this is basically the same question as my Dr Who question. That one was answered thourougly, I'm very grateful.
Now, if I wanted to read Batman, the Avengers, or even Superman... Is there a particular series which is good for a beginner?
All superhero-comic suggestions are welcome. I'm very into Disney comics (Barks and Don Rosa) and know my way around those, but I'm quite lost at super heroes.
I kind of went at this backwards. The superhero comics involve so many plot twists, deaths, resurrections, and general mess that I went towards immersion in the general themes, rather than specific plots. Let them try a bunch of things and see what they like. However, the 'bunch of things' should be kid-safe.
For the most part, I avoid the new stuff, since it's too violent, dark, and made for old people by old people (I consider myself old). I like that stuff, but not for kiddos. I recently went exploring nearby towns for used books and knicknack shops and found bins of old 70s and 80s era superhero titles like Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men and Spiderman, yes, household names now, but in those eras, the colors were bright, the fights were silly, and there were a lot of different characters. At 1 dollar a pop, we have a ton of old books for them to read. Downsides are that they're all out of order.
For new comics, my son really likes the Sonic the Hedghog and Mega Man comics from Archie Comics. These are relatively cheap and strike the right tone, in my view. The video game characters of these days may be the equivalent of comic book characters from my times. I've come to accept it. I like to play emulators of the original NES Megaman (rockman) and Genesis Sonic games so he can see where these characters come from.
Last, I can't stress enough how awesome Free Comic Book Day is, scheduled this year for May 5. It may take a little searching to find a participating comic store, but I took my boys, 10 and 6 now, last year and the store was literally packed with folks, many of them wearing costumes. There is a whole rack of free comics, all of which are pretty kid friendly, so we got loaded up with loot. It was great fun and I'm planning to do it again.
Thanks, Oliver, for the extensive answer!
Though I am aware this is a GeekDAD forum, the question was for myself. So darkness and violence do not matter THAT much. But I really appreciate your hint towards older comic books.
Wish I still had the ones from my youth...
Fantastic suggestions Oliver - esp.on Free Comic Book Day - that is an outing I have to schedule with my boys.
if the fear of continunity has you worried about jumping into certain titles then might i recommend looking at dc comics. they have recently kicked off their new 52 event that pretty much wipes out 50 years of continunity and starts from the beginning for all of their major players.
if you are looking for something darker, i would recomend warren ellis's run on stormwatch and his complete transmetropolitan (both available through amazon). i would also recommend garth ennis's Preacher and Hitman (again available fromamazon).i'm also sure that with the avengers movie only weeks away, a few "best of" avengers trade paperbacks will be floodingonto the book isle of every target and walmart. hope this helps.