For most of my life, I never thought I would ever stop reading comic books. But these days I find myself buying fewer periodical comics than ever before. That’s because every time I pick up a highly-touted first issue in a new direction, I flip through it and think, “That’s not [FILL IN THE BLANK] to me,” and put it back on the shelf. I have a “point” for almost every long-running title from the “Big Two” I can think of. Some of them are decades old and I only realized what they were in hindsight; others I knew immediately. It’s sometimes difficult to determine because, sometimes, runs on this side of the line can be quite good.

For example, the Wolverine limited series might have been a good stopping point for far as that character’s story arc is concerned.

I personally feel that the “Elektra Saga” should have ended after her resurrection in Daredevil #190.

Like I said, I have “stopping points” for just about every major series, but right now I want to hear from you. Mine are all spread out, but yours can be a particular year (“1968”) or an event (Crisis on Infinite Earths), or it can be a specific storyline (“Sins Past”) or creative team or whatever. I’ll be back to this topic from time to time going forward, but after today I’m going to be offline until next week, so let’s hear it. Where do YOU draw the line (assuming you do)? Also, if you disagree at any time where I draw the line, I invite rebuttal.

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It's hard to say. I tend to think in terms of a "continuity" in my head that accepts and rejects character developments from many different era.  Never was wild about "Tony Stark as alcoholic" or the Tony Stark of the Civil War era, so I just reject them from my personal "continuity".

DC Comics is easier. I pretty much reject everything from Flashpoint  on.


as hopefully clear from my Avengers readalong thread I love that title and it's continuity but - I cannot get past what Bendis did to 'my team'.

I know he (somehow) made them incredibly popular by adding Spider and Wolverine Tec but from the 'Disassembled' they became a different entity and I've never felt so connected to them.

I draw, and un-draw, and re-draw lines. 

For me, for instance, the Threeboot Legion (which started with Waid/Kitson) wasn't "real" Legion...although that might be more my opinion in retrospect than what it was in practice. The new Bendis/Sook Legion, I'm considering "real" Legion until something shakes that belief. (Both original and Zero Hour Legion are "real" to me, too.)

Most New 52 stuff wasn't "real" -- most post-rebirth stuff seems "real" to me...even though in many ways, it was just a course-correction on the "unreal" characters. Once they got Superman right, everything else fell into place.

Even though I stopped reading the book years before it ended, I draw the line at Vertigo John Constantine. Everything since can be entertaining, but hasn't been the man himself. (We'll see about the Black Label series coming up.)

Not *quite* the same, but I think Swamp Thing ends with Moore's run... even though there have been plenty of runs I've enjoyed since then. 

I don't think any DC story set in World War II published after All-Star Squadron feels like canon to me...including The Golden Age and the Times Past stories in Starman (both excellent series).

When they turned Hal Jordan into a crazed villain and seemed proud of it, I quit comics cold turkey for about two years. I did pick up the Heroes Reborn Avengers because it was the Avengers and I got The Batman Adventures based on the animated series. Thus I do indeed have Harley Quinn's first comic book appearance!

Where do I draw the line? I'd say I put the writing implement to the illustration surface at the point I think, “That’s not [FILL IN THE BLANK] to me,” but I don't fully make the mark until I've given up hope the title will "get good again." 

For example, Batman and the "Hush" storyline.

There are plenty of fresh new comics mentioned in the New Comics Alert thread. You don't have to stick with either Marvel or DC if they don't satisfy you.

A-MEN! I have been singing the praises of all kinds of great comics from lesser-known companies for quite awhile. They really are worth trying, as long as you don't mind reading stuff that will never find itself onto the weekly iFanboy podcast (or Wizard Magazine in the 90's). If that's all your comics reading includes, then I can certainly see you feeling like things have dried up.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

There are plenty of fresh new comics mentioned in the New Comics Alert thread. You don't have to stick with either Marvel or DC if they don't satisfy you.

I read far, far more manga than American comics these days.I mostly get my super-hero fixes from books like One-Punch ManMy Hero Academia, and My Hero Academia: Vigilantes.

Wow, great responses so far! I'm going to came back later with specific responses to your responses, but first here's one I prepared last week to one of my own.

“And that’s where the saga of Elektra should have ended.”

For a while, Marvel maintained a “hands off” policy regarding Elektra, reserving her use for Frank Miller. Oh, when a new creative team was announced for Daredevil, Marvel teased the return of Elektra with the cover of Marvel Age #5, but such a story was not told… at least not at that time. Marvel couldn’t hold off forever, though. When the story of Elektra was told (by someone other than Miller), they should have presented the new dynamic of the chaste Elektra (as depicted on the Marvel Age cover). But no, that wasn’t the popular “edgy” Elektra popularized by Miller, so they found a way to make her morally ambiguous again.


Such a disservice to the character.

But that’s another story for another time.

“I pretty much reject everything from Flashpoint on.”

Amen, brother.

“I cannot get past what Bendis did to 'my team'.”

I draw my Avengers line a little bit before that.

“I draw, and un-draw, and re-draw lines.”

I have discovered that there are plenty of runs I have enjoyed after my line, but my line remains my line.

“When they turned Hal Jordan into a crazed villain”

I have a Green Lantern line, too, but it’s a bit earlier.

“For example, Batman and the "Hush" storyline.”

My “giving up hope that the title will ‘get good again’” for Spider-Man is “Sins Past.” Still, that’s not my “line.” Again, my line is much earlier. I’ll be back (probably next week) with some specifics, but first (probably tomorrow), some generalizations.

I’m caught up today, so here are the general differences (as I see them) of the respective “lines” of the Marvel and the DC universes. Specifics begin tomorrow.

MARVEL: It’s tempting to draw the line at the end of “volume one” just prior to “Heroes Reborn.” That would be the easiest way to handle it. Every subsequent arc (i.e., “new number one”) is simply so-and-so’s “take” on [character/team]. But it I really think about it, each title has its own unique individual line, some of them quite some time prior to “Heroes reborn.”

DC COMICS: DC has a propensity for writing their characters into corners from which it’s difficult to return to the status quo. For example…

Superman dies.
Batman’s back is broken.
Green Lantern goes renegade.
Wonder Woman kills Maxwell Lord.

As with Marvel’s “Heroes Reborn,” Flashpoint is a convenient absolute line in the sand (I can mix a metaphor with the best of ‘em), but again, each title has its own line (for me), most of them quite a bit earlier.

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