#1  
Old 05-16-2006, 08:04 PM
Essential Marvel and DC books

I know there may have been discussions like this a thousand times before, but I was carousing my local comic book store today and after getting back into the swing (from some recommendations from soda ) and reading Essential Moon Knight and the first two issues of the new ongoing Moon Knight (which rules, btw), I've been wondering: What are the essential Marvel and DC books that I should pick up? Keep in mind, I'm more shooting for stories that are readily available in trade form... I hate back issue searching.
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  #2  
Old 05-18-2006, 08:03 AM
Not sure what your tastes may be, but some of my favorite stories that our available in trade form are...

Batman
Hush
The Killing Joke (not really a trade but a one shot)

Superman
Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

JLA
Tower of Babel

and then there is...

Crisis On Infinate Earths
Identity Crisis
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  #3  
Old 05-20-2006, 10:04 PM
Thanks, Tyler, and I'm here to help. Keep in mind that any list that I put together for you will be biased towards books that I enjoyed, your experiences may vary, if anything I summarize sounds interesting to you, let me know and I'll give you more info, or ask your neighborhood comic book guy. Oh, and one other thing, comics, right now, are as good as they have been at any time that I can remember, the stuff that's coming out right now is the stuff people are going to be looking for down the line, during the 90s, I got out of the industry too, the quality stunk, right now is not like that, so my advice is gather rosebuds while ye may, if history teaches us anything, it's that the current up-cycle won't last.

here are my picks:

Marvel -

1) okay, very first thing, get Captain America. Look for "out of time" and "the winter soldier" I think both are out as trades. This run of cap comics is absolutely the best book in comics, wizard magazine gave these two arcs it's "book of the year" award for last year. Winter Soldier is that good. However, don't just get one, get both, and read them in order ("out of time" first, "winter soldier" next), one word of caution though, these books are addictive, read one and you're hooked.

2) Daredevil. The bendis runs on the book are all out in trade, and the brubaker run on the book is just starting. If your local comic book store is well stocked, they should have the first few issues of the Brubaker run as back issues (you won't need to hunt for them, they're pretty easy to find), get the Brubaker issues, the Bendis ones are decent, the Brubaker ones are amazing. If you can find just a copy of the last issue that Brubaker wrote, grab it, it's abso-freakin' jaw dropping amazing, it has one of the single best moments I've seen in a comic book in a long time.

3) Astonishing x-men - in my discussion with fred krugger I talked at length about this book, and I feel that it is that good. The first six issues are out as a trade, the next six should either be, or are already, out as a trade. Get this book, it's as good as the x-men get, it's classic, timeless x-men, the team that we all know and love.

Now, I haven't said anything about the mainstream marvel U, Spiderman, the ultimates line, etc. I don't buy any of those, so I'm the wrong person to ask. However, I think Amazing Spiderman is decent (not great, not good, but decent), I think New Avengers is horrible (but it's the best selling marvel book), and I think Ultimate x-men is pretty decent. Most of the rest of Marvel is stuff that I find pretty bland, and I prefer DC. Other strong Marvel titles are:

she-hulk - dan slotts take on the character is funny, charming, and utterly readable and wonderful.

runaways - most of Brian K vaughns series should be out in trade, I like it, it's as close as Marvel ever gets to doing a vertigo book.

I also read Young Avengers, Ultimate Hulk vs. Wolverine, and the thing.

DC -

This is the company I know more about, viz:

1) Birds of Prey - If you're not reading birds of prey, you need to be. Gail Simmone's take on Oracle, Black Canary, Huntress, Lady Shiva, Batgirl, and co. is utterly heartfelt, charming and captivating. This is the best team book in comics, IMHO, and one of the absolute gems out on the stands every month. There are tons of trades available of Simmone's run.

2) Justice - This isn't out as a trade yet, but it's a great book all the same, it's the silver age, satellite era Justice League in all it's glory, and it has art and story by affecianado Alex Ross.

