gasp There’s another company? Nah, I’m joking. I totally agree but I don’t think someone should go into that book not having read more X-Men
Sound of Wings
Agreed. If you’re going to hand someone one X-Men comic, it really should be “God Loves, Man Kills.” The Dark Phoenix Saga requires a lot of context going in.
Great question and debate @Hinesypoo! My instinct is to go with something you personally connect to. That way, you can discuss with the other person as they’re reading it and share why you love it so much. Comics can create excellent opportunities to bond with another person so I see this as a fantastic introduction for someone who’s never read one. The personal touch is also more memorable to that person versus “this one is the top rated” or “everyone’s read this”, possibly alienating them if they don’t like it or feel the vibe on that particular issue.
I would disagree with that, on the point that Kitty can be taken as a point of view character through whose eyes you can kind of see this new world. You might not catch everything, but the arc itself is easy enough to follow, if maybe not as emotionally impactful as it would be if you’d read a couple years worth of X-Men beforehand.
There are a lot of questions to consider. What genres or characters do they like? Not only that, what tone do they like? Is there a particular film or something that got them curious? I’m certainly not knowledgeable enough about comics as a whole, but there are usually good runs or graphic novels/TPB collections to enjoy.
I mean, if you like the Nolan Batman films, I’d have no trouble recommending Year One or The Long Halloween.
I know a lot of people recommend things by Moore or Morrison, but I find that’s often advice that will scare people away from comics, especially if they’re approaching it as entertainment first and not art. While I appreciate the work of both from an industry perspective and for trying something different, I also find that both can be over-reliant on prose and impenetrable with the references to obscure things.
The context of who you’re recommending a comic to will vary greatly, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. One of the first things recommended to me when I started reading seriously was Watchmen. I didn’t like it then, and on re-reading a few issues, I still don’t care for it though I appreciate the respectability and attention it brought to the industry. I was losing interest in comics then until a friend lent me Batman: Year One and the first TPB of O’Neill’s The Question. Those managed to capture my attention a lot more; The Question in particular quickly became a favorite series of mine.
I would give them Dceased. This is a great story for someone to get in to that doesn’t need to know a whole lot about the world, or past stories and dots matching up. Then, if they liked it I would ask who their favorite character is, or they’re intrigued by and start them off at the behind of a run.
I’m currently re-reading the Phoenix Saga, and I don’t think that Claremont does much to make Kitty into a POV character for a new reader. The story is told primarily from the perspective of the recurring characters, not from Pryde’s. There’s a story following the Phoenix saga that uses her as a POV character far more effectively (when she is left at the X-Mansion all by herself and chaos ensues). I think you can get people to the Dark Phoenix story fairly quickly, but it’s not a great choice as the very first X-Men trade to read.
I always thought it was easy enough to catch on. Maybe not every nuance, but Dark Phoenix was the first X-Men I ever actually read (barring some Wolvie miniseries) and it was enough to hook me into reading more. But having read some of what comes before you do miss out on a lot of good stories in the meantime. I know there’s a bit of bias in there on my part- I do think Claremont/Byrne are one of the great teams in comics, up there with Wolfman/Perez and O’Neill/Adams for putting out consistently enjoyable work.
I think that’s actually a good point to bring up. I definitely tend to recommend something that had a big impact on me, personally, over stuff that had a big impact on a lot of people. Maybe that’s being selfish. After all, if a lot of people like something, the chances of whoever you’re recommending it to liking it are higher, but I think there’s more value in giving someone a book you relate to. That way it’s more personal and it’ll feel to the other person like you’re opening up to them. Anyway, it’s a good answer to the question.
Id give them Superman: Secret Origin.
I love All-Star Superman (I keep wanting to abbreviate it, but, then I realize…), but I wouldn’t give it to someone to start. I think that’s one where people will get a lot more mileage out of it if they’ve read other superhero comics and, more specifically, other Superman comics. Kind of like how I wouldn’t give somebody new to comics Watchmen. A lot of the core stuff in that book is lost without the proper context to understand it in.
Hence why there are a bunch of people out there who think Rorschach is a hero and like that character unironically.
I’d give them Secret Origin if two criteria are met:
- They love Christopher Reeve as Superman.
- I’m planning to give them Last Son and Brainiac next.
Otherwise, I’d probably give them Birthright instead.
Well, no offense if you like it, but I certainly wouldn’t give people Last Son if I wanted them to get into comics instead of trying to avoid them.
If they’re used to the Superman II version of General Zod, it’s an accessible story. On top of that, I’d generally say that any modern Superman story featuring him in a paternal role is most likely going to be more palatable than one that doesn’t, with few exceptions. The responsibilities of fatherhood have made Clark Kent interesting again.
It’s accessible, but… so’s Hush. It’s not nearly as bad or completely structurally unsound as that story, but I really didn’t like it at all. The art wasn’t great, and I felt like the character beats and plot were kind of rote (and handled much better in those Rebirth comics you alluded to).
Depending on the Person’s age, I would say Darwyn Cooke’s “The New Frontier” Series. The self contained story can be followed by most historically educated person, with the same touching and emotionally moving effect.
Batman and Superman are easy go to’s but that’s due to the mainstream media. Mainstream Media being an influence I would say Diggle and Jocks “Green Arrow: Year One”. “The Arrow” has become well known, so if the person has WATCHED It, the book would steam more reading I believe. If not, it’s a great self contained origin and would also promote interest in the characters.
Or just hand them Jamie Delano’s Hellbazer and tell them if the don’t love it, you wont speak to them again…
Superman: Beginnings. Face it-pretty much anywhere on Earth you go, people know something about Supes, and Beginnings is a terrifice re-telling of his beginning.