I’ve been reading a lot of comics lately. It’s not as if I have definitively put aside the other kind of reading that I normally do–the fiction, the biographies, the history texts–and devoted myself exclusively to visual narrative. It’s just that’s where my interests lie at the moment. Perhaps it was the New 52 relaunch that did it to me, I don’t know. Hearing all of the hype surrounding this big event–and this is an event in a variety of ways, publishing, comics/narrative, as well as pop cultural–may have made me feel like rereading and/or catching up on a lot of comics I haven’t yet read or at least haven’t read in a while. Earlier this fall I began rereading several contemporary DC Comics events, as I posted here back in September, and that has led to me reading other events or larger superhero narrative arcs. I began with Identity Crisis and then moved onto to Infinite Crisis, and then that lead to 52. Next I tackled most of the many Final Crisis narratives that followed, starting with Countdown to Final Crisis. My reaction to Countdown this time around was similar to what it was before. Meh! An okay read, but nothing really special. The 52 that preceded it and the Final Crisis that follows are much better, and Countdown just strikes me as a way to bide your time between different crossover events. This time around, instead of reading just the single Final Crisis collection as I did originally, I read most of the individual comic books in the entire crossover series. This included comics that are collected in Final Crisis: Revelations, Final Crisis: Rougues’ Revenge, Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns, and two of the aftermath volumes: Final Crisis: Escape and Final Crisis: Run (the latter being a rather humorous and over-the-top way of ending the event). There were a few parts of Final Crisis that didn’t interest me, but I read the vast majority of it. As with the preceding DC events, the most successful parts were those involving Grant Morrison…then again, I’m a big Morrison fan, so that should come as no surprise. All in all, a good, fun reading experience.
But there are more recent crossover events I need to catch up on, and not only from DC (for example, I’d like to take the time to read Marvel’s narratives since Secret Invasion, which I wasn’t that impressed with, working my way through Dark Reign, Siege, Heroic Age, and Fear Itself). Right after I finished Final Crisis, I moved on to Blackest Night, and I read most of the comics in that crossover event (i.e., those included in the collections Green Lantern: Blackest Night, Green Lantern Corps: Blackest Night, and Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps, but not those that make up the Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps volumes). I enjoyed it, for the most part. Nothing like a high-powered necro-narrative to capture the attention of multiple genre audiences. I haven’t really been the biggest Green Lantern reader, but after this, I could see getting more into the various series. However, all of these crossover events–both with DC and Marvel–are getting to be a little too much, at times seeming more of a marketing campaign than any attempt to create and sustain good narrative. Right now I’ve taken a break from these events and have devoted myself to crime and noir comics–I’ll write a lot more about that in a future blog entry–but later I do want to pick up where I left off and read the various comics that follow from Blackest Night, such as those in the Brightest Day and Flashpoint arcs. Those, as the title of this blog entry suggests, are out there on my horizon.