Whenever someone tells me they want to get into comics, this is the first one I lend them. First, because I fucking love Batman. Second, this comic has EVERYONE. Heroes. Villains. You also get a great mystery that introduces a new villain and one of the best Batman vs. Superman fights out there. Also, Jim Lee is probably my favorite artist when it comes to drawing superheroes.
Thor: God Of Thunder
The first Thor book I read. Puts the god of thunder against The God Butcher, who is essentially a brutal god serial killer. This one, if you make it to the second book, really makes you think. You get some time travel/flashbacks in this one and get to see a badass sky fight between a young arrogant Thor and The God Butcher. I’m really hoping this one makes it to the MCU, but I doubt it. That fight would look great on a big screen.
Ultimate Spider-Man vol 4 Legacy (issues 22–27)
Marvel kicked off the Ultimate series to introduce fans to old heroes from the beginning. You can never really go wrong reading one of these and anything by Brian Bendis is usually safe to be solid. Before this issue, Peter Parker is still finding his footing (and getting the shit kicked out of him) as Spider-Man. In this issue, I think he really steps into the role. There's a great battle with the Green Goblin and you see the badass Peter is becoming.
Locke And Key
I’m just going to say read the whole series. It’s IT meets Strangers Things meets whimsical adventures of children… but sometimes the kids may get their eyes ripped out. Magic keys and monsters, beautiful art – it has it all. I also recommend reading any novel by Joe Hill.
Green Lantern: Omnibus by Geoff Johns
I impulsively paid $100 dollars for this after a drunken trip to the comic shop. It’s the size of Moby Dick and worth it. My favorite part of it is the Sinestro Corps War where we are given the inception of Yellow Lanterns, their back stories, and a pretty epic space battle. If you’re looking to get into Green Lantern, you’ll be an expert by the end. I also love that anyone who’s brave can be a Lantern. My niece thought Green Lantern was a guy and it was cool to see her pumped that a girl could be one as well. Man, woman, alien, gay, anyone without fear can join the Corp.
The MCU version was great and the source material is right on par. Enough stuff was left out of the movie that this read will be new to you if you only saw the film. Same basic premise of Captain America squad vs. Iron Man squad. We also get an adult Spider-Man whose story arc in this is my favorite, and adult Spider-Man knows how to beat some ass.
DC Identity Crisis
Someone is killing members of the Justice League’s families in some pretty brutal ways. Question is who? This is a great mystery and it has everyone from the JLA. Amazing battle as well with Deathstroke single handedly taking on members of the JLA.
Mark Waid’s Daredevil vol 5 (issues 22–27)
Known as the man without fear, here we find Daredevil afraid. His best friend is dying of cancer and all his loved ones are being targeted. A battle with the villain Ikari leaves him beaten and terrified. I recommend all of Waid’s Daredevil. Daredevil is a character who has been lower than low and struggles with depression. Waid tried to reinvent him as a man trying to beat that and putting on a happy face. Something we can all relate to sometimes.
Deadpool: Secret Invasion
Deadpool vs. The Skrulls. I peed myself laughing out loud with this one. Deadpool is smart, funny, and ruthless. Wait till you get to the part where they clone the Skrulls from Deadpool’s DNA.
Batman: Death In The Family
I was obsessed with Robin as a kid and this one features the death of the second more violent Robin, Jason Todd. This comic showed me that comics weren’t just books where heroes sweep in and save the day. It was bloody, violent, and tragic. The panels of The Joker beating Robin, a child, with a crowbar over and over and over and over and over again… are haunting. Probably shouldn’t have read this as a kid. However, highly recommend this now and this event led to great characters and stories down the line.