If you’re looking for Batman, I’m afraid he hasn’t fared as well in recent years, but Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s Batman: The Long Halloween and Batman: Dark Victory do a good job of picking up just after Batman’s origin and setting up his relationships with most of his supporting cast. They’re also part of the source material for Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, so if you enjoyed those movies, you could do a lot worse.
There’s a lot of good stuff on Captain America, of course, but the best of it will show up in the next section. For now, I recommend Captain America: Red White and Blue, a collection of short comic stories by various artists. You should find something in there to suit almost any taste. And if you’re a fan of the X-Men movies, try the various X-Men: First Class titles, including Wolverine: First Class, which has nothing to do with the recent stupid film. (It’s actually a hilarious buddy comedy featuring Wolverine and his sidekick—a 13-year-old mutant girl named Shadowcat. Weirdly, it’s still a great jumping-on point.)
What about you, comic-book readers out there? What books do you recommend to friends who want to read superhero comics for the first time?
And if you say Watchmen, I will do my best to punch you through the internet …