In the comics retail business, we hear one question all the time: “What book do you recommend?”  It’s a very tough question to answer, as you have to factor in the age of the audience, genre preferences and other concerns.  Add to this the complication that the most iconic characters are all-but-unrecognizable from the last time most questioners had access to comics, and the simple fact that not everyone is ready for the madness of Grant Morrison or the retro brilliance that is Omega The Unknown (still a killer book, even 35 years later.)

The MS-QOTD (pronounced “misquoted”) is all about presentation:  What comic book, TPB or graphic novel would YOU recommend for someone wanting to get into or back into comics?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Loeb and Sales
    The Long Halloween Collected

    Aside from being a brilliant book in its own right, I think it offers a new reader everything they need to get into the character going forward. It gives you (1) a great overall story outside the Batman storyline; (2) the “Detective” aspect of the Bat; (3) great writing and good art; (4) exposure to a parade of Batman villains; and (4) non-traditional Batman storylines (gangster angle is a great one in Gotham).

    I just re-read it this week for the first time since its original run. It is truly a great book.

  2. This is actually a two-part question separated into two additional parts.

    1) Which comic or TPB would I recommend to someone to someone trying to get BACK INTO comics?

    a) COMIC: Probably Earth-2 #1 if they are heading down to the comics store today. The story was tight, the art was well-done and you can walk right into it without fear of continuity problems yet, because this one is new to everyone. However, if you are coming back into comics after a break, it has enough familiarity for previous readers of DC Comics while giving us some of the best Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman characterizations that I’ve seen in years.

    b) TPB: AtomicRobo Volume 1: Because AtomicRobo is a great intro to non-Super-Hero comics for anyone, regardless of whether or not they have previous read comics.

    2) Which comic or TPB would I recommend for someone new to comics?

    a) “Ultimate Spider-Man Volume 1: Power and Responsibility” by Bendis and Bagley: I’m not saying this book doesn’t have it’s flaws, but it is well-written, well-drawn, and gives the new reader a six-issue intro to one of the most iconic characters in American literary history. Plus, you never really appreciate Uncle Ben until you meet Ultimate Uncle Ben.

    b) TPB: AtomicRobo Volume 1: Because AtomicRobo is a great intro to non-Super-Hero comics for anyone regardless of whether or not they have previous read comics.

  3. Preacher and Y: The Last Man. To me not only are they brilliantly written and illustrated but to me they highlight the strength of the comic book form. The episodic nature combined with the fact they they do things that film/tv can’t (Preacher) or won’t (Y: The Last Man) leads to some incredible character development and crazy stories. Oh and the Fantastic Four.

  4. slimeknight on

    Atomic Robo any trade they’re all great.
    If they enjoy D&D fantasy then the IDW dungeons and dragon’s series is in trades.
    The new TMNT series is really good if you liked the cartoon or movies.
    Dan slott’s Amazing Spider-Man start at the beginning of the Ends of the Earth series or wait till its over or go back and get the trades.
    If you’re coming back and have read Defenders then the new series is great.
    Saga from Brian K. Vaughn is on #3so its not to far in.
    The new conan the barbarian just started up and is very pretty with a good story.

    Don’t be afraid to jump in to anything that looks good and if you enjoy it track down past issues through LCS or through online sites like TFAW ,just read the wiki or the story so far first page with marvel and dark horse books

  5. Into:
    Chew, Superman: Secret Identity, Bone, Fables, Walking Dead, Blacksad, Superman: Birthright, Luthor: Man of Steel, Hush, Civil War, Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, Marvels, New Avengers…

    Same as above and… Ex Machina, Top Ten, Invincible, Parker, Batman: Black Mirror, Flash: Move Forward, Superman: For All Seasons, Jonah Hex, Daredevil, Batwoman, Starman, Rocketeer Adventures, Uncanny X-Force…

  6. It all depends on the person. There aren’t many comics/TPB/etc that I would consider right for everyone, so it really comes down to what type of things a person likes.

    But I’ve suggested the following for different people at various times:
    – Kingdom Come
    – Ultimate Spiderman
    – Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
    – Crisis on Infinite Earths
    – Star Wars Tales (not exactly a TPB, but they were similar as collections of various short stories in various tones and settings, including Darth Maul vs Darth Vader or the story of Skippy the Jedi Droid)

  7. Oldcomicfan on

    Starstruck: The best sci-fi science fiction series that’s never been finished. It’s gone through just about every publisher out there, all sorts of revisions, and I just wish people would buy the damned thing so that somebody would pay Kaluta to finish the work!
    Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. It’s both a brilliant reimagining of the Batman legend and honors that legend.
    Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind: Okay, it’s manga, but I recommend it because it is epic in scope, retro artwork, and shows that a comic series doesn’t have to be nothing but capey capey fighty fighty oops don’t make permanent changes to the franchise reboot reboot.
    The Rocketeer: Hey, it’s Dave Stevens! It’s Betty Page! It’s rocket packs! What more do you need?

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