Marvelette Missives – Digging Up the Past

I believe that if you are truly a fan of something, you should gather as much knowledge about it as you can (and, as a fan, you’re going to want to know everything anyway). This is particularly true of comic books characters, especially those with a long history. Sure, you can get origin stories and details on wiki sites or, sometimes, through a publisher’s website. But whenever possible, reading the actual stories is the best way to immerse yourself in the character.

I’ve been doing this recently with two characters: Deadpool and She-Hulk. Now with Deadpool it’s pretty easy to get his comics in collected form because he’s so popular. The only difficulty is that there have been so many Deadpool titles over the past few years it’s not easy to keep track. But since I’ve loved him since he first showed up, I do have his early adventures anyway. So I’m rereading some things and catching up on others.

As for She-Hulk, she’s never been unpopular (she is, after all, a primary member of A-Force), but she’s never had a huge degree of popularity. Though she’s shown up with various teams, in other characters’ books and as other incarnations (Red She-Hulk, the She-Hulks), her own titles haven’t had much staying power: Savage She-Hulk was 25 issues, Sensational She-Hulk (where I first grew to love the character) made it 60 issues, She-Hulk in 2004/5 made it to 12, She-Hulk 2005-09 was 38 issue and the most recent She-Hulk from 2014 made it to only 12 issues. Overall, that’s not a lot of reading to catch up on the character and, for me, a lot is rereading of the issues I got when they were first released.

So at the moment I’m making my way through the Essential Savage She-Hulk, her true origin from the early 1980s. It’s a title I never read so it’s been interesting. And it’s amusing to read the style of 80s comics… so much recapping at the beginning of every issue, making things very obvious and in your face, explaining every detail. It’s the good and the bad – getting everything even though you don’t really need it. But it’s still a good read.

I advise any comic lover to dig into their fave characters’ pasts – you might find out some things that surprise you.