Podcast - Episode 63: Superhero Starting Points

Dave and I run through five characters this week, making recommendations for people who became interested in them through the movies or television, and are looking for good places to start with the comics. These are necessarily the best comics ever written about each character, but they are good, accessible stories that most likely give new fans what they are looking for.

Before we get to that, here is Sean "Wordburglar" Jordan's new music video!

Here are our recommendations:


The entire Ed Brubaker run, which would be:

  1. Winter Soldier
  2. Red Menace
  3. Captain America: Civil War
  4. The Death of Captain America
  5. The Man with No Face
  6. Road to Reborn/Reborn
  7. Two Americas
  8. No Escape
  9. The Trial of Captain America
  10. Prisoner of War
  11. Steve Rogers Super Soldier
  12. Secret Avengers (Mission to Mars/Eye of the Dragon)
  13. Fear Itself
  14.  Captain America (relaunch) #1-19
  15. Captain America & Bucky (The Life Story of Bucky Barnes/Old Wounds)
  16. Winter Soldier solo series (#1-14)

So if you haven't read all of that already, get going! If you need to skip parts, we would suggest skipping Road to Reborn/Reborn. You don't really need to read Secret Avengers, either, but it's good.

Captain America: War and Remembrance by Roger Stern and John Byrne (now collected in an Epic Collection called Dawn's Early Light)

The Avengers: Epic Collection Earth's Mightiest Heroes by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Don Heck, et al.
This collects the first twenty issues of the original 1960s Avengers comics. It's very fun.

Captain America: Man Out of Time by Mark Waid and Jorge Molina
NOTE: I don't actually like this book all that much. But it is accessible, and gives fans of the movie version of the characters what they are looking for, more or less.

Captain America: the 1940s Newspaper Strip by Karl Kesel
This was collected in a book in 2010. It's out of print, but you can probably track down a copy one way or another. They are all on Marvel Unlimited as well.

Captain America and The Falcon by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and others
This is getting collected into Epic Collections. A few are out now. Mad Bomb is probably the most significant story to come out of this run.


The Geoff Johns run, which would be:

  1. The Last Son of Krypton
  2. Secret Origin
  3. Brainiac
  4. Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes
  5. Escape from Bizarro World

I don't think it really matters what order you read these in, they were all kinda coming out at the same time. Some were dragged out while others filled in the space in between. It was confusing, but these are five great Superman books.

World's Finest by Dave Gibbons and Steve Rude

Birthright by Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu
NOTE: neither of us are crazy about this book, but it's good for new readers.

Superman For All Seasons by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale
Same note as above.


The Matt Fraction/Salvador Larocca run, which would be:

  1. The Five Nightmares
  2. World's Most Wanted
  3. Stark Disassembled
  4. Stark Resilient
  5. My Monsters
  6. Unfixable
  7. Demon
  8. Long Way Down
  9. The Future

Demon in a Bottle by David Michelinie, Bob Layton and John Romita
Again, we only sort of recommend this. And it's not even a real story arc exactly, but it is collected in a book with this title and if you want to see Tony Stark hit rock bottom, this is for you.


Wolverine (1982) by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller
It's kinda weird, but still holds up. Good especially if you're interested in Wolverine's connection to Japan.

Wolverine: Weapon X by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney
We both really love this run. I can't recommend it enough. It's collected into, I believe, three volumes.

Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron and various artists
This is a fantastic run that followed the Schism event, and Wolverine is the headmaster of the new Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. The school is staffed by other anti-Cyclops X-Men, including Kitty Pryde, Storm, Ice Man, Beast and more. There are, I think, eight volumes of this. And it's really the last appearance of Wolverine because he's been dead in the comics for awhile.

Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday
Wolverine is a bit of a background player in this one, but I think he's note perfect in the scenes he's in. It's collected into two books.


Who Is Wonder Woman? by Allan Heinberg and Terry Dodson
Cool series where Diana Prince is a secret agent with gorgeous Dodson art.

Current "Year One" run by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott
Every other issue that is coming out right now is part of the "Year One" storyline and it's great.  

Wonder Woman: Earth One by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette
It's a little weird, but it's an interesting examination of the character with beautiful art.

Wonder Woman run by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang
There are six volumes of this run, and it's pretty great. 

DC's The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke