Must read comics?

Number-Six

macrumors 6502
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Jul 25, 2013
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Hi

I have read comics for most of my life, but until a year or two ago it was limited to French/Belgian comic books - longer, less serialized series I think would be a good description.

I've started looking into Marvel and DC but it is so overwhelming with nearly 80 years of content that I don't really know where to begin. Plus it seems that a lot are long series and it's not always clear where a series actually starts

So far, I've read or started to read the following:

- The Killing Joke (enjoyed that a lot)
- Old Man Logan (enjoyed that a lot)
- Planet Hulk (enjoyed that a lot)
- World War Hulk (I know I read it, I do not remember a single thing about it)
- Darth Vader (halfway through, enjoying it a lot)
- House of M (started, mostly confused)
- Age of Apocalypse (started, slightly confused)
- The Dark Knight Returns (started, mixed feelings, I was not expecting it to be so badly drawn - or rather, let's say I am not enjoying the art style at all)

What would be good suggestions of other things to pick up?
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
You might consider Watchmen (published as self contained graphic novel), it's impressive, has the depth of a novel, but it's also I don't know, not as satisfying as I expected it to be. I've got V For Vendetta, but have not gotten around to reading it yet. When I was in my comic reading mode, I covered about 10 years of X-men before burning out. A story arc called the Dark Pheonix Saga was excellent and published as a stand alone graphic novel. The problem with reading that alone is that your coming basically into the middle of an established ecosystem with a long established history you will have missed. They butchered this story when they touched upon it in the movie X-Men 3 (Last Stand)- funny name, if you want to believe it. :p

[doublepost=1459525702][/doublepost]I'm not sure how this works (copyright) for ancient out of print comics, but if you snoop around, you might locate a 30 year compilation of X-Men comics that start with it's origination in the 1963, in reader/PDF format online.
 

D.T.

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Sep 15, 2011
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That's a good, plus the recommendations from @Huntn

Writers you'll want to check out (some you've already read!):

Frank Miller
Niel Gaiman
Alan Moore
Garth Ennis
Mark Wade
Grant Morrison
Mark Millar
Denny O' Neil
Chris Claremont
Kurt Busiek
Peter David


Some specific comics (some already mentioned that were worth mentioning again):

Batman: Year One
Astro City
Sandman
Preacher
Hellblazer
Watchman
Hellboy
Sin City
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
100 Bullets
All Star Superman
Y: The Last Man
Kingdom Come
Daredevil: Born Again
Swamp Thing
Marvels

FWIW, I'm a huge fan of super stylized art, so some of these on first blush may have artwork that seems simple. Some of these were original lengthy run, but most have been compiled into volumes of graphic novel (Sandman for example). Also, these vary quite a bit in terms of adult themes, violence, etc.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
17,031
16,491
The Misty Mountains
That's a good, plus the recommendations from @Huntn

Writers you'll want to check out (some you've already read!):

Frank Miller
Niel Gaiman
Alan Moore
Garth Ennis
Mark Wade
Grant Morrison
Mark Millar
Denny O' Neil
Chris Claremont
Kurt Busiek
Peter David


Some specific comics (some already mentioned that were worth mentioning again):

Batman: Year One
Astro City
Sandman
Preacher
Hellblazer
Watchman
Hellboy
Sin City
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
100 Bullets
All Star Superman
Y: The Last Man
Kingdom Come
Daredevil: Born Again
Swamp Thing
Marvels

FWIW, I'm a huge fan of super stylized art, so some of these on first blush may have artwork that seems simple. Some of these were original lengthy run, but most have been compiled into volumes of graphic novel (Sandman for example). Also, these vary quite a bit in terms of adult themes, violence, etc.
I never read Hellboy, but loved the first movie. Disliked the second one.
 

