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  1. #1
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    Default New Comic Book Guy (Easybroth) Sets Out to Read DC Comics from the New 52 on

    I don't even know if these kinds of threads are allowed on here, I read the FAQ, but didn't see anything specific about content of threads, so I'm jumping in feet first.

    I'm a 31 year old man who has very limited experience with comic books, that weren't meant to be funny. I had read The Walking Dead, and really that's about it. I enjoyed the Marvel movies, they were certainly entertaining. But, what I enjoyed more than the individual stories (which varied in quality), was the continuity between it all. That these things were building off of one another or even happening simultaneously, and then it begins to feel less like individual movies, but rather one large entity. But, frankly, I'm just not a movie guy. I much prefer reading and art, so it makes sense why the medium of comic books appeals to me. But, it's always been cost prohibitive and overwhelming, and the only thing that seemed cost efficient were omnibuses, which is why I've read The Walking Dead! But, then about a month ago I discovered the subscription service for DC Comics, and suddenly it wasn't cost prohibitive (though still overwhelming), and with a nice iPad to look at, enjoyable and easy to read.

    But, where to start? I chose DC over Marvel (since they obviously have a subscription model of their own), because I like Batman and Superman, and I'm over Marvel characters for now. I fell down the rabbit hole of research, trying to find the perfect starting point (which I now realize is a fool's errand) to get into DC comics and their universe (which I also now realize is not full of continuity and requires suspending disbelief as well as timelines) and despite the polarizing sentiments about it, I've decided to start with the New 52. Apparently, there are some real duds floating around in there, but that's fine! I really, really expect this to be a marathon and not a race, and have zero plans of ever being able to catch up to the present. This is likely a project that will take up years. But, I figure I can knock out a storyline or two a week (more in the summer, since I'm a school teacher), and really make some progress through the DC universe. I've been compiling various reading lists all over the internet, and I think I have a decent idea of my plan to approaching it, since I don't think there is a 'perfect' order out there. And I'll certainly take suggestions on my reading order as well.


    My plan to get started has been about two weeks in the making (if that gives you any idea on what kind of person I am...I'm also one that likes using parentheticals if you can't tell), and I'm rearing to go. There are a handful of 'main' DC super heroes that I really don't know much about, besides surface information that any half-way nerd knows (Green Arrow, Aquaman), and there are a handful out there that I've never heard of up until now (O.M.A.C., Blue Beetle). I don't have much optimism for the ones that lasted 5 issues before getting axed, but the goal is to get through them anyways. I get the sense that it would be beneficial to read at least a few comics leading up to the New 52 for some important context and information, but I've got to put a limit somewhere or I'm going to end up following the crumb trail all the way back to 80 year old comics. So, New 52 it is, I'm sure I'll be doing plenty of googling anyways, so I'll pick up any information I need along the ways from wiki's, board members and the such.

    I ask for no spoilers, I'm sure I'll accidentally spoil things for myself by being overzealous with the googling, but I'll do my best. I'm going to try to maintain a rough map of my plan to get through the comics, again by using an amalgamation of several website's reading orders (of which I'll credit in due time) and wherever my interest seems to take me.

    I'm going to try to roughly follow publication orders, I thought about trying it chronologically, but I don't think I'd enjoy reading it as much, I also don't know if I trust that anyone who puts reading orders together could truly, accurately do such a colossal task. I don't want to just bounce around haphazardly as I know there is no way to perfectly line anything up. So my goal is to keep characters that make sense to be read together, together. If a character appears in a story and they have a arc out there in roughly the same publication period they are going to be moved up the list and be more likely to be read sooner. I expect this to be pretty interesting and a very long term project. I hope CBR is paying their server bill because I'm hoping this thread is around for awhile.

    From the reading order sites I've used (comicbookreadingorders.com, comicbooktreasury.com, mythbank.com, readingorders.net, collectededitions.blogspot.com (probably my favorite) as well as the Patreon user ComicBookOrderly, who I paid a few bucks to access his order (which has a few issues, but it has an excellent checklist).

