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Where do I start? Series suggestions

Old 07-03-10, 03:22 AM
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Where do I start? Series suggestions

I went to the comic book store to day for the first time in ages and I was overwhelmed with the sheer number of selections. I know there are a billion story lines of comics, complete with alternate universes, etc.

I'd like suggestions for a good superhero series, Batman, X-Men, Superman, Spiderman, Green Latern, etc. Please tell me where to begin! I know I'll have to get some things in trade.

It doesn't have to be the routine comic either, anything you think is good.
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Old 07-03-10, 03:58 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Don't start is the best answer I can give you. It is a hobby that has grown oppressively expensive. I collected for 20 years and not a day goes buy where I don't wonder why I allowed myself to accumulate more than 30 long boxes of comic books. Sure I enjoyed SOME of them, but I could easily have done without most.

Go to Wikipedia and read up on some of these character's histories. See what you like if you you're going to take the leap into monthlies. Honestly I would check out some "best of" trade paperback lists and start there.
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Old 07-03-10, 04:35 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Yeah if you have money to burn and space in your home for all the boxes then by all means go for it. Otherwise, skip it.

If you do it anyway, as you mention, Trades are probably the best way to go. The Wiki suggestion is great because you can narrow down your choices and not just go in blind starting at some random Issue number.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 07-03-10 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 07-03-10, 09:22 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

If you want a REAL good series: read "Invincible" by Robert Kirkman. It's its own series, published by Image, with no long convoluted histories and continuities to catch up on. And it's the best damn superhero book on the shelves, IMHO. Sort of a combination between Superman and Spider-Man. I love it. You can read it in trades, it's addictive as hell, there are 11 or 12 trades out now and they are all in print.

I also recommend: Noble Causes, Fear Agent, Scalped, The Losers, The Boys, The Walking Dead, and Ultimate Spider-Man, Criminal, Green Lantern and Batman and Robin. I'm not big into most of what DC and Marvel are putting out these days.
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Old 07-03-10, 09:42 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

I'd add the suggestion to go the trade route where possible rather than buying by individual issues. There are plenty of online stores which discount the trades anywhere from 30-50%. Heck, with some companies, the standard trade price is already less than the cost of buying individual issues. Additionally, you are likely going to get a complete story in each trade.

As far as superhero titles are concerned, the ones I'm currently following and getting the most enjoyment out of are Green Lantern at DC and Agents of Atlas/Atlas at Marvel.
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Old 07-03-10, 10:14 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Hey Robo and madcougar, you sound like elitist comic book fans not wanting to let a new person break into your ranks!!!!

Seriously, I know comics in general are so massive that my question is almost impossible to answer. (Plus, I'm sure it's a question that drives real fans crazy.) But I really respect Talker opinions so that's why I came here first.

Great idea about Wiki.....I just checked out Superman and there's enough information to make your head spin, but it's all neatly categorized so at least I have a chance of figuring out what I might want to buy on my next trip. Also, great idea about trades.

I've heard very good things about Invincible and Green Lantern, I'll put those on my list. I'll also check out the Image section in general.

Thanks guys!!!
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Old 07-03-10, 10:38 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

For the super hero titles, I would recommend going with the trades and finding individual stories that interest you. The characters get rebooted so often that I wouldn't even want to try to keep up with any continuity. I will admit that I am not a big super hero reader, preferring titles like Walking Dead, Strangers in Paradise, Cerebus, Bone, Fables, Castle Waiting, and Vogelein.

I would give you suggestions for the super hero tpbs to pick up, but all the ones I know are older titles.
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Old 07-03-10, 10:43 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Thanks for the suggestions! I had Bone on an earlier list I made.
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Old 07-03-10, 11:18 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

"Y the Last Man" runs for about 60 issues, and it's available in TPBs.
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Old 07-03-10, 04:51 PM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Trades all the way, and +1 on Invincible and Y: The Last Man. My favorite modern comics.
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Old 07-04-10, 06:42 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Originally Posted by Patman View Post
"Y the Last Man" runs for about 60 issues, and it's available in TPBs.
I was actually able to read all of "Y the Last Man" and I loved it!
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Old 07-04-10, 06:49 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
The best suggestion of all: don't get in at all if you have a "completist" mentality for your collections, or any kind of OCD (and I'm not even kidding about that). You'll drive yourself insane with "collector's stress", as well as severe irritation and disappointment over horribly skewed storylines that ruin any enjoyment of the characters you may have felt previously ("Brand New Day", anyone?).

