How does a beginner like me get into the DC Comics Universe?
Now, I don’t like to brag, but when it comes to Marvel Comics I like to think I know what I’m talking about. From the Sanctum Santorum to the Savage Land, from the Microverse to Knowhere, if you set me down without a map I’d know my way around. I know the difference between Venom, Anti-Venom and Carnage, my Green Goblins from my Hobgoblins, and if you’ve got a spare few hours I can talk you through the Dark Phoenix Saga, the Onslaught Saga and even the Clone Saga. Yep, I’m pretty comfortable there. Take me across to the Distinguished Competition though, and that’s another story entirely.
I’m not sure what it is, but I’ve never gotten into DC comics. Obviously, I don’t include Batman in that statement, because even the most casual comic book fan has read the odd Batman book, probably Year One, Killing Joke or Dark Knight Returns. Nor do I include the more seminal by-products of the various imprints, such as Watchmen, V for Vendetta or Sandman. I’ve read all of those and urge you to do the same.
When it comes to the main DC universe/multiverse however, I’m fairly clueless; mainly because I’ve hardly read anything that didn’t have Batman in it. Well, all that changes now. I’ve had enough of only reading half the comics I could be. No longer will there be an entire universe left unexplored. Slowly but surely I’m going to work my way through the Crises, the events, the seminal series, the epic runs and yet more Crises, and like every good blogger who travels to an unknown land I’ll be chronicling my journey, and hopefully you’ll enjoy what I have to say!
Where To Start
This was a tough one. I worked my way through many reading lists looking for a glimmer of hope, a clear sign pointing me towards an issue or series that wouldn’t take me all the way back to the Golden Age, but would indoctrinate me into this strange new world. I’ve always known that the DC Multiverse was a tricky place for a beginner – despite all their best efforts, it was still a daunting place for a newcomer. After all, if it was easy I’d have done it years ago. So I was thinking about how hard it was to break into, and those thoughts brought me to the one point in DC history at which the creators appreciated my current dilemma and attempted to do something about it. For those of you who know the universe well, you’ll know that I’m talking about Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Created in 1985 with the express purpose of rebooting the DC landscape into a more reader-friendly place, Crisis on Infinite Earths attempted to condense the myriad universes under the DC umbrella into one, coherent whole. It was a daunting task, not only (I imagine) to create, but also to read. Was it a good place to start? It’s not for me to say, but it seemed like as good a place as any. Come back soon to see how I got on!