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PaulMcGrath_5

Comic Books

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I have played the Batman games and seen the Batman films but I want to start reading the Comics/Books.
I have never read any of them before, can anyone give me a list of 5 that I should read first to get me started?

This can be a good topic to discuss any other Comics too, if there isn't already another thread?

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In no particular order, the Batman graphic novels that I've read that I would recommend would be:

The Dark Knight Returns

Tower of Babel

A Death in the Family

The Killing Joke

Hush

Gothic

Killing Joke

Judgment on Gotham

Vendetta in Gotham

Arkham Asylum

I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will have lots more, but those are the ones I've read and enjoyed.

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When it comes to other comics if you're a fan of the art and like images that have a Manga feel to them then I would suggest looking at anything with artwork by Joe Madureira. 'Battle Chasers' was a notable series, although I remember it taking months for each issue to come out. Plus the story was never properly finished. Great artwork though in my opinion.

If you like crossover/event stories then I would suggest checking out 'The Age of Apocalypse'. I think you can now buy that in complete volumes, which is much easier that it was at the time when having to collect each issue.

Check out 'Civil War' aswell.

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Oh, if we're talking outside of Batman then put Preacher at the top of your list.

Best.Comics.Ever.

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Make sure you read the 4 issues that make the year one story line.

I would also suggest reading the knightfall novel than the comic books as the story behind Bane in the booke is superb.

In terms of other comics the walking dead comics are the best things i've ever read.

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Oh, if we're talking outside of Batman then put Preacher at the top of your list.

Best.Comics.Ever.

I second this.

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In terms of graphic novels, I own:

The Killing Joke

Year One

The Dark Knight Returns

Hush 1&2

The Long Halloween

Dark Victory

Battle For The Cowl

Joker

Arkham Asylum

All are good, although Arkham Asylum disappointed me, but I think it's mainly the art style I don't like. Anything by Jeph Loeb is bound to be awesome, him and Sale make a really good team. If you're thinking of branching into the actual comic books then last year DC started The New 52 reboot. There's a lot of different comics in that collection but there's a few Batman ones that you could get into or The Justice League in which Batman appears regularly.

I don't condone it obviously, but you can find tons of digital comics online and download them via torrent. There's a torrent with all the different comics involved with Knightfall which is the lengthy storyline involving Bane. I'd recommend that.

Outside of Batman, as others suggested, Civil War is a really good story arc. I'd also throw Watchmen in there as another graphic novel to get. Alan Moore is a bit of a fruit but he writes some damn good stuff.

Oh, and last year they did an animated movie of Year One with Bryan Cranston as the voice of Jim Gordon. I'm not sure it's sold here in the UK so it might have to be a download as well.

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One that hasn't been suggested on the Batman front is No-Man's Land. It has some influence on TDKR film.

Year One, Long Halloween, Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns are must reads. Knightfall is a big arc if you read it from star to end, that you'll love if you liked the character of Bane in TDKR, it being his origin in the comics and still his most famous storyline. Hush is very good if you want to read a story that is pretty modern and introduces a new villain to the Batman canon. Earth One is also supposedly a very cool reinterpretation of the origin of Batman, messing with a few of the details and playing it a bit differently. The first storyline DC did with Batman as part of 'the New 52', the Court of Owls, has had people raving too - unfortunately I think it's only just ended so won't have a collected edition yet I don't think.

Away from Batman, Watchmen is a must. It's a very clever work that genuinely has layers of understanding and interpretation. You kinda either buy the ending or not but it's not really the point.

Civil War is a good read for a big scale Marvel romp, the only issue you may run into with that is at times it feels like you've missed something - because you have. Civil War was an enormous storyline in Marvel's canon and it's buildup and side stories ran through all the different comic lines Marvel had at the time. Reading Civil War alone gives you a cool story (I mean, it's hard not to enjoy seeing basically the entire main Marvel universe go toe to toe under the banner of Cap or Iron Man, and it has some very cool moments and scenes. And some ludicrous ones - but it's all part of the fun. It also has loads of characters in it you probably don't even know are characters), but it feels a little like it comes out of nowhere. In actuality they built it up for months and ended up releasing numerous collections of the build up and side stories, so when you type Marvel Civil War into Amazon you'll get about 20 different results. I'd still recommend reading the main Civil War release though.

If you get on with Civil War look at Secret Invasion (which features the Skrulls, an evil alien race of shapeshifters infiltrating every level of society, even the ranks of superheros, to take over the planet) and maybe Siege (which is the culmination of a long story arc involving Norman Osborn becoming a truly enormous adversary for... well, everyone through a complex plan). Siege suffers from the same problem Civil War has but more so - they spent aaaaaaaaaages building up to that issue and it's a big long running arc if you go back to the very origins of the story.

If you like Iron Man Extremis is a good more recent arc and will give you some nods towards the next film. It also helped inspire the original film.

Away from the obvious, the Sandman series is worth a look if you fancy something a bit more... artsy and out there.

And Judge Dredd is worth a mooch.

