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New to Comics, Where to Begin?

TheSaylesManTheSaylesMan Registered User
edited January 2007 in Graphic Violence
Hello everybody,

I have a growing interest in comics, and I was wondering where to start? I have heard that the Marvel Ultimates is a good place, as it hasn't been in print for as long as other comics and one doesn't need extensive knowledge of the universe to get into it.

So I got the collected first twelve issues of Ultimate X-Men, and I enjoyed them. I was thinking of picking up the collection of the other series, such as Ultimate Avengers and Ultimate Spiderman. I've heard a lot of good things about the Ultimate series as a whole.

The only other thing I know I want to buy, other than the Ultimates, is an as yet unreleased graphic novel being published by a WildeTimes Studios. Seeing as I want to get in on things from the beginning, I figured it would be a good thing to snag a series that hasn't been read before.

Are there any series that are good for getting into DC comics? I just recently borrowed and read Kingom Come. I did enjoy it a lot, but I was very confused by the sheer amount of names that were being thrown around. Are there any simple Batman or Superman comics that deal with only them instead of the entire cast of DC?

Thanks for any answers in advance.


SERVO INTERRUPTS-

GODDAMMIT i'm sick of this thread topic. i'm going to sticky this thread and from now on if anyone posts a what should i read topic i will lock it and kill everyone everyone

TheSaylesMan on

Posts

  • SkulloSkullo Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    If you like the Ultimate Marvel universe, it's basically required for you to pick up The Ultimates (no Avengers here). It's pretty much typical Millar characters, but really badass.

    For DC, pick up Darwyn Cooke's "DC: The New Frontier". It'd work as a good introduction to the core of the DC 'verse, and is also just pure awesomeness.

    After that, if you want Batman AND Superman stuff, you can probablly just pick up "Batman/Superman". I read one trade and didn't really like it or hate it, but you might enjoy it.

    Aside from DC, I recommend getting into Robert Kirkman's "Invincible". I have yet to lend my trades to someone who hasn't loved them. It's been released in very convient hardcovers lately too, so it'd be easy to get your hands on.

    Skullo on
  • BriareosBriareos Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I think that the regular universes of both main publishers are equally hard to get into cold. On the other hand, I assume you generally know who Batman is, who Superman is, who Wonder Woman is, who Spider-man is, who Captain America is, who the Fantastic Four are, and who the X-Men are. That's pretty much all you need to know to just start buying each respective hero's or group's main monthly book, i.e., the book that is titled solely with the hero's or group's name.

    The only case where that will be confusing is X-Men, because there are four monthly books with the name "X-Men" in the title, but they each have different characters, and they are each the main story arcs for their particular group of characters. If you want to stick with the longest running X-book, you get the one titled "The Uncanny X-Men." If you want to get the one X-book that gets the most critical and fan acclaim right now, you get "The Astonishing X-Men." Prepare to be completely confused no matter which one you choose.

    Actually, Spider-man bears a small amount of explanation: his main book is "The Amazing Spider-Man." There are two other books, "The Sensational Spider-Man" and "Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man," but Amazing is where his main story arcs take place.

    In general, if you stick with the main titles of the big guns, you won't find yourself reading stories featuring lots of minor characters of whom you've never heard. At present in the Marvel Universe, they are doing a story arc called "Civil War" which has brought all and sundry of B, C, D, E, and even F-List heroes and villains out of the woodwork. Thus, you will probably encounter a lot more characters with obscure backgrounds right now in the main Marvel books than in the main DC books. But don't let that dissuade you from Marvel.

    EDIT:
    tldr- Just start reading whatever books you think might strike your fancy. You probably already know enough basic material about the big characters to get you started. Contrary to other people here, I suggest not buying trades until you've had a chance to read the monthlies for a while.

    Briareos on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Vargas PrimeVargas Prime King of Nothing Just a ShowRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Anyone who wanders to a comic message board and asks "What should I read?" is clearly asking for trouble. You're going to get so many recommendations, you won't know where to start.