But, if you can just read a book here and there, and have that be enough? OK...a couple quick recommendations would be:

The Killing Joke (Batman)

and The Ultimates, Vol. 1 and 2

Sounds good. I think I'll be able to control myself. I'm not going for collecting per se, just for the enjoyment of the genre. Will buying trades be the gateway drug?

Since my friend likes to hit the comic book store every once in awhile I just wanted to be able to buy something for myself while we're there. I also hit the local comic-con that's held once a year too so going in with a little knowledge will help.
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Old 07-07-10, 03:43 PM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Sounds like someone wants to get into the monthly comic grind, which is actually great! Most of the suggestions here are stuff that has already been collected, often multiple times, which tells you how great the material is, but doesn't really give you a chance to pick up a monthly, and doesn't really keep you up to date for stuff like conventions. That being said, monthlies are often hit or miss, with constant creative/editorial changes, late books, fill-in artwork... at least with stuff like Omnibus or Absolute volumes, you know that it was worth collecting multiple times into bigger volumes.

I'm a big DC universe fan, so I'll start with that.

Geoff Johns just started up his run on the new Flash book, which features the silver age Flash, Barry Allen. You can easily pick up the miniseries that set this up in HC (Flash:Rebirth: http://www.amazon.com/Flash-Rebirth-...8531007&sr=8-2). I guess the next big event will be Flash-related as well.

Green Lantern is also a great monthly book, though it has been running for quite a while, and you'll have to dig up more trades... the bright side is is that most of it has been collected. Get Green Lantern: Rebirth (done by the same team as Flash:Rebirth, amazon link:http://www.amazon.com/Green-Lantern-...8531117&sr=8-3) first, but I think it should be easy enough to pick up the series monthly and catch up with the trades at the same time. Here's a decent guide to which issues are collected where:
http://idmarx.wordpress.com/2009/08/...-issues-guide/

There is a new Avengers series out, but I haven't gotten around to reading it (as I collect all Marvel in trades), but it may be a good starting off point.

As others have said, Invincible is another good one... there are trades to catch you up, and it's a good, mainly self-contained superhero book.

IMHO, the worlds of Batman, Superman, the X-men, and Spiderman are too convoluted to easily pick up, but others may disagree. Even the other monthly team books I collect (JSA, JSA all stars, JLA,
Teen Titans, Legion of Super Heroes, etc.) are kinda hard to get into... there's a lot of backstory involved, or crossover events, or lineup changes.
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Old 07-07-10, 04:31 PM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

iggy, what are your favorite types of stories to read or movies to watch? I ask because it might help us seasoned veterans narrow down what you might like.
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Old 07-07-10, 04:51 PM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

If you are specifically looking for superhero recommendations. There is only one answer to be given.

Buy the trades for Brubaker's Daredevil run. There ya go.
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Old 07-07-10, 06:35 PM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

I'd say skip as well. After 15+ years of collecting, I finally had to give it up. Probably 50% of that was the price, and the other 50% was I just couldn't get rid of the damn things after having forked out that outrageous price. Hell, I've still got a short box almost full of books that I need to get rid of, but you can't sell them, and I can't bring myself to throw away a few hundred dollars "worth" of books.

I'd say go for trades, if you absolutely have to get into comics. Go to Books a Million or B&N one afternoon and just read a stack of trades for free, then see which ones you like, make note of the authors, then research what else they've done.
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Old 07-08-10, 10:34 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

I can't believe all the negativity in this thread. With suggestions like these, comics are doomed.

I'm with Sessa. Brubaker's Daredevil run was fantastic. So is his Captain America. And his Criminal. And his Sleeper. And his...well, you get the idea.
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Old 07-08-10, 11:38 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

The worst issue with 60's/70's Kirby (or Sinnot, or Buscema, or Kane, or Ditko, etc) art is better than the best current issue on any rack anywhere today.
I completely disagree with Lemmy on this point. I think people gloss over how much pure crap, among the brilliance, that Kirby and the others churned out. Some of the shit is just unreadable, and I'd put up an Incredible Hercules or Agents of Atlas against it any day.