The recent Brian Michael Bendis run of Moonknight is either just about to be, or just has been, released as a collected edition I think and I heard nothing but good things about that run. Moonknight is a really niche Marvel hero and Bendis played around with the character, leading to some interesting results.

I'll see if any others come to mind...

If you do want to start reading comics and graphic novels I recommend checking out wiki or a comic book site (ComicVine is decent) and searching for a character that interests you and seeing what their big story arcs have been - they're always referenced when chatting about these characters and the best/most popular arcs are almost always available as a TPB (trade paperback - basically a collection edition/graphic novel). See what arcs pop up and take your fancy and whack it into Amazon, usually it'll have had a collected edition, particularly if it's a release from the past 20, 25 years.

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I'm in the very expensive process of going through some events - problem is I feel like I have to get everything that goes with it, which mostly results in a tonne of TPBs as well as some single issue tie-ins. On House of M at the minute which interests me.

I actually picked up the Absolute Edition of The Long Halloween for just over £20 in a tarde in record place over the road from Nostalgia & Comics the other week. Haven't seen it that cheap even on eBay so I was chuffed with that.

Any particular Judge Dredd stuff you'd suggest, Chindie? With the movie out soon I'd like to pick at least something up. Only criticism I've heard so far is that a lot of it does seem to be a bit dated now. Still think I'd be interested though.

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I'm not that up on my Dredd, I'd like to read more but, you know, money, shelf space, the longing to eventually have a woman in my bedroom again...

I can't remember which ones I've read now, but I do recall hearing the same edition suggested time and again - America. Everyone rates it. If you really buy into Dredd I believe they're releasing the complete Dredd series in a series of collections - from the very beginning.

2000ad generally has an issue with being dated IIRC, the early stuff is very 'of it's time' and you only need to see a few images to get that. It's an acquired taste but very, very British. They're actually doing the 'complete' collections with most of the major 2000ad characters it seems actually - that's a good way to make yourself poor ;)

Thats a dangerous blackhole to head into by the way, trying to get the entirety of the story with the big Marvel events is crazy stuff - as said, something like Civil War has so many little preludes and perspectives in the run in to it (and aftermath) that you'd end up parting with a lot of money in the end.

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Thats a dangerous blackhole to head into by the way, trying to get the entirety of the story with the big Marvel events is crazy stuff - as said, something like Civil War has so many little preludes and perspectives in the run in to it (and aftermath) that you'd end up parting with a lot of money in the end.

And don't I know it! Fortunately the last one I got, Secret War, is very small so it barely cost a thing.

Will have a look into that Dredd 'America' then.

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Thats a dangerous blackhole to head into by the way, trying to get the entirety of the story with the big Marvel events is crazy stuff - as said, something like Civil War has so many little preludes and perspectives in the run in to it (and aftermath) that you'd end up parting with a lot of money in the end.

yeah i was picking them off on amazon for under a fiver but now they are edging towards double that, i think the xmen one i got for £4 is now £25

civil war ive got -

main book

road to civil war

xmen

iron man

fantastic 4

new avengers

young avengers

captain america

batman ive only got year one, also got watchmen which is still my favourite

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I miss the days of trying to track down every issue in a crossover. I have already mentioned it but 'Age Of Apocalypse' was bloody brilliant from what I remember. There was all of the build-up material, the event material itself and then the aftermath. I've still got all of the issues stashed away.

Others I remember include 'Annihilation', 'The Phalanx Covenant' and 'Onslaught'. I'm sure there must have been more than that, yet those are the ones that have stuck in my head.

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I'm currently reading through Age of Apocalypse for the first time. It's been a bit tough trying to order it correctly and I think I've missed a few issues out but I got most of it. I'm about eight comics away from completion.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend Age of Apocalypse if you're not particularly familiar with the normal Marvel universe and the normal X-Men. Age of Apocalypse is basically a storyline where an alternate future is created when Legion (Charles Xavier's mentally unstable son who has multiple personalities which all have different powers) goes back in time to where Xavier and Magneto first become friends working at a hospital. Legion's plan is to kill Magneto so that Xavier basically doesn't have to devote his life to stopping him so that he and Legion can have a proper relationship ya-dee-ya, I'm not that familiar with that part of the story. Anyway, Xavier sees Legion about to kill Magneto and saves his life by sacrificing himself. Thus an alternative future is born where Xavier dies and never forms the X-Men. Apocalypse is then relatively unopposed and takes over the U.S and plans to eventually aspire to world domination.

Magneto takes up his friend's wish for peaceful co-existence with humans and forms his version of the X-Men but they are unable to stop Apocalypse taking over. Apocalypse starts to cull the human population and enslaving the rest and preaches "survival of the fittest" claiming humans to be weak and that co-existence is wrong since mutants should be ruling them. So yeah, it has many differences from the normal Marvel universe in that some heroes are villains and vice versa, some die when they should have lived, also vice versa. Still a really great story arc though.

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I have played the Batman games and seen the Batman films but I want to start reading the Comics/Books.

I have never read any of them before, can anyone give me a list of 5 that I should read first to get me started?

This can be a good topic to discuss any other Comics too, if there isn't already another thread?

Batman used to be a TV series as well.You might be able to get that from somewhere.

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