Starting Places to Read

I have only been reading comics for a few years, so I’m not really up to date on everything when it comes to characters I really want to know more about. I was wondering if anyone can give me any good starting places for one or more of these characters to read or just good stories about these characters in general:

Doctor Fate
Darkseid/New Gods
Black Adam
Green Lantern
Poison Ivy

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I’d say the best place to start with Aquaman is his 2011 series. For Darkseid and the New Gods, you want 1971’s New Gods.

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You can safely start Green Lantern with the 2005 ongoing series. For Stargirl, start with Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.

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For Zatanna, she mostly just shows up in other character’s books or Justice League Dark, but the brief period of time that she had her own book written by Paul Dini was fantastic and you can go into that pretty cold.

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For Black Adam, a good place to start is with 1987’s Shazam! The New Beginning.

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There’s a series of Batman Arkham trades for every big name Batman villain that collects famous stories with them in it that would help you with Ivy. She’s featured prominently in Harley Quinn’s books and Gotham City Sirens is about her, Harley and Catwoman living together. Zatanna shows up in that too.

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I’d recommend Gotham City Sirens for Poison Ivy as well.

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The Zatanna solo series is somewhat divisive, so if you’re not feeling it give Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers a shot.

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Since this is comic-specific, going to move this from the “General Discussion” section over to “Comic Books” so it’ll get the best visibility, @EDT. :slight_smile:

Some of my favorite reads for each of your characters/properties of interest:

-Aquaman: issues 15-39 of his 2003-2006 ongoing series. Underrated runs by Will Pfeiffer and John Arcudi (with a sprinkle from writers John Ostrander and Marc Guggenheim along the way).

Patrick Gleason (Green Lantern Corps, New 52 Batman and Robin, the Rebirth volume of Superman, etc) provides the majority of art in these issues and it is good.

-Black Adam: his six issue, self-titled mini-series from 2007-2008. Written by Peter Tomasi and drawn by Doug Mahnke.

-Darkseid: Superman/Batman #'s 8-13, the Return of the Supergirl from Krypton arc. Great, great stuff. Darkseid is a bastard and this arc perfectly exemplifies that.

-Doctor Fate: he’s been a focal point in recent issues of Justice League Dark (not on DCU), but for a solo gig, I liked his 2015-2016 ongoing series.

Written by the legendary Paul Levitz, it offered an interesting look at the character with handsome art to boot.

-Green Lantern: Geoff Johns’ run is everyone’s go to (and for good reason, it is absolutely wonderful ), but I’ll go with a different choice here and highlight Green Lanterns (2016-2018) which stars the Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz GLs.

Outside of DCU, the current GL title, The Green Lantern has been a great read. Hal Jordan stars in it and its a wonderful potpourri of fun, weird, out-there science fiction. Written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Liam Sharp.

-New Gods: Jack “The King” Kirby’s 11 issue run from the very first New Gods series.

The Orion ongoing series that ran from 2000-2002 is fun too. It’s written and drawn by Walt Simonson.

-Poison Ivy: the Poison Ivy: Circle of Life and Death mini-series from 2016. Pam’s first starring book (that I know of offhand).

-Stargirl: Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. . It was one of Geoff Johns’ first ongoing gigs at DC, and is a very fun series. It’s bright, cheery, funny and action packed.

-Zatanna: Her 2010-2011 ongoing series (her only ongoing) is heaps o’ fun thanks to DCAU scribe Paul Dini’s magical writing.

The Crisis of Conscience arc from JLA (1996-2006) #'s 115-119 prominently features Zee as well. Its written by Geoff Johns and Allan Heinberg. The cover of #118 features Zatanna and is a beaut!

Hope all of that can be of use to you =)

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Here are the best stories/runs in my honest opinion for the characters you listed. Your gonna find a lot of stuff from Johns because hes left quite an impressive legacy with characters you like: GL, Aquaman, Shazam and Black Adam.

Zatanna by Paul Dini. I think to me and a lot of people this is one of the definitive Zatanna runs. Paul Dini is a DC legend alone for his work in the animated universe, he does a really good job with this series imo.
-I will also recommend the Justice League Dark series that she is featured as one of the main members.

Aquaman(New 52, 2011) by Geoff Johns. The New 52 relaunch in 2011 was meant as new starting point for new readers and so basically it hit the reset button on the whole DC Universe. Geoff Johns really put a stamp on this character in this run. His Aquaman is an iconic badass, the movie took a ton of influence from this run and rightfully so.

New Gods by Jack Kirby. I mean nothing is gonna beat this when it comes to the New Gods. What Kirby did with the Fourth World was legendary by all means.
-Mister Miracle by Tom King is the best New Gods related book of the past 20 years. Its not on DCU though since DC thinks its better as a trade. It won awards and all kinds of recognition for King and Mitch Gerards. I seriously recommend any remote comicbook fan to check this book out.

Green Lantern by Geoff Johns. The greatest Green Lantern run ever and one of the greatest runs on a major title character from DC. Johns took all the good things about GL that came before and then added a plethora of in depth lore to GL making him the definitive title for cosmic DC. Johns gave us so many iconic GL stories, Blackest Night, Sinestro Corps War, Rebirth, etc

Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps by Robert Venditti. Venditti had an amazing run on this title from the 2016 Rebirth event. Venditti has really been a rising star at DC for the past few years hes been pumping out consistent quality. I think this is where you should go after you read Johns run on the character.
-Also like others have said, Grant Morrison is on a legendary run right now with Green Lantern. Its currently ongoing so itll be some time before we see it on DCU.

For Black Adam, your gonna want to read Geoff Johns’ JSA run. John’s JSA run was so friggin good and Black Adam is one of the stars of the show. Adam is such a complex powerhouse of a character. Cant wait to see him in live action.
-Johns wrote a Shazam miniseries featuring Black Adam in the back issues of his great Justice League run. He is also currently writing the Shazam book which is one of DC’s best ongoings right now. Its only a few issues in.

Hope this helps and Im curious what you end up liking so feel free to keep us updated!

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@Vroom I only recently read Tomasi’s Black Adam miniseries and it was great! I didnt even know it existed till a month or so ago. Good stuff.

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@MajorZuma Indeed. Black Adam is one of the unsung greats of the post-52 books. Another being Booster Gold.

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Im really happy that DC is taking him seriously on the cinematic front and giving him his own movie. I thought the Shazam movie was fun and I think its gonna be 100x more intense with a character like Black Adam.

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Have you read Starman? It’s pretty self-contained and judging by your favorite characters it seems like something you might be interested in.

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Paul dini did a great zatanna run

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