For years, I wanted to get into comic books, but I didn’t know where to begin. With alternate timelines, deaths and rebirths, reboots and crossovers, comic books can be a confusing hobby, especially for newbies.
Once I jumped in, I found out comics are one of my favorite storytelling mediums! Here are a few of my current favorite titles — that don’t need any research or backstory — to get you started in the beautiful world of comics.
Note: I am a fan of badass ladies, and my selection definitely reflects that. Your mileage may vary!
I was devastated when the New 52 happened. It was right after I started keeping up with comics regularly, so the complete reboot of everything in the DC universe was personally heartbreaking. I mourned the loss of Power Girl and Stephanie Brown, the Batgirl incarnation at the time. But when I heard Gail Simone was the writer for the new storyline, I gave it another chance, and I am so glad I did!
I love the Bat family, but Batman is way too moody for me sometimes. On the other hand, Barbara is funny and lovable. If you want to get into superhero comics without the multiple timelines, Batgirl’s story is the perfect way.
Buy Batgirl: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5
The new Ms. Marvel run is amazing for several reasons. It’s a complete reboot, meaning you don’t need to know a thing about the universe to get started, and it’s the first comic to star a Muslim-American character. The story follows Kamala Khan as she struggles to navigate her new-found powers as Ms. Marvel and the difficulties of being a Muslim-American teenager. It deals a lot with self-acceptance, and I am a sucker for coming-of-age stories. This book is also lighter than Batgirl, so if you are looking a superhero story that’s a little fluffier, this is a great fit.
Ms. Marvel has been consistently popular — selling out multiple issues — and is one of my all-time favorite superhero stories so far. I highly recommend it.
Buy Ms. Marvel: Volume 1, Volume 2
Lumberjanes is an all-ages comic (in stark contrast to Rat Queens, below!) Lumberjanes takes place at a summer camp for girls and the main theme of the comic is fun adventures and friendship. Each issue features a villain of the week-type adventure and a “mix tape” playlist to go along with the story.
It’s published by Boom!, so if you like other Boom! titles like Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors, you will love Lumberjanes.
Buy Lumberjanes: Volume 1
Image comics is doing amazing things in the comics world. If traditional superhero comics aren’t your thing, Image is the publisher you’ll want to look into. Rat Queens follows a highly inappropriate and hilarious girl gang. This comic is rated R — if you don’t like drunken brawls, drug references, and a little gore, it’s probably not for you. All four leading ladies are unique in personality and appearance, which is a huge relief from an industry that tends to have very similar female characters.
If you want to see some badass ladies kicking ass in a fantasy setting, Rat Queens is a great pick.
Buy Rat Queens: Volume 1, Volume 2