Tales of a Quitter
Oftentimes a comic-book hero will appear fully formed in the first issue; only later is his or her back story revealed. BY MIKE MILIARD

Straight from the author's mouth
Dan Savage! Salman Rushdie! Chris Elliot!? The fall-readings schedule has something for everyone. BY NINA MACLAUGHLIN

Crisis counseling
DC Comics embarks on a seven-month story that destroys its heroes and ups the stakes for villains. BY BERNARD MARX

The bleak and the beautiful
With Boston and its suburbs as backdrop, David Crouse pulls light from darkness. BY NINA MACLAUGHLIN