Comic Books

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Comic Books

Postby Brad » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:02 pm

So recently I've kind of been on a comic book kick. I've really never been all that interested in comics (aside from reading X-Men when I was like.. 8 or 9 years old, and not counting manga, which I was really only into for a year or two) but recently out of nowhere they've sparked my interest. There was a Groupon recently for $20 at Challengers (which is basically the #1 rated comic store here in Chicago) for $10, so I figured I'd pick up a few of them, giving me an excuse to finally go down there and check it out. I had also recently heard about a series by Warren Ellis called Freakangels that sounded pretty damn cool. Since then I've picked up all 4 Freakangels books (which I friggin love) and I Kill Giants (one-shot mini-series by Joe Kelly), along with some things for Liz. Now I'm in a total comic book nerd kick. I don't know how long it'll last but I'm really enjoying myself.

So my question (and primary discussion topic for this thread) is, what are some great series/books that you would recommend for somebody that is fairly new to all of this stuff. I kind of have a hard time wanting to get into any of the staple superhero series (Batman, Superman, etc.) only because it seems like those universes are so damn big that I wouldn't know where to begin. Plus, I can't really say that I've ever held any sort of love or allegiance to any one character/universe, but I wouldn't say it's out of the question if I knew where to look. I know that the Dark Knight Returns book is supposed to be amazing, so I might go that route, but I dunno. What do you guys think?
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Re: Comic Books

Postby Beowulf » Sun Nov 07, 2010 4:05 pm

The Long Halloween. Its the definitive Batman imo. Best murder mystery I've ever read!

<3
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Re: Comic Books

Postby Brad » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:17 pm

Just came back from Challengers. Used my last Groupon and picked up Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns. They had a bunch of The Long Halloween, so I'll pick that up next time. André also found his copy of The Killing Joke, so I've got a lot to read through now. Keep the suggestions coming!
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Re: Comic Books

Postby LantisEscudo » Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:30 pm

I'd suggest Green Lantern: Rebirth, since I tend to like GL stories, but it really draws on a lot of continuity that you may not have seen. Green Arrow: Quiver was really good and was reasonably free of previous continuity.

I also like standalone things. Maus is particularly awesome.
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Re: Comic Books

Postby dwchang » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:18 pm

I can't believe you'd post such a topic without just asking Kevin or I :P.

Anyway Beowulf is right about the Long Halloween being the definitive Batman Detective story. Year One and Dark Knight Returns are known for how influential they were to the entire comic genre (i.e. comics can be for adults), but the Long Halloween is good because it's simply a good BATMAN story (i.e. detective work, kicking ass, etc.). Year One and Dark Knight Returns influence could have been achieved via a different character imo (i.e. Animal Man, The Watchmen, etc.). Batman was not an essential part of it.

As for other Super Hero related titles, I agree with Lantis in that anything Geoff Johns and Green Lantern is golden. Rebirth is where things start, but his entire run has been going for over 6 years now and been great. I am however hesitant to recommend this since it requires knowing SOME background. Anyway if you told me 7 years ago that I'd A) be reading Green Lantern and B) that it'd be the best book I read month after month, I'd have laughed at you.

Another great super hero comic run was Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run. I think it's ~24 issues and 2 or 3 trades and just a great read (even if it is super hero). I have a feeling you'd like it the most out of anything super hero that I recommend.

If you're not into Super Hero titles (as you mentioned), I'd recommend my favorite comic book Midnight Nation by J. Michael Straczynski or The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman. The latter has a new series on AMC, but after two episodes I prefer the comics quite a bit more (which isn't to say the TV show is terrible...just not as good as the actual comics).

Another Warren Ellis book that's solid (and short) is Global Frequency. Don't read ANYTHING main stream super hero by Warren Ellis though. I found his X-Men run to be ATROCIOUS.