3) Jonah Hex - another book that's not out as a trade yet, but also a book for which you don't need a trade. Grab any issue you can find, every single issue is a one-shot, a self-contained story with beginning, middle and end. If you're like me, and you're a big fan of old school spagehti westerns, with characters like clint eastwood, who say cool, totally bad-ass things all the time, then Jonah Hex is just right for you. I think this is one of the finest books out there right now.

4) Identity Crisis / Infinite Crisis - Identity crisis is out as a trade, Infinite Crisis will be shortly. You should read both of them. Also, try to find a copy of the one shot "countdown to infinite crisis", many people I know think it's one of the best books in comics, and a few of the Crisis countdown minis are good (Villians United and Day of Vengence are good), and are trades.

5) vertigo stuff - I read a lot of Vertigo, and I particularly like "Y the last man" and "Fables", Vertigo is mature reader, so it's not everyone's cup of tea, but both of these Vertigo series are out as trades, and they're both really good.

Let me know if you want another other recommendations.
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  #4  
Old 05-21-2006, 08:14 AM
Alright, thanks you guys. And trust me, I know what you mean about most of Marvel's mainstream line sucking. I straight out hate most of the things with the word "Ultimate" at the top and think Bendis' writing style would make a 12 year old feel less intelligent for reading it. If I EVER have to read Wolverine say "Stop raping me!" or something similar again, than I give up on trying anything except old Marvel stuff out. BTW, I know you didn't necessarily think the book was all that but did you like the knock on Bendis' Hawkeye in Moon Knight #1? "Hawkeye thought a lot things were funny." and "Har dee har har har." I had to put the comic down for a minute just to laugh at that.
I'll try out Captain America, Daredevil (always been a fav character of mine, but just didn't know where to start out really), Astonishing X-Men, Jonah Hex, and the Crisises.
I also do enjoy Vertigo titles very much, and Preacher is one of my favorite titles ever.
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  #5  
Old 05-21-2006, 11:01 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Tyler_Durden_208
I straight out hate most of the things with the word "Ultimate" at the top
Glad to see I'm not the only one.
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  #6  
Old 05-21-2006, 08:15 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Tyler_Durden_208
Alright, thanks you guys. And trust me, I know what you mean about most of Marvel's mainstream line sucking. I straight out hate most of the things with the word "Ultimate" at the top and think Bendis' writing style would make a 12 year old feel less intelligent for reading it. If I EVER have to read Wolverine say "Stop raping me!" or something similar again, than I give up on trying anything except old Marvel stuff out. BTW, I know you didn't necessarily think the book was all that but did you like the knock on Bendis' Hawkeye in Moon Knight #1? "Hawkeye thought a lot things were funny." and "Har dee har har har." I had to put the comic down for a minute just to laugh at that.
I'll try out Captain America, Daredevil (always been a fav character of mine, but just didn't know where to start out really), Astonishing X-Men, Jonah Hex, and the Crisises.
I also do enjoy Vertigo titles very much, and Preacher is one of my favorite titles ever.
marvel drives me crazy, and you pretty much summed up why. IMHO, the "mainstream" marvel U stuff, including just about the entire Ultimates line, is very mediocre. Not awful, not 90's bad, but just very average. Some of it is downright horrible, like "New Avengers", just Spider-clones level bad. I recently had a discussion with my comic book store guy about things in this world that I don't understand, Moon Knight is high up on that list, but here's thing #1 that I don't understand:

#1 - you're at your local comic shop on new comic day, and you look at the rack, and you see the following two comic books just came out:

New Avengers

Justice

What idiot buys New Avengers and leaves Justice on the shelf? Seriously? However, based on the sales (in which New Avengers consistently sells more than Justice) there are some people out there who are doing exactly that. WTF?!?!?!? Justice is quite possibly the single best book out there, if I had just four dollars in my pocket, and I could get only one book, I'd think about it, long and hard, but at the end of the day, Alex Ross art and Justice would get my money.

