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Sanguine
2011-11-07, 10:52 PM
Okay, I've never really been hugely into comic books. I've always liked the idea as evidenced by the massive amounts of cartoons and live action movies based on comic books that I have watched. But I've never had the disposable income to keep up with the long story arcs that I will inevitably get sucked into. This hasn't really changed, so I want any recommendations to be relatively self-contained.

Why do you ask am I now suddenly getting my feet wet in the massive pool that is comic books. There are two reasons really. First, I've always wanted to and now seems as good of a time as any. By now I mean December when I won't have to deal with NaNoWriMo. Second, there are some characters that really interest me but I can't find any real amount of visual media for.

It is of course these characters that I want recommendations for.

The Flash: I don't know why but there has just always been something about the Scarlet Speedster that I love. I couldn't really tell you what I like about him but I just do. I can't even tell you which version of the Flash I like best. Sorry that I can't be helpful.

The Blue Beetle: I discovered this wonderful character watching Batman: The Brave and the Bold and I really liked him. I am talking about the Jaime Reyes version though Ted Kord was somewhat interesting as well. I think the main thing I liked about Blue Beetle was the idea of the super powered intelligent armor.

Booster Gold: I also learned about this character through The Brave and the Bold. I instantly fell in love with him.His arrogant and feckless manner was just awesome. I also loved his robot sidekick/straight man Skeets.

Firestorm: Once more a character I learned about from the awesome cartoon that is Batman: The Brave and the Bold. I've always found the idea of multiple personalities in a single body to be fascinating and Firestorm was no exception. I also think his transmutation powers could be quite interesting.

Captain Marvel: Shockingly, I did not learn about this character from Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Nor did that cartoon make me especially interested in reading his comics. What did get me interested is Young Justice, where the fact that he was a little kid in a grown up body was more pronounced.

Note: I don't know the proper terminology for what I'm about to talk about and I apologize for that. Anyway. I want the thick comic books, relatively speaking, not the damn near paper thin ones.

Axolotl
2011-11-08, 06:17 AM
Are you just looking for currently running comics or are you includeing old runs that are only available in trade paperbacks?

H Birchgrove
2011-11-08, 11:27 AM
Try get the TPB The Power of Shazam! by Jerry Ordway. (Amazon.co.uk only has it 2nd hand, so it may no longer be in print.) It's probably the best re-telling of Captain Marvel's origin, has beautiful artwork, and Dr Sivana comes of a pretty believable and competent villain.

Shazam: Power of Hope painted by Alex Ross and written by Paul Dini might be good; I loved their Superman: Peace on Earth Graphic Novel which was in the same format. You can get both and four other Graphic Novels in the collection The World's Greatest Super-Heroes.

Captain Marvel has a part in Alex Ross' and Mark Waid's Kingdom Come, which is about the future of the DC Universe. Don't buy it for Captain Marvel alone though.

Sanguine
2011-11-08, 12:32 PM
Are you just looking for currently running comics or are you includeing old runs that are only available in trade paperbacks?

Old runs are perfectly okay.


-Stuff-

Cool, I will look into these. I've heard good things about Kingdom Come from other sources. How necessary is knowledge of the DC Universe for enjoyment the story?

Axolotl
2011-11-08, 12:42 PM
Cool, I will look into these. I've heard good things about Kingdom Come from other sources. How necessary is knowledge of the DC Universe for enjoymen the story?It's pretty nessessary for Kingdom Come, alot of characters show up and it never really stops to explain who anybody is. It's perfectly enjoyable without having extensive knowledge of the DC Universe but it can get confusing at times. However it certainly is a really good series and worth reading, the art alone is great. It's a short, self contained story and is good for anyone interested in DC, but as the aboce poster said don't get it if you're only interested in Captain Marvel.

One other thing. Are you only interested in superheor comics with the characters you noted or are you open to other series?

Sanguine
2011-11-08, 12:46 PM
One other thing. Are you only interested in superheor comics with the characters you noted or are you open to other series?

I am open to other series. Though those characters are the ones I have the most interest in at the moment.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-08, 01:00 PM
Regarding Booster Gold/Blue Beetle: get the trades collecting Keith Giffen at al's semi-parody Justice League/Justice League International from the late 80's and early 90's. Very droll stuff. Some stories have Captain Marvel, and the two spin-off books Formerly Known as the Justice League and I Can't Believe It's Not The Justice League have Mary Marvel.

