Beauology 101: Read Comics….Unite!

Beau Smith Is No Longer 15 Years Old.

Beau Smith Is No Longer 15 Years Old.


by Beau Smith

Somewhere in my very overcrowded mind there’s a data bank, hard drive, or monkey banging cymbals, that thinks there is no excuse why I shouldn’t know all of the past and current continuity of Marvel and DC comics like I used to as a kid.

It’s enough to where I catch myself blaming me for not knowing the who, what and where of every single Marvel and DC comic character. After all, I used to…..but that was 1969. This is 2019. Things have changed.

Avengers #70 From 1969

Avengers #70 From 1969


In 1969, Marvel comics was producing around 10 comic books a month and DC Comics a few more than that, around 22 I would guess.. As a 15 year old kid, it was easy for me to keep up with both publishers and the continuity of each character. A little easier with Marvel because they focused more on story and character continuity, not to an overload like today, but with roughly 10 books a month, it was much easier.

DC Comics didn’t seem to focus with a real month to month storyline; they were either standalone stories or some really off the wall books that were either licensed or anthologies. The Legion Of Superheroes seemed to always have the most continuity to me in 1969, but due to my personal taste, it was a comic book that I bought only when there was nothing else new in the spinner rack. Little did I dream that one day in the 1990s I would write a Legion Of Superheroes story for DC Comics. Even then, I have to admit, I had to ask my editor to really explain who was who, and what could they do.

Detective Comics in 1969

Detective Comics in 1969


Do I miss not being able to keep up with even the core characters of each publisher? Yeah, I do. I’d still like to be able to read, say, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Avengers, JLA, Batman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and so on….and still have a pretty good grasp what was current. Part of my problem is almost every issue is an event within an event. Events used to come once a year for maybe three issues or an Annual, but now it’s all the time, 24/7. (So it seems to me)

Angel And The Ape From 1969

Angel And The Ape From 1969


There are few “Fun” issues or comic books within the Marvel and DCU. There are “Snarky” comics, but very few, if any Fun issues. This could be because of editorial, writers, marketing departments…or all three. I’m not sure. But it is there.

From The Amazing Spider-Man Arc of Issue #31 through #33

From The Amazing Spider-Man Arc of Issue #31 through #33


True, I am no longer 15 years old. True, Marvel and DC Comics don’t just publish 10-22 comics a month. True, this is no longer 1969. I don’t want to travel back in time, I don’t want Marvel and DC to do that either, I just want things to focus and simplify a bit more. Simplification is not a bad word with a bad meaning, just as All Ages doesn’t mean “Kid’s Only.” There’s a reason why Amazing Spider-Man #31 through #33 is far better than any arc of Spider-Man in the last 25 years. (My opinion) There was focus, storyline build up, and then an issue or two to take a breath before the next build up. Today, you need an oxygen tank on your back.

This column in not a complaint; it’s an observation from the only mind I have view from. I love comic books as much or more than I did in 1969. I buy, support and write comic books. I just feel there is more to be had from comic books. If anything, call me greedy. There is potential for comics books to be Fun, to have character, and the now and again event, but moderation is the key as well as focus.

Comic books aren’t a clique, they’re the common bond, one to unite a lot of people from a lot of different walks of life.

Read comics…Unite!

Beau Smith

The Flying Fist Ranch

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter at @BeauSmithRanch

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