...oh and you could always just ask me to bring stuff over next time I visit. As long as you return them in a reasonable manner of time I don't mind. All the things listed I own :P. Anyway that's the stuff that comes up off the top of my head. I'm sure I can come up with more if need be.
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Re: Comic Books

Postby dwchang » Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:27 pm

Beowulf wrote:The Long Halloween. Its the definitive Batman imo. Best murder mystery I've ever read!

<3


If you haven't, you should read Batman: Dark Victory. It's the sequel to the Long Halloween and done by the same team (Loeb/Sale) and has the same feel. It's not as good as the Long Halloween, but it's still in my top 5 Batman books.

You might also enjoy Batman: Hush since it's also written by Jeph Loeb (and illustrated by Jim Lee).

It's not completely accepted as the timeline, but you could view Year One, the Long Halloween and Dark Victory as basically the first 3 or 4 years of Batman's career. It pays to read them in order imo.
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Re: Comic Books

Postby Prodigi » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:05 am

The Walking Dead
Punisher MAX Series
The Boys

That's pretty much all I've read in the last year (apart from some Hellblazer here and there). I have a huuuuuuuuuuge list of stuff I want to get I just don't have the cash at the moment.
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Re: Comic Books

Postby Brad » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:32 am

I've been posting on Twitter about it a lot and Kevin hasn't said a word about it :o And I just haven't been on AIM recently to talk to anybody directly >_>... But yeah I figured you two would be a good source of information and guidance. I think I might tackle these universes in chunks and see where I find myself gravitating towards. I've got 3 Batman stories to bite into right now and then I might check out some of the Astonishing X-Men books, then maybe some Green Lantern. Jay of all people has also been getting into comics recently (well, specifically The Walking Dead) and I've certainly heard great things about it, so we'll see. I don't wanna overload myself too fast. And yeah the next time you come down, bring me some good shit, but considering I don't have a car currently I can't promise I'll be up in your neck of the woods to return them anytime soon.

And Cal, Andre has most (if not all) of The Boys, so I might check those out as well.
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Re: Comic Books

Postby godix » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:35 am

Standard superhero stuff
-Batman 's Arkham Asylum and Joker one shots.
-Elektra Assassin
-Gotham Central if you like crime drama type stories. Much closer to a typical TV cop drama than superhero
-Miracleman (if you can find it)
-Identity Crisis
-Kingdom Come
-Daredevil Born Again

Non-superhero stuff
-Sandman
-Bone
-Understanding Comics
-early Hellblazer
-Sin City
-Black Orchid (the mini series, not the regular series)
-Cerebus (High Society, Church & State, and Jaka's story. Pretend the rest of the series doesn't exist)
-From Hell


None require knowing the universe they're in to understand, although a few are improved if you do.
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Re: Comic Books

Postby dwchang » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:50 pm

Brad wrote:I've got 3 Batman stories to bite into right now and then I might check out some of the Astonishing X-Men books, then maybe some Green Lantern.


I think if you read the following Batman titles you'll have a good idea of whether you *can* enjoy super hero comics:
-Year One
-The Long Halloween
-Dark Victory
-The Killing Joke
-The Dark Knight Returns

Basically that's a good "gist" of the Batman universe and if you like it, I'm sure myself and others can recommend others. However, if you hate these, you will hate the Batman universe.

As for Astonishing and Green Lantern, Joss Whedon's run is basically one 2 year run with only a few trades and unfortunately is not an indicator if you'll like X-Men books recently since I even dislike those lately. Fortunately with Geoff John's Green Lantern, if you like it, there's a TON of books since he's been writing it over a long time.

Again, I fortunately have most (if not all) these books, as well as others.

Brad wrote:Jay of all people has also been getting into comics recently (well, specifically The Walking Dead) and I've certainly heard great things about it, so we'll see.


Well if Jay needs more Walking Dead, I have the first 9 trades (ordering the next 3 soon). I'm technically not caught up, but am way further than the TV show.

Brad wrote:I don't wanna overload myself too fast. And yeah the next time you come down, bring me some good shit, but considering I don't have a car currently I can't promise I'll be up in your neck of the woods to return them anytime soon.


