An Introduction to Comic Books and Manga: Part 1


My introduction to comic books like most people were the Archie’s, Asterix and Obelix and Tintin. My eventual enrollment in the local Central Library was where i was introduced to DC and other american comics. Being in India, Comic books are not easy to come by and definitely not light on your wallet. In 2007-08, i decided to have a look into the world of comics again. I had started off reading Manga in 2007 with Naruto and Bleach and wanted to get back to DC comics. The Final Crisis was the main event that started in the DC universe about the time i started reading comics. It gave me a place to start reading. Although confusing in itself, the DC universe was what i prefered over Marvel. Why? thats because there are some aspects of Marvel i simply dislike. I decided to give Marvel a chance this year. There are storylines there i would read but story arcs are really tough to follow compared to DC. Take for example the various Avengers titles available. After the recent reboot, Avengers Prime looks promising. Hopefully it stays that way.

Now am not saying that DC is easy to follow. What i did after Final Crisis was follow the story into the War of Light. I was hooked easily onto the 7 light spectrum power struggle and then came the Blackest Night which although reminded me of something called Marvel Zombies was still well written. The Brightest Day is the currently ongoing event but apart from the Green Lantern storylines am just reading the tie-ins for fun. I really believe that Green Lantern is a Comic book to follow due to the War of Light. I am also keen on the Return of Bruce Wayne(6 issues). I would also recommend Batman Beyond(6 issues) and Marvel Universe vs The Punisher(4 issues). Former dealing with Batman of the Future and the latter with a ‘I am Legend’ storyline with The Punisher instead of Will Smith.

Resticting yourselves to the two biggies is not a smart thing to do. There are many great titles out there in the smaller companies. Listed below are some worth reading in my opinion(My favourites). I dont know if its wise to start of with them but you can try these and then find your comfort zone. Please note that i have read them. There maybe many more good series out there. If you know about one than do suggest them to me.

DC:

  • Grant Morrison’s psychedelic run of Doom Patrol (45 issues) which has one of my favourite woman superheroes of all time- Crazy Jane.
  • The War of Light arc consisting of Green Lantern(ongoing) and Green Lantern Corps(ongoing) and certain select Final Crisis, Blackest Day and Brightest tie-ins.
  • Green Lantern: Rebirth Lord Havok and the Extremists from the Countdown to Crisis arc(also a decent storyline).
  • The Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman Beyond are ongoing series that have already been mentioned above.
  • Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta and Watchmen are acclaimed titles which i havent finished reading yet. And also Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.

Marvel:

  • Testament:- The origin story of Magneto which utilizes events from the Holocaust of WW2.
  • Wolverine:Origin:- The graphic novel which first dealt with the story and not the rubbish which the movie was about.
  • Bulls Eye: Greatest Hits:- Reminded me about Joker from The Dark Knight and his origin stories.
  • Daredevil: The Man without Fear :- pairs Frank Miller with John Romita Jr.
  • Weapon X: Days of the Future Now:- A must read X-men title.
  • X-men: Blind Science:- A Brilliantly written One Shot.
  • Hulk: Planet Hulk story arc was decent.
  • Marvel Universe vs The Punisher and Avengers Prime are ongoing series that have already been mentioned above. The Ultimate Universe is recommended for people who want to begin reading now. I have heard the marvel movies will depend on the Ultimate Universe anymore.

Others:

  • Scott Pilgrim (6 volumes) for the graphic novel manga lovers.
  • Icon’s Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s Kick-Ass.
  • Icon’s Mark Millar and Steve Mc’Niven’s Nemesis(ongoing).
  • Avatar’s Chistos Gage’s Absolution.
  • DDP’s Hack/Slash for its unusualness(have read only one book). Cassie Hack makes Lisbeth Salander look cute in comparison
  • Wildstorm’s Push prequel to the Movie helps you put things in context.
  • Also the Inception prequel The Cobol Job is a must read.
  • Dynamite Entertainment’s Sherlock Holmes.
  • IDW’s Singularity 7 and the ongoing True Blood(alongside the HBO series now in season 3)
  • Frank Miller’s 300 and Sin City.

Will keep adding to this list.
(Article to be continued in part 2)

Singularity 7 Hack/Slash

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Author: iNOsaint

Inosaint. The Evil Genius. The Mad Hunter. I go by many names!

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