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Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

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The Split - Review

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Taking the plunge...COMICS!

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30 Jul 2015 16:29 #207503 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Taking the plunge...COMICS!
I have the SQUADRON SUPREME trade and will forward it to an interested party. Shoot me a TM.

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30 Jul 2015 16:50 #207505 by Egg Shen
Heh...Sorry Mr. White! Hey, at least this thread seems to be helping out multiple people. I'm glad I'm not the only one looking for tips. Thanks again for all of the knowledge you guys have been dispensing. I really appreciate it.

So far I'm planning on getting the following:

Dark Knight Returns
Judge Dredd Case Files (might start with Case File 03 unless someone can convince me otherwise)
Something from Alan Moore - Leaning towards Swamp Thing or League of Extraordinary Gents
Doctor Strange - Might just do the Masters Works or The Oath.

I feel like this will give me a good mix of genres and not everything will be a superhero. So I guess I'll start there and then see where it takes me. Still you have provided me with so much awesome sounding stuff. I just created a big ass list to keep track of it all.

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30 Jul 2015 16:53 #207506 by Jackwraith
Second Shellhead's rec of Locke and Key and agree that it's among the best comics of this century. Really, really great and very human story with just enough of the weird. If you're leaning toward Moore, I'd definitely go earlier in his oeuvre when he still had a lot of energy. Honestly, my favorite work of his is V for Vendetta (vastly(!) superior to the film) but if you're deciding between the two you named, I'd definitely go with Swamp Thing: www.amazon.com/Swamp-Thing-Vol-Saga/dp/0930289226

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30 Jul 2015 17:07 - 30 Jul 2015 21:38 #207508 by quozl
Replied by quozl on topic Taking the plunge...COMICS!
I much prefer the original Swamp Thing stories to the Alan Moore stuff. They've been collected here:
www.amazon.com/Roots-Swamp-Comics-Classi...keywords=swamp+thing
Last edit: 30 Jul 2015 21:38 by quozl.

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30 Jul 2015 19:50 #207517 by Feelitmon
There are tons of great recommendations in this thread, so I'll get a little meta for a moment. Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud, is a fantastic examination of comics, art, and design. It runs about $15 and it is easily the best money that I've ever spent on comics. McCloud's Zot! comic is pretty cool too, although like other post-modern takes on superheroes it doesn't stand out as much these days.

Oh all right, I'll recommend a comic. Elektra: Assassin is a mini-series that just defies description. Frank Miller wrote it, Bill Sienkiewicz painted it, and I love every debauched panel of it. I don't do drugs or battle Satan-worshipping ninjas, but I feel like this is as close as I'll get to the real thing. Unreliable narrator, ridiculous character power creep, politics, SHIELD, kinda Wizard of Oz flying monkeys, bourbon, and my all-time favorite comic cover (the one with the cherubs)... it is a trip. It has an extremely satisfying conclusion and has aged pretty well despite the politics.
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01 Aug 2015 11:27 #207668 by Tim Champlin

Mr. White wrote: Damn, you all!!

* Animal Man - I want the Grant Morrison run. Is that the first three trades? Are those the essential ones?
* Swamp Thing - Is Alan Moore's run really that good? Which trades do I need here?

Also, importantly, I don't need any shelf toad comics. I found Astro City to be very re-readable. Are these others? I don't want to buy read-once-and-shelf titles.

Thanks again, Egg....

EDIT: How about those Swamp Thing movies? I think I remember seeing the first one...or maybe I just remember Adrienne Barbeau... Are they worth a visit for fun?
EDIT II: I just read there was also a TV show....wha?


Mr. White: This is coming from a guy that's only read Moore's Swamp Thing through volume 3, but all of the credit it's gotten has been earned. Really cool and interesting horror/supernatural stories, and I hate horror. I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the series. BTW, thanks for the Astro City recommendation in this thread, I'm absolutely going to buy the new hardcover when it's released. I hope you're able to get really excited about reading comics again.

Egg: Welcome to the wonderful world of funny book! Seriously, I'm not sure if there's anything I enjoy more than relaxing with a good stack of comics. Having said that, all of the replies in this thread so far are coming from people that have read more than me and have been reading longer than me, but I would feel like I'm cheating myself if I don't try to put in my two cents in some way.

