In essence, what separates the good comic series from the bad? Why do you read every issue of a one series, but stop after reading a few comics of another series?
This is a cool topic. I hope it gets more replies. I think part of the problem is that it's hard to pin this down. I can ramble on about some things that I like about characters/writers/etc. but those same elements would be present in a lot of other titles. So it wouldn't necessarily be a sufficient answer.
Mostly, I suppose it's character. In every character I've ever closely followed, I see aspects of myself. Or, at times, aspects of their personality that I'd wish to emulate. Usually a mix of both. It's the lone reason I latched onto Doctor Who so hard, why Spider-Man will forever be my favorite "big" character, and probably why many of the characters Warren Ellis writes appeal so much to me. It's not what makes a book good, but it's what makes it good to me
I think it needs to feel believable, and match expectations. If you're reading a Thor book, the expectation is different in tone, plot, dialogue, etc. compared to, say, Green Arrow. And by believable, you need to be able to actually understand the plot structure, but more importantly the characters and their motivations. This is why Age of Ultron was the worst big event I've ever read. Inconsistent, entirely removed from expectations, and I wasn't affected by anything that happened.
Character defining moments. That image of Superman saving a girl about to commit suicide? THAT is Superman. That's what people remember, when their eyes watered and they walked away from a comic affected. Or a well-handled death. Or a heroic moment. Or an insanely incredible battle. Capturing the zeitgeist of a character isn't always easy, but it's what imprints a character on our minds. It's why a single story arc can make Ted Kord a beloved character. It's why I don't read Invincible, but that epic, brutal fight he had (if you've seen it, you know the one) is one of the best fight sequences I've ever witnessed. It's why every time the Doctor does something brilliant and cleverly vanquishes a foe, I get chills.
I'm also a sucker for anything that appeals to my sense of intellectualism, that deals intelligently with higher-minded topic than you'd traditionally find. It's why Gaiman, Morrison, and Moore are considered artists. It's also, to me, where the medium shines, because any of us can have an intellectual discussion, but to present it visually, in the context of a greater story, is far more fascinating. We see the ideas in action before our eyes. When handled in a way that isn't condescending or childish, this is the true power of the comic medium to me.
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