    On the Marvel side, I would say that the first few collections of J. Michael Straczynski's run on Amazing Spider-Man are good, if you're a Spider-fan. (I stopped after the "Skin Deep" storyline, because it felt like it had lost a good amount of direction)

    Ed Brubaker's current run on Captain America has been pretty solid. Iron Man has been pretty decent, too, since they relaunched it with a 6-issue Warren Ellis storyline. It's actually held up after Ellis left, too. The downside to these two books is that they get tied up in the whole Civil War thing, which I've been trying to avoid at all costs.

    If you're down with the Punisher, any of the trades since Garth Ennis took over with Welcome Back, Frank are great reads.

    DC, I'm less familiar with, but I would suggest The Long Halloween and Dark Victory collections of Batman. Good, self-contained mystery stuff.

    Trinity is a good book, as well, by Matt Wagner (although I'm a Matt Wagner-phile, so take that with a grain of salt). It's an "early years" sort of tale about the first time Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman worked together.

    Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar is a good Elseworlds Superman story (anything "Elseworlds" is basically just alternate universe DC characters). It's basically "What if Superman's spaceship had landed on earth 12 hours earlier, and he had ended up in Russia, instead of the US?"

    Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen was really good. It's a good twist on the Superman story, bringing it into a real-world type of sensibility.

    And, of course, Watchmen. Everyone needs to read this.

    Vargas Prime on
  • SkulloSkullo Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    ... J. Michael Straczynski's run on Amazing Spider-Man are good, if you're a Spider-fan. (I stopped after the "Skin Deep" storyline, because it felt like it had lost a good amount of direction)

    The first 7 trades work nicely together. It stops before things get shitty with "Sins Past", collects the whole 'Ezekiel' storyline, and wraps up John Romita, Jr's art run (which I thought fit the book very well).

    Skullo on
  • robosagogorobosagogo Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Honestly, read whatever you want. You can usually tell if you're going to like something or it'll be over your head just by flipping through it at the store. Failing that, ask your comic shop employees for help (They'll be able to show you the books they refer to.) and check out the scans_daily group on livejournal which regularly contains samples from new and classic books.

    robosagogo on
  • TheSaylesManTheSaylesMan Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Wow. That was fast.

    Thanks for all of the advice so far. I really need to look up some of these names of authors and artists you guys are saying.

    On that note, would the Wiki be a good place to get info on the series being suggested here? I'm always a bit wary about relying on it for anything.

    TheSaylesMan on
  • BriareosBriareos Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Wiki is reasonably reliable source for this kind of information, in my experience.

    Briareos on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • JordynJordyn Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Detective Comics right now is all single issue stories by Paul Dini and they have been completely excellent. It is exactly how I want Batman to be.

    All Star Superman is what, 6 issues in? It's a damn fine book too.

    If you want to read Superman stuff that is less of a "twist" on Superman, read Birthright.

    I always recommend Invincible and New Frontier.

    I also think you should buy the current Spirit run. Godammit. Buy it you fuckers. Buy it.

    Jordyn on
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  • SkulloSkullo Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    On that note, would the Wiki be a good place to get info on the series being suggested here? I'm always a bit wary about relying on it for anything.

    Watch out for spoilers though! Lord knows how many budding Invincible fan's were caught off guard.

    Skullo on
  • MarathonMarathon Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Read Fables or I will kill your family.

    Marathon on
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  • Romero ZombieRomero Zombie Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Marathon wrote:
    Read Fables or I will kill your family.

    I second this. Start with the first trade and make your way up. You can find them cheaper if you purchased them online instead of your LCS

    Romero Zombie on
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  • ArcibiArcibi Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    So I've been into comics for a while but until tonight I never actually bought any

    This was a mistake

    A mistake I have rectified by picking up three issues of Incredible Hulk

    Planet Hulk is so good

    Arcibi on
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  • headn00bheadn00b Registered User
    edited January 2007
    When I started a thread like this Jordyn recommended Batman: Detective Comics, and it is still my favorite comic. Listen to Jordyn, she knows what she's talking about.