    It seems I'm supposed to start out with the opening arc for Justice League.


    After that, it will be Action Comics:


    Then, after that? I'm really not sure. I'll have to see where it takes me and/or take suggestions from the community. Looking forward to it and I'll take any suggestions you have.

  2. #2
    Three Legged Member married guy's Avatar
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    I'd suggest starting with Flashpoint before reading Justice League #1.
    It's actually a decent story and worth a look.
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  3. #3
    Uncanny King-Kamalu lemonpeace's Avatar
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    I'll offer up how I got into comics but it's kinda roundabout and it won't guarentee a cohesive experience ngl:

    I don't go by story recommendations because I feel that often comes down to taste and sometimes makes it harder to get into the world if you don't vibe with the "big" stories. you are gonna need to read Flashpoint (or watch YouTube video or the movie or something) before getting into the New 52. then do some research and find one or two characters that really speak to you and just follow that/those characters' progression from start to current. I used comicvine to keep track of all their appearances I can make sure I got ALL of their appearances, including supporting roles or cameos in other characters' book. I find that approach worked well enough for me because there are usually references and crossovers that will introduce a storyline or character to dig into, then I do the same thing for that character. i suggest start with smaller characters before the bigger names because a) when people only read the big names they tend to be unfairly against newer or smaller guys who need the support down the road and b) they often end up in team books or supporting roles which makes them great for introducing you to other characters.
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  4. #4

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    Flashpoint is a bridge between the pre-New 52 continuity and the New 52, but I disagree that you HAVE to read it as it is never referenced in the New 52 comics.

    If you want Flashpoint in a nutshell, it's this: Flash went back in time and tried to undo his mother's death at the hands of Reverse-Flash (just like in the TV show), and in causing this change, he created an alternate reality nicknamed Flashpoint (just like in the TV show). Eventually, the Flashpoint reality was undone, but things didn't quite go back to the way they were. The timeline reset itself as the New 52. That's basically all you need to know. You could go deeper and learn about a character named Pandora and her connection to the New 52 timeline, but why bother? She ended up being a big nothing.

    I'd agree that it's best not to begin with events as too much is thrown at you all at once. Just begin with the New 52 titles and the characters that you like or are curious about and go from there.

    If you want to be more in sync with the current continuity, maybe just skip New 52 and begin with DC Rebirth.
    Last edited by Comic-Reader Lad; 06-13-2021 at 08:03 PM.

  5. #5
    Spectacular Member Kevin Street's Avatar
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    I agree with Comic-Reader Lad (great name, btw) - it's better to start with Rebirth than the New 52.

    The New 52 was kind of a wild explosion. Lots of new ideas and new approaches, but most of it was cancelled within a few years and very little cohered together into a proper shared continuity. Rebirth is where they tried to make it feel like a shared universe with a history again, and we've sort of gone on from there.

    If you want to look at things very broadly there have been more or less four versions of the DC universe:

    1. 1939-1985. Original stories with parallel universes.

    2. 1986-2011. One universe with all the characters in it.

    3. 2011-2016. "The New 52." A reboot of everything, except for characters like Batman.

    4. 2016 to today. Sort of a return to the single universe of 1986-2011, with many notable changes.

