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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Wandering Sensei’s recent post to “A Sudden Realization of the Obvious” brought this one to mind.

This SHOULD have been the last appearance of the Joker:

And if not The Killing Joke, then definitely A Death in the Family!

Once you kill (a) Robin, where do you go with the Joker that makes any sense?

I don't know if I agree with that one, Phillip. I think once you kill Robin, it's your responsibility as a storyteller to mine that vein. Much of that is a close look at Batman during his new solo time, but I think having the Joker around occasionally to salt those wounds is a very workable choice.

Basically, give Batman time to come to grips with things on his own, and just when he's about on solid ground again, bring in the Joker to topple everything over.  

Same for Barbara. I'm glad the Joker was around for her to confront as Oracle years later.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

OMAC would be another example, perhaps a better one because it had only eight issues to begin with. Those eight issues inspired 1) a series of back-ups culminating in DC Comics Presents #61, 2) a 1991 series by John Byrne, 3) the OMAC Project (2005) and spin-off series (2006), and 4) a “New 52” version (2001), all different, all drawing on those original eight issues as a source of inspiration.

Also Kamandi #50 and Hercules Unbound #10.


Although he doesn’t appear on the cover, X-Men Annual #12 is where I “draw the line” for “classic” Ka-Zar stories. This annual also marks the “end” for Garokk (the Sun God), Terminus and, in a way, the Savage Land itself.

Everything beyond this point is merely gratuitous.

The last comic I purchased was the first issue of Justice League, at the launch of the new 52. Admittedly, at that point, I had contemplated jumping ship for quite some time before. Simply stated, the new 52 seemed like just another "start all over, nothing will ever be same" gimmick that I had seen ad museum since the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. None of the stories seemed to truly matter once I came to the realization that the next big reboot would render them inert. Even more frustrating was that, if I waited long enough, those same stories that no longer mattered would be back, and of the utmost importance to the ongoing plot. I'm sure you've figured out that I'm a DC guy by now; but, I like Marvel, too. Unfortunately, Marvel fell into the same multi title mega crossover fever that infected DC. For a time, I favored Marvel for the fact that the history I knew was largely unaffected by this; but, enough was enough. When it reached a point where my weekly purchases required the use of my credit card, I had had it.

Speaking only for myself, comics get under your skin and into your blood. I've loved them since my Dad would read them to me while I sat on his lap. I was very young, and that was a long time ago. To this day I follow the current events both here and on other comic based web-sites; but sadly all too often, I find myself saying "this is why I stopped reading".   

I didn’t “draw” this line, but it was inadvertently drawn for me. A couple years ago, I ended up really just dropping all Marvel Comics. I decided to do the Marvel Unlimited, and just wait 6 months without buying any new Marvel books, and then pick up where MU would start me back on track. I ended up not even doing MU, because I realized that I didn’t miss any of their comics enough to pick them back up after six months. It’s not that I hated them, but it’s more like I was ambivalent toward them, which doesn’t equate to spending time or money on them. I have lots of stuff to read anyway.


ClarkKent_DC said:

I don't fully make the mark until I've given up hope the title will "get good again." 

Jeff of Earth-J said:

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...

ClarkKent_DC said:

Captain Comics said:

Hunh. This is a hard conversation for me to contribute to. I don't fit any of the models presented so far.

Really? I thought you stated things pretty clearly in this thread: "The Day I Stopped Buying Spider-Man"

I haven’t done Spider-Man yet? (I thought I had.) Spider-Man is one of those titles that’s been around for so long I recognize more than one “classic” period. For Spider-Man I count…

The original Stan Lee/Steve Ditko/John Romita version and…

The Roger Stern/John Romita, Jr. version.

Whereas “Sins Past” did ruin Spider-Man for me, “One More Day” is the final nail in the coffin that I cannot get past. Like many of those who commented on Cap’s “The Day I Stopped Buying Spider-Man” discussion (linked by Kelvin above), I, too, am a Lee/Romita man.

I think Steve Ditko had some legitimate complaints against Stan Lee, Martin Goodman and Marvel Comics. But he wasn’t John Galt. If he had been John Galt, Spider-Man would have crashed and burned after he left, but it didn’t; it got better. (IMO, anyway.) That it didn’t crash and burn per his expectation shook his Objectivist philosophy and left him, to outward appearances, anyway, a bitter man.

After the Roger Stern/John Romita, Jr. run, I think I “draw the line” at the Michelinie/McFarlane run. I would be content to draw it at issue #300, but I would also be willing to include their entire run together in “my” continuity. But not McFarlane’s solo run… definitely not that.

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