Welcome to Graphic Policy’s Big Two Comics Roundup where we take a look at a handful of comics from Marvel and/or DC in order to discern just how accessible they are for new readers. Where possible we’ll also be providing recap of sorts for the relevant story beats up until the issue in question in order to help you figure out if the series is something you’re interested in, assuming we’ve read any part of the story thus far.
Each comic will receive a both a rating of Friendly or Unfriendly as well as a score out of ten. The former is based upon how easy it was for new readers to pick the issues up; expect miniseries or first issues to be rated as friendly by default. For second or third issues, more consideration regarding the comic’s accessibility will be given for the specific issue being read rather than the series overall, but if reading a back issue will help, then that will be mentioned. The score out of ten is Graphic Policy’s typical ten point scale, which is there to help you pick between issues if you only want to check out one or two.
This version of the Roundup will feature exclusively comics from Marvel or DC comics, all of which were provided for review purposes unless otherwise noted.
Hawkman #1 (DC) Regardless of whether you’ve read Dark Knights Metal or you’re picking this up because of the shiny new #1 emblazoned upon its cover, Robert Venditti’s first Hawkman comic is an interesting beast. As with the other comics this week, this is a Friendly comic, even as it has a slowly building tension that’s never quite realised in this issue. Still, worth a look. Rating: 7.8
Tony Stark: Iron Man #1 (Marvel) It hasn’t escaped my notice that Dan Slott is writing this comic, and I won’t lie to you; even with his name attached I had a little trepidation when going into this comic because… I don’t really like Iron Man all that much. But, by focusing this story less on Tony Stark and more on the people around him (including new a newly hired robotics specialist through whom we experience most of the story). Whether it’s because of a new writer whose style I am familiar with, osmosis from the movies, or just a well written comic I had no trouble picking this up and loving every page. Friendly Rating: 8.8
Thor #1 (Marvel) The continuation of Jason Aaron’s rather epic run on Thor, spanning more series than I can remember (or be bothered to look up), that only masquerades as a first issue. Unless you’ve read some of, or are more than passingly familiar with the story of the Jane Foster Thor, the Unworthy Odinson Thor, and the general Thor Thoring stuff, then you’ll struggle with this issue. Due to the complexity of the story, and the sparseness of the recap page, you’ll find this a touch Unfriendly. Rating: 7.4
Plastic Man #1 (DC) So Plastic Man is just a poor man’s Reed Richards, right? That was my sole thought, and the sum of my knowledge on the character, when I picked up this first issue. Which was a fantastically inaccurate assumption. This is a very Friendly comic, and well worth checking out. Rating: 8.2
Multiple Man #1 (Marvel) You’ve got no idea who Multiple Man is, or where he’s been lately? No problem! You can easily read this and not miss a beat. Friendly Rating: 8.8