Upon the request of the Old Oilhouse’s Old Oil Master, I’ve decided to write a few semi-regular articles for the website. As you can imagine coming up with a topic for this is a challenge. The website has grown and diversified far beyond its origins and it’s not easy to find something original that other people aren’t talking about. We’ve got people talking about how DC is obsessed with crushing your long held affections for a man who had just one bad day, we’ve got people discussing how they became obsessed with a hobby where grown men and women buy toys and describe them as “collectibles”. We’ve got anime podcasts, movie podcasts and general podcasts. In short, the bases are well and truly loaded…covered…?
I’m probably getting that wrong, I don’t really understand basketball.
Something I’ve been doing more of late is comic reading. I tend to only read a handful of the mainstream material, partly because it’s often difficult to pick a starting point and partly because of the abusive relationship DC and Marvel have with their readership. So I tend to read smaller series or indie material or whatever. This has led me to some absolute gems like Age of Reptiles, Atomic Robo or Paradox Girl, and it has led me to some perhaps overrated books like Fables or Rat Girls. It has also led me to read A LOT of franchise comics.
BUT WAIT! I’m sure someone somewhere is yelling. All comics are a franchise. That’s very true. But what I’m talking about are comics based off of currently existing properties rather than comics such as Batman which are developed into a multimedia franchise.
The question is…are people right?
Are comics based off of a movie or a cartoon or a toy line inherently inferior to other properties? Are alien robots who turn into cars sillier and less than a man who can literally outrun death? In this series of articles which I’m afraid I can’t promise any regularity on, I’m going to discuss whether or not you, the comic reader, should take this comics seriously. I’ll be looking into the reasons behind making these comics; how I divide franchise comics into 3 categories; the debatable horror that is the franchise comic crossover; whether you as a reader should give these comics your money; and I’ll be doing a list of the franchise comics I’ve read which will give you the must avoids and absolutely must read series. We’ll also have a little chat about several comics you or someone you know THINKS is a franchise comic but really isn’t. So keep an eye on this space kids, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
I am Michael and I approve this ramble.
Micheal O'Sulivan is a long time host of the Moonbase 2 podcast, frequent contributor to the Old Oilhouse and Underbase, and can kill a horse with both hands tied behind your back. His hobbies include robot dinosaurs and angering Canadian Bears.
You can find him @Irishpalaeo on twitter!