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Amph Make mine DC

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by Mastadge, Jan 2, 2010.

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  1. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    After at least a half-decade of being a dedicated Marvel guy with only a very slight interest in the titles DC was publishing (aside from the Vertigo imprint), I have, for no apparent reason, all of a sudden become interested in DC again and have started catching up.

    My catch-up starts in 2004/2005, about a year before Infinite Crisis, around the time of Identity Crisis. The time when all the Superman titles got new creative teams, Geoff Johns was just beginning to lay the groundwork for his takeover of the entire DCU, Gail Simone took over Birds of Prey, Greg Rucka took over Wonder Woman and ended up writing pretty much half of all DC's titles for a short time, and all that.

    Why start there? Because that's when it seems I started collecting DC trades. No better reason.

    Anyway, until my interests change again, and insofar as work and school allow, I'm going to be working through DC books, with no particular rhyme or reason, just whatever catches my interest at any given time.

    I created this thread to help myself keep track of what I've read, and hopefully get some advice along the way as to which titles may be worth checking out and which I can skip.

    Tomorrow I'll be starting with my thoughts on Jeph Loeb's couple years on Superman/Batman and the other titles I've read so far -- some good, and some awful -- and I'll see where the stories take me from there.
  2. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999

    You'll have a blast but you're aware the continuity can be quite tight, having a rough idea of what comes in what order can help but equally part of the fun is constructing your own big megastory too.
  3. NJOfan215

    NJOfan215 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 17, 2003
    I started to get into DC about 2 years ago. I consider myself more of a marvel guy, but DC does hvae some good stuff. I'm going to cut and paste my DC trade Inventory. I like the majority of the trades that I own. If I don't like them, I sell them. I'll put a star next to the ones I really like, and aren't that well known.

    Year One
    Monster Men
    Mad Monk
    Long Halloween
    Dark Victory
    Haunted Gotham
    Gothic *
    Jekyll & Hyde
    Face the Face
    Tales of The Demon *
    Death and the Maidens *
    Ra?s Al Ghoul Year One
    A Death in the Family (d)
    Going Sane
    Arkham Asylum
    Secrets *
    Bruce Wayne Murderer
    Bruce Wayne Fugitive
    Bruce Wayne Fugitive 2
    Bruce Wayne Fugitive 3
    Hush 2
    Under the Hood
    Under the Hood 2
    City of Crime
    Death and The City
    The Dark Knight Returns
    False Faces HC
    The Man That Laughs HC *
    Batman and Son HC
    The Resurrection of Ra?s Al Ghoul HC
    Private Casebook HC
    The Black Glove HC
    Joker HC
    All-Star Batman and Robin HC
    The Killing Joke HC

    Red Son
    For All Seasons
    For Tomorrow
    For Tomorrow 2
    Unconventional Warfare *
    That Healing Touch *
    Ruin Revealed *
    Sacrifice *
    Up, Up, and Away
    Back in Action
    Camelot Falls HC *
    Camelot Falls 2 HC *
    All-Star HC
    All-Star 2 HC
    Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow HC

    Green Lantern
    No Fear
    Revenge of The Green Lanterns
    Wanted Hal Jordan
    Sinestro Corp War HC
    Sinestro Corp War 2 HC
    GLC: Recharge
    GLC: Ring Quest
    GLC: Sins of The Star Sapphire

    JLA: Tower of Babel
    JLA: Crisis of Conscience
    JLA: Tornado?s Path HC
    JLA: The Lightning Saga HC
    Superman Batman Public Enemies
    Superman Batman Supergirl
    Trinity (Wagner)*
    Identity Crisis
    Kingdom Come
    Omac Project
    Justice 1
    Justice 2
    Justice 3
  4. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    Thanks. I'm okay with constructing my own story -- I frequently disagree with other fans and the "official" word when it comes to sequencing various books in Marvel continuity. That's a big part of my fun with reading superhero comics from the big two -- the piecing it all together can carry me through even some of the worse books and makes the good ones all the more satisfying. Reading superhero comics from DC or Marvel is very different for me from reading most other comics or books, because I'm reading them a different way and sometimes for different reasons.

    Also, I've got an overall sequence in mind. Given where I'm starting, I'm mentally breaking titles into chunks to fit into roughly the following categories: Before Identity Crisis, Identity Crisis & Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Infinite Crisis, 52, One Year Later, Countdown to Final Crisis, Final Crisis. Whenever I begin to move from one to another in, say, the Superman books, I'll jump over and catch up on the Batman titles or whatever. So far I haven't hit any major snags, except for the astonishing awfulness of Loeb's Superman/Batman and Austen's Action Comics run. But that was expected and now that both of those runs are out of the way I anticipate no trouble. I'll probably start with the summaries and thoughts tomorrow, if I have time.
  5. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999
    Well, for the run-up to Infinite Crisis, read The OMAC Project first, or at least it's first chapter Countdown as that set off all 4 series that lead to IC - although they're far from the only ones.

