10 Great Comics You Didn't Understand The First Time

If at first you don't realize its supposed to be a deconstruction, you may be Zack Snyder.

DC Comics

Despite having once been perceived as a juvenile artform, comics are nevertheless exactly that: an artform. And like all art, it is based upon layers. Text gives way to subtext which gives way to symbolism and themes, ultimately relaying the underlying message that the writer was trying to impart with their story.

However, because lots of readers are ready to take comics at their face value, a lot of this hard work and artistry is left unappreciated upon first view. It can sometimes take multiple read-throughs before the inherent message of a comic to finally be understood.

And with comic book culture quickly being integrated into the wider zeitgeist, the consequences of not taking the time to close read them can be pretty disastrous. Consider the fact that Zack Snyder clearly didn't understand that Watchmen was supposed to be a deconstruction of the superhero genre. Or that the Death of Superman was a publicity stunt to sell comics and not supposed to be taken seriously. Or that Jimmy Olsen is kind of an important part of the Superman mythos. Or that Batman doesn't kill, ever.

Don't be Zack Snyder. Take the time to understand the material.


A writer, blogger, comedian, and actor in New York City, Mason relishes any opportunity to discuss his favorite topics. He has many strong opinions on all facets of media and pop culture.