My gripe with comics is the value. I enjoy reading them. I just don't enjoy owning them. If there was a library or rental system for comics, I'd be all over it. I just hate paying $4 off the rack for a new comic that takes up space and that I can't get rid of without throwing it away. Hell, for a while, I started posting my monthly comics on Craigslist at 1/10 of cover price, and I still couldn't sell them (and it wasn't worth my time, really, at that price to sit down and type out which titles I had). These weren't old 90's Image era trash... these were brand new books I'd just purchased, and they were already worthless.

Everybody has a breaking point where the cost will outweigh the value. I never thought I'd hit it with comics, but I did. If comics keep down this road, everybody will hit it, and comics will be dead. They need to find something else that works: cheap digital distribution, selling digests with three or four issues... something. Monthly, expensive, periodical sales aren't going to make it.
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Old 07-08-10, 11:43 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Skip the floppies, buy Omnibuses/Absolutes, as those generally collect what's considered to the best comics - they're printed in high quality, built to last and they generally retain their value (if that's important to you).
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Old 07-09-10, 04:45 PM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
The problem isn't the good stories. It's the bad-continuity crap that ruins the good stories for me. I want an entire series run to be good. Can't do it? Then don't, for crissakes. Don't ruin 40 years (or more, in Cap's case) of stories with junk stories.

Stan Lee, Steve Gerber, Marv Wolfman, and many, many, many others created a great legacy in the 60's and 70's Marvel titles, and everyone after them has either dropped the ball, or had their work overshadowed by crappy creators around them.

I don't care how good some of the new stuff is, I've yet to see anyone create a series as great as, say, 1-102 of The Fantastic Four, or the first 125 issues of TASM, or...well, I could go on and on.

The worst issue with 60's/70's Kirby (or Sinnot, or Buscema, or Kane, or Ditko, etc) art is better than the best current issue on any rack anywhere today.

Comics are dead, they just don't know it yet.
I could not possibly disagree more with this. Its just an old man's mentality, that can't possibly accept things being better now than when they were kids. I spent years running a comic book story & heard this stuff from hudreds of old timers that could never break out of their shells. Once they would try the stuff I told them to check out, they almost all added new titles to their pull-lists.

Story wise comics are a thousand times better than the old stuff you claim is superior. Even the older creators admit that. The worst Kirby issue is better than anything else today? That is just idiotic & reveals a complete lack of actually knowing anything about Kirby at all. I'm a Kirby fanatic & the man created some absolute nonsensical crap that is simply garbage after his more well known work.

Brubakers Captain America run quite simply is the best the comic has ever been & it is a very lengthy run, being completely innovative & forward thinking while remaining rooted in the classic history of the character.

The way the medium as evolved & progressed creatively is simply astounding & just sucks if one is a comic book reader that can't notice or appreciate that.
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Old 07-10-10, 10:01 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Originally Posted by Super X View Post
I'd add the suggestion to go the trade route where possible rather than buying by individual issues. There are plenty of online stores which discount the trades anywhere from 30-50%. Heck, with some companies, the standard trade price is already less than the cost of buying individual issues. Additionally, you are likely going to get a complete story in each trade.

As far as superhero titles are concerned, the ones I'm currently following and getting the most enjoyment out of are Green Lantern at DC and Agents of Atlas/Atlas at Marvel.
I have to second this. I prefer to consume a story all at once when possible, so this is my preferred method.
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Old 07-10-10, 09:04 PM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

^ you're making very broad generalizations. For example, you're pretty much saying that the early Lee/Everett issues of Daredevil are better than the more current Brubaker/Lark ones, which is just a silly thing to say, as Bru's run rivals even that of Frank Millers.
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Old 07-11-10, 08:53 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

Lemmy, brother, I think you would enjoy comics more if you just chilled out on that completest tip. You say you care about the characters, and I get that, but you don't have to prove that by reading books every month if you don't like them. Spidey ain't going anywhere. Neither is the Hulk. I think you would enjoy comics so much more if you just shifted how you consume them.