Obviously, Watchmen is probably the best place to start. You did good there.

Now that you've got maybe the most important comic out of your way, let me share my journey into comics. This is by no means the right or only way, but it was a good gradual immersion that might be of some service...

I started out with a lot of the famous trades and graphic novels (Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, Batman Year One, Miller and Claremont's Wolverine, Daredevil: Born Again). This gave me a good taste of what the best of the best should be like and how my own tastes fit into it all. From there I started doing some research about what else is good and what else I might like.

Most comic fans will tell you there comes a time where you identify who you're favorite writers and artists are. From there, most people only follow that instead of characters, most of the time, if there's a writer you know you really like, it doesn't matter what character you like or do not like, you'll enjoy that story. I definitely believe that, but there's so many comic books out there, you can probably still find plenty of comics written by people you like with characters you're interested in.

Right now, I identify specific story lines I'm interested in reading and buy them in trades. It's a great way to collect. I'm not interested in collecting years and years of a series, I just want the best stuff from characters and writers that I love. There are plenty of really great lists on the internet for this. This is usually my go to list. goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2012/1...ok-runs-master-list/
Also, there are lots of really good lists on the web of the best story lines of specific characters, so that's also a way to go if you want to use specific characters to guide your journey.

Of the list you shared in your original post, I'll just share what I think are good and important reads from my experience. These are good starting points imho.

Daredevil: The Bendis series is one of my all time favorites. You can buy the whole thing in 3 ultimate collection volumes. It's like a really good crime noir show with ninjas thrown in every now and then for good measure. I know Bendis is hated by most on this site, but he's one of my favorite writers. Born Again by Miller is also a favorite story line of mine, plus it's easy to get a hold of.

Hellboy: I've only read the first two trades, but it's super fun and original. I've been meaning to read the rest of the series for a while...

Batman: You mentioned you're planning on getting Dark Knight Returns. This is my favorite mini series thingy ever. I also suggest getting Year One in the same trip if you can. It's as good as DKR, just a little bit shorter.

Swamp Thing: As mentioned above, I'm half way through Alan Moore's run. I might end up liking it more than Watchmen. I remember you mentioning in some thread a while back that you're interested in the more weird and supernatural characters. This one would definitely be for you.

Bone: This series is in my top 5 of all time. Good for all ages but that doesn't make it any less intense and exciting. I've got the one volume black and white edition. I think the issues were originally published in black and white so you're not missing anything with the lack of color.

Captain America: Ed Brubaker's series starting with Winter Soldier. If you liked the last movie you would love this, as the tone of the movie is taken from this series. Spies and espionage with superheroes.

And as for your individual stories list...

Daredevil: Born Again: Getting this is crucial to your happiness

DC: New Frontiers: Actually haven't read this one yet but I have literally not heard a negative thing about it.

Marvels; Love it. Highly recommend

Kingdom Come: Even more highly recommended than Marvels. I used to hate Superman, and now I like him a lot, because of this book

Civil War: This is a good story line, I liked it a lot, but not crucial to your happiness

DKR: Already mentioned this, but seriously, Year One as well

Killing Joke: This is really good, but it's shortness bums me out

This was probably more than you were asking for, but like I said, I needed to put in my two cents. Keep us updated on what you're reading and how you like it!

Also let us know when you're ready to jump onto the Dungeons and Dragons wagon!
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03 Aug 2015 10:20 #207797 by Egg Shen
Damn Tim! Thanks for that great post. Tons of good info to sort through!

I've put most of the suggestions that people made into a list to keep track of. I'm sure I've got about $500 worth of trades that I'm interested in reading at the moment! I'm trying not to bite off more than I can chew in the beginning. There is alot of stuff mentioned in this thread that I'm very eager to read though.

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03 Aug 2015 11:53 #207820 by OldHippy
On Superhero comics

If comics like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns lose some of their appeal for audiences that didn't grow up in that time (and they do, the deconstruction makes less sense now) Astro City is the next logical step as it is definitely a post Watchmen style comic written with the goal of reconstructing the super hero for modern times... and it succeeds wildly. Jeff is right, Confession is brilliant. I would argue that the series has some of the best singles of all time. The Samaritan one off where he faces Infidel, the Barbie one off (seriously this is amazing), there should be a trade that is all specials on certain characters (I have them in singles)... the first four trades are all brilliant pretty much but there are several one off from afterwards that are mind blowing. Astro City is the true death of 90's dark angst-y comics and the opposite of what Zack Snyder does.