    Like any broad view, this is inaccurate when you get down to the fine details. There've been a lot of reboots and retcons over the years, but I think this is mostly accurate when you look at the big picture.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Factor's Avatar
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    Honestly, I probably wouldn't start with the New 52. With some exceptions that can be found in dedicated threads around here, it's not DC's finest hour and a lot of the stuff has been ignored or retconned.
    But if you really want to go that route, my advice is to follow specific runs, like Grant Morrison and Greg Pak's Action Comics, Scott Snyder's Batman (not my cup of tea, but hugely influential), Jeff Lemire's Green Arrow (avoid any New52 GA book not written by him, I'm serious), Geoff Johns' Aquaman etc.
    There are many runs that didn't go anywhere or had huge editorial problems, so I would avoid anything involving the Titans (their current book is the most readable in years, but still not great), Earth-2 (which started out pretty good, but went downhill fast), Rob Liefeld, Justice League International (read the classic 80s run instead), Suicide Squad (read John Ostrander's 80s run too if you want a good SS book) etc.
    There are also some hidden gems that didn't last very long but were pretty interesting like Demon Knights and I, Vampire.
    If you want to read the best of the following characters, I'd recommend you start with older comics, not New52:
    - Titans: Read the Marv Wolfman and George Perez run from the 80s.
    - Legion of Super-heroes: Read Paul Levitz's second run on the book from the 80s, the 5 years later run that followed and Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett's 90s run.
    - Justice Society: I'd recommend reading James Robinson's masterful Starman run, the 90s JSA minis and the ongoing from the 90s as well.
    - Justice League: you could read the Pre-Crisis Satellite era, the post-Crisis Justice League International era and the JLA ongoing by Grant Morrison, Mark Waid and Joe Kelly.
    - Birds of Prey: read anything from Chuck Dixon and Gail Simone.
    I could go on, most of my favorites are from the mid-80s to mid 90s because I'm doing a Post-Crisis reading marathon.

  7. #7
    Incredible Member a moment closer's Avatar
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    I highly recommend Batman and Detective Comics from the start of the New 52.

    There are a lot of good titles to choose from, why not look at all the number one issues from the start of the New 52? Experience the new universe as a lot of us did. I was new to DC as well back then and thought the reboot was great. I picked up every issue #1 and then decided from there which titles I was going to keep reading. It gave me the perfect view of the entire universe they were presenting and I absolutely fell in love with most of it. Even some of those titles that only lasted five issues were pretty good in my opinion. I've been reading a lot of DC comics since then.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member HsssH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comic-Reader Lad View Post
    If you want to be more in sync with the current continuity, maybe just skip New 52 and begin with DC Rebirth.
    What is actually in sync currently with what we got in Rebirth?

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member BatmanJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by married guy View Post
    I'd suggest starting with Flashpoint before reading Justice League #1.
    It's actually a decent story and worth a look.
    I was just about to post both of these recommendations.

    Happy reading and I hope we’ll get to hear what you’re enjoying. This is a great community and, if you have questions, lots of posters here will be able to answer them. Welcome aboard.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member BatmanJones's Avatar
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    And honestly, I think all readers of superhero comics started in the middle of a huge story thatís been going for 80 years.

    Even if the New 52 were a complete misfire (and I donít think it was), itís the first clean jumping on point in forever. In a way, itís the only one.

    Even going down the rabbit hole of the not so good Earth-2, for one extreme example, could lead to an interest in back stories. Anything could. Isnít that sort of the way we all got started?

  11. #11
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    Default Justice League, vol. 1: Origins

    Review #1



    Contains issues #1-6

    *WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS

    So, we jump right into it. Reboot or not, it makes sense that there isn't a need to painstakingly work through the origins of every main hero (except Cyborg), I know at least the basics about all of these guys (except Cyborg) so it's refreshing to be inserted right into the thick of things from page one. The other thing I noticed right off of the bat was how juicy Jim Lee makes the heroes lips! Especially Batman's, you could rest a cup of coffee on those things!

    The whole thing was kind of a whirlwind. I'm all for in media res, but the decision to have all the characters meet (besides Green Lantern and Flash) due to a massive world threating event was an interesting choice to me. It establishes that Darkseid and his minions are the most existential threat that the Earth has faced in modern times, because it so quickly gathers so many powerful entities (and creates a 7th). It's also interesting how these characters have their own specific cities or environments they operate in and consider their domain, and despite how crime ridden Gotham is and the immediate alien threat residing in it, Batman's still salty that Green Lantern isn't in Coast City, minding his own business.

