New to reading comics, where should I start?

I’m very new to reading comics but I have always loved dc characters through both animated and live-action shows/movies. I want to get up to date with what’s currently happening in the dc comicbook realm but I’m not sure where to start. Here are some of my favorite characters for reference.
Batman
Dick Grayson
The flash
Aqualad
Black lightning
Superman
Cyborg

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Some recommended reads for a few of your preferred characters:

-Batman: His 2011-2016 series, especially issues 1-12. The Court of Owls are the best Batman villains of the modern era and they debut in that series.

-Cyborg: I find his 2016-2018 ongoing series to be his best solo book. Start with Cyborg: Rebirth #1, which then leads into the regular issues of this series.

-Dick Grayson: if you want him as Nightwing, most of his ongoing titles are a good start.

He shed the Nightwing persona in 2014 and became an agent of the spy agency Spyral until 2016 in the ongoing series Grayson (2014-2016). Issues 1-4 constitute the first arc of the series.

-The Flash: the current series that began in 2016 is a good new reader jumping on point, and it introduces a nifty new rogue named Godspeed.

-Superman: his 2016-2018 ongoing series. Start with the Superman: Rebirth #1 one-shot, which will then lead into the regular series. Issues 1-6 make up the first storyarc, “Son of Superman”.

Hopes this helps =)

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If you just want to see what’s current (keeping in mind that DCU is 1 year behind publication), you can just pick a Rebirth title and go from there. They’re normally pretty easy to spot in the search results, because they all have a big blue Rebirth banner at the top, but for specifics.

For Batman, it’s simple. There are 2 series that center on him.
Batman (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/batman-2016/bf73a76a-c16d-439c-b3f1-b74a03e34198
Detective Comics (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/detective-comics-2016/ed3180f9-48be-41b5-a5c6-3f30275d5f41

For Superman, it’s a little more complicated. Superman (2016-) is over. It leads into Man of Steel (2018-) which is a 6 issue mini series. Man of Steel leads into Superman (2018-) which is the current run. If you just want to see the most current stuff, I’d just read Man of Steel then pick up Superman (2018-) and go from there. There’s also Action Comics, which is just another super book.
Superman (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/superman-2016/aea3ac6d-ee6e-42c1-9d39-f6e5e30f7234
Man of Steel (2018-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/man-of-steel-2018/9762c427-d7c7-4006-abd1-efa92fcf4478
Superman (2018-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/superman-2018/76249bfd-b875-4eee-bf04-11b5d37e5570
Action Comics (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/action-comics-2016/38a2bc8c-5947-4046-90be-7d95cb2ba6e7

Nighwing, Flash, and Cyborg are simple. Cyborg’s series is over though.
Nightwing (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/nightwing-2016/8ff8904e-90b2-47c2-9afa-502fe651aad7
Cyborg (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/cyborg-2016/bb21ef9c-7847-40ff-ad05-6ebdc458bd7f
The Flash (2016-): https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/the-flash-2016/dff8aef0-a2a2-47d5-8eb3-34f3136adac6

Black Lightning a little more difficult. Neither has an ongoing series. Black Lightning is in a book that’s no on DCU yet (Batman & the Outsiders). He had a miniseries called Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands, which was good, though very focused on racial tensions with police. Some people find that too political, I enjoyed it.

Can’t say I know much about Aqualad.

There are also tons of other books you could read. A lot of standalone stories. Too many to list, honestly, but some pretty standard recommendations are All-Star Superman, Flashpoint, Superman Red Son, Batman Hush, Batman (2011-) [the entire series is great], Kingdom Come, Grayson (2014-) [again, entire series is fun, though probably confusing for new readers], Batman Long Halloween, and I could keep going forever.

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I usually start on the page furthest to left and continue turning pages until
I finish the book.

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My advice is not to limit yourself to recent stuff. DC has a long and rich history to choose from, and some of the bad decisions they’ve made in the last eight years or so have been piling up. Of course, stuff from before a certain point tends to have very clunky writing and less polished inking and coloring, so a new reader might be put off, but if you stick to the late '80s on, you’ll be doing alright on writing, and while the quality of the art depends more on the penciler, you start to see more detail on the coloring sometime in the late '90s.

Some good, beginner-friendly series and stories for the characters you mentioned:

Batman: This is my strongsuit, so I have a few different ways you could approach it.
-It has some detractors, but Batman: Hush (1941 Batman series, starting somewhere around issue 612 from 2004) is a really solid, self-contained sort of “tour” of the supporting cast and rogues gallery and while the mystery isn’t super difficult, there are some good twists to it.
-If you want a longer sequence of stories that’ll introduce you to other series and Bat-Family members, you can go crossover-hopping through the timeline with Year One, The Killing Joke, A Death in the Family, Knightfall/Knightquest/Knightsend, Prodigal, Troika, Contagion, Legacy, Cataclysm/Aftershock/No Man’s Land, Officer Down, Bruce Wayne: Murderer?/Bruce Wayne: Fugitive, Hush, War Games, Under the Hood, and RIP.
-Finally, you could also look into the prequel stories that address Batman’s early years: Year One, Year Two, Year Three, most of the early arcs of Legends of the Dark Knight, The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Robin: Year One, Batgirl: Year One, Nightwing: Year One, and Catwoman: When in Rome.