Iggy, don't for a second let any of the negativity of this thread put you off. Comics are awesome as shit, and some amazing stuff has come out in just the last 10 years. You have a lot of good stuff ahead of you, regardless of what your tastes are. I would echo the suggestion of forgoing single issues for trades, though. That really is the best option for your money, and is a much easier way to get nice chunks of story.

I urge you, URGE (in caps so you know it's serious), to go check out your library to see if they have comics. I almost exclusively get my trades from the library now as my system carries a lot of them. They don't get everything, but there is enough there to keep me busy. Also, because the books are free, there is no harm in trying something (other than wasted time). If nothing else, this will help you refine your tastes so you know what type of books you do like. If you aren't familiar with your library, be sure to ask about how the holds work. A single branch will have some trades, but if your library system is connected (I see you live in Detroit, so it has to be), a whole wealth of material opens up to you.

Lastly, don't box yourself in. Read all comics. Superhero comics are GREAT. Indie comics are GREAT. Slice of life comics are GREAT. Just like movies, comics leap genres, so don't look at them as just the place to get tights. There is nothing wrong with focusing on that, but I'm just trying to stress that there is some really great material out there that might surprise you. But you've read Y The Last Man, so you seem open to that stuff.

Oh, and know that that comic con you go to once a year will have a ton of half priced trades, or even booths that are buy 1 get 1, so that's a great place to get a bunch of stuff to try, for little cost.

I could recommend some titles, but I think you're really best served just diving in and seeing what floats your boat since taste is so subjective. However, it's hard to go wrong in the mainstream if something is written by Ed Brubaker, Geoff Johns, Brian Bendis, Mark Waid, JMS, or Kurt Busiek to name a few. Those are just a few names to check for.
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Old 07-11-10, 10:17 AM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

I agree with boredsilly. I certainly admire Lemmy's dedication, and agree that reading every Marvel issue during the '60s would have been a more consistent experience (weren't most, at at least a ton of them, written by the same guy?), but since you're not really enjoying them, maybe it's time to cut the cord and narrow your pull list to the titles you like best. You can still keep up on the characters through trades or fan sites, and while I know that's not the same as experiencing them in "real time," it could be better in the long run for your time, dollar, and stomach lining. You can always resume the titles you realize you can't go without, or which sound like they've gotten good again.
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Old 07-11-10, 01:41 PM
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Re: Where do I start? Series suggestions

While I used to like to think I would keep entire runs of certain titles going (when feasible as possible without going into the poor house, of course), I think it's better to let go of the OCD, and develop your taste in comics, and let that guide your buying habits.

It's like there's no real value in having perfect attendance in high school or college, no one is going to put that on their tombstone. We all have a finite amount of time and resources, use them wisely with purpose, don't be a slave to the completist mentality, that's just bragging rights to a footnote.

Plus, having endured a long box of comics eaten through by termites, and then finding it was ultimately unnecessary to replace 90% of those comics, even though not doing so would interrupt runs of titles, I've learned to to enjoy what I read, quit when I don't, and pick up what I hope I would enjoy reading.

When DC did the year-long "World Without Superman" last year, I simply quit buying Superman and Action Comics for the year, and just picked up World of Krypton for that year. Now that Supes is back, I'm back with JMS on Superman, and am interested to see what Paul Cornell can do with Lex in Action Comics. I don't really feel I've missed much by not buying into the OCD mentality that I needed to keep my run of Superman and Action Comics going, even when they were using those issues to showcase non-Superman stories.

I still pick up around 20-25 titles on monthly basis, though Marvel is shunning me with their decision to price their comics at $3.99 with the same 22 pages of story/art, so I drop those $3.99 titles, and rely on buying them in the dollar boxes at local comic shows, or just ignore them altogether nowadays. When DC does the same (jack up the prices without increasing the page count accordingly, I'll drop those titles as well). So, I suspect I may be "priced" out of the new comic buying market within a year, and if that's the case, I'll just rely on either trade-waiting route (though I loathe the wait because I hate having stuff spoiled for me, and the longer you wait, the higher the chance of having outcomes spoiled), or the continue to dig through cheap comic bins at the comics shows.
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