If you haven’t been born in the 40’s getting into comics can be quite a difficult task. There are so many volumes, arcs, publishers, Universes, Multiverses and about 100 years of history that people think they need to catch up to in order to understand what really goes on.
Well, we are here to tell you that there is a way to start reading comics and actually enjoy it. You see reading comics is a lot easier than people really think it is and you don’t really have to go above and beyond or spend hours trying to figure out what’s the correct way.
First of all, let’s make it clear. We live in the 21st century and the internet is a great weapon that we’re going to use a lot within this guide but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t walk inside a comic shop. Probably few of my favorite experiences are created through the magic doors of a comic store.
Sounds a bit romantic (and it might well be) finding the one is the right place to start. For me it was Wolverine. I got into comics in the 90’s and at that point, I already have lost a couple of decades of Wolverine comics since his first appearance was back in the 70’s. Wolverine even though not as complicated as other heroes helped me find a decent system of getting into comics.
Finding the right hero thought can also be daunting especially between a few thousands of heroes flying around.
In case you haven’t decided who you’d like I suggest reading some light team reading comic arcs in order to get to know them better.
- The Defenders
- Fantastic Four
- The Avengers
- Justice League
These teams consist of multiple heroes that could prove useful when you want to really start getting into comics.
The Avengers, for example, is a perfect learning point for Marvel heroes such as Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Loki, Black Widow and more while Justice League is an excellent starting point for getting to know characters such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman etc.
In our case, I will walk you through how you can start reading The Avengers and Justice League. That will be a great introduction not just to those two amazing teams but also to a number of heroes.
How to start reading the Avengers
The Avengers first appearance goes back in 1963 which can scare off a lot of new readers. Thankfully my guide of how to start reading The Avengers comic will easily bring you up to speed and will point you to the right volumes within the past few decades all the way till today.
In the world of comics, we use the term jumping-on points. Those points help us introduce ourselves into a comic that we haven’t read and we are unable to do the work of going back 50 years and start reading from the beginning. In the same manner, below I will enlist the jumping-on points for The Avengers comics that I believe will smoothly introduce not only the team but also the individual characters within the team and their own storylines.
The Avengers of Kurt Busiek
Kurt Busiek was in charge of cleaning up a huge mess back in the 90’s and with his amazing talent that’s exactly what he did.
Busiek was a handed a very bloated roster that he managed to slim down to the basics and yet tell a compelling story. Not only that he managed to created the perfect jumping-on point for new readers by adding a number of flashbacks.
The Avengers in Busiek time was what a lot of people call a classic with a modern writing and the golden age of The Avengers.
- The Avengers vol. 3 #1–15 (1998–2002)
- Avengers #0 (1999)
- The Avengers vol. 3 #19–56 (1998–2002)
- Avengers Forever #1-12 (1998-1999)
Find all of Busiek’s work here
The Avengers of Brian Michael Bendis
Bendis had the longest tenure as a writer for the team and has seen them through countless of stories that changed the story of the entire Marvel universe (not exaggerating). Bendis seriously shook things up in for all fans with some of his work being
- Avengers: Disassembled
- The New Avengers
- House of M
A decade of reading might sound very intimidating but thankfully a Reddit user has created the perfect list for us right here
Find all of Bendis work here
The Avengers of Jonathan Hickman
Hickman’s started his tenure of The Avengers following his years of Fantastic Four and he is telling the story of The Avengers saving the world while a secret Illuminati group is making some impossible decisions behind their back. Hickman’s epic story leads to Secret Wars miniseries.
Thankfully we have another reading guide ready for you right here
Find all of Hickman’s work here
The Avengers of Mark Waid
After Jonathan Hickman, Mark Waid did a pretty good job with the team by getting into it All New, All Different Avengers which basically brings us to the present team as we know them.
Find all of Waid’s work here
How to start reading Justice League
Justice League first appearance was back in the 60’s, just like The Avengers it’s Justice League is one of the most famous superhero teams. The original seven characters were Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Batman, Martian Manhunter & Green Lantern but throughout the Justice League comics history the superhero roster rotated and contained hundreds of DC superheroes.
Grant Morrison’s JLA
During the 80s and up till 1997, Justice League became a bit of a mixed bag, featuring a lot of smaller characters which essentially made it lose its once good grades with the fans. But in 1997, Grant Morrison came along to change two decades of almost mediocre publications with JLA. Justice League America reduced the roster back to the basic, long-lasting, fan-loving DC superheroes and kinda resurrected them which made it one of the best jumping-on points for all new readers.
Reading order is much easier than Marvel’s “The Avengers” since you can pretty much find its 125 issues in 9 Volumes and binge read the entire thing within a few days.
- JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 1
- JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 2
- JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 3
- JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 4
- JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 5
- JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 6
- JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 7
- JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 8
- JLA: The Deluxe Edition, Volume 9
Justice League New 52
In 2011 DC figured out that reading comics has become very difficult for new users and they decided to make it easier with Justice League New 52 they’ve created a jumping-on point for all readers that required no previous experience with the DCU.
DC’s superstar writer Geoff Johns was Jim Lee as the artist they’ve created one of the highest selling comics of all time.
Stories such as the Invading army of Apokolips, Forever Evil, Darkseid War, Evil Justice League and more are just an example of the adventure within. If nothing else, the movie was inspired by the invading army of Apokolips.
Another great and easy binge reading jumping-on point for Justice League since you can easily find everything within eight volumes.
- Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin (New 52)
- Justice League, Vol. 2: The Villain’s Journey
- Justice League, Vol. 3: Throne of Atlantis
- Justice League, Vol. 4: The Grid
- Justice League, Vol. 5: Forever Heroes
- Justice League, Vol: 6: Injustice League
- Justice League, Vol: 7: Darkseid War Part 1
- Justice League, Vol: 8: Darkseid War Part 2
Hopefully, the above jumping-on points will be enough to immerse you within the world of not just Justice League or The Avengers but beyond that point to the universe of comics and it’s overall culture.
Remember that entertainment hardly ever should be intimidating. If something seems too difficult to read or you believe that you’ll get lost in the process, we probably have a guide for it. So go on along now, and happy reading!