Number-Six

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
383
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Thank you both, that should keep me busy for a few weeks ;)
 
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mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
9,344
6,213
The Anthropocene
Hi

I have read comics for most of my life, but until a year or two ago it was limited to French/Belgian comic books - longer, less serialized series I think would be a good description.

I've started looking into Marvel and DC but it is so overwhelming with nearly 80 years of content that I don't really know where to begin. Plus it seems that a lot are long series and it's not always clear where a series actually starts

So far, I've read or started to read the following:

- The Killing Joke (enjoyed that a lot)
- Old Man Logan (enjoyed that a lot)
- Planet Hulk (enjoyed that a lot)
- World War Hulk (I know I read it, I do not remember a single thing about it)
- Darth Vader (halfway through, enjoying it a lot)
- House of M (started, mostly confused)
- Age of Apocalypse (started, slightly confused)
- The Dark Knight Returns (started, mixed feelings, I was not expecting it to be so badly drawn - or rather, let's say I am not enjoying the art style at all)

What would be good suggestions of other things to pick up?
Conversely, what Franco-Belgian comics would you reccomend? As my French improves I've been interested in picking up some more albums.
 
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rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
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Sunny, Southern California
Hi

I have read comics for most of my life, but until a year or two ago it was limited to French/Belgian comic books - longer, less serialized series I think would be a good description.

I've started looking into Marvel and DC but it is so overwhelming with nearly 80 years of content that I don't really know where to begin. Plus it seems that a lot are long series and it's not always clear where a series actually starts

So far, I've read or started to read the following:

- The Killing Joke (enjoyed that a lot)
- Old Man Logan (enjoyed that a lot)
- Planet Hulk (enjoyed that a lot)
- World War Hulk (I know I read it, I do not remember a single thing about it)
- Darth Vader (halfway through, enjoying it a lot)
- House of M (started, mostly confused)
- Age of Apocalypse (started, slightly confused)
- The Dark Knight Returns (started, mixed feelings, I was not expecting it to be so badly drawn - or rather, let's say I am not enjoying the art style at all)

What would be good suggestions of other things to pick up?
Here are some others I can add to the list:

The Goon - Eric Powell. One of my favorite story lines. Finished
Hellboy - There are a couple of different story lines. Hellboy goes to hell is the main story line. This one is ending soon.
"Y" The Last Man - Awesome series. I am half way through it. Finished
The Boys - Half way through this one too. It is also really good. Finished.
Invincible - Robert Kirkman's other comic book. Love it!!!!!! On-going
Saga - Same author as "Y" The Last Man. On-going
The Walking Dead - Robert Kirkman's comic. Really good! On-going
47 Ronin - Stan Sakai Graphic Novel. Really good.
Spawn - Issues 1-85-90 or so are really good. I haven't read it since, but the first part of the series I really enjoyed.
Sam and Twitch - Spin off of Spawn's two detectives is really good. They have a couple of books that are really good.
Okko - Series by Boom Studies. They are on Book four now. Really good series. The final chapter is supposed to come out later or early next year.
Peter Panzerfaust and Rat Queen - Really good series. Peter's final book is set to hit later this year according to the author. Rat Queen is on-going.
Blacksad - There are several books in this series. A Silent Hell and Amarillo are really good. Silent Hell is pretty sad.
Chew - This series is ending soon but it is one of my favorites. Poyo for the Win....
Gen 13 - Limited Original Run. Excellent little series. The new series that was on going, has since ended was not that good IMHO.
The Killer - Read the first book. Really good book about an assassin.
Locke & Key - The series has ended but one of the best comic book series you will read. The art is some of the best around! Really good stuff.
Manhattan Project - I like this one. It is pretty good. Different but good. On-going
Nailbiter - Twisted little book. On-going.
Secret Six - New series, I have not read the original. Really good! On-going.
Sex Criminals - WOW! On-going.
Skullkickers - Fun book. The series has ended but man it is a good run and I really dig the artwork.
Sandman - Need I say more.
The Strain - Good comic book series. I believe this one is still going I have only read the trade #1.
Thief of Thieves - Read the Robert Kirkman run of this one. Really good!
Wayward - Outstanding little series. I have only read the HC Trade, but it is on-going and I am really looking forward to reading more. Same author as Skullkickers. Jim Zub. He is pretty darn good.
We Stand On Guard - Series just ended only four books. Really good. Same author as Saga and "Y" The Last Man.
American Vampire - I have read the first run of this book. Really good vampire noir.
Batman - Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. Greg is one of my favorite artist (does about 85 comics in the Spawn run above). I have really liked this take. I did not like Scott on Detective Comics new 52. Horrible.
Big Man Plans - Four run comic that is seriously twisted. Great little run.
Black Science - Have only read the first 10 comics. Great run so far.
Chimichanga - If you read The Goon and like this one, same author and there is a relationship to The Goon lore, you will like this one.
Hellblazer - Incredible run for the most part.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Graphic Novel Series - I Dug them.
Guardians of the Galaxy - Andy and Brad take. I have read volume one and two. Volume one is really good.
Rocket Raccoon Vol 2 - Good run....
Scalped - One of my favorite books/series. Sooooo freaking good.