If you want a "serious" treatment of Ted Kord/Blue Beetle by the original creator Steve Ditko, get the Action Heroes Archives volume 2 (volume 1 only has Captain Atom, but it's a great read in it's own right). Hardcover DC Archives are expensive, but you only need these two to get all Ditko super-hero action hero material from 1960's Charlton Comics, including his too short run of his The Question. (Who you may know from the animated series Justice League Unlimited.)

Zevox
2011-11-08, 01:09 PM
The Flash: The only Flash comic I've read is the trade The Flash: The Dastardly Death of the Rogues, which is really good. It's the first comic to feature the original (silver age) Flash, Barry Allen, after his resurrection event, and does a good job introducing the character and creating an interesting story for him. It is pretty self-contained, though there are parts of it that tie in to the Green Lantern events "Blackest Night" and "Brightest Day," with a villain who was recently resurrected (Captain Boomerang) getting some focus, and there is a teaser at the end for the Flashpoint event, but you can easily ignore the latter. I'd recommend it.

Firestorm: I too quite like the concept of him, though what got me interested in him is the event comic Brightest Day, which I picked up for its ties to the Green Lantern books, which are the primary comics I read. It doesn't actually focus on the Green Lantern characters, but you may be lost as to the premise without having read the Blackest Night event, and it focuses on a bunch of characters besides just Firestorm. Still, Firestorm just got his own series in the relaunch, which I hear is pretty good, so you might want to check that out. I haven't read it myself yet though - I only read trades, and it's still only on the third or so issue since the relaunch, so it'll be a few months before a trade is released.

A stand-alone comic I'd recommend is Superman: Red Son. Even if you don't care for Superman (I don't), it's a good read. If you haven't heard of it, it's based on the premise of "what if Superman's ship had crashed in the Soviet Union instead of the United States?", and it actually does a very good job of exploring that rather than just having that make Superman an outright villain or somesuch. The very end is kind of dumb, but the actual important parts of the plot wrap up before the dumb stuff starts, so it doesn't actually detract from the bulk of the book, and it is just a couple of pages.

Since I'm a Green Lantern fan, I also feel I have to recommend a couple of those. Best places to start would probably be either Green Lantern: Secret Origins, a very good modern retelling of Hal Jordan's origin story (with some tie-in foreshadowing of Blackest Night, but you don't need to fully understand that to enjoy it), or the Sinestro Corps War, which pretty much kicks off the Green Lantern arcs that continue to this day, introducing the first of the non-green Lantern Corps and foreshadowing the rest. It's also possibly the best part of that storyline anyway, honestly. No background should be needed for that, though having an idea of who the central characters (the four human Green Lanterns, Sinestro, Parallax, and the Anti-Monitor) are going in would help.

Zevox

Dr.Epic
2011-11-08, 08:27 PM
Anything by Alan Moore.

zingbat
2011-11-08, 08:37 PM
I've heard good things about Kingdom Come from other sources. How necessary is knowledge of the DC Universe for enjoyment the story?

I don't follow DC comics and I loved Kingdom Come. I didn't find it particularly confusing. As long as you're passingly familiar with the big names in the DC universe you should be fine.

Dr.Epic
2011-11-08, 09:10 PM
Oh! And Sandman or just about anything by Neil Gaiman.

H Birchgrove
2011-11-09, 08:52 AM
Anything by Alan Moore.

Some stuff may squick you though.

Feytalist
2011-11-09, 09:09 AM
I can only mostly recommend the darker stuff.

Anything by Alan Moore, as stated. V for Vendetta, Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen are the well-known ones. And most of Frank Miller's stuff. 300, Sin City, a few of Daredevil's runs. Sandman by Neil Gaiman is my favourite comic series of all, and probably my favourite series period. Its derivatives, the Death series, the Destiny one-shot, Thessaly, Petrefax, isn't bad either.

Garth Ennis made a few nice things, but his style isn't for everyone. No subject is taboo, is what I'm saying. But if you're fine with that, Preacher is good.

I mostly enjoyed Hellblazer. (Constantine for all the non-comic folks.)