Nightwing: The 1996 series is fantastic up until issue #80 or so. When you get there, do yourself a favor and stop. Also look into the 1998 Titans series.

The Flash: Try starting around issue #62 of the 1987 series. Mark Waid’s run created most of the franchise’s lore, and the guy’s plots are genius.

Aqualad: Can’t really help you here. Maybe the Young Justice comics (not the '98 series, the 2012 tie-in for the cartoon; the '98 series is great, it’s just not related to the cartoon in the slightest and doesn’t have Aqualad)?

Black Lightning: I honestly don’t know much about him. I can’t help much here, unfortunately.

Superman: Superman’s history and continuity aren’t my strong suit either, but the 1986 miniseries “The Man of Steel” is quite good.

Cyborg: His history got kind of complicated at a certain point, but I’d say try either New Teen Titans starting in 1980 (introduced the character, but the dialogue and narration are kind of painful for most of the run) or Geoff Johns’ 2003 Teen Titans (which I haven’t read but people seem to like).

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For the modern Aqualad, his first appearance in the mainline DCU was in Brightest Day #10.

There’s also the comic based on the Young Justice TV series. It obviously features Aqualad to a very heavy degree.

Going back to the mainline DCU, Aqualad joined the Teen Titans in their current series in issue #6. The volume two collection is titled “The Rise of Aqualad”.

The Hush arc of Batman is also another great jumping on point for Batman. It’s in the Batman series that ran from 1940-2011, issues 608-619.

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@BatWatch That was my tactict then someone handed me a Manga and blew away everything I thought I knew about how to read a comic.

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Ha! Fair enough.

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Good Superman? Try Action Comics (2011) 1-18. That doesn’t require a whole lot of familiarity with the character but will give you some wonderful characterization of the Big Blue Boy Scout and some wonderful art.

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Read the current series Batman and the Outsiders (there’s only been 3 issues and it has Black Lightning as the leader of the team), Scott Snyder’s new 52 Batman run would be a good jumping on point, for Superman I would read Jurgens rebirth run and Tomasi’s. They were phenomenal and for me a top 5 rebirth book. Also, another two great books are Super Sons, and Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.

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Hahah I feel like we’re in the same boat. I just started reading comics this summer and I really enjoy the new rebirth series. I personally started with the teen titans and spread out from there. The comics will usually make you read multiple at once for you to understand a storyline, backstory, or crossover.

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If you’re really wanting to get into what’s CURRENTLY happening with Batman, then start at Detective Comics #994. I really like Tom King’s run that started in Batman (2016) #1, but since that run is nearly over, you might as well focus on Detective Comics instead as a jumping-on point for current events.

Both of Superman’s main titles are being written by the same author, and his run began in the 2018 Man of Steel six-issue miniseries before continuing in Superman (2018) #1 and Action Comics (2016) #1001.

Dick Grayson is currently in a bit of a transitional phase, and here’s a place where you might want to take a quick dip into Tom King’s Batman (2016) for issues 54-57. After that, you can start with Nightwing (2016) #50. If you want to start a tad earlier, you can read Nightwing #44-49 before going to Batman #54.

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Note: much of what I listed above isn’t available on this service quite yet. If you’re wanting to go with fairly recent stuff, follow the advice above and go to the 2016 Rebirth books for each character. However, you will want to read the following books in this exact order first:

  1. Superman: Lois and Clark (2015) #1-8
  2. Superman (2011) #51
  3. Batman/Superman (2013) #31
  4. Action Comics (2011) #51
  5. Superman/Wonder Woman (2013) #28
  6. Batman/Superman (2013) #32
  7. Action Comics (2011) #52
  8. Superman/Wonder Woman (2013) #29
  9. Superman (2011) #52
  10. DC Universe: Rebirth (2016)

And to make sense of that last book, you may also want to make sure you’re at least familiar with Flashpoint (2011) #1-5 and the premise of the New 52 continuity that started in 2011. (If you want to jump back even further than 2016’s Rebirth for books, the next logical starting point is the line-wide 2011 reboot.)

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Now that I’ve answered your question, I’ll agree with everyone who has been saying that you should at least try out some older comics. I’m going to make some typical sample recommendations for Superman and Batman from every decade from the 1940s to the 1990s so that you can get a sense of what the books are like in every era. If you don’t like the style of the suggested books from a certain decade, then you may want to avoid stories from that period in the future.

