While browsing the comic book store a few months ago, I came across a couple of isses of The Return of Bruce Wayne. I love Batman, and I couldn't resist covers with Batman as a cave man, a puritan and a pirate. I snatched them up and took them home to read.
After I read issues #1 - 3, I felt that I was missing a part of the story. Why was this happened? I felt I couldn't really get the whole story without knowing. I asked one of the guys at the store and he told me ROBW followed Final Crisis (and incidently, Battle for the Cowl which I should also read). He told me the premise and mentioned there was a copy in the store. After looking at the picture of Superman holding the corpse of Batman, I was sold. I asked if there was anything else I should read before Final Crisis and he said "pretty much the entire DC Universe". Figuring I knew enough about DC from watching Justice League, I left it at that.
I spent the entire night reading it, and when I got to the end... I was confused.
I didn't know who some of the characters were. I didn't understand the plot. When Ross at the comic book store explained it, I understood it better. He told me a part of the story that I didn't even read in the comic. Unless I missed it from being confused. I didn't know what was going on. At one point there was a Nazi Superman. The Superman went to some other dimension with a bunch of other Supermen and fought vampires. I think. The only thing I got from the trade was that Batman died. I didn't even figure out who won. Did the bad guys win? Did Superman stop Darkseid? I have no idea. But Batman died and his funeral rocket was sent back in time where he would become Chief Man Of Bats.
Due to this, I started to think that some comic book universes are not noob friendly. If I wanted to start reading Marvel Universe (Like Civil War or House of M, of Avengers), I feel like I couldn't start there. How far back would I have to go? Same with DC Universe. I felt lost looking at this series. But where would I have started to know the full story? I realize that comic industries rely on repeat customers who follow huge story arcs and have been reading for a very long time, but at one point do they make something noob friendly? If they want me to be a loyal fan and continue to pick up series and follow along, I have to start somewhere and sometimes it's not very inviting. Half the series I have ever picked up have been because a cover has caught my eye. Or the premise of a story. But if I need to know the entire DC or Marvel Universe to understand and enjoy that story, I'm not there yet.
I would like to start reading comics and following a series, but as a newb in the comic world, it's all too overwhelming.