Yeah definitely so. Go at a leisurely pace. When I got back into comics in college I started with just Amazing Spiderman since it was my favorite writer moving from the TV medium to comics and then started to branch out based on recommendations (i.e. I like X, what else is like X?). Anyway I should be down for New Years (like usual) so give me an update before I come on what you've read (and liked) and I can bring stuff accordingly.
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Re: Comic Books

Postby Pwolf » Mon Nov 08, 2010 7:46 pm

Rising Stars by JMS.

One of these days I'll finish Midnight Nation >.>

Also Too Cool to be Forgotten was really good.
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Re: Comic Books

Postby dwchang » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:15 pm

Pwolf wrote:One of these days I'll finish Midnight Nation >.>


I told you to read that when? 2007? And now it's 2010. :down:

I'm not speaking to you anymore! :evil: :evil: :evil:
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Re: Comic Books

Postby Brad » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:14 pm

Okay. Update time.

In the past week I have read:

Batman: Year One
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Batman: The Killing Joke
JLA JSA: Virtue and Vice
World of Warcraft Vol. 1-2 (Yes, I do play WoW and am interested in the lore)

All 3 Batman books were really awesome. Dark Knight Returns is soooo dense. Took longer to read than probably any other (comic) book I've read thus far. But yeah, I was really happy with them. The JLA JSA book was entertaining, but unfortunately I was fairly lost for a lot of it, since it has a huge number of characters that I really had zero familiarity with. I got it because Challengers is hosting "book club" style discussion night for it next week so they were selling it for 20% off, and it looked interesting. The WoW novels are... eh.. they're not bad overall. It's a mixed bag of good and bad. Like, at some points it's like "Alright, this is awesome, and it sheds a good deal of light on the in-game story" along with a lot of moments that are total let-downs, like "Okay, this really big conflict/fight is about to happen, it could be epic, but, let's end it within a single panel and move on......"

Here's what I have now and intend to read over the next week:

Batman: The Long Halloween
Green Lantern: Rebirth
Green Lantern: No Fear
Astonishing X-Men: Vol. 1
World of Warcraft: Vol. 3-4

I'm probably gonna read the Green Lantern books first to give myself a break from Batman. I'm definitely interested in the X-Men series but I kind of want more volumes of it before I start just in case I really get into it. I was going to buy some more tonight but they didn't have volume 2. As for WoW, while I'm not wholeheartedly into it, I figure I may as well finish it off.

I also have several books that belong to André that I intend to delve into, including:

Watchmen
Wanted
The Boys Vol. 1-7
Irredeemable Vol. 1-3
Incorruptable Vol. 1
Assassin's Creed Issue 1
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Re: Comic Books

Postby Brad » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:41 pm

Okay so, I got about 20-ish pages into Green Lantern: Rebirth, and I am so damn lost. I do not know who any of these people are. Here's my knowledge of the Green Lantern universe:

This guy Hal Jordan is an air force pilot who finds a crashed ship with a green guy in it who gives him a ring and tells him that he's now the Green Lantern. There's a different Green Lantern for every sector of the universe. The ring can basically make any imaginable form out of pure energy (basically). I don't know anything about any back stories of any other supplementary characters or happenings or whatever.

So yeah, I'm thinking this series might be a bit too far ahead in continuity for me to really enjoy to it's fullest. So if I'm looking to get "caught up" on Green Lantern (at least to the point of being able to read these Geoff Johns books, where do I need to look?)
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Re: Comic Books

Postby godix » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:39 pm

I dunno what green lantern to start with, but I do know you picked the wrong one. Green Lantern writers like to totally change everything every couple years or so, even more than is normal for comics. Hal Jordon has one of the more fucked up and confusing histories, and you walked in on the end of it.

Edit
Wikipedia's background section on rebirth explains at least some of what it was about. Although even then, they're skipping a lot of the green lantern confusion, like the planet Oa being destroyed then brought back or an entire race of people (except one) dying and being brought back.
Last edited by godix on Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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