NEW TO COMICS

New to Comics was a university project of mine during my Master’s Degree. At first, it was just a basic website that I had to maintain to get my grade. Then, for my final project, I started improving it and wrote out a business plan for a companion magazine, which earned me a distinction.

After I graduated, I made a couple of attempts to keep New to Comics alive as its own site, but now I’ve realised it would make more sense just to fold it into Geek Space.

The intention of New to Comics is to review, and explain the background behind, various comic books in a new-reader friendly way. Each ‘review’ has a character profile, some background information on the comic, a rundown of the plot, as well as a review.

You can find the various characters and stories I’ve looked at so far under the publishers below, or click on said publishers for more heroes and villains from their comics:

 

HEROES & VILLAINS:
 – – Batman (DC) – – Spider-Man (Marvel) – – C-3PO & R2-D2 (Star Wars) – – Luke Skywalker (Star Wars) – – Darth Vader (Star Wars) – – Doctor Manhattan (Watchmen) – – Preacher (Preacher) – – Invincible (Invincible) – – Cassie Hack (Hack/Slash) – –


BATMAN

Real Name: Bruce Thomas Wayne
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Detective Comics #27 (March 1939)

As a child, Bruce Wayne wanted for nothing – the son of some of the wealthiest and most respected people in Gotham City, Thomas and Martha Wayne, Bruce was, in essence, heir to the throne of Gotham. But all that changed when Bruce’s parents were gunned down in front of him, instilling in him a deep hatred for criminals that would hang over his entire life. Committing himself to become skilled in multiple disciplines such as combat and detective work, Bruce used the wealth and resources of the company he inherited from his father to become the vigilante known as the Batman. A figure of fear, Bruce now wages a war against crime with his trusty Batmobile and high-tech armoury of weapons, assisted by his loyal butler and father-figure Alfred, police commissioner Jim Gordon and his extended ‘Bat-family’ of sidekicks like Robin.

Comics: BATMAN: The Dark Knight Returns, Year One, The Killing Joke, War on Crime, The World’s Finest, The Wedding, Joker War, CRISIS on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis, JUSTICE LEAGUE: Liberty & Justice, Origin, The Villain’s Journey, Throne of Atlantis, The Grid, Trinity War, Forever Evil, LEGENDS, SUPERMAN: The Man of Steel 
Film & TV: Batman, Batman v SupermanThe LEGO Batman Movie, Justice LeagueJokerHarley Quinn: Season OneHarley Quinn: Season Two
Video-Games: Injustice: Gods Among UsInjustice 2


SPIDER-MAN

Real Name: Peter Benjamin Parker
Affiliation: The Avengers
First Appearance: Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)

A teenage science prodigy bit by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker initially used his powers (strength, speed, agility, wall-crawling and an intuitive ‘spider-sense’) as a showman.
However, after he neglected his responsibility to stop a criminal, that same criminal killed his Uncle Ben, teaching Peter that he must always use his powers for the good of others. Juggling adventures with caring for his elderly Aunt May, an on-again, off-again relationship with Mary-Jane Watson and trying to hold down a job, Peter strives to take his bad luck in stride to become one of the most prolific heroes in New York, using his years of experience, self-made gadgets and spectacular abilities as the amazing Spider-Man!
Although a horde of villains and hard times plague him at every turn, Peter refuses to give up his web-swinging ways, in the hopes that he can honour his Uncle and live up to the mantra that “With great power, there must also come great responsibility”.

Comics: SPIDER-MAN: Power & Responsibility, New Ways to Die, Spider-Verse, AVENGERS: Disassembled, Avengers WorldTime Runs OutCIVIL WARFANTASTIC FOUR: Monsters UnleashedINFINITY GAUNTLETNEW AVENGERS: Breakout, SECRET WARS,
Film & TV: Amazing Spider-Man 2, Civil WarHomecomingInfinity WarInto the Spider-Verse, EndgameFar From Home
Video-Games: Spider-Man


C-3PO & R2-D2

Real Name(s): C-3PO & R2-D2
Affiliation:
The Rebel Alliance
First Appearance: Star Wars [Movie – May 1977] 

