Confession of a Non-Comic Reader

On Tuesday, October 28th, Marvel held a huge fan event to announce Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I, along with almost everyone else in the world, followed along on Twitter, seeing what exactly Marvel was going to be bringing us for the next 5 years. In case you need a reminder, here’s the upcoming slate:

  • May 1, 2015: Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • July 17, 2015: Ant-Man
  • May 6, 2016: Captain America: Civil War
  • Nov. 4, 2016: Doctor Strange
  • May 5, 2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
  • July 28, 2017: Thor: Ragnarok
  • Nov. 3, 2017: Black Panther
  • May 4, 2018: Avengers: Infinity War – Part I
  • July 6, 2018: Captain Marvel
  • Nov. 2, 2018: Inhumans
  • May 3, 2019: Avengers: Infinity War – Part II

I got excited with everybody else – Civil War! Doctor Strange! Black Panther! Captain Marvel! Infinity War! Truth be told though, I actually have no idea what any of it means. Now I read articles, blog posts, Twitter updates and such every time there’s something about anything comic-book related (usually when a new movie is announced or released) to make myself familiar with the material, but I’ve never read any comic books.

I’m among the people who love the MCU and DC TV, but know little to nothing of the source material. Despite not knowing character origin stories, I still get genuinely excited over these movie announcements or when they say [insert character name] will be coming on Arrow or The Flash. I mean I’ve never tried to act like I know more than I do and I sure hope I don’t come across as a so-called “fake geek girl” (whatever the hell that means really), but I can’t help but get this weird feeling after the initial excitement. I almost feel bad that I don’t know most comic-book characters or comic storylines to justify my excitement over them. Of course, the simple solution would be to start reading comic books, which really would only lead to a bigger question “WHERE WOULD I START?!”

I by no means am ashamed by my lack of comic-book knowledge, I just find it weird and actually kind of hilarious that I’m really into these comic-based movies and TV shows without knowing a damn thing. A lot of credit has to go to all these producers and writers who create these other entities. Crafting entertaining stories with engaging characters for the general masses can’t be easy; having to do the same thing with a known character and adapting it from page to screen is a difficult task. With the MCU, it took a while for it to get to where it’s at. Look back at it now and you can’t help but wonder, who would’ve thought any of it would work? Sure we’ve had comic-book/superhero movies way before Iron Man came around, but Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man really turned things around. Since then, Marvel hasn’t really made a wrong move. I started as having no idea who any of these superheroes are, but now, like everybody else, I’m invested in this universe and look forward to every Marvel movie (whether it be Marvel Studios or FOX’s X-Men movies or Sony’s Spider-Man).

Even with DC films attempting to play catch-up to the MCU (which honestly, I’m a little meh about), you have to admit that DC TV has been on fire, especially when you look at Arrow and The Flash. And again, most of the time I don’t know the characters that get introduced but I get excited about every new one regardless because they’re just really good characters and well-written. Take for instance this past week’s episodes – 1×05 “Plastique” for The Flash, 3×06 “Guilty” for Arrow. [Out of consideration, slight spoilers ahead.] At the end of “Plastique,” viewers are shown Dr. Wells talking to a gorilla that’s being kept at STAR Labs, with its name plate showing Grodd. My initial reaction was “Okay, interesting…” which is pretty much in line with what I say every time they end the episode with Dr. Wells doing something sketchy. A minute later, I’m informed via my Twitter feed and various internet recaps, that the show is inferring to Gorilla Grodd, one of The Flash’s biggest villains in the comics. Well, suddenly it makes sense, or as much sense as it could to a non-comic reader. As for Arrow, there was a part in one of the fight scenes where Oliver puts a boxing glove at the end of his Arrow and then shoots it to punch Ted Grant (aka Wildcat) – I just thought it was a cool thing, turns out its something that’s straight from the comic books!

You know what else – and it’s something I say with complete love? Nerd enthusiasm is contagious. Going through my Twitter feed during the Marvel event and seeing how everybody else was reacting to it, I honestly couldn’t help but get excited with everyone. But it’s not like, my excitement was without merit. I mean, Captain America versus Iron Man? I don’t know the Civil War storyline (well I have an idea now that everyone has talked about it) but that’s a BIG DEAL yo. FINALLY, a POC character headlining a movie? Big deal. FINA-freakin-LY, a female character headlining a movie? HUGE DEAL. But yeah, call it a weird form of mob mentality, but it’s really easy to get caught up in excitement.

There, I confess my love of comic book movies and TV shows, despite not knowing anything about the source material. Who else is in the same boat as me (this is a safe space, so feel free to share)? Which movies (Marvel or DC) coming out in the next 5 years are you looking forward to? And who wants to offer up a starting point for comic book reading? I’m thinking that might be part of my New Year’s resolutions and would love to hear some recommendations.