One of my good friends has always been into Comic books. I’d read them here and there, but never collected. As I got older, I became more intimidated by the huge history of the characters, which hindered me getting into the books.
Along came the Ultimate line from Marvel. Everything was reset. It was a great starting point. I read Ultimate X-Men and The Ultimates for a while, in trade paperback form, but I found that the stories weren’t very strong as time passed. I stopped reading them.
I discovered Gaiman’s Sandman, which I enjoyed and also benefited from me starting from square one with that character as well. The Watchmen was another that I really enjoyed (and of course, I read because of the movie).
For my birthday one year, I received the Batman: Hush trade paperbacks. I loved it, but the six or so titles that featured Batman confused me. I didn’t understand why there were so many titles, what the differences were and how important it was to follow them all.
This year, I heard about DC relaunching their titles, starting everything back at #1. I talked to Brandon, the manager at Wizard’s Comics University about the relaunch and got a good sense of what the different titles would be like and to just get an idea of what was out there. I wanted to read Batman stories. He pulled out a copy of Detective Comics #854 from his personal collection and gave it to me to try out. It was the first issue of the Batwoman: Elegy story. The art was amazing. The Batwoman character blew me away. I promptly picked up the Trade Paperback (at Chapters, it was close and available, sorry Brandon!).
Anyway, with the relaunch, I’ve got three titles that I’m definitely putting in a file: Batwoman, Batman, and Detective Comics. Several other titles were of interest, but I was unsure about them. On a one-issue trial: Justice League, Justice League Dark, Batman: The Dark Knight.
In anticipation, I re-read Hush. I caught something I hadn’t caught before, which I really liked. When in Gotham, everything seems to have a sense of darkness or dread about it. The city isn’t a pure place. You can tell by the way everything is depicted. The action moves to Metropolis, and the city is completely different. It’s bright and hopeful. Every panel shows this. It was really need to realize and really added depth to the locations.