“I just don’t get the appeal of them.” Fleur exclaimed one afternoon after noticing a whole stack of comic books in Margo’s office.
“How could you not like them?” Margo scoffed, incredulously. She dumped a pile of comics onto Fleur’s desk.
“They’re full of exciting characters with interesting powers who. It’s a world where good always wins. How is that not a good thing?” Margo asked. That was all that was said on the subject but it left Fleur with a lot to think about.
Fleur had followed Margo and Tom to a vintage comic book convention to help her understand what all the fuss is all about. There was people dressed in costumes of their favourite superhero. Fleur felt underdressed in the room full of costumed fans.
“I don’t see why people would want to dress up as fictional characters.” Fleur said, scanning her brown eyes around the room. Margo, dressed as wonder woman, laughed bitterly and put a patronising arm around the French girl’s shoulder.
“Why wouldn’t you want to want to pretend to be someone else for a day? Someone who’s a hero and always succeeds.” Margo explained, adjusting her wig.
“Why don’t they just become a hero themselves?” Fleur asked. Tom scoffed in response, he was dressed as Superman. Fleur is a very closeminded person and she finds it hard to enjoy new things.
“Well, what do you enjoy collecting?” Tom interrogated.
“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve collected antique perfume bottles.”
“You must have some sentimental connection to why you collect perfume bottle.” They just wanted to share something they enjoy with her, they didn’t expect her to be so objective towards it. She always preferred things that have a logical explanation, superheroes are not logical enough for her. She wandered around the convention centre, asking people why they enjoy superheroes.
“Well, they always defeat the villains.” One person answered her.
“No matter their origin stories, they’re the good guys.” Another person replied. Fleur had brought a leather-bound notebook with her so that she could scribble down the answers that she hears while at the event.
“What have you been doing?” Tom and Margo asked when they were reunited with the pristine girl.
“Research.” Was simply all she said. She took one final look around the venue before leaving to get her Uber. The room was full of tables adorned in comic books or merchandise of their favourite superheroes or supervillains, there was people dressed up as their favourite characters, which Fleur learned is called ‘cosplaying’.
“What is that you’re reading?” Fleur inquired when she saw a comic book in Margo’s hands.
“Just a Spiderman.” She put the comic book down and faced her, expecting her to continue asking questions.
“I hear a lot of comic books are vintage and worth a lot of money. Is that one?”
“If it was, I wouldn’t be reading it like this.” Margo’s reply was slightly more abrupt than she expected, but she was getting frustrated that she keeps getting questions about something that she enjoyed so much. Fleur was good at reading the atmosphere of the room and decided to leave it at that, retreating to her desk to type up the notes from her last case.
No research is complete without testing, so Fleur had found herself in a comic book store. She was nervous as she knew that the fans of these books can be quite intimidating. Trying to straighten her posture, she walked up to the counter.
“Can I help you, Love?” The shopkeeper had a thick northern accent. He must have been in his early 50s and was dressed in a Marvel t shirt.
“Hello, I’m interested in buying a comic book?” Fleur mentally cursed herself for sounding so inexperienced and lost.
“What kind? There’s a lot here, darlin’?” He panned his hand around the small store, showing to her the amount of stock he had.
“Well what would you recommend to a new reader?”
“Here, have this one.” She didn’t even get a chance to read the title of the novel before it was placed in a brown, paper bag and rung up on the till.
“£15.50.” The man demanded. Fleur thought it was overpriced for a small graphic novel, but she wasn’t going to look stupid in front of that man. So, with immense reluctance, she pulled out a £20 note and handed it to the shopkeeper. She stood waiting a moment, expecting the man to give her the change but he didn’t. Instead he gave her a look as if asking why she was still here. She was taken aback by the shopkeeper but decided not to press the issue any further. Gracefully, she took the comic book off of the counter with a flourish and walked towards the door.
She spent all week in a cycle of reading a comic book, finishing it, then immediately going out to buy another one. She had become hooked on these simple books, finding the appeal in the brightly coloured art style. luckily, they were between cases so she could indulge as much as she could without having to worry about it distracting from her work. She was reluctant at first when she started reading, but as she finished each book, her love for the dramatic art style grew. Currently, she was wrapped in a blanket, listening to the thunder storm and reading yet another comic book. There was a knock at the door, Margo had come over to give her some case files for research.
“What have you been doing this week?” Margo asked, raising a smug eyebrow.
“I’ve been reading.” Fleur nonchalantly panned her arm around the room, displaying her ever-growing collection of comic books.
“I thought you hated comic books.”
“Yes, well, I changed my mind.” Fleur shrugged. She took the files from her co-worker and read them over, before nodding and placing them gently down on the coffee table.
“Yeah, these all seem fine.” She said dismissively, before jumping to her feet and ushering Margo out of her flat.
“Right, I bet you have loads to be getting on with today, so you should probably go do that?” She was practically pushing her out of her flat at this point.
“Why, so you can read more comic books?”