A Fresh Start to Superhero Comics 
If you havenít grown up reading superhero comics the hardest part is figuring out where to start. Trying to choose your first title can be daunting: so many characters, years of storylines, learning what is or isnít canon, etc... As an aspiring superhero comics reader I was at a loss, until I discovered The New 52 from DC Comics. The New 52 cancelled all of DCís existing storylines and began a ďsoft rebootĒ of popular series, starting over from issue #1. This allows you to start a series from the beginning but also offers a reference point for learning about older comics related to the new titles. Many of The New 52 titles are worth checking out, especially if you have a favorite character, but Iím going to tell you about two of my favorites and additional titles to read when youíre done.



Batgirl Vol. 1: The Darkest Reflection (The New 52).
Barbara Gorden/Batgirl might be a protťgť of Batman and the commissioner's daughter, but she can hold her own in Gotham City. Sheís a master of karate and a genius to boot. The Darkest Reflection begins shortly after Gorden recovers from three years of paralysis. She is racked with survivorís guilt and has flashbacks to the night she opened the door to find the Joker, who then shot her and left her to die. Gorden struggles to overcome posttraumatic stress disorder and regain her physical and psychological strength while reentering the crime fighting scene. Youíll learn about other members of the Bat Family and get a glimpse into Batmanís extended universe.

Further Reading


Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore.
The Killing Joke details the events following Barbara Gordenís shooting. The open-ending will give you the creeps and send you searching for the sequel (spoiler, there isnít one).

Birds of Prey: Of Like Minds by Gail Simone.
After she is paralyzed by the Joker, Batgirl the crime-fighting librarian becomes Oracle the wheelchair bound computer genius and hacker extraordinaire. Oracle leads the Birds of Prey, a team of crime fighting women involved in global espionage.



Swamp Thing Vol 1: Raise Them Bones (The New 52) by Scott Snyder.
Swamp Thing plays homage to classic b-movie horror films and he is THE environmentalist super hero (move over Captain Planet). In some versions of Swamp Thing, the character is Alec Holland turned monster from the swamp but Snyderís antihero sticks to the Alan Moore backstory of a plant creature with the memories of the deceased Alec Holland. In this story, he has regained his human form but cannot forget his time as Swamp Thing. This story is pure horror as Holland finds himself in an age old battle between the Green and the Rot.

Further Reading


Anything by Scott Snyder, he seems to be writing every new DC title and with his talent itís clear why.

Saga of the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore.
This graphic novel should sway anyone who doesnít believe comics can be high art, while remaining true to its roots in pulp horror. Read this Alan Moore masterpiece, then read everything else heís written.

What was the first superhero comic you read? Do you have a suggestion for new comic readers? Have you enjoyed any of The New 52? Let us know in the comments.

-Ruth Houston, Teen Services, Teen Underground @ Main

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