jkingheart submitted: Growing up I missed out on the exciting world(s) of comics, I want to make up for lost time, where should I begin?
Myself having been introduced to comics at an early age, I can’t say I know exactly what new readers will enjoy. But I can do my best to suggest trades that I think are a great place to start.
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN Vol. 1
I did enjoy USM pre-Miles (I love it more now), but I grew up with Amazing. So through the good & bad, I’ll always love that series. But USM gives new readers a fresh start with Peter Parker without messing with the canon established in the 616 Universe (that’s the main Marvel universe for newbies). It goes over Spidey’s origin, introduces his main cast and major story arcs, but with the Ultimate bent. So you can get the gist of Spider-Man without reading the over 60 years of story.
BATMAN: YEAR ONE
Batman by far has some of the best story arcs and one-shots in all of comics. But I think this classic by Frank Miller & David Mazzuccelli goes back to his roots and gives readers an expanded version of Batman’s formative years. "Who I am, how I came to be" definitely sums up this story perfectly and makes Bruce Wayne/Batman, Gotham City and especially Jim Gordon very accessible to comic book first-timers.
Y THE LAST MAN Vol. 1
So, for you newbies who aren’t really into superheroes, I suggest this great read. Before Brian K Vaughan was getting praised for another masterpiece, Saga. He was getting praise for Y The Last Man. It’s an apocalyptic story of, well, the last man. A lone survivor of a mystery event that has killed all the other males on Earth. It’s a great mystery, with great characters, great art by Pia Guerra and some genuine surprises.
I’m sure even non-comic book readers have heard of this series and deservedly so. It’s the best example of what the “graphic novel” medium can do, put comics on the same level as other fine works of art and literature. The other great thing about Watchmen is it’s a completely self contained story (no matter how much DC wants to prolong it) with a definite beginning and end and with back story expanded upon between issues. It focuses on brand new characters based on archetypes most people are aware of, so newbies can easily jump right in.
DAREDEVIL: BORN AGAIN
Another Miller & Mazzucchelli classic. This story does mention some Daredevil previous continuity, but it’s all explained. It also so clearly defines who Matt Murdock is without doing an origin story, so you won’t need to read any Daredevil comics before hand. But you should eventually. Plus, Kingpin is at his most villainous and is a well defined antagonist. It’s one of the greatest stories of what could happen if a supervillain learns the secret identity of a superhero. It’s a great read, it introduces some new characters, expands on others and has a really great Captain America cameo.
I was never a big Superman fan, in fact I was pretty anti-Superman for a while. But one day someone recommended this terrific story by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely and I finally understood the love for Superman. This is basically (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!) the final days of Superman and it really shows him at his finest. The story doesn’t really fill you in on a lot of Superman’s friends and foes who show up here, but it’s not integral to the story. It brings in the nostalgia of the Golden Age of Superman but has a very modern feel at the same time. It also has one of the greatest endings to a superhero one-shot ever.
So there you go, hope you enjoy some or all of those suggestions. Welcome to the world of comics and happy reading!