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Old April 4 2011, 04:46 AM   #1
JD
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Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

I was just wondering how exactly it works when there are multiple comic book series following the same character.
For example I was just on wikipedia reading about Batman, and it says that Batman, Batman: The Dark Knight, Batman and Robin, Batman Inc. and Superman/Batman are all ongoing right now. And I know there have been times, like Spider-Man's Back in Black storyline, where one storyline will cross between all of the series. So how does this work? Are the different story arcs just going on one at a time, or is each one in a different continuity or something else?If I want to fully follow a certain hero(ine) will I need to read all of the series to get the full effect?
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Old April 4 2011, 04:48 AM   #2
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

Honestly, it depends. At various times, at various points in a character's history, comic book companies have handled it different ways. Sometimes the stories are all integrated, sometimes they're kept separate, and often it's a little bit of both.

There's no hard and fast rules.
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Old April 4 2011, 01:38 PM   #3
Kai "the spy"
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

Well, in general (and that is as far as I understand it) there are two different ways to go.

One, the books are all relatively independent from one another, with only major changes being passed from one creative team to the other through the editor.

The other one, the books work really as one series and the writers have to work closer together, giving the editor that much more work.

While the first option is used very often, as examples are the current Superman books, the Batman books for the most part (not the current ones, I'm afraid) and Marvel's X-titles, good examples for the second option are the current Batman books and, especially, the 90s Superman books (those really were very tied together, with the editor and writers having regular meetings similar to the producers and writing staff of a TV show).
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Old April 4 2011, 01:45 PM   #4
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

It usually gets played as a joke. For example, right now Wolverine is in the starring character in around ten books, and they just make jokes about how busy he is. In addition to his solo titles and solo mini-series, he's the star of X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, New Avengers, Avengers, X-Force...
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Old April 4 2011, 02:16 PM   #5
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

JD wrote: View Post
For example I was just on wikipedia reading about Batman, and it says that Batman, Batman: The Dark Knight, Batman and Robin, Batman Inc. and Superman/Batman are all ongoing right now.
Not to mention Detective Comics, Batman & Robin, Batman: Streets of Gotham (just finished) and Gates of Gotham and Europa starting soon, along with guest appearances in things like Gotham City Sirens.
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Old April 4 2011, 07:34 PM   #6
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

So are all of those about Dick Grayson then? Or do some follow Bruce Wayne too?
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Old April 4 2011, 09:12 PM   #7
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

With X-men, they ocassionally split up the group into different teams-this started during the early 90s, when the second X-men series was introduced when X-factor rejoined the team. However, with all the crossovers they kind of eventually ignored this. They've tried it a few times since-notably in 2001 when the team was split into three, and I think they've done it recently as well (It's hard to keep up with X-men!)
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Old April 5 2011, 12:35 AM   #8
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

Bruce Wayne is in Batman Inc and Dark Knight.
Dick Grayson is in Detective, Batman, and Batman and Robin.
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Old April 5 2011, 02:59 AM   #9
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

^ This is correct. Dick is also the Batman in Justice League of America right now and will be for the foreseeable future, basically as long as Robinson is writing the book.

Batman: Dark Knight is David Finch's baby. It's telling a separate self-contained storyline that is still under the Batman, Inc. branch.
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Old April 11 2011, 08:43 PM   #10
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

Actually this (having characters in multiple comic books) can become a problem if anybody wants to read up on a particular character or event in a more or less chronological order. Basically it's the old crossover problem where in order to tie everything together you have to buy into several books.

This means that something like Spider-Man becomes a problem to follow - When is it that a particular story that was covered in ASM (Amazing Spider-Man, the flagship title) "breaks" down and gets covered in "other" titles. I remember trying to read something related to either The Other or storylines from that period and from a six-part (six-issue) story, only 3 parts or so were covered in the flagship title of ASM. For the others, it was other titles that needed to be "bought" (or read at the library, in my case). It's basically a ploy to boost sales of a different book. That's why I really liked it when Marvel for a little while "shut down" their other Spidey titles and made ASM 3-times a month. {Edit - It's too bad that they did that right after One More Day which did bad things for Spidey's character-set being a major "reboot"/retcon of Spidey history. Oh well...}

I am right now in the process of reading the Blackest Night hardcovers and it's a major problem keeping it all straight in the head. eg. I am reading the Green Lantern Corps Blackest Night collection and the Green Lantern Blackest Night collection. In one of the Green Lantern parts, Munk (one of the Indigo tribe's lanterns) is sent by Indigo-1 (I think that's her name, to Oa to help the lanterns). He just disappears from the story at that point in the Green Lantern collection. When I read the GLC collection, there he appears (somehow magically) to warn/help the GLs against the Black Lanterns. I had to stop and stretch my mind to remember that how he got here was covered in a side story.
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Old April 11 2011, 08:46 PM   #11
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

Good thing that Amazing Spider-Man is the only Spider-Man title out there right now. Yeah I'm annoyed at the multiple book thing. It's something that that has kept me from following the X-Men franchise currently.
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Old April 11 2011, 09:46 PM   #12
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

^Yeah, but at least with X-Men it sounds like each book features a different team. Ok, I've decided that I wanted to start my comic reading with Green Lantern, so I was wondering what would be the best order to read the stuff they have for the PSP.
They have
Secret Origin
Rebirth
Green Lantern Corps: Recharge
No Fear
Green Lantern: A Perfect Life #1 - Mystery of the Star Saphhire #3
Sinestro Corps War
Rebirth
GLC Vol. 1 #1-9
Emeral Warriors #1
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Old April 11 2011, 10:30 PM   #13
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

^ Yep that'd be a good reading order for the Johns era. Uncanny X-Men seems to be the flagship X-Men book right now. I think Marvel intended Astonishing X-Men to be more high profile by having Warren Ellis on the title but I wasn't interested in his story at all. I liked adding Storm to the roster though.
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Old April 12 2011, 10:26 PM   #14
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

No no no no!

(well - maybe not that vehement )

I think to start with the Geoff Johns era you should start with Rebirth and Recharge and read "Secret Origins" only at it's proper time (in the published order).

I strongly recommend using this Amazon list as a timeline for the GL-centric collections to read.

Please note that while it covers everything GL, when you come to Blackest Night there are a few more Blackest Night related trades than are covered by the above list. That's cos the list is focusing only on the GL and GLC related items. And as these other collections talk about other people (Catwoman, Atom etc.) I think they are not being collected in this GL/GLC-centered list.

I have used that list for the longest time for doing my GL-specific reading and thank the list-creator/maintainer "Drake" - he has done a good job keeping it updated and listing future collections.

Edit- What's "A Perfect Life"? Might be prior to the reboot? (or maybe I haven't come across it as yet)
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Old April 12 2011, 11:59 PM   #15
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Re: Multiple omic book series focusing on the same character

I didn't get anything when I clicked on the link. The address came up, but the page was blank.
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