If you want some seriously twisted stuff. Look for Vertika run of comics. WOW. Twisted is saying it lightly.

You mentioned Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. I was in the same boat. It was just ok to me also. Outside of 300 and the original Sin City I have been disappointed with his work. I had to force myself through his Ronin book.

Alan Moore has also been hit or miss for me. I really liked the Watchmen book. Also read his Neonomicon and League of book. They were just ok.
 
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Number-Six

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Conversely, what Franco-Belgian comics would you reccomend? As my French improves I've been interested in picking up some more albums.
That's a tough one to answer as many are series I've been following since ...well forever. I don't know if I had read them as an adult if I'd have enjoyed them as much

But I would always recommend Astérix, even if a lot of the text might be lost on someone learning the language.

Another classic would be Les Aventures de Tintin, although the first 4-5 books have aged really badly and makes you wonder how much of a racist Hergé was, but it's still a pretty classic Belgian series.

I remember the following series fondly (Astérix will always be my favorite): Les Tuniques Bleues, Le Scrameustache, Spirou et Fantasio, Chick Bill, Léonard, Clifton, Robin Dubois, Tif et Tondu, Les 4 As, Achille Talon

As an adult, my favorite series has been XIII and its spin-off series XIII Mystery.

I'm probably forgetting a lot, i'll look through my collection
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
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The Far Horizon
Conversely, what Franco-Belgian comics would you reccomend? As my French improves I've been interested in picking up some more albums.
Well, when I was studying French years and years ago, I must say that I loved the Asterix and Obelix series…….(and they are very clever, and witty, too, irrespective of whatever language they are read in.)
[doublepost=1459532702][/doublepost]
That's a tough one to answer as many are series I've been following since ...well forever. I don't know if I had read them as an adult if I'd have enjoyed them as much

But I would always recommend Astérix, even if a lot of the text might be lost on someone learning the language.

Another classic would be Les Aventures de Tintin, although the first 4-5 books have aged really badly and makes you wonder how much of a racist Hergé was, but it's still a pretty classic Belgian series.

I remember the following series fondly (Astérix will always be my favorite): Les Tuniques Bleues, Le Scrameustache, Spirou et Fantasio, Chick Bill, Léonard, Clifton, Robin Dubois, Tif et Tondu, Les 4 As, Achille Talon

As an adult, my favorite series has been XIII and its spin-off series XIII Mystery.

I'm probably forgetting a lot, i'll look through my collection
Yes, agree re Tintin, too; I remember reading his stuff, as well, (and enjoying the world he created, but not as much as I had enjoyed the Asterix comic series) and yes, re content let us just say that it offers an interesting and rather revealing historical perspective.
 