I feel pretty much the same way you do about Marvel's Ultimate line and anything Bendis writers, I just don't get it. To me, bendis books are way too chatty, you read them, and they're nothing but talking heads, there are so many books out there that are better. I pretty much stay away from the mainstream Marvel U titles, the only ultimate universe book I get is Ultimate Hulk versus Wolverine, but only because Damon Lindeloff writes it, and Le Francis Yu draws it.

Vertigo is really good right now, though, and it's two flagship books are "Y the last man" and "Fables". If you liked Preacher (and really, who didn't like Preacher?), these two titles are right up your alley, I'd check them out, and that will help you get into the other Vertigo stuff (I like ex machina, and loveless too, BTW)

as for the hawkeye comment in moon knight, yeah, I dug that. again, I thought issue #1 was decent, but not amazing, and not great enough to get me to get #2, althought I thought #1 was worth it. If you're a fan of moon knight, thought, I can totally see how it would be your thing.
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  #7  
Old 05-21-2006, 09:18 PM
Thank you for the in-depth views, man, I'm definitely picking up those books next paycheck
And I might urge you to at least check out MK no. 2, if nothing for seeing the fight with Bushman. If I'm wrong about that, then I'll give you the three bucks back.
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  #8  
Old 05-22-2006, 07:45 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by soda
What idiot buys New Avengers and leaves Justice on the shelf? Seriously? However, based on the sales (in which New Avengers consistently sells more than Justice) there are some people out there who are doing exactly that. WTF?!?!?!?
Something I've wondered about that...

I wonder when they're talking about sales if that's what the comic store sells to the reader or if that's what the publisher sells to the comic store?

If it's the latter then it's easy to explain why New Avengers sells more than Justice.

1. Comic stores buy more copies because of Marvel's "no reprint" policy and...

2. They buy more copies in order to get the 1:20 variant covers.

I just wonder how many of those comics the comic stores get actually end up on the street.

To me, Marvel isn't the "House of Ideas" they're the "House of Gimmicks".
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  #9  
Old 05-22-2006, 11:42 PM
it is the later.

My comic book guy tells me that you can't trust the diamond figures, and that the single biggest reason why you can't trust the diamond figures is because of marvel's "no reorder" policy. Basically,
DC overprints everything, and they allow unlimited reorders. If a retailer wants more copies of a DC comic, and DC has them in stock, the retailer can reorder the comic after the initial offering. Marvel only prints exactly what they sell to retailers, in one offering, no reorders. The upshot of this is that all retailers have to order their marvel stuff up front, what you get from marvel in the initial order is your retail stock for the duration of the book's shelf life, and because marvel rarely does second printings, retailers often over order marvel stuff to make sure they have enough stock.

DC? The initial orders for DC are under-orders, because retailers know that, unless it's an amazingly hot book, they'll generally be able to reorder a DC book. My comic book guy told me that for the last month, he ordered (as an example), 150 copies of New Avengers, and 125 copies of Justice. However, he thinks he'll probably end up selling closer to 175 copies of Justice. That's because, over the next few months, he'll reorder Justice as new copies come in, and he'll sell a bunch of extra copies. He won't sell a single issue more of New Avengers than the 150 he got last month, that's because of the no reorder policy. However, that doesn't change the fact that somebody out there is buy New Avengers and is leaving Justice on the shelf, and what I want to know is WTF is that person?
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  #10  
Old 05-23-2006, 07:22 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by soda
However, that doesn't change the fact that somebody out there is buy New Avengers and is leaving Justice on the shelf, and what I want to know is WTF is that person?
Not to insult any children, but probably the 12-year old audience Bendis' writing skills appeals to and doesn't think "WTF!?! Why do Wolverine and Spider-man need to be in another book!?!"
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  #11  
Old 05-23-2006, 07:36 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by soda
However, that doesn't change the fact that somebody out there is buy New Avengers and is leaving Justice on the shelf, and what I want to know is WTF is that person?
Or collector fanboys who think, "This is going to reshape the future of the Marvel Universe and if I buy these now...one day they'll be worth so much I can retire!"