1940s:
Action Comics #22-23: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/action-comics-1938-22/2b946b01-1d09-4d79-bbae-e0a640918035
Detective Comics #40: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/detective-comics-1937-41/f1a0499b-1f13-4064-a81d-850862cb6734

1950s:
World’s Finest #88: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/world-s-finest-comics-1941-88/2340cf55-ad0c-41a6-9d12-e156c4d6e446
Detective Comics #298: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/detective-comics-1937-298/7c69f446-9a45-44c1-adf2-a59077d35bc3

1960s:
Action Comics #318: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/action-comics-1938-318/60aed002-f419-42a1-bc66-c4754f9e227f
Detective Comics #319: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/detective-comics-1937-319/83f77050-4d3b-4548-8aaf-762b4fa0e147

1970s:
Superman #248: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/superman-1939-248/16cbd991-1c78-410f-9cef-e7b40debbca6
Detective Comics #478-479: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/detective-comics-1937-478/d2871414-b894-4e0e-bd2b-73beeb9216ed

1980s:
Superman #2: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/superman-1986-2/3e16a4db-61a5-44b5-accf-998006bd58a1
Detective Comics #604-607: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/detective-comics-1937-604/dd1cee52-f2db-45dd-8707-408d550dc641

1990s:
Action Comics #672: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/action-comics-1938-672/140972fd-ff91-44a9-9925-ddf7a5e5a2dc
Batman #550: https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/batman-1940-550/ecb8d34b-d039-4c2e-903f-e811d29ee2d9

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Batman (as rundown as I can)
Zero year /year one
Man who laughs
Long Halloween
Dark victory
Killing joke
Death in the family
A lonely place of dying
Knightfall
Hush
Under the red hood
All of grant Morrisons run
Scott Snyder’s run of Batman and all star Batman to metal
Kings run

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Dick is easier :
Dark victory
Robin year one
Teen Titans 80s (no longer cannon but fun)
Nightwing 90s (same here )
New 52
Grayson
Rebirth and Titans

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i have looked at my Super hero history Topics, my best series, my best New 52 and Rebirth lists and this is the list of my favorite series or first arc.

For the most part, it excludes famous Graphic Novels, single issues, issues that are of historic interest, like Doom.Patrol first issue by Morissn and Origin stories

These are just the best stories I have read, for a wide range of characters and eras

01 1961 Brave and the Bold 34 Hawkman by Schwartz Fox Kubert

02 1974 Adventure Comics 431 to 440 The Spectre Superhero as horror comic Writer/Artist Mike Fleisher/Jim Aparo. Editor Joe Orlando,
(Not in Library Substitute 1992 Specte by Ostrander and Mandrake]

03 1976 All Star Comics 60 on (omits 58 59) revival of Justice Society of America. Introduces Power Girl. Conway Wood.

04 1979 Detective Comics 471 to 476 Steve Engleheart and Marshall Rogers

05 1984 All Star Squadron Set in World War II Roy Thomas

06 1984 Saga of Swamp Thing 21 The Anatomy Lesson Alan Moore

07 1993 Death High Cost of Living The Trade includes Death’s First Appearance in Sandman 8, 1991, Sound of Her Wings Neil Gaiman
Not in library, available at Comixology or try Library or buy Graphic Novel trade

08 1996 Supergirl 75 to 80 Peter David
Linda Danvers Supergirl meets Silver Age Kara el Supergirl

09 1997 JLA Big Seven return.with epic plots. Grant Morrison.

10 2000 Planetary Warren Ellis John Cassidy

11 2003 Teen Titans Young Justice mentored by New Teen Titans Geoff Johns

12 2004 DC: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke. Set in late 50s early 60s.

13 2011 Aquaman Geoff Johns

14 2011 Demon Knights Set in Medieval Times. Paul Cornell

15 2011 Frankenstein Agent of
S.H.A.D.E, Jeff Lemire.

16 2011 Huntress mini (Helena Wayne)
followed in 2012 Worlds Finest with Power Girl Paul Levitz

17 2013 Earth 2 17 on.Tom Taylor

18 2015 Superman Lois and Clark Introduction of Jon Kent, their son. Dan Jurgens followed by Superman Rebirth in 2016, followed by Super Sons.

19 2015 Titans Hunt 1960s Originak Teen Titans Dan Abnett followed by DC Universe Rebirth 1 then Titans Rebirth 2016

20 DC Universe Rebirth 1

21 2016 Wonder Woman Year One. Issues 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Rucka Scott

22 2016 Detective Comics Rebirth Tynion IV

23 2016 Green Lanterns Rebrth Sam Humpries

24 2016 Flinstones Mark Russell

25 2018 Justice League Dark Tynion

26 2018 Hawkman Robert Venditti

27 2018 Justixe League Odyssey issue 6 on. Dan Abnett

My favorite DC book right now is the current Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen. Each issue is a great stand alone story by Matt Fraction that is funny and exciting while contributing to a running background plot about the past of Olsen’s family and their history in Metropolis.

While we are waiting for this book to appear digitally you should check out some of the past Jimmy Olsen books on DCU. Jimmy Olsen has managed to get in trouble with almost every hero and villain in DC and his past adventures provide a lot of insight on Superman’s motives. You can see in the past series how Jimmy has had so much influence on Superman’s actions and motives.