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Western Comics Recommendations and Reading Orders in Comics

Welcome to the western comics recommendation thread!

People have said, “I want to get into western comics but there are so many waugh!” If this describes you, then you’ve found just the thread you need! Whether you want a reading order for a specific run/event or are just looking for a new comic to read, we’ve got you covered.

A few things to note. First, if you’re asking for a recommendation, it would help if you give people something to go on. For example, Batman’s been interpreted in so many different ways that just asking for a Batman comic won’t necessarily get you something you enjoy. Do you like the more cerebral/noire stories starring the Dark Knight, or are you more of a KAPOW campy Adam West Batman kinda person? Maybe even include past stories you’ve enjoyed. Stuff like that, basically. Second, if you’re asking for a reading order for a particular event, keep in mind that some of the bigger events are a pain in the ass to keep straight so finding the “perfect” reading order might not be so easy.

That’s about it! One big thing to keep in mind when getting into new comics is to remember the hitchhiker's guide and “DON’T PANIC!” If characters reference a previous story, or if it seems like you’re missing something, a good comic will generally allow you to just look over those moments and still enjoy the story. 70+ years of history can seem intimidating, but with all the retcons, reboots, and rewhatevers you’ll be just fine jumping in at the start of almost any story, and for what you don’t get, Wikipedia can fill in for you.

Here are some handy reading orders if you want to get caught up to some of the more current storylines:

Grant Morrison’s Bruce-is-bonkers Batman:

Morrison is known for having a weirder take on characters than standard superhero fare, so this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but he’s been in charge of the Bat-mythos for the past few years and the following run has dictated a lot of the direction Batman stories have taken even up to the new crop of series. Basically you should at least read a summary of his run to give yourself a primer on modern Batmology.

O2vEy.jpg

After this comes 8 issues of Batman, Inc. then the Batman: Leviathan Strikes one-shot, and coming in may a 12 issue maxi-series Batman: Leviathan.

Geoff Johns’s I-love-Hal-Jordan Green Lantern:

John’s, like Morrison, is one of the big shots at DC, and is responsible for reviving the Green Lantern brand in recent years. Some people aren’t fans of his, but his GL run is pretty consistently great. The reading order is a bit more straightforward as you just start at Green Lantern: Rebirth and read the main series. But I’ve found this site really helpful for a general guide to how the issues fit together:

AWESOME LISTS!

X-Men where’s-Prof-X list:

Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men and Joss Wheadon’s run on Astonishing X-Men are some really great stories to get you started down the mutant rabbit hole. After that you’ll want to read House of M, X-Men Deadly Genesis, Messiah Complex, a Dark Avengers crossover called Utopia, Second Coming, and Schism. After that I recommend starting Uncanny X-Force (some of which takes place before Schism) and Wolverine and the X-Men as some amazing current X-Books.

I’ll be updating this op in case I’ve gotten things wrong or if there are some other runs people are reading orders people are interested in but for now get to reading!

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 4:18 PM

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Oh boy! I only need to read 4 more X-Men arcs before I'm caught up :D


I was keeping up with a bunch of the new 52 books before I slipped and stopped paying attention, but I really enjoyed Aquaman.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 12:39 AM

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I will mention a few comics I've fallen in love with over the past few months, here.

I should also really mention that all of these comics are of a more MATURE nature. If seeing a penis, or unnatural amounts of gore disgust you, you really don't want to read any of these. I'm not saying it's tasteless (I wont lie, some of it is, especially in The Goon) I am saying these aren't comics you'd give to your younger cousin (unless you're a really cool cousin.)

Animal Man/Swamp Thing
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The new 52 runs of both Animal Man and Swamp Thing have been some of my favorite comics ever so far. The comics themselves are technically two separate entities (until the crossover) but they share the same plot, and the same continuity, so anything happening in one comic happens in the other. The art itself is beautiful, while the art-style itself is deliberately off-kilter, which helps add an air of surrealism to the work. The writing is top-notch and usually reads smoothly and comprehensibly (this is an issue I have with a lot of comics.) If you like horrorish stuff, these are definitely worth a look.

Orc Stain
VDwfA.jpg

Orc Stain is...Orc Stain is Orc Stain. It is very much its own thing, despite the fact it is populated by a "borrowed" race (orcs). It is about violence, gronches, amazingly detailed artwork, and lots of orcs. I really really like this comic, I may write an article about this more in-depth at some point, but for now just trust me; Orc Stain is great, go read it (and buy it).

The Goon
5duZr.jpg

The Goon is about The Goon, a barrel chested, rough spoken, roughneck, of a thug who happens to be a pretty decent guy. It is partially comedy, partially horror, partially supernatural, partially action, mostly amazing. the art in the goon is pretty great, and by pretty great I mean "holy shit I cant believe how good this looks". Don't look for vast amount of subtlety in The Goon, you wont get it here, it states proudly that sometimes an idiot smearing shit on the wall is just an idiot smearing shit on the wall. Despite its blunt approach to storytelling, however, The Goon manages to deliver everything you could possibly want from a story, and it does it damn well. If you can read Chinatown and stay dry-eyed you deserve an award of some kind. The Goon promises raunchy fun and delivers threefold. READ THIS.

