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Comic books (Comics)/help with finding a starting point in some comics


QUESTION: hello i need your help with finding a starting point in some comics. i would like to read batman (1940-2011), Detective Comics (1937-2011), and Action Comics (1938-2011). with each i would like to start in the 80's somewhere that wont be confusing preferably if there is a fresh start in the series during the 80's or early 90s


That's a great question. The silly comics from the 1940's and 50's are indeed hard to work up proper enthusiasm for; I myself also prefer the modern comics that come later. I think the quality becomes good and serious in the 70's, so this is where I'd recommend that you start. Keep in mind that there are many titles starring Batman and Superman, and it's a bit of a jungle to try to keep track of them. But a lot of info can be found online; just Wikipedia is a great tool with which to investigate all sorts of titles and mini-series and get info on when they came out.

With "Detective Comics", I suggest you start at #400 from April 1970 - this is when the supreme artist of the era starts his Batman run, and his influence on later superhero comics art cannot be overestimated. The stories are good, too.

With "Batman", I suggest you start at #262 from January 1975 - Batman stories have begun to be serious and hardboiled at this point, and this issue marks the beginning of the run by artist Ernie Chua (a.k.a. Ernie Chan), which is very good.

With "Action Comics" (and "Superman"), the stories remain quite silly up until the mid-80's - it takes a special kind of nostalgia and humor to appreciate them. It's probably best for a new, modern reader to start at the revamp that followed the complex cross-over event "Crisis on Infinite Earths" - this is the "Man of Steel" mini-series (six issues from late 1986) by John Byrne, which continues in "Superman" vol. 2 #1 and "Action Comics" #584 in January 1987.

I will also recommend to you the "Wonder Woman" vol. 2 series, which also starts with a #1 in 1987, by brilliant artist/writer George Pérez.

Hope this was of help to you! Have a great time with these great comics! :-)

- Tue Sorensen

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QUESTION: Hello I started reading batman (1940-2011) at issue 262 but I still feel that the dialogue and stories are still very campy it's hard to read these issues. if you have a better suggestion as to where to start off. I would like to say that I read knightfall and liked the art and the stories and the dialogue so if that helps any

Hey Guy,

Okay, I guess you want to jump forward to the really modern stuff - you need to start with Batman #404 from February 1987, then. It's the start of Batman: Year One, a four-part story by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli that most people (including myself) hail as one of the best Batman stories ever. After that, it's all mostly dark and gritty, and I expect you'll like it. :-)

Of course, 1987 is also when THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS came out - it's a four-issue story taking place in a gloomy future, with an ageing Batman coming out of retirement to clean up this town. I personally think this story is too extreme, but a lot of people love it. Its tone sort of set the style and standard for the Batman comics that followed.

- Tue Sorensen

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Tue Sørensen


I can answer questions about the *contents* of most superhero and sci-fi comics (and also fantasy/sword'n'sorcery like Elfquest and Conan the Barbarian) and also about the writers and artists, but not about the *condition* of your comics (i.e. I will not grade your comics or evaluate their value). I am very knowledgable about American comics in general, esp. Marvel, but also DC and indies. I cannot answer questions about Japanese manga comics, which I know very little about. The majority of my expertise spans from comics published between 1960 and 2000, but if you have questions about before or after those dates, I probably know enough to find the info you need.


I was an avid comic book collector from the early 1980s to around 2000 (and have still been buying little bits and pieces thereafter), and I still have my collection of 18,000+ comics, incl. some European ones (I hail from Denmark). I have been an active participant in comics fandom; I have written about comics in fanzines, APAzines, magazines and letter columns, and worked briefly in a comic shop (would love to have done that as a career, but here in Denmark we only have a couple of shops, so that opportunity is hard to come by). I have also attempted to write scripts for comics based on my own ideas - projects which I'm still working on.

I have studied Biology, English and history at university level.

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