How to get into comic books

Thanks to the success of comic book live action film adaptations such as Iron Man, The Dark Knight, Spider Man and Guardians of the Galaxy more and more people are beginning to think about how to get into them into what inspired these films – comic books! Our friends over at The Gotham Archives, who run a website which cover DC Comics Batman related books specifically have offered some advice on how to get into comic books if you’ve never read one before.


Because comic books have been around for almost a century now it can seem daunting starting something with so much lore and established characters but fear not, DC have a great back catalogue and various ‘reboots’ which cater for old readers and new ones alike.


Comic books or graphic novels as they’re sometimes called are a blend of literature and films, sometimes people refer to reading a graphic novel as ‘reading a film’ and they’re not wrong. Comic books today have stellar artwork and deep, engrossing plot lines which capture the attention instantly. Many of the scenes you’ll see in the latest Marvel and DC movies have been taken directly from the source material. If you loved the films chances are you’ll love the books.


We’ve got three different ways for people to get into comic books, have a read below


Year One

The first suggestion is to start with various characters ‘Year Ones’. Batman: Year One is one of the most celebrated book of all time and covers Batman’s very early years fighting crime. This is an excellent place to start as it helps new readers learn how he started but there are also books which follow it effortlessly like The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Knightfall and so on. Before you know it you’ll have a very good grasp of the Bat family lore and will have met most of the major characters.


Be mindful though, that some of these books were written and drawn a few decades ago and the artwork can take some getting used to.


New 52

The New 52 series was an almost total reboot of every book. Modern, streamlined and built for the new reader. This is a great place to start for those who want to see modern artwork and storylines which fit in more with present day events, technology etc. In particular, Batgirl by Gail Simone and Batman by Scott Snyder are well worth a look.


The artwork in New 52 is much more up to date and better for those who care about the art more about the story.


The Classics

A third, and possibly the most fun way to get into comic books is to get the ‘best’ of them. Generally, all major story arcs from DC (and Marvel) will be ‘collected’ in a trade paperback so it resembles a book with a complete story from start to finish. Some of the most famous and best-reviewed Bat-family related books worth a try are:


  • Batman: Hush
  • The Killing Joke
  • Year One
  • The Dark Knight Returns
  • The Long Halloween
  • Night of the Owls
  • Wonder Woman: The Circle
  • Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score
  • Superman: Red Son
  • (Batman): Harley Quinn
  • The Black Mirror


The list could go on and on as DC Comics really have created some masterpieces in their time but the above should be a GREAT beginning for anyone trying to get into them. The Dark Knight Returns, in particular, is highly regarded as the ‘kick start’ DC needed to take Batman where he has reached today.

If you’ve recently got into comic books, let us know how you did it and which books you started within the comments below.

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