The Years Have Pants

Want to pick up a comic book or graphic novel and don’t know where to start? Our panel has a bunch of very different ideas for you to choose from! We’ve made a list of nearly two dozen for you to try—all available in collections, all ready to pick up without knowing anything about history or backstory or continuity or anything.

Jason Snell with Chip Sudderth, David J. Loehr, Lisa Schmeiser, John McCoy and Nathan Alderman


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Previous Episodes

He’ll Always Be Goldballs To Me

Make more mutants! Comic Book Club re-forms to discuss “House of X”/”Powers of X”, a paired set of comics miniseries that are an exciting new take on the X-Men. If you’re an old-school mutant fan who has been out of the business for years (like Jason), these 12 issues are a great read. They’re all available in a single collection, and the issues are also now rolling out weekly on Marvel Unlimited, so there are plenty of ways to partake. We discuss the politics of mutant separatism, the wisdom of backing up souls to a hard drive, the difference between Xavier and MLK, the many lives of Moira MacTaggart and how they free us from the burden of continuity, and much more. Finally, Moisés advises us on what to read among the follow-up series that were released in the wake of this book.

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Moisés Chiullan and Sarah Gardner


I Wrote a Letter to Myself

“Paper Girls” is a comic that looks like it’s steeped in ’80s nostalgia, then makes you think it’s a modern story commenting on ’80s nostalgia, and then takes a 90-degree turn and becomes something even more interesting. This week we discuss the comic by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, which begins as a story about four girls delivering newspapers on a morning in 1988. The first 25 minutes or so is all spoiler-light, and then after the Spoiler Horn we jump into our discussion of the first two trade-paperback collections. (There are five volumes in all, with the sixth and final collection due this summer.)

Paper Girls

Jason Snell with Quinn Rose, John McCoy, Erika Ensign and Aleen Simms


A Surprising Number of Spider-Meetings

Spin a web, any size, and join us as our Comic Book Club discusses the comics from 2014 that inspired “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and, more generally, the concept of alternate versions of Spider-Man. We read “Edge of Spider-Verse,” which introduces Spider-Gwen and Peni Parker, and the “Spider-Verse” issues of “Amazing Spider-Man.” Along the way we talk about our favorite alternate spiders and what path the makers of “Into the Spider-Verse” might choose as they ponder sequels and spin-offs.

Jason Snell with Tony Sindelar, Moisés Chiullan, Dan Moren and Chip Sudderth


Quantum Computer for Violence

Step through a teleportation door and boot up your brain’s fight computer, because our Comic Book Club has returned to discuss DC’s “Midnighter.” He’s was once a Batman analogue but now he’s his own man, with no secret identity, a penchant for strategic violence, and an amazing dating profile. And thanks to three recent trade-paperback collections written by Steve Orlando, you can get to know this singular superhero as he journeys from Oakland to Boston to various made-up DC Comics cities.

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser and Joe Rosensteel


You Had Me at ‘Splorch’

Comic book movies got you down? Too much of the same old thing? This episode has the cure for what ails you, as we pitch a bunch of great comics that we’d like to see get the big-screen treatment that would be guaranteed to enliven the genre. And maybe along the way, we’ll add to your comics reading list, too.

Jason Snell with John McCoy, David J. Loehr, Monty Ashley, Moisés Chiullan and Lisa Schmeiser


Pants-Wearing Dragons

We’ve spoken many times about the great deal the Marvel Unlimited all-you-can-read comic subscription service can be… but if you’ve got tens of thousands of comics available to you, where do you start? We convened our Comic Book Club to come up with 20 suggestions—ranging from single issues to long runs and major events—that will help you make the most of a month or a year of Marvel Comics.

Jason Snell with Moisés Chiullan, Lisa Schmeiser, Chip Sudderth and Monty Ashley


Vampire Batman

There are a million stories in Kurt Busiek’s “Astro City”—and that’s why we love this comic-book anthology series. From alien invaders to creepy floating protectors to regular everyday people, the broad canvas of “Astro City” awards the reader with short stories and longer arcs. Plus: What are we reading?

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, David J. Loehr, Shannon Sudderth and Tony Sindelar


Kitty’s in Space Now

We celebrate all of mutantkind with a broad discussion of Marvel’s Uncanny X-Men, especially the versions we grew up reading in comics. What makes their outsider status resonate? Where should new readers start? And we choose some of our favorite X-Men characters in a sequence of choices that is definitely not a draft.

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Merlin Mann, Helene Wecker and Monty Ashley


I Think I’m Still Confused

Comic Book Club returns with a discussion of Kieron Gillan and Jamie McKelvie’s “The Wicked + The Divine.” It’s a story about the temporary return of a pantheon of gods, and touches on issues of fame, youth culture, and—as Wikipedia informs us—pop music. Fortunately, there’s also a murder-mystery plot to drive everything forward. Plus: Lisa tells us what comics to read next!

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Aleen Simms, Shannon Sudderth and Tony Sindelar


The Answer is One Elephant

In this edition of Comic Book Club, we discuss one of Marvel’s newest heroes, Kamala Khan, the star of G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona’s “Ms. Marvel.” She’s a Muslim from New Jersey, so in some ways she’s a very different kind of Marvel super hero, but she’s also a tortured teen trying to come to terms with her identity—so in other ways, she’s very much the model of a Marvel super hero. Plus: What are we reading?

Jason Snell with Lisa Schmeiser, Shannon Sudderth, Aleen Simms and Tony Sindelar


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