Why are comic book character rundowns popular?

A trend that’s been prevalent for years has been nagging at me lately—as well as since it started—comic book character and story run-down videos on YouTube.

Ask yourself: Would I rather watch a movie or be told what happened? The correct answer—from my perspective—is watch. So, why have hundreds, maybe thousands, of YouTube channels popped up that provide videos explaining comic book characters and stories to anyone with access to the internet?

Well, it’s difficult to comprehend when you’re someone who grew up reading comic books before the rise of the internet. If I wanted to know what happened in a story, I went to the local comic book store, and bought the issue. Those were fond memories that immersed me in this industries culture. But now, because comic book movies have become so popular, people seem to be more interested in being told what happened in back issues rather than read them for context when going into the next comic book movie blockbuster.

In this video by the YouTube channel ComicPOP, viewers are provided with a strong less than two-minute breakdown of the Marvel Comics character Thanos, The Mad Titan.

Moviegoers will recognize him as the background villain who has popped up in numerous movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, it makes sense that people want to know his backstory, and this video does a nice job of quickly telling those unfamiliar with the character where he comes from, what his powers are, and intriguing insights into his motivations for his obsession with death.

This video accomplishes what many new comic book fans, as well as this generation, are hungry for: small, snit-bit visual clips to illustrate a topic they’re interested in but neither have the time or resources to do the leg work.

American comic books have been around since the release of “Action Comics #1” in June 1938, nearly 80 years ago, so that’s a hefty amount of reading one needs to do if they want to get caught up. However, you don’t need to go that far back and many modern comic books give solid contextual background on character origins. Comic books are also expensive, but there are solid trade paperbacks that collect several issues into one collective piece. One I’d recommend for Thanos is “Thanos Rising” by Jason Aaron.

But if you are bombarded with the heavy burden of life to read for yourself, then this video from ComicPop and the channel is a good supplement.

Written by Eric Bradach


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