(Illustration: Nick Wanserski)

Comics content is hardly difficult to come by these days, what with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the comparatively straight-forward but time-bending X-Men franchise, and Hollywood’s attempt to squeeze every last dollar from comics stories. Be it because rabid fans demand it or for their own unfathomable reasons, we’re living in a glut of comics leaving pages for screens big and small. So this week, we carve time out for content beyond the endless adaptations. Today we showcase the second-stringer sidekicks, the meta-ness of comics with creators inserting themselves into the pages, and the cautionary tale of a video game adaption.

Tomorrow Gwen Ihnat details the importance of Wonder Woman in the context of the ’70s, and our comics team tackles Raina Telgemeier’s seminal Smile in the newly reinstated Back Issues feature. Stick around for resident comics historian Tim O’Neil’s very funny examination of Batman Forever’s soundtrack, and Caitlin Rosberg’s thoughtful interrogation of the state of self-published comics, both coming later this week. We cap it off with A.V. Club comics maestro Oliver Sava’s interview with Jordie Bellaire, an illustrator who is absolutely everywhere in 2016.

Meanwhile, be sure to check out our new Comics Page if you haven’t yet, which gives our favorite comics creators a platform for pop-culture comics.