It’s 2018, the stage is set, the show is in its third act, and you’ve just arrived at the show now, with a whole bunch of questions and no idea if you’re in the right place. To provide you with some background to DC comics, there are a few things you need to know.
DC is as old as your grandparents, mine included, and has come a long way since 1934. With that comes a revamping and restructuring of their universe. What you need to know is: Flash messed up big time fam, so much so that he started everything that we see today. Ever wonder why you see multiple Supermen? Flash. Multiple Jokers? Flash! And an incursion to which the DC Universe has never seen before? FLASH! Flashpoint is a good story to help you realise that the DC Universe is ever changing and sometimes will not make sense. This is okay, there are stories and mysteries told in 2016 that are only being ironed out now.
To be fair, although Flash was the first to reset a WHOLE universe, he did try make it right. Read the issues following Flashpoint to find out more.
Following Flashpoint is the New 52. Out of Flashpoint came 52 new, some say the original, universes. 52 is comprised of 52 books with tie-ins to boot, this story is the most coherent you will ever get from DC, less confusion and a direct numeric breakdown for what is happening in DC now (well in 2016). This series is highly recommended if you want to whet your pallet on all things DC. I recommend 52 Week One.
Remember how I just said that DC made a coherent story line? Rebirth is DC saying, “LOL” and bringing a soft reboot to all that we already know, I would like to say that this is a mistake, but that plot twist though! DC’s Rebirth is not the best series to pick up fresh off an anime series and no prior knowledge to the universe, but it is in many cases the beginning of a hype train that is still rolling through 2018 and beyond! Rebirth is laced with so many answers and mysteries that led into a bigger overarching story. It’s like DC is on a campaign to make all it’s readers into detectives and theorists, because you will be left with more questions than answers with the Rebirth titles. Regardless of all the uncertainty, the mysteries are quite the high and the twists quite the shock. I recommend picking up DC UNIVERSE Rebirth #1.
Marvel approaches reboots the same way the WWE keeps fresh and relevant; motivations change, teams break-up and reform by different means. Marvel successfully pulled off the Wrestlemania of comic books – heroes have become villains, some villains have reasonable ideas that almost makes us think that maybe the problem isn’t the villain, but the Marvel universe? This is the big idea behind series such as Avengers vs. X-men and Civil War II. When everyone is right in a fight, who is wrong? Who should lose? Marvel Now is very successful in that it is the origin event for new number ones that comic book fans and new enthusiasts alike may pick up and enjoy. Marvel Now is a great jump-off point if you’re ready to dive into the comic book world. I recommend New Avengers #1 (2013) – it is a great branching off point for Marvel Now.
Marvel Now 2.0 is a pit stop for Marvel; it is used to expand on the new heroes introduced in Marvel Now. This allows the fans to get more accustomed to the new Hulk, genius Iron Maiden (Yes I said Iron Maiden, don’t fight me), and the new Avengers. This isn’t as important as what precedes this arc. BUT! If I was being completely bias, seeing Steve Rogers as a villain is insane! You really only need to read the Deadpool #1 (2016) comics to waltz through Marvel Now 2.0.
Now that I have you caught up, the 2018 comic book series is waiting for you to explore and enjoy! I can’t do all of the work for you homie. Take it from your friendly neighbourhood comic fan, you’ll want to discover the series on your own terms, at your own pace. Enjoy!
For my manga/manhwa folk, or those who want to peer into the world of japanese/chinese/korean comics, I have some honorable mentions for you. Keep in mind that most kick-butt series are over three volumes long already, so you have quite the number of reads in front of you, with most of them online. I should probably mention that Shounen, Seinin and Webtoon publishers are nothing like Marvel or DC, where there is one overarching universe where these characters intersect. Remember to read panels from right to left! You have been warned!