    DC really produced a lot of good stories from Identity Crisis to Infinite Crisis and 52 / One Year Later. It's too bad Countdown went and messed DC then they started turning it around.
  6. Mastadge

    Mastadge Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 4, 1999
    I may as well get going here. I started off with Jeph Loeb's run on Superman/Batman. He wrote issues 1-25, running from October 2003 to May 2006, which are collected in the following TPBs:
    [li]Public Enemies (#1-6) -- People keep telling me that Loeb once wrote good comics: His collaborations with Tim Sale on Batman: The Long Halloween, Superman for all Seasons, and the Marvel "color" books, etc. Unfortunately, all that was before I really started reading comics, and to this day I don't think I've read a thing by Jeph Loeb that's not somewhere between bad and awful. This entry falls into the bad category. It has its moments for both Superman and Batman, but it's full of bizarre non sequiturs on every level, from sentence structure to dialogue to plot. The story here has some important plot elements for the DCU: this is the story that got Lex Luthor out of the presidency. Unfortunately, it plays that out as stupidly as possible. A giant kryptonite meteor is headed toward Earth, an extinction level event. Instead of doing anything much to stop it, Luthor just keeps ranting, telling America that the meteor is Superman's fault. And there are a bunch of arbitrary fights (this is a recurring theme in this series: when two superheroes have an argument, they more often than not punch first and ask questions later, even if they're old friends). And the device that's made to deal with the meteor is unbelievably stupid: a giant rocket shaped like half-Superman, half-Batman, which apparently flies into the meteor and punches it to break it (this Superman/Batman composite idea returns in even more idiotic fashion later). Along the way Luthor is in a giant green and purple battle suit (is this what's in the box in Identity Crisis?) in which he will, unfortunately, in large part remain throughout the next couple years of Superman continuity. Bad bad bad. But at least Ed McGuinness' big bold cartoony art matches the proceedings.[/li]
    [li]Supergirl (#8-13) -- The trade collections skip issue 7 (which apparently features Nightwing and Superboy) and things jump from Bad to Awful in "The Supergirl from Krypton". Turns out that inside that giant meteor was a spaceship carrying Superman's cousin, who's supposed to be 15 or 16 but is drawn by Michael Turner as a sexpot with a little girl's face and no character whatsoever. When Lois buys her clothes, they include low-cut jeans with thong-strings popping. When 60-something Ma Kent makes her costume, it includes what can only generously be called a miniskirt. Right. Kind of disconcerting. But not quite as disconcerting as the idiocy within, wherein first Kara is kidnapped by Wonder Woman in collusion with Batman, only to then be kidnapped by Darkseid. Who is about as unthreatening as he's ever been. Then there's a final battle that's really awful.[/li]
    [li]Absolute Power (#14-18) -- This volume is just as awful as what's gone before, if not more so, but at least it's essentially no longer in continuity. Villains from the far future travel back in time and kidnap young Bruce Wayne and infant Kal-El and use them to control the world for reasons that don't really make much sense. Wonder Woman and Uncle Sam figure out how wrong things are, there's a big fight, and Batman and Superman set off trying to right their wrongs, but only make things worse, and there are a bunch of alternate realities that don't make any sense, and then thank god it's over.[/li]
    [li]Vengeance (#20-25) -- The trades skip issue 19, which doubles as Supergirl #0 and is collected in the first Supergirl trade. Ed McGuinness returns to pencil "With a Vengeance," in which one of "Absolute Power"'s bad Superman/Batman duos in an alternate universe kill a member of The Maximums, a really obvious and idiotic analogue for The Avengers. And then it all turns out to be a game between Joker and Mxyzptlk (apparently Loeb either hadn't been paying attention to the Superman titles or just didn't care), in which the pieces comprise the Maximums, Batman, Superman, Bizarro, Batzarro, Darkseid, back for re
  7. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999
    Loeb-Sale tend to be much better than Leob on his own.
  8. MattDoc

    MattDoc Jedi Knight star 3

    Dec 10, 2009
    I, too, was strictly a Marvel guy growing up (early 90s). I then got out of comics for a few years (late high school and early college) but when I started to get back into them I found it hard to pick up and get back into any Marvel title except the Ultimate lines. I found myself reading more Image, Top Cow, Wildstorm, DDP, etc. titles as well as the expected pop-culture titles like Star Wars and G.I. Joe and Tomb Raider (not sure, why, I enjoyed that one).

