guess. There’s also the fact that I have the original series in those beautiful Starblaze/Donning paperback editions, the only decent reprinting this series ever received, sitting on my bookshelves and easily within reach. Not to mention the fact that series has also been out for quite a bit longer, granting more time for rereading, particularly in my younger days when I had more time to read these darn funnybooks.
(Of course, in the midst of writing this I went down to the Archives and pulled that second series out of my boxes and I’ll get around to reading it again, soon.)
This sort of falls under Chad’s question, I suppose, but another Matt Wagner project, Grendel, is one of those comics where I really loved the earlier issues, but it…kind of lost me once the series got into the distant future and…well, if you read the comics, you know what I mean. I tried to keep up with the multiple Grendel Tales minis but just eventually lost track and interest (at least until the various Hunter Rose-era minis popped up years later). I think I just stopped reading halfway through one of the series. I wonder if I went back now, I’d appreciate those comics a little more? I’d like to think so. …Ah, well, just add those to the reread pile, too, I guess.