I'm a Marvel boy to the core. Never really read anything outside of the Marvel Universe other than a few things here and there of DC.

Now that some DC movies are getting made, I wanted to get into the stories, but I really don't want to start reading some of the Heroes that I like starting in the 40's...

Is there a good place to start reading say Green Lantern and the Flash?

I know this might be too subjective, but the answer I'm looking for is a point in the comics where I don't need to know too much, could research the history that I get confused at but not have to research something at every other panel. A point in the story that I can still appreciate the characters while not going decades into the last century...

Is this possible with these comics?

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    I'm extremely curious why someone voted to close. This is just like any other reading order question, or like the 'where should I start watching Doctor Who' question.
    – user1027
    Jun 17 '11 at 22:59

Both Flash and Green Lantern have long histories, so I'm going to focus on recent stepping-on points, per the question's request. For Green Lantern, it's pretty straightforward. There was a recent Secret Origins story in Green Lantern, which is as good a time as any to hop on. Apparently they re-released it with a new cover to promote the movie. If you're interested in reading more, then I recommend starting with the current run of Green Lantern. The first of these is here, and that starts the regular Green Lantern book over with a sort of fresh start after some recent shake-ups. If you want to dig back into that history, I'd recommend waiting until you've read the Sinestro Corps War story, as that includes some crucial pieces of historical information.

Now then, there are 2 main Green Lantern books at that point in history, the one above and Green Lantern Corps, which had a new number 1 issue around the same time. Unlike the main Green Lantern book, I think the mini-series that relaunched Green Lantern Corps is pretty easy to read for beginners, and you can find that here. After reading that book, pick up Green Lantern Corp Vol 1, then 2 and so on. Green Lantern Corps and Green Lantern run in parallel, with minimal crossover. The previously-mentioned Sinestro Corps War is the first big crossover between them.

The Flash has had a rough past few years. The character who is the main Flash changed a few times, and there have been a couple of relaunches of the Flash comic book as a result. I think your best bet here is to start reading the current Flash book. This one is pretty recent, roughly a year old, you can find the first volume here. It starts with a solid introduction to the new main Flash and his family of friends and rogues gallery.

Both Green Lantern and The Flash hold key places in the DC Universe. The Green Lantern Corps was started by the Guardians of the Universe, ancient aliens who have lived for eons. Events they participated in at the dawn of the universe resulted in the creation of the Corps. If you find you like Green Lantern, you can read more about the Corps' history in the Tales of the Green Lantern Corps reprints they've been publishing (see here). The Flash kicked off the Silver Age, and decades later the Flash's contribution to the Crisis on Infinite Earths stood as a marker in superhero history. Once you're familiar with the Flash, I recommend you read Crisis on Infinite Earths. It's an epic and will provide some crucial history to the Flash.

If you want to read old-school tales of both these heroes, you can find those in DC's Showcase collections. They're thick books that collect Silver-Age stories for low prices. However, these have a decidedly different tone and story-telling style compared to the modern stuff.

  • Cool. I have a good idea where to start now. :) Thanks! Jun 17 '11 at 18:52
  • Enjoy. If you have questions, you can hit me up in chat.
    – user1027
    Jun 17 '11 at 19:48
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    I just realized how crazy my last comment was. If you have questions, we're on a Q&A site. But seriously, I'm also on chat all the time.
    – user1027
    Jun 17 '11 at 20:20

You may want to wait a couple of months, as DC is relaunching its entire line in September with 52 new issue 1s. I would imagine that previous backstories will become irrelevant.

  • 1
    I highly suspect that the relaunch is going to be a short-lived thing. Like most crossover events.
    – user1027
    Jun 17 '11 at 13:06
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    @Keen you're probably not wrong, especially given that this is really the third time they've rebooted their whole universe. Jun 17 '11 at 13:12
  • Ok, but if the re-launch is a failure, where would I start then in the original comics? (original as in before this scheduled reboot) Jun 17 '11 at 13:14
  • 1
    @Oghma: One of the previous reboots?
    – Jeff
    Jun 17 '11 at 13:18
  • Ok, I don't know which to start at, when those are. If you could elaborate. Jun 17 '11 at 13:19

Big events tend to have trade paperbacks which encompass large numbers of issues. Though it may seem paradoxical, you could likely start with a big event (one of the Crisis, The War of Light (for GL), etc).

Another upside of big crossover events is that they know no one will be familiar with ALL of the characters, so they provide a decent amount of backstory and characterization. Even if a character is only on a few pages, they try to give you enough information to see how they fit into the larger picture.

You could also start with one of the Justice League series, as they tend to involve the characters in a more 'iconic' role - characters rarely appear out of costume, they don't tend to interact with character-specific minor characters (while you may see a glimpse of Lois or hear her mentioned, Jimmy and Perry White won't show up). It'll help you get a feel for the characters.

It's also worth noting that DC has been essentially shaken up several times in the past decade, so you won't have to go back much further than 2005 in the main continuity. Canon gets reset a LOT.

  • All this resetting makes me dizzy. And annoyed. That (and lack of funds) is why I stopped reading. Just sayin (grew up with Barry Allen and Hal Jordan, and fondly remember them; I even think that they are Flash/GL (and DC seems to agree, bringing both back again and again after each reboot). Though, similar to the OP, I've always been more of a Marvel person Again, just sayin...) Jun 19 '11 at 23:01

A good site for reading orders - especially Green Lantern is http://www.readingorders.com

It highlights all of the titles from Green Lantern Rebirth which started in 2005.

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