    Issue by issue, a new main player in the Justice League pops their head in, establishes their character (some better than the others), particularly in the context of dealing with one another. If there's a character arc to be had in a volume titled Origins, it certainly belongs to Green Lantern. The astonishment as Green Lantern continually is exposed to people more powerful or more clever than he is was entertaining, and it was interesting to see have to come to terms with it, because he definitely gets his ass whooped by the largest variety of things in these six issues. Him having the realization that Batman was "just some guy in a bat costume" was the line of issue 1. But, between Superman blasting him out of the way and Batman pilfering his ring off of him, Green Lantern definitely comes off as ill-prepared and cocky early on. I was a little disappointed that Superman makes mincemeat of Batman, Green Lantern AND the Flash right off the bat, I was hoping at least one of them would be able to do something to stop him, besides Batman eventually being able to talk him down before he destroyed them.

    The sub-plot that runs through these issues is that of Victor Stone and his transition to Cyborg. I know of Cyborg, but really couldn't have told you a thing about him before reading these issues. Stud athlete with a inattentive genius scientist father seems like a fairly original origin story, but what do I know? I certainly see the benefit of having him on the 'team', and he proves it by the end of the volume and being instrumental to defeat Darkseid, but he has such a horrific 'birth', gets unceremoniously called 'Cyborg' by Green Lantern in Issue 6, and as far as I can tell that's where he's given his name. Plus, the dude has crazy tech in his brain, so he's probably pretty fucked up (can I curse here?). It was funny that Batman had to turn into a coach and pep talk Victor into being able to close the portal. It'll be interesting to see how his relationship plays out with the rest of them going forward (or if he has his own line of books, which I don't see that he does in the New 52).

    Aquaman pops in to make some sharks eat a bunch of monsters and to let everyone know he's in charge of the sea. Aquaman is another character I know very little about, I have a few assumptions about him from things I've picked up from pop culture over the years, but essentially I associate him with being kind of lame. I'm sure he's not, I doubt a character would last decades and decades if he was lame. But, this issue didn't really dispel that for me and he certainly was the least developed personality wise of the members. Batman's a jerk who is used to working solo, Green Lantern's an over confident ass, Flash is a cop and acts like it, but I didn't pick up anything about Aquaman, heck even to the uninitiated like me, I at least picked up that Wonder Woman loves to fight and kill, as well as enjoys the simple things like ice cream and is far more of a fish out of water than the others. Nothing like that for Aquaman.

    After defeating Darkseid, the arc ends with the President kind of forcing the crew to acknowledge that they might have to work together to stand a chance against such colossal threats like Darkseid, and I am looking forward to seeing the dynamics of their personalities. The narrative framing of the last issue was a bit odd to me. An author David Graves who was saved by the heroes writes a book about the crew, and christens them with the name Justice League. But, what the hell is this book about? Did he get interviews with all of the heroes? Is it a retelling of the battle against Darkseid? His editor raves about it, but it's a thick book! What's in there?!

    The epilogue with Pandora was all kinds of confusing, so I did a little googling and a little wiki'ing (hey she's in every issue #1?!). It looks like she's responsible for the timeline chaos and it pissed some people off, so this is something where I have to make myself resist to go back and read a story arc or two prior to the New 52 (as has been suggested!) and just roll with the punches and fill in the gaps as we go.

    Overall Score:

    I've gone back and forth on how/if I should rate these arcs, and what system I want to use. Am I going to be a 5* guy? a x/10? Go all Pitchfork and add a decimal point so now I'm giving things 8.3's like a real asshole? But, I figured I should just put in categories of: I loved it, I liked it, it was okay, and I was ready for it to be over. I liked this one.

