#1 Edited by Dvids (3 posts) - - Show Bio

Hey there,

the title gives you an idea of what my problem is. Mainly, I want to get into comics because of the new Man of Steel Movie and thus learn as much as possible about Superman. Now here's where the problems start. I spend countless hours understanding how comic books work and what the chronological order is. Mostly I looked into Superman, since that's where I want to start. Now my main problem is, that I am a completionist and want to know the origins of everything, that happens in the Universe. That's why I dont want to start with the New 52 since I dont even know about the real origin stories of all the different heros ans villians in the DC (and Marvel) Universe.

So I decided to start at the very beginning and began to read the Superman Archives, starting from Issue #1. I made it to Issue #6 so far and I'm starting to doubt this approach. Looking at the first Superman volume, there is a lot to come before I get into the stuff I'm really interested in (as to say the modern age). But would I decide to start with more recent volumes, I would miss so much of the lore, would I? I don't want to be clueless about the origins of villians or sidekicks because I simply didn't read their Golden and Silver Age origins. I hope you understand what I mean and what the issue is.

So I read a lot of "Where to begin with Superman" articles and forum threads and they usually tell you to read Birthright, Man of Steel or All-Star Superman - but here's the same problem: I am still afraid, that some ground knowlege of the universe and all the different characters is requiered to understand these stories. Imagine my position as someone who never read a comic and starts with the Justice League, only knowing Superman out of movies. I would be absolutely overwhelmed by everything that's going on in these comics.

Also, there are so many things that apparently happend in these universes, like the Absolute Crisis on infinite Earths Story Arc and Major Events like that - I don't even know what that means! And it totally screws up my plan to just start at Superman Volume 2 or something, because it resets the storyline overlapping multiple volumes and characters - how the hell is one expected to keep up with that?

I wonder if anyone can help me with my worries. Maybe I'm just thinking to much and should just start with one of the mentioned Stories. Im thinking All-Star Superman or Man of Steel right now. But I want to be sure, before I buy one of these...

Thanks for reading and hopefully I made myself understandable, since this isn't my first language ;)

#2 Posted by GodTriggerHulk (1998 posts) - - Show Bio

@dvids: Just relax, open a comic and read it. Knowledge is built over time.

#3 Edited by Kangaxx_54 (306 posts) - - Show Bio

Hi and welcome!

I can't give you any actual advice on what to buy, as I don't read much Superman, but as someone who's started reading comics half a year ago, I can really understand where you're coming from. It seems to me, though, that you're over-thinking the issue a bit, if you don't mind me saying so. Just try one of them out. I have heard of those stories as well, and no matter what you get out of them, they're still that - good stories. Now, it's possible that there might be some details that you're missing out on, but the solution to that is to read other stories, and then later go back and re-read.

I've found that the comics universe is incredibly complex, and there's no 'one true story'. I do know that there are a ton of Superman stories and powers that are now considered non-canon (i.e. not in effect in 'the real continuity'), but the stories might still be very good. I am myself a Batman fan, and I started out by buying some of the very recommended trades, and it's been a mixed bag. Some of them, like Dark Knight Returns, which is very highly regarded by most, threw me off a bit, as it didn't match the image of Batman that I have in my mind. Overall, I've found that I have to have an open mind when I read the comics. There are so many different writers, artists and stories that not all of them will fit your 'head-canon', but it can still be a good story, and time well spent.

What I wanted to say with that, though, is that you simply have to dive in. There's always going to be stuff that you're missing, at least for the first long stretch, but as I said, that just gives you a good excuse to go back and re-read. If you were to do it chronologically, I'd start with the 'modern age' (don't know when that is for Superman) or alternatively New 52. Silver and gold age stuff is a bit weird, at least for me.

The Crisis-stuff is something I'm still desperately trying to get a hang of. They're several different storylines that involve basically the whole DC universe, so in order to understand everything you'd have to read ALL of the issues DC published in the given time period. I haven't read any of them, but by reading up on them on various wikies, I have understood enough to get by. I won't read the actual stories though, until I have a much wider understanding of the DC universe and all the heroes, because it gets very, very obscure.

#4 Posted by modunhanul (403 posts) - - Show Bio

You could try Superman Birthright or Secret Origin. They are for new readers.

Also I suggest search Wikipedia about Crisis on Infinite Earths or other stuff. They have most of them. Or you could find books you're looking for and read them but I don't think Crisis on Infinite Earths is a good choice for new reader...

#5 Edited by Stormbox (2001 posts) - - Show Bio

Golden, silver and bronze age stuff isnt needed at all

If you want to do something like that start with man of steel by john byrne and work your way up from there

You can still just pick any superman comic you want tho

#6 Edited by Dvids (3 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks so much for all of your answers! You really helped me to relax a little and just make a decision...and I made it!

I'll start with Birthright, since it's a modern take of the origins of the Man of Steel and it's artwork looks great. From there, I may go back to the John Byrne Stuff or to other timeless works. I'll just dive into the universe and dont bother with lore too much, since I can always look up a characters or villains first appereance and origin story via ComicVine. This is a truly awesome website and an even better Community!

Thanks again, and feel free to add any advice that might be usefull for newcomers like me, because getting into comics can be very, very overwhelming at first.

#7 Posted by Owie (3670 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with the advice above. Comics history is really complicated and the only way to deal with it is basically to just dive in. Eventually you'll get it. Kangaxx's reply above is actually really thoughtful and well-put.