A protocol droid fluent in over 6 million forms of communication and a scrappy astromech, C-3PO and R2-D2 first met on the desolate planet of Tattooine years before the rise of the Empire, when their owners, Padmé Amidala and Anakin Skywalker, first met. The droids were eventually reunited just prior to Skywalker and Amidala’s wedding, and served them both throughout the Clone Wars, often taking part in major battles and diplomatic missions alike. Through sheer happenstance, the two would often find themselves in the midst of the major conflicts that rocked the galaxy, as they were passed from owner to owner, eventually becoming companions of Padmé and Anakin’s children Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa. Despite having vastly different outlooks on how to approach any given situation, 3PO’s overly cautious nature and R2’s boisterous personality mean the pair often complement each other well, allowing them to survive whatever plight they’re faced by, and continue to aid against the fight against oppression. Throughout it all, despite their differences, the pair have remained firm friends, and are often first in line to blunder their way into whatever galaxy-wide threat presents itself. 

Comics: STAR WARS: Skywalker StrikesVader Down
Film & TV: The Phantom MenaceAttack of the ClonesThe Clone WarsClone Wars: Season 1, Clone Wars: Season 2, Clone Wars: Season 3, Clone Wars: Season 4, Clone Wars: Season 5, Clone Wars: The Final Season, Revenge of the SithRogue OneStar WarsThe Empire Strikes BackReturn of the JediThe Force AwakensThe Last JediThe Rise of Skywalker


LUKE SKYWALKER

Real Name: Luke Skywalker
Affiliation: The Rebel Alliance
First Appearance: Star Wars [Movie – May 1977]

Secretly the son of famed Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker and Queen-turned-Politician Padmé Amidala, farmboy Luke Skywalker lived a simple life on the desolate desert planet of Tattooine until the day his aunt and uncle were slaughtered by the evil Empire after coming into possession of two valuable droids.
Under the tutelage of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke set out on an adventure across the stars, meeting rogue smuggler Han Solo and his first mate Chewbacca, and helping Kenobi save Princess Leia Organa.
Now a part of the Rebel Alliance, Luke fights against the Empire, while learning the ways of the Jedi, hoping to master the power of the Force so that he can defeat the nefarious Darth Vader and his Emperor, Palpatine, as the ‘Last Jedi’.

Comics: STAR WARS: Skywalker StrikesVader Down 
Film & TV: Star WarsThe Empire Strikes BackReturn of the JediThe Force AwakensThe Last JediThe Rise of Skywalker


DARTH VADER

Real Name: Anakin Skywalker
Affiliation: The Galactic Empire
First Appearance: Star Wars [Movie – May 1977]

Rescued from a life of slavery by two Jedi Knights, young Anakin Skywalker was ushered away from his home planet of Tattooine and taken to the core world of Coruscant to be trained as a Jedi by Obi-Wan Kenobi. 
Skywalker rose through the ranks of the Jedi, becoming a great warrior during the clone wars, eventually taking on a Padawan of his own in Ahsoka Tano.
However, in blatant disregard for the Jedi Code, Anakin fell in love with and married senator Padmé Amidala, and his fear of losing her drove him to seek dark methods to save her from her fate. Corrupted by the Sith Lord Palpatine, Anakin turned against the Jedi and the Republic. But his quest for power could not save Padmé from her fate, and after being struck down by Obi-Wan, Anakin was confined to a life-support suit. Now reborn as a dark lord of the Sith, Anakin enacts Palpatine’s every command as his enforcer, Darth Vader.

