Top 10 Comic Books for Beginners

Written by Anthony Nicoletti Everybody has to start somewhere. Welcome to Watchmojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Comic Books for Beginners. For this list, we’re looking at the best comics that can be easily picked up and read on their own without having to know about the 70-plus years of continuity, or having to read 600 back-issues to keep up with the story. These are comics that anyone can enjoy. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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Everybody has to start somewhere. Welcome to Watchmojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Comic Books for Beginners.

For this list, we’re looking at the best comics that can be easily picked up and read on their own without having to know about the 70-plus years of continuity, or having to read 600 back-issues to keep up with the story. These are comics that anyone can enjoy.

#10: “The Walking Dead” (2003-)
Created by comic’s superstar Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead zombie-crawled onto the scene in 2003. Following the main protagonist Rick Grimes, as he wakes from a coma to a full force zombie apocalypse, the comic series highlights humanity in the wake of disaster. In both 2007 and 2010, the series received Eisner Awards for best continuing series, and shows no signs of slowing down. The series has also been adapted into an AMC television show, catapulting the comic into a pop-culture mainstay. This series isn’t getting shot in the head anytime soon.

#9: “Ms. Marvel” (2014-)
Featuring Marvel’s first Muslim character to headline her own series, Khamala Khan made her first appearance in Captain Marvel #14. The first volume titled “No Normal,” focuses on the title character discovering she has inhuman genes, as she struggles to etch out her own identity. The book was met with great critical reception, as the character acted as a truly fascinating entryway into the American Muslim experience. The title became so popular, that by the end of its introduction year, reached #2 on the New York Times best-seller list of paperback graphic books.

#8: “Fables” (2002-15)
Far from your typical happily ever after fairy-tale, Fables uses public domain folklore characters to create a contemporary dark fantasy. Created by Bill Willinigham and Lan Medina, the story showcases the trials and tribulations of classic figures, such as Beauty and the Beast, the Big Bad Wolf, and Snow White as they are forced into exile and hiding in modern New York city. As the series progressed, the story took on multiple genres, such as a murder mystery and conspiracy thriller, lasting for a total of 150 issues. In 2013, due to the books popularity, The Wolf Among Us, an episodic adventure game was created by Telltale games as a canon prequel to the series.

#7: “Invincible” (2003-17)
Another Robert Kirkman masterpiece, which he co-created with Cory Walker under the Image Comics imprint, the story follows superhero Mark “Invincible” Grayson who inherits his alien father, Omni Man’s, superhuman strength and ability to fly. While the story does play with traditional superhero tropes, Invincible takes it to the next-level, featuring gruesome battle-scenes, while also tackling some very mature themes. Kirkman, who had hopes of other creators continuing the title long after his departure, instead felt Invincible coming to a natural conclusion, opting to end the book with issue #144 in 2017. Fear not though, as Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will soon be bringing Invincible to the big screen.

#6: “Y: The Last Man” (2002-08)
Do you ever wonder what life would be like if you were the last of your gender on earth? Written by all-star writer Brian K. Vaughan, readers are sent on a wild ride with Yorick Brown and his Capuchin monkey Ampersand, both of whom survived the simultaneous deaths of all male mammals on earth. Featuring some very strong female characters, including angry Republicans and brainwashed amazons, Eisner Award winner Vaughan takes his writing to new heights, as readers follow Yorick as he tries to save, and hopefully repopulate the human race. Filled with mystery, action, and a little politics, this comic is sure to surprise you.

#5: “Hawkeye Volume 1: My Life as a Weapon” (2013)
Taking a break from his duties with the Avengers, Hawkeye takes to the main stage in this funny, out-of-the-ordinary superhero comic. Now working alongside another Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, the series is an action-packed, street-level superhero story. The grounded nature of the story lends to a more realistic feel for the character – who, at his core, is just a guy with a bow and arrow fighting for justice. With compelling artwork from David Aja and great writing from Matt Fraction, this book definitely hits its mark.

#4: “Ultimate Spider-Man” (2000-11)
Swinging into action in the early 2000’s, Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley’s fresh take on the wall crawler aimed to modernize the character by placing him in the 21st century. Pulling from the mythos of the character, as made famous by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the “Ultimate” series served as great starting point for readers who were too far behind on nearly 50 years of Spider-Man backstory. In many ways staying true to the classic Spidey lore, this storyline contains Peter Parker’s tragic back story, and follows him as he goes through the struggles of growing up in high school, to facing updated versions of fan favourite villains like Green Goblin and Venom.

#3: “Saga” (2012-)
Sex, magic, and a whole lot of violence, Saga is not your typical sci-fi epic. Meet the winged Alana and horned Marko, two star-crossed lovers on opposite sides of a galactic war - trying to save their child from bounty hunters, evil robots, and a life of violence. Published in 2012, issue #1 was an instant sell-out forcing the book back to 5 reprints, and in 2013, the collected first volume won the Hugo Award for Best Graphic story. Marketed as a crossbreed between Romeo and Juliet, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones, writer Brian K. Vaughan and artist Fiona Staples have create a unique universe that mixes the best elements of sci-fi and fantasy.

#2: “Watchmen” (1986-87)
Brought to life by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen debuted in 1986 as part of a 12 issue series published by DC Comics. In a reimagined America, the presence of superheroes changed the course of history, and readers get to experience a world of costumed vigilantes, political unrest, mystery, and conspiracy. Not just a great comic, but an influential piece of literature that transcends the medium, Watchmen remains a timeless and accessible classic for new comic book readers and die-hard fans alike.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honourable mentions:

“Batman: The Long Halloween” (1996-97)

“Preacher” (1995-2000)

“Kick-Ass” (2008-10)

#1: “The Dark Knight Returns” (1986)
The Dark Knight Returns was instrumental in redefining Batman’s identity. In this story, Bruce Wayne comes out of retirement at the age of 50 to fight a new gang called “The Mutants”. Written and illustrated by Frank Miller with the help of Klaus Janson, the four-issue miniseries was released in 1986, kicking off the dark and edgy age of comics. Featuring a female Robin and an incredible fight with Superman, this book consistently receives great praise, toping many lists as not only best Batman comics, but one of the best comics, period.
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