This is the ultimate (no pun intended) gateway comic. You can have never read comics, not care for superheroes, be a girl, boy whatever, doesn't matter, you read the first volume of this, you're hooked. It's a reimagining of Spider-man, but you'll find yourself caring much more about Peter Parker and his personal life rather than his superhero exploits. Seriously, check this one out.
Ultimate Comics: Doomsday
I really cool Ultimate Spider-man/Ultimate Fantastic Four crossover that has such a cool twist ending, its worth reading the comic just for that!
Spider-man: Wild Blue Yonder
This was a fun Spider-man story about Peter being teamed up with a new reporter at the Daily Bugle, who just so happens to be a Kansas farmboy with glasses and superpowers. It's basically a Spider-man -ersatz Superman crossover, but making lots of jokes as the ersatz Superman's expense, and a great twist ending!
This is a dark comic about a young boy (who will eventually grow up to be Magneto) going through the Holocaust. There's no superheroing in it, no powers or anything like that, just the story about a boy who's life goes to hell. It's very well done and historically accurate, with literally pages and pages of bibliography in the back explain where almost every little thing that happens on almost every page comes from. A depressing read, but its supposed to be.
Spider-man/Doctor Octopus: Negative Exposure
An interesting story, not about Spider-man, as you might think, but about a rival photographer who's obsessed with outdoing Peter Parker, and how his life slowly unravels due to his obsession. Fun stuff.
This is a comic about a small-town guy who got superpowers and moves to New York to go to NYU and start a career as a superhero. It's really funny how naive he is, but also gets emotional at times. He's probably one of my favorite Marvel superheros and the most relatable as well, but unfortunately the comic only lasted five issues. Still, its a fun ride and definitely worth checking out, especially considering how cheap it is.
I've already written about ZOT! here. Its a really good black&white book about a superhero and his friends, and deals with the trials and tribulations of growing up in a most real way. It's written by Scott McCloud, do you need more of a reason!?!
This comic may not be as famous as Spider-man, but it has the same feel to it. It follows Mark, son of Omni-man (this world's version of Superman) as he comes into his powers and tries to become a superhero. This book has some great twists, one of which happens early on I'm not going to ruin for you, but trust me you'll do a double take. Its created and written by the same guy who made The Walking Dead.
Brian Q. Miller's Batgirl is just a really fun comic. Its about former Robin/Spoiler Stephanie Brown (who was always one of my favorite c
haracters) taking up the mantle of the Bat, while being trained by Barbra Gordon, the original Batgirl, and attending college. It's just a light, fun, smart superhero comic that ended too soon.
Again, this is far from a completed list, but it's enough for now. Part Three will be up at some point.