That's it for me, I don't read many comics, and the ones I just listed are the only ones I'm trying to stay current with, so I doubt i'll be able to recommend anything else. I will be watching this thread with interest, however.

Posted on March 30, 2012 at 1:18 AM

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New 52 Wonder Woman, highly recommended. Great dialog/writing/storytelling/art.

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Posted on March 30, 2012 at 3:40 AM

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I'm writing an article about the New 52 Wonder Woman and my experience reading it as an adult male who's not read WW before.

edited by Joshura on April 2, 2012 at 7:42 AM

Posted on April 1, 2012 at 5:16 PM

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My favorite comics so far in The New 52 are

Wonder Woman
wonder-woman-promo-chiang.jpg


It's been fast, brutal, mythic and bloody. For the first time in ever, I'm interested in a print version of WW. I loved WW in Justice League (Unlimited), but I've never really cared about her in print. Great comic that makes WW relevant and interesting.


Batwing
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This was a surprise to me. It's the African Batman. This is another bloody and brutal book. He's distinct enough from Bruce Wayne to be recognizable as his own character, and it's not as mopey as other Batman titles.


I'm doing another post in the blog on the sleeper hits of New 52, so I'm not going to keep posting.

Posted on April 1, 2012 at 5:31 PM

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THIS

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles_01_cvrSpread.jpg

Seriously, IDW is putting out the best Turtles stories I've consumed in years; be it comics, film, or television.

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 3:36 AM

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Oh damn that art looks nice.

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 3:53 AM

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Seriously Mashira, you should get on the TMNT comic. They're only 8 issues in and there's a trade out for the first 5 or 6 issues. Now is still a great jumping on point. Listen to JeffBreakdown.

edited by IndigoLantern on April 3, 2012 at 3:44 AM

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 3:44 AM

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I'll be sure to pick it up if I come across it. I've seen it mentioned a few times before, and i've hear nothing but positive things.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 4:19 AM

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Ah, so this run of TMNT is fairly new? I definitely in. I've always wanted to read the comics.

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 5:13 AM

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Ah, so this run of TMNT is fairly new? I definitely in. I've always wanted to read the comics.

Yeah it started in either September or August of 2011, completely rebooted TMNT universe. Issue #8 just hit shelves last Wednesday and there are three one-shots (called TMNT Micro Series) that have so far featured Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello in stand-alone stories. There will be one Micro Series featuring Leonardo coming out on April 25th, and issue #9 of the main series is out April 18th. So by the end of this month, you'll have 13 issues of TMNT to catch up. It's worth it.

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 3:38 AM

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So I just caughy up on the run of TMNT, and the one shots. Holy shit is that great. Happy to hear some great stories from the Turtles... Is it just me or did I enjoy the art from Donatello's one-shot more than the main-series? I get they're going for different art in each one-shot, but his felt more... cartoonish and similar to the cartoon (which I like).

Posted on April 5, 2012 at 8:08 PM

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So I've been thinking about starting to read comics. I liked the Sin City film, it's one of the best movies I've ever seen. I'd like something that's fairly easy to get in to and not a marvel comic.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 6:42 PM

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If you like Sin City you'll probably like The Killing Joke. It's a short Batman series, and it's very, very good. You could also try out the Sin City graphic novel for yourself, I hear it's pretty good.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 6:50 PM

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I shalll keep that in mind the next time I'm in a store that sells comics.

Posted on April 8, 2012 at 7:04 PM

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I shalll keep that in mind the next time I'm in a store that sells comics.

Sin City vols. 1-5 are bloody and brilliant noir. Vol. 6 is meh and vol. 7 was....sub-par. You don't *need* to read them in order, but Frank Miller rewards you for doing so.

The correct order is The Hard Goodbye, A Dame To Kill For, The Big Fat Kill, That Yellow Bastard and Family Values.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 1:14 AM

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Waid/Rivera Daredevil is currently the best comic going, in my opinion.

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 8:29 AM

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Is it just me or did I enjoy the art from Donatello's one-shot more than the main-series? I get they're going for different art in each one-shot, but his felt more... cartoonish and similar to the cartoon (which I like).

Check out Infestation 2: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1-2. Great story but even better art by Mark Torres. Incredible stuff.

Posted on April 12, 2012 at 5:43 AM

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Waid/Rivera Daredevil is currently the best comic going, in my opinion.

Don't say that too loudly. JeffBreakdown might hear you and get angry. ;-)

Waid's DD is pretty spectacular but it's not a clear-cut winner. I think that it's competing with Vaughan/Staples Saga, Lemire/Foreman Animal Man and Snyder/Paquette Swamp Thing for best comic around.

And then I think Johns/Mahnke Green Lantern is the best thing ever. But I might be biased. A little bit.

Posted on April 13, 2012 at 12:44 AM

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