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mscriv

macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2008
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The thing with long standing comics like Marvel and DC series is that they run in cycles. As many other posters have demonstrated, they liked a particular title when a certain author/artist was working on it, but maybe not before or after that. In the world of comics you will find multiple titles for many characters and then within a specific title you will find different runs by varying writers, artists, etc. This can often lead to a confusing story arc when it comes to origin stories as you end up with slightly different versions of a character or changing versions of the character. Marvel and DC will often try to define a unified "canon" for their characters, but that can still be variable.

I collected as a kid in the 80's/90's and enjoyed characters like Batman, X-Men, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Wolverine, etc..
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,381
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The Far Horizon
Personally, I always rather liked Madd on the rare occasions I was able to lay hands on it - stylish art, clever jokes, and very much an enjoyable read.
 

Number-Six

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 25, 2013
383
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Well, when I was studying French years and years ago, I must say that I loved the Asterix and Obelix series…….(and they are very clever, and witty, too, irrespective of whatever language they are read in.)
[doublepost=1459532702][/doublepost]

Yes, agree re Tintin, too; I remember reading his stuff, as well, (and enjoying the world he created, but not as much as I had enjoyed the Asterix comic series) and yes, re content let us just say that it offers an interesting and rather revealing historical perspective.
Indeed, while reading those first few books, you really have to keep in mind that they were written between 1929 and 1940 or so. However starting with Le Secret de la Licorne the stories are a little more timeless in my opinion.
 
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mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
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The Anthropocene
That's a tough one to answer as many are series I've been following since ...well forever. I don't know if I had read them as an adult if I'd have enjoyed them as much

But I would always recommend Astérix, even if a lot of the text might be lost on someone learning the language.

Another classic would be Les Aventures de Tintin, although the first 4-5 books have aged really badly and makes you wonder how much of a racist Hergé was, but it's still a pretty classic Belgian series.

I remember the following series fondly (Astérix will always be my favorite): Les Tuniques Bleues, Le Scrameustache, Spirou et Fantasio, Chick Bill, Léonard, Clifton, Robin Dubois, Tif et Tondu, Les 4 As, Achille Talon

As an adult, my favorite series has been XIII and its spin-off series XIII Mystery.

I'm probably forgetting a lot, i'll look through my collection
Great! I've been working my way through some Astérix (recently, Astérix chez les Bretons). I'll look into some of these others, merci bien !
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,220
2,248
Sunny, Southern California
The thing with long standing comics like Marvel and DC series is that they run in cycles. As many other posters have demonstrated, they liked a particular title when a certain author/artist was working on it, but maybe not before or after that. In the world of comics you will find multiple titles for many characters and then within a specific title you will find different runs by varying writers, artists, etc. This can often lead to a confusing story arc when it comes to origin stories as you end up with slightly different versions of a character or changing versions of the character. Marvel and DC will often try to define a unified "canon" for their characters, but that can still be variable.

I collected as a kid in the 80's/90's and enjoyed characters like Batman, X-Men, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Wolverine, etc..
I actually don't read a lot of Marvel (two titles currently) and only one of DC (Batman) but that one will probably stop since Scott and Greg will no longer being handling it.

You are oh so correct when it comes to the books I read. I look for the author first and then the artist. If you can't tell a good story, the art work is not going to help. It might look pretty but if the story is not there. Ugh. I really dig the stuff Image and Vertigo, well DC/Vertigo have been putting out. Dark Horse has a few, but then again, it is the author and then the artist that I like!
 
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rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,220
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Sunny, Southern California
Sad to say, one of my favorite comic books is coming to an end. "Chew" put out by Image. If you have not read this one, I cannot recommend it enough! Sad to see it go.

I just picked up the following that I am really digging right now.

"Black Monday Murders", "1957", and "1958". If you are into murder mystery and a little super natural! Good stuff. BMB just came out, but I am already hooked on it, two issues in! Hoping it can keep this style and level of entertainment for me.
 
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