Comics: DARTH VADER: VaderVader Down, STAR WARS: Skywalker Strikes 
Film & TV: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, The Clone Wars, Clone Wars: Season 1, Clone Wars: Season 2, Clone Wars: Season 3, Clone Wars: Season 4, Clone Wars: Season 5, Clone Wars: The Final Season, Revenge of the SithStar WarsThe Empire Strikes BackReturn of the Jedi


DOCTOR MANHATTAN

Real Name: Jonathan Osterman
Affiliation: The Crimebusters
First Appearance: Watchmen #1 (September 1986)

Jon Osterman was the son of a watchmaker, whose future prospects were obliterated by the dropping of the Atom Bomb on Hiroshima. Seeing that human history had forever been altered, his father altered Jon’s path, steering him away from watchmaking and towards nuclear physics. Years later, tragedy struck, as in hoping to recover a present from his lab coat for his girlfriend Janey Slater, Jon was trapped in a test chamber for ‘Intrinsic Fields’ and was disintegrated. Months later, however, empowered by the catastrophe, Jon began to will himself back into existence and was subsequently reborn as the God-like Doctor Manhattan, the first and only superhuman on his world. In this higher plane of existence, Jon began to experience time in a non-linear fashion, and after his transformation joined the superhero team the Crimebusters, fought in the Vietnam War, fell in love with the vigilante Silk Spectre, exiled himself to Mars, and eventually left the Solar System to explore other galaxies. Years later, he would reemerge once more, this time in the DC Universe, where he would use his powers to experiment with the fabric of reality.

Comics: WATCHMEN 
Film & TV: Watchmen


PREACHER

Real Name: Jesse Custer
Affiliation: The Church
First Appearance: Preacher #1 (April 1995)

In a bizarre turn of events, an angel and a demon found themselves falling in love. However, their affair was cut short when the demon became pregnant, leading her angelic lover to turn on her. In their ensuing fight, the child was born – a being with godlike powers. The being, ‘Genesis’, was locked away in heaven, until one day it escaped, and travelled to Earth. On Earth, Genesis merged with depressed preacher Jesse Custer, also the product of a manipulative and abusive upbringing at the hands of his grandmother – their union obliterating the town he lived in. Jesse awoke to learn that he now had the power to command anyone to do anything he told them to. Reuniting with his scorned ex-girlfriend Tulip O’Hare and his new friend, an Irish vampire named Cassidy, Jesse decided to set out and (literally) find God, after learning the deity has ‘quit’, and make him answer for what he’s done. 

Comics: PREACHER: Book One
Film & TV: N/A


INVINCIBLE

Real Name: Markus Sebastian Grayson
Affiliation:
The Pact
First Appearance: Invincible #1 (January 2003)

Mark Grayson was a normal teenaged boy, with one big difference – his father, Nolan Grayson, was the world’s greatest superhero: Omni-Man, defender of democracy. Hailing from the planet Viltrum, Nolan was once a member of a great warrior race who had achieved the perfect society on their home planet. Spreading out across the stars, his people began spreading their doctrine to different worlds, hoping to elevate them. With their numbers spread thin, Nolan took it upon himself to watch over Earth, and in time became its hero, fell in love and had a child. Years later, as his son Mark neared the end of high school, he finally began to develop powers of his own, donning his own costume and taking on the name Invincible. As one of the most powerful superheroes on the planet, Mark now does his best to balance his studies and saving the world, all the while dealing with his father’s legacy. 

Comics: INVINCIBLE: Family Matters, Eight is Enough, Perfect Strangers
Film & TV: N/A


CASSIE HACK

Real Name: Cassandra Hack 
Affiliation: 
N/A
First Appearance: Hack/Slash: Euthanised #1 (April 2004)

Something of an outcast, Cassie Hack was bullied at school, until her mother, Mrs Hack the lunch lady, stepped in and began murdering those who made fun of her daughter. After her mother killed herself to avoid being arrested, Cassie was taken into foster care and moved to another school. However, due to her connection to the infamous ‘Lunch Lady’, Cassie became the subject of bullying once more, causing her mother to return from the grave as a ‘slasher’ – killing those who tormented her daughter until Cassie was forced to step up and put her mother down for good. With no connection to anything or anyone, Cassie sought to atone for her feelings of guilt by fleeing her new home and travelling across the country hunting down and killing slashers. One such case led her to encounter the monstrous-looking Vlad, who soon became her best friend and companion on her quest to rid the world of these monsters. 

Comics: HACK/SLASH: First Cut, Death by Sequel, Hack/Slash vs Chucky
Film & TV: N/A