    Only recently I borrowed a Batman TPB from someone and it happened to be Long Halloween. I was hooked on Batman right away. Not buying regular monthly books right now (in Australia...hard to find and too expensive) but I won't turn away a TPB when I find a good deal.

    You should also check out Red 5 Comics, especially Abyss (written by Kevin Rubio). I've been reading all of their titles on my iPhone and haven't yet found one that wasn't great.
  9. NJOfan215

    NJOfan215 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 17, 2003
    Loeb is bizzare, all of the stuff that I've read that he has collaborated with sale on has been awesome. Fallen son was pretty good too. His work at marvel has pretty much sucked.

    Supergirl is currently pretty good. It's being written by Geoff John's padawan.
  10. darth-sinister

    darth-sinister Manager Emeritus star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 28, 2001
  11. HairyWookiee12

    HairyWookiee12 Jedi Youngling star 2

    Nov 22, 2009
    Some of the CatWoman comics that DC had made were pretty good... You read them yet?
  12. FlareStorm

    FlareStorm Jedi Master star 6

    Nov 13, 2000
    I'm doing similar, but with a self-built list like NJOfan215 posted. Pre-Crisis stuff that is still "valid (maybe)" then onto more modern stuff.

    Enjoyed Batman, Catwoman and really Green Lantern and Green Arrow Year Ones. Superman "Year Ones" are so-so (origin is different in each series). Also not sure how much is valid after Infinite Crisis, but I missed a lot of it when it was published.

    Learning a lot about Green Lantern (never really knew his whole back story), should hit Wonder Woman and Flash soon.

    Also, I think you are missing the point on Superman/Batman and that whole era. Its supposed to be over the top four-color action with a bit of ridiculous innocence. It was 2003ish
  13. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999
    The Darwyn Cooke story Catwoman: Selina's Big Score is just superb.
  14. Spider-Fan

    Spider-Fan Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 15, 2008
    Haven't really followed much of what's happening at DC in the last few years, but I am continually intrigued by the praise heaped on Geoff Johns. Any recommendations of his work that I should look up for reading??
  15. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999
    Depends, what do you look for in a writer? Johns I find to be entertaining and very good, but Morrison is more inventive.
  16. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 28, 2006
    Geoff Johns' Green Lantern work is superb.
  17. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999
    Well, it certainly started off that way but, post-Sinestro Corps, I'm finding a lot of the boil has gone out of it, hopefully Blackest Night concludes well, but I'm seeing a lot of more of Johns' weaknesses as a writer than I used to.
  18. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 28, 2006
    Blackest Night has been my first experience with Johns and I think it's pretty great. That and GL: Secret Origins. Still working on collecting the Sinestro Corps War trades. Rebirth was pretty great too.
  19. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999
    Blackest Night is good, it was more the tour of colours the past 2 years leading up to it that felt less inspired when set against the stories that led to Sinestro Corps. As BN is your first Johns story then yeah, he does do good work but I've read a lot by him over the last 5-6 years, hence the difference.
  20. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 28, 2006
    I could see how all the Blackest Night prelude stuff would seem sort of "meh." The Agent Orange and Red Lanterns stuff was basically just showing these new lantern corps and nothing more right? Seems it's been leading somewhere though. Seems Blackest Night is going to be followed up with Brightest Day and a new white corps.
  21. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999
    Maybe, I'm using the end of Blackest Night as a jump-off point for monthly buying - doesn't mean I won't continue to follow it in TPB though.
  22. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 28, 2006

    Check out that news. Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of all of DC Entertainment. And Jim Lee, co-publisher. Amazing.
  23. Jedi_Johnson

    Jedi_Johnson Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Apr 6, 2002
    I've been greatly enjoying Blackest Night which is saying something because until now I've never really cared about Green Lantern. I think Geoff Johns just has a way of making character interesting and not just in the comic medium. Johns made the JSA pretty awesome on Smallville too.
  24. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 8

    Jul 19, 1999
    Here's the thing, I've read by Johns:

    Stars & Stripes
    The first Flash run
    First JSA run
    Infinite Crisis
    Second JSA run
    Green Lantern run (to #52)
    Action Comics run

    That's about 10 years worth of material from him and yeah, when you come across his work first time round, it is extremely good, but like with Brian Michael Bendis, I've become a little too familar with Johns set of story-telling techniques.

    Both his first JSA and Flash runs are strongly recommended, both take a bit of time to get up to speed but once they do....
  25. Dawud786

    Dawud786 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Dec 28, 2006
    I'll keep my eye out. I'm primarily into GL right now with DC. I was never into Green Lantern before, but oddly... I started my 3 year old to watching the Justice League toon by Bruce Timm and his favorite characters are The Flash and John Stewart. From there I just sorta got interested in Green Lantern for myself.
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