What else? Oh yes, Y: The Last Man was quite brilliant. And for something completely different, Maus was the only comic series ever to win a Pulitzer. A retelling of someone's biography of surviving the Holocaust, with animals as the characters. Stunning.

Devonix
2011-11-09, 09:46 AM
For Captain Marvel you NEEEEEED to read
Captain Marvel and the Monster Society of Evil its a stand alone Hardcover or Trade that really focuses on the kid part of who he is and is written and drawn by Jeff Smith AKA Bone creator.


A also reccomend you start reading the new Aquaman series DC is putting out its a great intro to the character for people who never got into him

Axolotl
2011-11-09, 09:53 AM
Watchmen is really a must read for anyone interested in Superheros, and I'd also recommend Alan Moore's other series he did at the same time, Miracleman but while really good it's very rare and hugely expensive so actually being able to read it is largely dependent on your views regarding piracy.

There's also The Sandman which is very good, it lasted quite a long time so there's I think 10 trades to get the whole thing (not counting the spinoffs and such) but it's well worth it. just don't judge it on the first volume because it really hadn't found it's tone at that point.

Grant Morrison's Invisibles is also pretty good if you don't mind the weirdness. It's sort of like the Matrix but with all the Sci-Fi replaced with Crowley style mysticism (and much higher level of quality). His follow up The Filth is also good but deliberately disgusting and almost incomprehensible.

Warren Ellis' run on Stormwatch was very good but I don't how easy it would be to get trades for it because it's quite old. Oh and it has the worst ending ever but until that point it's quite good. His follow-up series The Authority was nowehere near as good, it's fun but I wouldn't recommend it to everyone.

I can't speak for any currentlyongoing series because I don't know if there are any that are any good.

Eldan
2011-11-09, 09:55 AM
Sandman by Neil Gaiman is my favourite comic series of all, and probably my favourite series period. Its derivatives, the Death series, the Destiny one-shot, Thessaly, Petrefax, isn't bad either.


You misspelled Lucifer, there.

Feytalist
2011-11-09, 10:09 AM
You misspelled Lucifer, there.

Hah! Knew I was forgetting something. Yes, Lucifer as well.

There's also Love Street, The Corinthian, Bast, and probably a few more I'm forgetting. But I really should have remembered Lucifer. It's one of the best.

But quite frankly they pale in comparison with the original Sandman.

HeirophantX
2011-11-17, 08:18 PM
I'm a fan of the Cary Nord Conan's by Dark Horse. But I've been reading Conan the Barbarian since 1977 :smallamused: Those new Conan's are great. And they also have the collected ones from the 70's 80's and so on. Barry Windsor Smith and Roy Thomas!

The first three volumes of the Alan Moore Swamp Thing graphic novels are a worthwhile investment. Through Swamp Thing you get to John Constantine, the Sandman, Books of Magic... Plus it's Alan Moore. From Hell is a major work of literature.

I like Neil Gaiman, but I REALLY liked Neil Gaiman when I was a teenager and in my early 20's. Maybe I've lost my connection to the Dreaming...

Hellboy. BPRD. There's a bit of story arc but each graphic novel is fairly self-contained in it's own arc, so you could pick up any random one and it would be cool.

If you're into A Song of Ice and Fire there are the Hedge Knight comics set in the same world about 90 years before the events in the novels.

For something a little different, there are the colected Lone Wolf and Cub graphic novels by Dark Horse. It's one story but it's a long one.

comicshorse
2011-11-17, 09:05 PM
If you're into A Song of Ice and Fire there are the Hedge Knight comics set in the same world about 90 years before the events in the novels.


He also did a follow up comic with the same characters called 'The Sworn Sword'

Griemont
2011-11-17, 11:24 PM
Judge Dredd. Refreshingly free of many of the cliches of Marvel/DC style superhero comics, and remarkably willing to take narrative risks, which leave the stories feeling really fresh. There's even a story where a graffiti artist becomes a hero of the people and Dredd is portrayed in a pretty harshly negative light.

Maxios
2011-11-17, 11:43 PM
Some suggestions:
Batman: The Cult
Batman: Knightfall
Batman: RIP
Watchmen

Krazzman
2011-11-18, 02:35 AM
I can recommend: Archenemies, Deadpool, Preacher, Deadpool and Deadpool.

Hope this helps.