Swamp Thing is probably my favorite Moore run, the original series from before him was OK but not brilliant. Moore's run is incredible and if you've read Sandman it will change how you see that comic. Sandman feels like a sequel to Swamp Thing, that's how similar they are. League is great too (the art is much better than Swamp Thing IMO) but it's definitely more Post Modern in comparison.

Jack Coles' original Plastic Man run is incredible and Kyle Baker had a good run too in the mid 2000's.

Kirby's Demon is one of my favorites from that time period.

Anything with Seth Fisher as an artist is incredible to see from a purely visual perspective. He never got the greatest stories but his comics all look amazing. (Big in Japan, Will World...) One of the last truly innovative artists in a purely visual sense.

Hellboy is a fun comic and a big part of it is Mignola's incredible visual sense.

Grant Morrison is fun but it's hard to recommend his stuff until you're read a bunch of other things. I liked Invisibles the best but this site is more enamored with Animal Man and probably Doom Patrol.. it doesn't matter too much what you go for as they have very similar themes (he doesn't have many themes to be honest).

I loved Planetary and think it's the best thing Warren Ellis has ever done although Transmetropolitan is still an interesting read with lots of great stuff... it's not a super hero book though.

Mark Miller is a bit of a joke most of the time but Red Son was a really fun comic and it's a quick one off trade so it's very digestible.

For Daredevil I prefer Miller's earliest work on the series (Not born again or Man Without Fear). His later stuff is still fun but he was really just a kid in the first collection of stories and it's interesting (for me at least) to see him slowly becoming the Miller we know.

My favorite non-super hero stuff is definitely Cerebus and most of Chris Wares work. I like Sin City a lot too but that is a purely visual thing for me. Most of Clowes work is interesting (I like David Boring a lot) and it's never a bad idea to read some Will Eisner.
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03 Aug 2015 14:52 #207842 by Gregarius
Reading all of these recommendations has really taken me back. I'm lucky enough to have gotten into comics in the early 80s when all this great stuff was coming out.

Two of my favorites have already been mentioned: Moore's Swamp Thing and Miller's Daredevil, so I'll just throw in my vote on those as well. Astro City is also a great title.

The comic I'll recommend was another one of my favorites back in the day that I still remember fondly, but no one ever seems to talk about: Grendel, by Matt Wagner. There are three (or 3.5) distinct eras for the Grendel stories, each with a wildly different context, art style, and characters. The stories are epics that lasted a lot longer than most story arcs, which may account for why they didn't catch on (since it was hard to jump in the middle), but makes them perfect for reading in collected editions.

There's an excellent mini crossover book with Batman (the first one, NOT the second one). Try that one first, and if you like the storytelling style you can dive into the rest.
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03 Aug 2015 15:46 #207847 by Shellhead
Most of the Grendel that I tried was the backup feature in Mage. The artwork was nice, but the story fell flat for me. Grendel was too smug, and I didn't care about the other characters. Later, I tried a few issues because a friend kept raving about the Grendel series, but only the no-dialogue issue was memorable, and I still didn't enjoy it. I also bought the first Batman/Grendel crossover. The clash between the characters was interesting, but I felt a bit ripped off by the large cover price.

Instead, I would recommend the first Mage series. The first couple of issues are a big rough around the edges, but it's a great story.

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03 Aug 2015 15:57 - 03 Aug 2015 15:59 #207850 by Mr. White

JonJacob wrote: On Superhero comics

If comics like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns lose some of their appeal for audiences that didn't grow up in that time (and they do, the deconstruction makes less sense now) Astro City is the next logical step as it is definitely a post Watchmen style comic written with the goal of reconstructing the super hero for modern times... and it succeeds wildly. Jeff is right, Confession is brilliant. I would argue that the series has some of the best singles of all time. The Samaritan one off where he faces Infidel, the Barbie one off (seriously this is amazing), there should be a trade that is all specials on certain characters (I have them in singles)... the first four trades are all brilliant pretty much but there are several one off from afterwards that are mind blowing. Astro City is the true death of 90's dark angst-y comics and the opposite of what Zack Snyder does.


