First, thanks so much for putting effort into your request for recommendations post. Providing preferences and ratings like that really helps.
> Im a fairly new comic reader
> Batman: Hush 9/10
> The Dark Knight Returns 4/10
Everything checks out here, lol. Obviously, everyone has different tastes, but I think you'd be surprised how often these scores swap after new readers revisit these stories years later.
Even if you didn't like Miller's DKR, you should still try his Batman: Year One.
On to recommendations:
Or skip to the 2016 re-launch DC Universe: Rebirth event and then any Rebirth series #1.
Or any of the Valiant 2012 superhero universe reboot comics like Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, or:
There isn't really a "main story" that every comic is constantly connected to. Think of it more like a web of smaller stories. Every comic is self-contained in its own little bubble UNTIL it's mentioned somewhere else. Occasionally, there are major crossovers/events where a selection of series will be connected briefly (e.g. Civil War). That said, there have been a few attempts at planned, long-form plotting with an overarching story e.g. most of Hickman's Marvel works builds up to Secret Wars.
Here is my usual new reader guide:
How to Get Into Comic Books (13:40) | Patrick Willems
Consider your intent/commitment. Think about your favorite shows, movies, books, etc. Reading primarily for enjoyment or encyclopedic knowledge? Collecting? Have the time/resources to read 50 or 500 comics per character?
Don’t try to read everything at once. There’s too much. Forget about catching up, continuity, universes, etc. for now. Older comics can be an acquired taste for modern audiences, so they aren’t necessarily ideal starting points. Writers change often, characters get re-worked, and origins are re-told. Remember, there are many great characters, creators, publishers, etc. to explore.
Pick an interesting character/team and seek their most popular/acclaimed stories. Focus on self-contained, complete stories in one corner of the universe. There will be unexplained references/characters, just persevere or Wiki. Don’t let the tangled web of shared-universe comics overwhelm you. Think of it like solving a jigsaw puzzle one small piece at a time until you finally see the big picture.
Discover your preferences and let them guide you. Don’t get stuck preparing/over-analyzing, just start reading. Do you like/dislike old/new comics? Specific writers/genres? Cartoony/realistic art? Familiar/weird concepts? References/self-contained? All-ages/mature content? Follow these instincts. Didn’t understand a reference? Maybe read that next.
Ultimate Spider-Man | #1-160 | 2000-2008 | Bendis
Spider-Man: Blue | #1-6 | 2002 | Loeb
Amazing Spider-Man | #30-57, 500-545 | 2001-2007 | Straczynski
Amazing Spider-Man (Brand New Day) | #546-647 | 2008-2010 | Slott, et al.
Amazing Spider-Man (Big Time) | #648-700.5 | 2010-2013 | Slott, et al.
Superior Spider-Man | #1-33 | 2013-2014 | Slott, et al.