The biggest hurdle for getting into superhero comicbooks is know the difference between all the different lines. What is the difference between "52" and "The New 52!"? what does "Marvel NOW!" mean? Do I need all of the books in a line before continuing to the next one? AH!
Don't stress. Chances are, comic readers know a bit about what happened in the line before what's currently being published. If they don't, they'll google it. Depending on your budget, you can invest in an entire line or event before moving on, but it's also nice to stay current and grab the books being published now.
Sometimes, a new line = a completely new storyline. The one before it may be referenced, but a new line could entail a "reboot" - starting at the character's origin and moving forward. This decision is usually up to authors and the publisher, so there might be one character in a new line that was reboot, while a different character was not rebooted. For example, The Flash in DC's "Rebirth" line did not reboot his entire storyline, but Wonder Woman had a "soft" reboot - her storyline started at her origin in "Rebirth", but her previous adventures are still there, like a ghost memory of a former life.
Marvel, on the other hand, really likes to do "events". "Civil War" books had "A Marvel Universe Event" written on the bottom of the cover. They do have a few lines, like "Marvel NOW!" and "All-New, All-Different". These events span across characters, just like DC lines, but aren't always a complete reboot of the entire Universe.
For most comic readers, the specific reading order and completeness of a line/event isn't always important. Many readers grab whatever they can find and read in that order. However, for collection development purposes, it is best to have the following priorities:
It's not always possible to obtain all of the items in the line/event, but you probably won't hear too many complaints from your readers. Rather, they will complain if you don't have ANY of a particular character, or you're missing a volume within the set.
To read a complete breakdown of the DC Lines, Click here!
To find a complete breakdown of Marvel Comics by event, Click here!
This section is where I will post general information about graphic novels, news, or other things I feel are relevant to the development of graphic novel sections in libraries.
I've been reading Manga and comicbooks for years. Now, it's time to share my knowledge with you.
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