Not to insult the collector fanboys of course.
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2006, 11:05 PM
Wow, just read the first two volumes of Whedon's Astonishing X-Men... Good stuff. Now I'm gonna have to hunt down the 5 volumes of New X-Men I don't have to fill in the backstory.
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  #13  
Old 06-05-2006, 10:47 PM

"The Essential Wolverine"
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  #14  
Old 06-05-2006, 11:31 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Tyler_Durden_208
Wow, just read the first two volumes of Whedon's Astonishing X-Men... Good stuff. Now I'm gonna have to hunt down the 5 volumes of New X-Men I don't have to fill in the backstory.
you know what one of the best things about being a comic book fan in the era we're in right now is? There are so many things out there that are just jaw dropping awesome, that I have absolutely no doubt how any fan will react to it. I have no doubt, in my mind, how anyone who reads an issue of Astonishing x-men will react, they'll react exactly like you did....WOW! As a fan, I don't have to pitch anything to anyone, and I don't have to convince anyone to like something. I just hand them an issue of Astonishing x-men, or Justice, or Captain America, or Jonah Hex, or Birds of Prey, or Daredevil, and the jaw hits the floor, and the first reaction I get is "that was really cool, where's the next issue?" This is a good time to be a fan, and lord only knows that it won't last, and we comic fans don't have many eras like this.
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  #15  
Old 06-06-2006, 08:49 AM
Definately. Although being that I'm a Firefly fan, it was a given I'd like the writing, but I didn't expect to like it that much. My favorite moment was Wolverine (after a nice Fastball Special up to Ord's ship) slams through the cockpit window and rams his hand into Ord's mouth: "If you bite, I'll heal. If I pop, you won't. Land now." That's great classic Wolverine writing and it so much makes for the mischaracterization in The Last Stand, and I honestly would've loved to see what Joss could've done with X3, because he gets the characters, and gets them very well.
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  #16  
Old 06-06-2006, 11:33 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Tyler_Durden_208
Definately. Although being that I'm a Firefly fan, it was a given I'd like the writing, but I didn't expect to like it that much. My favorite moment was Wolverine (after a nice Fastball Special up to Ord's ship) slams through the cockpit window and rams his hand into Ord's mouth: "If you bite, I'll heal. If I pop, you won't. Land now." That's great classic Wolverine writing and it so much makes for the mischaracterization in The Last Stand, and I honestly would've loved to see what Joss could've done with X3, because he gets the characters, and gets them very well.
The things that jumped out at me, reading astonishing:

- Joss Wheddon gets Emma Frost, more than all the other writers who have written her put together. She was so badly mis-handled by Bendis in House of M and New Avengers, that it's great to see Emma written by someone who understands her. This is the former leader of the Hellfire club, and once a white queen, always a white queen. However, there is a lot of conflict within Emma. Read the current arc, and how she messes with Scott's head, and it's cool to see how really reluctant she is. It's like she made this deal, and now, she's not sure she wants to go through with it. We always felt Emma was not really reformed, but in astonishing, you can feel her sense of conflict, her sense of being torn two ways. When Danger tells her that it knows her secret, she gives up the fight, she'd rather die than be exposed, how utterly cool is that?

- Joss Wheddon gets Kitty Pryde, more so than any writer I've ever seen writer her. When Colossus walks back into the room, the look on Kitty's face is totally silent, but totally worth the price of admission. I love the playful exuberance, the cheer, the youthfulness of Kitty Pryde as she's shown in astonishing, she's clearly still a teenager, and that's very cool.