    I'm going to keep a ranking of the arcs I read, and try to slot any new reviews in as I go so I can maintain an order of the series I've read from favorite to least favorite. In competition, there aren't too many words sweeter than 'by default', but right now the #1 ranking belongs to:

    Code:
    1. Justice League #1: Origins
    Next will be the 8 issue arc in Action Comics: Superman and the Men of Steel. After that, I'm leaning towards Green Arrow: The Midas Touch (issues #1-6), based on the recommendations of the reading orders I'm leaning on.

    Thanks for reading!

  12. #12
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    If your wanting to read by trades then comicbookherald will be your best bet - https://www.comicbookherald.com/read...reading-order/

    The page orders the new 52 in a rough chronological order. Its what I've been doing with some exceptions (I kept vol 4+5 of Batman after Vol 3) and I'd recommend reading 2+3 of action comics next as they establish the reboot superman in the new 52 universe.

  13. #13
    Extraordinary Member DragonPiece's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Street View Post
    I agree with Comic-Reader Lad (great name, btw) - it's better to start with Rebirth than the New 52.

    The New 52 was kind of a wild explosion. Lots of new ideas and new approaches, but most of it was cancelled within a few years and very little cohered together into a proper shared continuity. Rebirth is where they tried to make it feel like a shared universe with a history again, and we've sort of gone on from there.

    If you want to look at things very broadly there have been more or less four versions of the DC universe:

    1. 1939-1985. Original stories with parallel universes.

    2. 1986-2011. One universe with all the characters in it.

    3. 2011-2016. "The New 52." A reboot of everything, except for characters like Batman.

    4. 2016 to today. Sort of a return to the single universe of 1986-2011, with many notable changes.

    Like any broad view, this is inaccurate when you get down to the fine details. There've been a lot of reboots and retcons over the years, but I think this is mostly accurate when you look at the big picture.
    I disagree with this. I started with the new 52 and it gave me a better appreciation of rebirth era when that started. Going from a universe that didn't seem to have a lot of relationshps between heroes and missing connections too all tha twe got during reirth was nice.

    And I don't consider Rebirth and the current Infinite Frontier era to be the same, there are very diferent goals between the two.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lemonpeace View Post
    I'll offer up how I got into comics but it's kinda roundabout and it won't guarentee a cohesive experience ngl:

    I don't go by story recommendations because I feel that often comes down to taste and sometimes makes it harder to get into the world if you don't vibe with the "big" stories. you are gonna need to read Flashpoint (or watch YouTube video or the movie or something) before getting into the New 52. then do some research and find one or two characters that really speak to you and just follow that/those characters' progression from start to current. I used comicvine to keep track of all their appearances I can make sure I got ALL of their appearances, including supporting roles or cameos in other characters' book. I find that approach worked well enough for me because there are usually references and crossovers that will introduce a storyline or character to dig into, then I do the same thing for that character. i suggest start with smaller characters before the bigger names because a) when people only read the big names they tend to be unfairly against newer or smaller guys who need the support down the road and b) they often end up in team books or supporting roles which makes them great for introducing you to other characters.
    I like this perspective and approach. Following the smaller and/or newer characters means you can get on the ground floor of those characters and really grow a love and anticipation for them. There are so many cool concepts and stories to be found with these smaller/newer characters that tend to get overshadowed and undermined from those who's perspectives focus primarily and often singularly on the bigger/older characters above anything else, so working your way up as a reader means you can avoid that multilayered pitfall.

    I also agree with the rest of the thought, in that it allows you best track other new characters that you can look into following.

    As someone who really got into DC thanks to the New 52, I definitely recommend starting there. There's a lot of cool and fun contemporary ideas and takes there, and it is a lot more newbie friendly a starting point than most other possible recommended starting points might be.
    Last edited by J. D. Guy; 06-14-2021 at 05:14 AM.
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  15. #15
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    You're going to love Wonder Woman, I think. For someone brand new to comics essentially, the New 52 Wonder Woman should read as a great book.

    (For those very familiar with Wonder Woman comics, though, that run will be polarizing for them. You have the advantage of coming in fresh.)

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