It's been a few minutes for me now...was Tarnished Angel one of the first four trades? I thought that tale was great as well. Also, I really dug the one about the villain who pulled of all his schemes, but since he was so good he was never caught...thus he ends up bored with no celebrity. At least I hope I'm remembering that one right.

I know Busiek did an Astro City minis series called 'Dark Age' which I believe takes on the dark'n'gritty era head on, but I was totally out of the comic scene by time that came out. I look forward to reading it. However, I feel he already said what needed to be said about that era simply on the strength of the reconstruction done in all his other tales. I'm not sure he needed to tackle the era so directly. We'll see...
Last edit: 03 Aug 2015 15:59 by Mr. White.

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03 Aug 2015 16:05 - 03 Aug 2015 16:06 #207852 by OldHippy

Mr. White wrote:

JonJacob wrote: On Superhero comics

If comics like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns lose some of their appeal for audiences that didn't grow up in that time (and they do, the deconstruction makes less sense now) Astro City is the next logical step as it is definitely a post Watchmen style comic written with the goal of reconstructing the super hero for modern times... and it succeeds wildly. Jeff is right, Confession is brilliant. I would argue that the series has some of the best singles of all time. The Samaritan one off where he faces Infidel, the Barbie one off (seriously this is amazing), there should be a trade that is all specials on certain characters (I have them in singles)... the first four trades are all brilliant pretty much but there are several one off from afterwards that are mind blowing. Astro City is the true death of 90's dark angst-y comics and the opposite of what Zack Snyder does.


It's been a few minutes for me now...was Tarnished Angel one of the first four trades? I thought that tale was great as well. Also, I really dug the one about the villain who pulled of all his schemes, but since he was so good he was never caught...thus he ends up bored with no celebrity. At least I hope I'm remembering that one right.

I know Busiek did an Astro City minis series called 'Dark Age' which I believe takes on the dark'n'gritty era head on, but I was totally out of the comic scene by time that came out. I look forward to reading it. However, I feel he already said what needed to be said about that era simply on the strength of the reconstruction done in all his other tales. I'm not sure he needed to tackle the era so directly. We'll see...


Tarnished Angel is indeed TPB # 4. The short story your thinking of about the criminal who wants recognition is one of his best, it's in book 2 and it's called "Show 'em All". Incredible single issue.

Dark Age is all right but I think of it as a low point in the series.. still great fun and well done but lower quality than we're used to seeing in this series.

What I like about Astro City is that a single issue can sometimes feel like 8 trades in story. There is so much going on in the periphery that the stories feel much richer than their length allows. Like how in Tarnished Angel it's mostly about the Steel Jacketed Man but there is also a beautiful single in there about the Mock Turtle and his great origin story. That single Mock Turtle story tells something like 50 years of story in a single issue. Most writers would drag that out over 10 full books.
Last edit: 03 Aug 2015 16:06 by OldHippy.

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03 Aug 2015 16:21 #207854 by Shellhead
I had mixed feelings about Astro City. Interesting stories, but everything was so derivative of DC and Marvel that the non-featured character had all the depth of cardboard display figures. The only trade that I bought was Tarnished Angel, because that storyline had a unique perspective regarding villains. The Mock Turtle issue was fun because the narrator was unreliable but the art told the truth. I stopped after reading the first part of The Dark Ages. I understand that Busiek was dealing with the grim'n'gritty '90s era that i disliked, but I didn't feel that his story rose enough above the source material. Mark Waid did a much better job of addressing the problems with grim'n'gritty in his brilliant Kingdom Come mini-series.

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04 Aug 2015 01:50 - 04 Aug 2015 19:02 #207902 by Ancient_of_MuMu
Regarding Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing. I recently bought it and read about 6, and there is a definite point where you should stop. You should stop buying/reading after the 4th trade paperback. It all builds to a climax at the end of that issue, and then just starts wandering along aimlessly after that, and my enjoyment plummeted.
Last edit: 04 Aug 2015 19:02 by Ancient_of_MuMu.
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04 Aug 2015 12:46 #207936 by ChristopherMD
Has anyone read the Superman/Batman series from Jeph Loeb? How is it?

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