- Joss Wheddon gets Charles Xavier. I love the concept of old Chuck as a bad-ass, take no prisoners, action hero. The way Wheddon pulls that off in Astonishing #10 is totally cool, yet totally in character. It's so rare to see Chuck have a moment of pure bad-assery and being the action hero of the book, that this scene was very cool. I read that sequence, and just felt like yelling "hell yeah" when Chuck runs danger over with the truck, and says "you've fought all my students, and beaten them all, but you've never fought me!" Dammmmmnnnnnn!!! However, keeping Chuck in character, Wheddon also shows you that Chuck is the Bruce Wayne of the Marvel Universe, in that both characters have this pechant for having their best laid of plans go awry (in the case of batman, see Eye, Brother), what happens here, and the "big reveal" with danger and the island shows you that Chuck, like Bruce, is really a big, fat jerk in his heart of hearts.

I too, was very disappointed that Wheddon wasn't going to be doing X3, because based upon what I read in astonishing x-men, he's the absolute master x-scribe of our age. However, I also realize that X3's production schedule would have made it tough for anyone to make a decent product, and there is the little matter of warner bros driving a dump truck full of money to Wheddon's house and begging him to do Wonder Woman. Not a hard decision, and if I had to pick one project that Wheddon is even better suited to than X3, it's wonder woman. So, yes, I too wonder what might have been, but I'll sit back and enjoy Wonder Woman instead when that comes out in 2007.
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  #17  
Old 06-06-2006, 09:07 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by soda
The things that jumped out at me, reading astonishing:

- Joss Wheddon gets Emma Frost, more than all the other writers who have written her put together. She was so badly mis-handled by Bendis in House of M and New Avengers, that it's great to see Emma written by someone who understands her. This is the former leader of the Hellfire club, and once a white queen, always a white queen. However, there is a lot of conflict within Emma. Read the current arc, and how she messes with Scott's head, and it's cool to see how really reluctant she is. It's like she made this deal, and now, she's not sure she wants to go through with it. We always felt Emma was not really reformed, but in astonishing, you can feel her sense of conflict, her sense of being torn two ways. When Danger tells her that it knows her secret, she gives up the fight, she'd rather die than be exposed, how utterly cool is that?

- Joss Wheddon gets Kitty Pryde, more so than any writer I've ever seen writer her. When Colossus walks back into the room, the look on Kitty's face is totally silent, but totally worth the price of admission. I love the playful exuberance, the cheer, the youthfulness of Kitty Pryde as she's shown in astonishing, she's clearly still a teenager, and that's very cool.

- Joss Wheddon gets Charles Xavier. I love the concept of old Chuck as a bad-ass, take no prisoners, action hero. The way Wheddon pulls that off in Astonishing #10 is totally cool, yet totally in character. It's so rare to see Chuck have a moment of pure bad-assery and being the action hero of the book, that this scene was very cool. I read that sequence, and just felt like yelling "hell yeah" when Chuck runs danger over with the truck, and says "you've fought all my students, and beaten them all, but you've never fought me!" Dammmmmnnnnnn!!! However, keeping Chuck in character, Wheddon also shows you that Chuck is the Bruce Wayne of the Marvel Universe, in that both characters have this pechant for having their best laid of plans go awry (in the case of batman, see Eye, Brother), what happens here, and the "big reveal" with danger and the island shows you that Chuck, like Bruce, is really a big, fat jerk in his heart of hearts.

I too, was very disappointed that Wheddon wasn't going to be doing X3, because based upon what I read in astonishing x-men, he's the absolute master x-scribe of our age. However, I also realize that X3's production schedule would have made it tough for anyone to make a decent product, and there is the little matter of warner bros driving a dump truck full of money to Wheddon's house and begging him to do Wonder Woman. Not a hard decision, and if I had to pick one project that Wheddon is even better suited to than X3, it's wonder woman. So, yes, I too wonder what might have been, but I'll sit back and enjoy Wonder Woman instead when that comes out in 2007.
I agree 100% with your post, and I also like the fact that even though Scott is trying to cover up his love for Jean with Emma, he's still crest-fallen and let's Emma poison his ear, and there's that moment where he says "Jean?" at the mere thought of some mutant being alive, even though it's not. That's the kind of character Scott should have been in X3, cool-headed and resourceful, but still torn and broken-down.
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