    Also the latest Cable & Deadpool is a new ark that isn''t heavy on Cable, I'd recommend it.

    headn00b on
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  • Herr CaesarHerr Caesar Registered User
    edited January 2007
    We3

    Herr Caesar on
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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Arcibi wrote:
    So I've been into comics for a while but until tonight I never actually bought any

    This was a mistake

    A mistake I have rectified by picking up three issues of Incredible Hulk

    Planet Hulk is so good

    So good.

    I can't wait for it to come out in a collection- even though I have all the singles.

    DarkPrimus on
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    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • JCMJCM Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Where to start thats good for DC?

    Batman and Superman
    JLA ongoing
    Dark Knight Returns
    Hitman
    Check out the Crisis TBPs too

    Thats all I read of mainstream DC.

    However if you want to try Vertigo/Wildstorm, pick up

    Transmetropolitan
    Preacher
    The Authority (first 3 TBPs)

    JCM on
  • Lewis RiceLewis Rice Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    100 Bullets!!! Best series ever.

    Lewis Rice on
  • N8d0gg187N8d0gg187 Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Anything Spider-man is good

    N8d0gg187 on
    Number 1 in da hood G
  • Bloods EndBloods End Blade of Tyshalle Punch dimensionRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    N8d0gg187 wrote:
    Anything Spider-man is good

    Sins Past.

    Bloods End on
  • Captain CharismaCaptain Charisma __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2007
    Grant Morrison's runs on JLA and New X-Men are great team books.

    Captain Charisma on
  • HankStamperHankStamper Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Hi,

    Is anything other than the actual labeled volumes of Hellboy worth reading? (I.E. Volumes I - V if I recall correctly)

    Where should I start with Hellblazer?

    HankStamper on
    never give a inch
  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Where should I start with Hellblazer?
    Issue 1. Without a doubt the best way to begin the story - the whole series works together and builds off of it.

    1ddqd on
  • hoodie13hoodie13 punch bro Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I recently started reading Y: The Last Man. Good apocalyptic comic without too much mumbo-jumbo stuff. There's trades up to issue #48 at the moment, and there's only about 52 or 3 issues out right now anyways, so you can easily catch yourself up. It's a limited run too, so you'll be coming in at essentially the end of the comic. Means you won't have to wait to long for the story to resolve itself :D

    Also, Runaways. Easily accessable, funny as hell, pretty self-contained story (by which I mean there's relatively few references to other comics and characters you know nothing about), and Joss Whedon of Firefly/Buffy fame is writing it in a couple months, so that should be good.

    hoodie13 on
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  • deathmachinetelemetrydeathmachinetelemetry Registered User
    edited January 2007
    You guys might think this is really odd, but I actually got into comics starting with DC's Infinite Crisis. It may be a gigantic clusterfuck and difficult to understand at first, but I think it's the fastest way to approach the scariness that is the continuity learning curve. As you're reading a story that's heavy on continuity, you tend to look up stuff that you don't understand a lot and you'll be able to catch up relatively quickly.

    However, if you'd rather not start off with something that dense, I recommend anything in the Ultimate Marvel universe, or any of DC's new series post-Infinite Crisis like Shadowpact or Checkmate (both excellent books by the way). In terms of trades, I highly, highly recommend Planetary by Warren Ellis; it's only three trades so far, and honestly it just may be my favorite book.

    deathmachinetelemetry on
  • valiancevaliance Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    deathmachinetelemetry: great name, I see you are a Planetary fan. I second your recommendation, Planetary is easily my favorite comic of all time.

    Fables is awesome.
    The Ultimates is fantastic.
    Detective Comics is also superb.

    Lessee what hasn't been covered...

    X-Factor is fantastic, and doesn't seem to have too much messy continuity stuff beyond standard X-book nonsense. Plus its only 15 or so issues in.

    valiance on
  • Toji SuzuharaToji Suzuhara Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2007
    valiance wrote:
    X-Factor is fantastic, and doesn't seem to have too much messy continuity stuff beyond standard X-book nonsense. Plus its only 15 or so issues in.

    And the first 12 are already collected into premiere hardcovers!

    Toji Suzuhara on
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