Saturday, July 7, 2012

Not the Intended Audience

On Thursday, I talked a little about my comic book dilemma. I need back story. I need to understand where the character is coming from.

I thought I found the perfect solution the other day when my family walked into a local comic book shop (one in the town where we live, rather than our regular store near my husband's employer). On the shelf were two comic books (numbers one and three in a set) about the character, Black Widow, from the Avenger's movie.

First of all, I loved that movie! I could go on and on about all the things I loved in that movie (Tony's snark, Mark Ruffalo's brilliant portrayal of the layers of Bruce Banner, Hulk taking on the pompous Loki, etc.). I thought I could really get into a comic book series about a great, strong, female character like Black Widow.

My first clue that this series might not be all I'm looking for was the fight scene in the first book where Black Widow has to fight back during an attack in her underwear.


My first thought was, "This was obviously written by a man." I know - that is a completely unfair stereotype - for all I know, this is totally in keeping with that elusive back story I'm always looking for. But the questions started there.

Then, at our regular shop, Scott and I were talking about the missing second book in my set (I was waiting to read #3 until the other store had #2, which the owner said he would hold for me). The manager of that store seemed very eager to steer me toward some other Black Widow titles - any other titles. Feeling too shy to ask for more information, I took pictures of the other titles they had for future reference, but didn't buy any of them.

My absolutely fabulous husband then directed me here for a more helpful assessment of my options if I want to read more about Black Widow. The fact that the blogger dubbed the series I had picked up "quite terrible," I was not eager to pick up issue #2 and finish the series. But, as the owner had made a commitment to hold a copy for me, I picked it up and finished the series.

The story line was okay, having nothing to compare it to (yet), but finishing the series left me convinced that I was not the intended audience. The characterization was flat and shallow, but the cleavage was the opposite. I definitely need to do more research before wading into the vast sea of comic book options.

Do you read comics? Have any good recommendations for me?

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