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The comic book scene is a vibrant one. Marvel and DC are obviously the heavy-hitters, while the likes of Titan Comics, IDW, and Image also claim a significant stake in the market. Everyone has an online site you can go to.
Fans might turn to comic book sites like CBR or Bleeding Cool by default, but there are plenty of other great websites packed with fantastic content, all ready to be your new favorites.
Hero Collector caters for that common trait found in most comic book fans: the desire to collect. As such, it has an affiliated shop selling the Eaglemoss’ partworks, and subsequently covers all the latest and upcoming releases.
But even if you’re not interested in these collectibles, there’s plenty of related news, reviews, and features. You’re not bombarded with meaningless listicles or spoiler-filled articles revealing what happens in the comics sitting in your “To Read” pile. That’s not to say it’s not a packed schedule: just one that rations out an ideal mix of attention-grabbing topics and more eclectic features.
Editor Will Potter says:
“While regularly covering subjects such as Doctor Who, Star Trek, Marvel, DC, Alien and The Walking Dead, I’m particularly happy to have commissioned and published features recommending less well-known comic-book titles, such as Giant Days, and Head Lopper. We’ve had Nick Abadzis open up about writing Doctor Who comics, and run lengthy interviews with established artists like Dave Gibbons, Duncan Fegredo, and Charlie Adlard.”
Try this feature: The site has a useful calendar to keep you up-to-date with all the imminent movies, TV shows, and partworks—including an extensive database of synopses!
Here’s a comic book site with a big difference. Forget traditional news and reviews: WriteUps.org (also known as the WORG) is an encyclopedia of characters from comics, films, and games (both video and table-top).
It’s a similar approach to wikis but has a clearer layout. It feels less of an infodump. It’s plain and bright, littered with appropriate images from across the ages. The site is supported by advertisements (and donations), but they don’t feel intrusive. Plus they’re typically for graphic novels, which fans won’t mind seeing anyway.
This is a community which knows its stuff. So, you will find a lot of information on every character. WriteUps.org nonetheless boasts nearly 5,800 separate profiles, at the time of writing.
These aren’t confined solely to the Big Names like Captain America, the Flash, or the Daleks. Some incredibly obscure characters are featured, and they’re not glossed over either. After a brief introduction, their complete histories are listed, alongside memorable quotes.
It feels so fresh due to its jovial attitude to the source material—the writers aren’t afraid to include something tongue-in-cheek or note when something or someone is just a bit tacky.
Under the second part of the bio for Werewolf by Night, for example, it notes that the profile is “one entry in a series, or perhaps a part of a howl.” Bravo indeed.
Try this feature: You will love the Random entries button, which gives you a lucky dip of profiles from all sorts of genres. Even the most hardcore fans will learn a lot.
The scope and ambition of ComicsVerse is very admirable. Yes, the “funny pages” are its main focus. However, the site also covers webcomics, manga and anime, and video games.
You’ll see plenty of things you’d expect to find on a site dedicated to comics. But the team further has an eye on the culture of the books, and how these can inform societal change. It sounds like quite a demanding challenge, but there’s enough sincerity there to carry the core messages of acceptance.
This is partly because CEO Justin Gilbert Alba says comics saved his life. In an emotional piece, he recalls his first experience reading the X-Men:
“It wasn’t just an escape from anxiety and terror at school […] Reading X-Men taught me how to treat a romantic partner the right way. I learned that I wanted to be a better human being reading X-Men. That was where I learned to accept myself.”
The team is rightly proud of its archive of interviews, with industry legends like Marv Wolfman, John Romita Jr., and David Mack. In fact, if you go to events like the New York Comic Con, you might even see one of the Comics Verse crew talking to the pros.
Try this feature: Many of these interviews are available as podcasts on iTunes. They cater to a wide variety of tastes as they discuss themes and motifs in comics and graphic novels.
4. MCU Exchange
Comics aren’t a niche subject that comparatively few love anymore. They’re huge. In 2008, when Iron Man was released, we doubt anyone outside Marvel could’ve predicted that the Average Joe would be familiar with the Guardians of the Galaxy soon after. But here we are, in an age where Black Panther is as loved as Spider-Man.
It’s the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) that launched the comics industry into the limelight. This site dedicates itself to everything coming out of Marvel Studios and is perfect for fans of Avengers.
This is a critical time too. After the as-yet-unnamed Avengers 4 in 2019, the future of the MCU is up in the air. We really don’t know what’s going to happen; a lot of excitement lies ahead, but the specifics are elusive right now. MCU Exchange keeps you updated on all the latest developments, trailers and clips, interviews, and rumors.
Don’t expect to find anything about the franchises not currently owned by Marvel… but the Fox/Disney deal is expected to conclude by Summer 2019. The X-Men and Fantastic Four should be integrated into the MCU very soon!
MCU Exchange isn’t solely concerned with the blockbusters either: it covers everything that goes on in that universe, like Agents of SHIELD, Runaways, and the Netflix superhero shows, including Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
Some fans might share the same view as writer, Alan Moore, that comics should be their own medium, entirely separate from films. And that’s a fair notion; comics definitely deserve more appreciation than they get.
Still, if the MCU means more people get to enjoy these stories, get to love these characters, then that’s surely a good thing. It’s difficult to argue against the power of comics on the big screen after seeing the enthusiasm on MCU Exchange.
Try this feature: Obsessed with Marvel world? Try the supercut videos on the site or on their YouTube channel.
Start Your Comic Book Adventures
A fan since the age of 3, I get immense joy knowing others can finally see how wonderful comics are. That passion has grown and seemingly consumed the world. Marvel-lous indeed.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a long-term enthusiast or a complete newbie. These comic book sites are an ideal way to learn more about this perpetually-busy industry.
And once you’ve done reading about comics, you should definitely pick up as many as you can. Concerned about the cost? Have no fear. You can try Comixology Unlimited, the genre’s own version of Netflix, or even read graphic novels completely free on Amazon!