I wanna know what to read
I wanna know what to read
Good luck with this.
For me it was Crisis on Infinite Earths. Granted nowadays that story is pretty much undone, but it will always have a top place in my heart for stories.
What do you like? Any particular characters you're interested in?
Off the top of my head I'd suggest 7 Solders of Victory, Multiversity, Morrison's Batman run, Johns's Flash Run, Starman (James Robinson's run) and 52... But there's a lot of really great stuff, it depends largely on what you're most interested in.
Also, I always suggest this on threads like this... If you don't already, get a library card. It can sometimes seem overwhelming with how many great comics there are / have been and most library systems have a good number of them so you can get your feet wet without much up front investment.
... viddy well, little brother, viddy well...
The http address below is a good resource, because it lists the favourite comic book runs of guys who have read a lot of super hero comics over a long period of time...and by clicking on its embedded links you can easily get to a brief description of each run, and get a good feel for whether its sort of stuff you would like.
You can rest assured that anything on it will be really good of its type. Which doesn't guarantee you'll enjoy it, of course. (Foe example, there's a ton of X-men stuff on it that you'd have to pay me to read...I just don't like X-men...but I'm sure that for X-men fans the stuff mentioned is "best of breed".)
I was in a hurry.. pretty much looking for
Superman - All Star Superman, Superman: Birthright.
Wonder Woman - Brian Azzarello's New 52 run.
Flash - Flash: Rebirth, Geoff John's run, Mark Waid's run, Francis Manapul's New 52 run.
Green Lantern - Green Lantern: Rebirth, Geoff Johns' run.
Mostly copied and pasted from another post, some 'starter packs' for the major characters:
Superman Birthright, All-Star Superman, Superman: Red Son, Superman: Secret Identity and Superman: American Alien are all terrific standalone Superman stories that I'd recommend starting with. The version of Superman starting in the New 52 has his origin in Action Comics Vol. 1-3 by Grant Morrison, a very weird but very fun take on his early years. Volumes 5 and 7 of that are also worth checking out, as well as volumes 1 and 4 of Batman/Superman and Superman Unchained. I'd also recommend Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? (all of Alan Moore's Superman stories in one volume, though they work much better if you've read some older Superman stories like those in the Showcase Presents: Superman volumes), Up Up and Away!, and the novels Last Son of Krypton and Miracle Monday.
The big 'classics' with him are Batman: Year One and The Dark Knight Returns; I'd also recommend checking out Batman: Ego and maybe Batman: Year 100, as well as Batman: Hush if you want a big crazy popcorn-movie style Batman adventure, and Paul Dini's run on Detective Comics (collected across Batman: Detective, Batman: Death and the City, Batman: Private Casebook and Batman: Heart of Hush) is a wonderful run of short Batman adventures. Any sort of "Greatest Batman Stories Of All Time" collection is a safe bet too, since he's been the consistently best-written major DC character over the years. The New 52 Batman begins with the story Court of Owls, but his new origin is recapped in Zero Year; either of those are good places to start, and all of writer Scott Snyder's work on the character is worth looking at. The new Batman by Tom King is also shaping up to be excellent, and is a fine starting point. If and when you've read a lot of Batman stuff and have a good sense of the history of the character, I'd recommend giving the massive run on the character by Grant Morrison a shot, which is collected as Batman and Son->Batman: R.I.P.->Batman Reborn->Batman vs. Robin->Time and the Batman->Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne->Batman and Robin Must Die!->Batman Incorporated Vol. 1->Batman Incorporated: Demon Star->Batman Incorporated: Gotham's Most Wanted. If you enjoy that run, check out the book Grayson, which is an excellent de facto sequel and is about to be followed up by the new Nightwing book.
She's harder to get hooked on, as she hasn't been treated very well over the years; your best bets are either Greg Rucka or Gail Simone's takes on the character. The current ongoing Legend of Wonder Woman origin for her is great, though, and may be the best story with the character yet; this is where I'd start. She's also gotten a new #1 that might be a safe bet. The New 52 version of her had an extended run by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman Vol. 1-6) that's very controversial - many, including myself, really didn't like it - but is also very popular among new readers, so I'd give that a shot too.
The big choice with him is Geoff Johns' Green Lantern epic beginning with Green Lantern: Rebirth, running for years on end with big stories including Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night (it continued for years after Blackest Night, but I personally think it was all downhill from there, a not uncommon sentiment, so beware). However, I think the best starting point for the character is actually the book DC: The New Frontier, a DC 60s period piece on the formation of the Justice League with him as one of the two main characters. I'd also check out the recent Green Lantern: Darkseid War one-shot (while an event tie-in, I assure you it works perfectly as a standalone story), and I've heard good things about Green Lantern: Willworld. Emerald Dawn is also commonly recommended for new readers.
The best stuff with the character actually isn't with the version of him currently running around, but the previous Flash, Wally West. I'd check out Flash: Born to Run and Flash: Return of Barry Allen, and the Flash by Grant Morrison and Mark Millar collection. If you're really interested in Barry, the place to start is either Flash: Rebirth, the first volume of the New 52 Flash, or the recent Flash #1 for DC Rebirth.
