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.
Or skip to the 2016 re-launch DC Universe: Rebirth event and then any Rebirth series #1.
> since I last read consistently in like 2012
Did you not develop a means/method to researching comics you like back then? That's something that should stick with you and probably still applies. All of the old stuff that was good back in 2012 is still good (nothing posted here for that will be much different than just Googling "top comics of all time"). Here's some good new stuff you might've missed since 2012, though:
/r/comicbooks Rebirth ranking survey results (October 2017).
/r/DCcomics Rebirth ranking survey results (May 2017).
/r/DCcomics New 52 ranking survey results (February 2014).
/r/DCcomics New 52 moderators’ top picks (May 2017).
DC 2016 Rebirth re-launch: DC Universe: Rebirth event and then any Rebirth series #1.
IDW's 2011 TMNT reboot with Eastman, Waltz, et al. and IDW's 2012 Phase 2 Transformers (especially More Than Meets the Eye) have both been excellent. They can be mature, dark, funny, action-packed, etc. and surprisingly good, considering the IPs.