Sunday, August 23, 2009

Comic Starting Point - DC Comics

I already talked about how I got into the various heroes of Marvel Comics - and now I'm going to tell about how I got into DC Comics. See, I love DC Comics - but at heart I'll always be more of a Marvel fan than a DC one. Both simply have different stylistic tones that separate them, at least for me. But while I'm more a Marvel Fan, I am deeply grateful for all the cool adventures DC has give us over the years.

The first DC Comic I got was the graphic novel "The Death of Superman". It's really a wonder why I even stuck with comics, considering the number of poorly times jumping on points I've experienced. My Mom bought me the TPB - and it was my first DC Comic experience ever. While I didn't understand a lot about all the characters, especially the JLA at the time (Booster Gold and Blue Beetle) - the heart of the story, the epic grudge match between Superman and Doomsday, was very exciting. I read a bit, here and there, of the Return of Superman. I loved the introduction of Steel - but didn't quite grasp everything else. I generally didn't continue reading Superman, or DC Comics, until years later. I came back during Jeph Loeb's run on the Man of Steel. The whole "actual" City of Tomorrow was a cool angel, and all the other Superman titles, with confusing a lot of the time, where very fun to read. I don't think, though, I liked Joe Kelly's Superman run that much at the time - which is funny, because I think he's a fantastic writer now. I'd probably enjoy those issues a lot more if I read them again.

I was always a fan of the Batman Animated series. I took quite an extended hiatus from comics for a number of years when I was in high school. I dropped off of X-Men after the Fall of Avalon story arch, and only really picked comics back up as a hobby when I went to collage. I began reading the X-Men again, but then tried another series: Batman. Detective Comics #750. It featured Ra's al Ghul on the cover. Being a huge fan of that character from the Animated series, I picked it up. Greg Rucka was writing - and while it wasn't the best issue to start Batman off with - I quickly began reading DC Comics more and more. Ever since then I've been reading Batman and his assorted Super Friends ever since.

The first issue of the JLA I got was issue #50 of Mark Waid's run. They faced off against Doctor Destiny. What was the kicker for that issue was that Batman and everyone else revealed their identities to each other. It was a cool starting point, for once. Bryan Hitch was on art, and I continued reading the JLA happily into Joe Kelly's run and beyond.

This book, right here, is one of the corner stones of my passion for comics. If I had to drop every single book I get, the JSA would be the one book I'd still get. That's how good, and how fantastic, Geoff John's run on the JSA was for me. I picked up my first issue at #25, when Hawkman and Hawkgirl where finally reunited. From there on I simply adored this book. The characters, the sense of history - it was all so fantastic.

Legion of Super-Heroes
Wanting to explore the DCU more and more, I tried the Legion of Super-Heroes. DC has long complained that the convoluted history of the Legion has prevented fans from getting into the series. I'm one of those fans that did get into it, and was happily pleased by the results. Vol 3 of the Legion, with Oliver Copiel on art - the book simply looked stunning. I didn't get who all the characters where, but I slowly began understanding - which a great villain as a lightning rod to catch my attention, that of Ra's al Ghul. The idea of him living far into the 30th Century really appealed to me. The entires series had ups and down - but I'm read up a lot on the Legion since then, and know them pretty well. I'm very glad about that, and even more ecstatic how Geoff Johns has been using them in recent Superman and Adventure Comic issues.

Green Lantern
I did not know much about Green Lantern. I really didn't. I knew about Kyle Rayner from the JLA, and I suppose I simply liked the visual effects of his ring. I began reading around the time Kyle became Ion. Reading a book where the lead character gives up his powers - again, not a great starting point. But I enjoyed the idea of having so much power, that Kyle was almost god-like. Since then Hal Jordan has been reintroduced, which I more prefer - but Kyle will always been my introduction in the Lantern Corps.

I was following the Joker's Last Laugh cross over, and what I believe was my first real Flash issue, #179, vol 2. Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins where incredible in this book, and I became a great fan of the Flash because of them.

Teen Titans
I followed Peter David's Young Justice series for quite awhile, and became quite fond of all the young heroes of the series. It was a change to see them go on to be Teen Titans - but it was a welcome change since Geoff Johns was writing the series. The Teen Titans was a well written book, and while I've trailed off ever since Johns left, I'll always remember the great stories told into those first few years of issues.

Wonder Woman
The first Wonder Woman issue I ever got was one where Lois Lane was interviewing WW. It was a very interesting issue, showing a day in the life of Wonder Woman. I continued reading the series, though I felt a little embarrassed at the time, since it was largely a female hero book. But it was cool as Phil Jimenez art was very good. But the character of Wonder Woman only really took off for me when Greg Rucka began writing the series. His twist of a West Wing style political triller was incredible, and sorely missed after the Infinite Crisis.

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