Along with New Frontier which I mentioned before, the biggest and best run on the team is by Grant Morrison, collected across JLA Vol. 1-4 (the followup run by Mark Waid, collected through the back half of volume 4 and volume 5, is also a lot of fun). JLA: Year One is an outdated version of their origin not focusing on the 'big three' of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, but is a great character piece (and followed up by a sequel titled Brave and the Bold, which focused on Flash and Green Lantern). Identity Crisis is...not my cup of tea, but a lot of new readers love it, so I might check it out too, though be warned it gets astonishingly brutal. The New 52 run by Geoff Johns is fine popcorn fun, and can be read in order from Justice League Volume 1 onwards, though I think the on-hiatus JLA title by Bryan Hitch is a lot more entertaining; he's taking over the main title with the new #1.
Additional DC Recommendations
Swamp Thing by Alan Moore
The World's Greatest Super-Heroes by Paul Dini and Alex Ross
Seven Soldiers of Victory by Grant Morrison
Animal Man by Grant Morrison & Chaz Truog
Doom Patrol by Grant Morrison & Richard Case
Watchmen (while written as standalone, it's recently been tied into the larger DC universe)
Hellblazer (the original run)
Lucifer by Mike Carey (this and Hellblazer have one toe in DC because of their connection to Sandman, but events in those books are not reflected by other DC books)
Starman by James Robinson
Omega Men by Tom King & Barnaby Bagenda
Midnighter by Steve Orlando & ACO
Recommendations published by DC, but not part of the DC Universe
Flex Mentallo (tied into Doom Patrol, but not part of the DCU)
Stormwatch/The Authority by Warren Ellis & Mark Millar (stars characters that are now part of DC proper, but weren't back then)
The Invisibles (if you're looking for something extra-trippy - this is followed up thematically by the event weirder and darker 'The Filth')
DC's "event" books mostly aren't worth checking out, but if you end up digging Grant Morrison's work, I'd recommend trying Final Crisis, which leads into the excellent Multiversity.
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Apparently the reaction of many superhero comic readers when confronted with anything that might be called ‘good’ is to be scared and confused, because it makes things happen in their brain and that’s never happened before. --Andrew Hickey
The Long Halloween-a great mystery story featuring a lot of classic Batman villains that ties them all together. The companion pieces "Dark Victory" and "Haunted Knight" are also very good.
Year One-a popular story about Batman's beginnings in Gotham that leads into The Long Halloween.
The Dark Knight Returns-perhaps Batman's most celebrated work, about an older more brutal Batman reemerging from the shadows to confront a new generation of criminals in Gotham, after going into hiding following the death of Jason Todd, the 2nd Robin.
All-Star Superman-an essential classic that shows all of Superman's capabilities, while enriching and paying homage to the many characters & elements present in both Superman and Clark Kent's worlds.
Birthright-a great origin story that shows Clark Kent grow into the Superman the world appreciates.
Red Son-an elseworld's that reimagines Superman as being born in the Soviet Union and examines the direction that Superman's best intentions and Lex's obsession with
Take a peak in here:
Born to Run-Wally West's origins as Kid Flash and his adventures with Barry.
The Return of Barry Allen- A great introduction to many members of the "Flash family", the Reverse Flash's origin, Barry Allen's iconic importance, and Wally's maturation. It's a bit dated, but it's still essential.
The Secret of Barry Allen & Rogue War- An awesome run which sees Wally West trying his best to be a symbol of hope as the Flash while suffering in his personal life, and also a really great take on the Flash's Rogues.
Rebirth, Sinestro Corps War, and Blackest Night: A solid trilogy that includes all of Earth's Green Lanterns and their greatest villains.
If you want good Justice League stories with all of them:
Justice by Alex Ross-A modern love letter to the Silver Age featuring a classic JLA vs. Secret Society story.
JLA Year One-a retelling of the Justice League's origin with great characterization.
JLA Volume 1-the beginning of a long and celebrated run by Grant Morrison that reestablishes "The Big 7" lineup.
Crisis on Infinite Earths highlight of my childhood
The Sinestro Corps War (Green Lantern) made me feel like I did during Crisis on Infinite Earths
The Great Darkness Saga (Legion of Super Heroes) + the Annuals featuring the Curse best use of Darkseid ever
Green Lantern: Rebirth Returned my favorite all time DC character to greatness
Justice (by Alex Ross) beautiful art on a Legion of Doom type battle
Justice League Year one Kitson drawn alternate tale of the JLA's origin
Justice League the Nail (and it's sequel) Alan Davis awesomeness in an elseworlds classic
Infinity Inc arc in All Star Squadron and Infinity Inc Pretty much from All Star issue 18-38 and the first 10 issues of Infinity Inc
Pretty much all of Wolfman/Perez New Teen Titans run and Geoff Johns run on JSA.
George Perez' run on Wonder Woman breathtaking art
Morrison's run on JLA, while I prefer the satellite era and JLA's with Hal in them, Morrison's JLA run is one of the best in modern times.
All Star Superman Morrison at his best