One of the most intimidating things when it comes to being a new comic book reader is where on Earth to start. With over 80 years of fantastic stories to choose from, the decision on where is best to get started is quite a tough one. You don’t want to start one story if you’ll need to have read an earlier one to understand what’s going on and in the current Marvel and DC universes, that is quite hard to find. Fear not! Being the good samaritan I am, I’ve decided to list 5 comic books that are great jumping on points for new comic book readers!
Batman: Year One
One of the most obvious choices is Batman: Year One. Focusing on Bruce Wayne’s first year as Batman as well as Jim Gordon’s first year in Gotham, the book does a great job in showing Batman’s early days and Gordon’s struggles adapting to Gotham’s way of life and dealing with all the crooked police officers around him. As this book is basically the start of Batman’s career, there’s nothing you’d need to read to get caught up to scratch, assuming you know the whole deal with his parents being shot and let’s face it, I think everyone on the planet knows about that.
Spider-Man: Life Story
The most recent story on my list, Spider-Man: Life Story is one of my favourite books of the last few years and is pretty much a love letter to Spider-Man and the character’s history. Life Story starts with Peter Parker becoming Spider-Man in the 1960s and follows Peter through his time as Spider-Man. Showing how he deals with each passing decade as he gets older, it’s a really unique story and shows us the toll being Spider-Man takes on Peter’s life. It’s a pretty great book to read as it covers most of Spider-Man’s life and even covers several of his biggest stories in one book which means you’ll probably leave this book knowing a hell of a lot more about the wall crawler than you did going in.
Justice League: Origin
A New 52 story rebooting the origin story of one of comics’ most iconic teams, Justice League: Origins does a great job in showing how the Justice League came across each other and how they all dealt with becoming the legendary team they went on to become. As this book started at the beginning of the New 52, there’s nothing you’d need to know before heading into this one, so it’s perfect for brand new readers. What better way to get into comics than to read the beginning of the Justice League?
Batman: The Killing Joke
Finally giving us a look at The Joker’s backstory, The Killing Joke is an incredible book in which The Joker sets out to prove to Batman that all it takes for a man to lose his mind is one bad day. This leads to events where The Joker is truly at his despicable best and showcases the relationship between Batman and the crown prince of crime. The Killing Joke is a separate story line and won’t require a new reader to have read any other Batman titles that came before it which makes it a perfect story for a new reader to start on.
Superman: American Alien
As Superman is my favourite superhero, I had to include at least one of his stories in my list and what better story than the one that chronicles his younger years and what lead to him becoming the man of steel? Superman: American Alien does a brilliant job showing us how Clark Kent progressed through the years and all that he went through before becoming Superman. It’s a great look at Superman’s early years and shows us how down to Earth and human he actually is. It does a fantastic job in making the character relatable and with it being a separate story told away from the main DC universe, you wouldn’t need to read anything else before you jumped into it!
Well, there we have it! 5 comic books I think would be great starting points for new readers. If you are a new reader and decide to give one of these a try, let me know what you think and if my recommendations are any good!