I looooove comic books. I’ve been reading them since I was a kid, and in my currently bereft and almost moneyless state I don’t get as many opportunities to buy them as I used to.
A loooong time ago, I said I was going to talk about some of my favourite comic book stories. Sorry it took so long. Here they are, in no particular order.
Watchmen – arguably the greatest comic book story ever written, and often included in all-time best novel lists. In the 80’s, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons produced this seminal piece of adult literature that works on so many levels. If you never read any other comics, read this one. I have a first edition collected volume and a re-released hardcover, and bought the original issues when they came out. This comic book is the altar I pray at.
The Dark Knight Returns – This comic sits in front of that altar. Frank Miller brought an older Batman out of retirement and made this one of the greatest and most influential comics ever created.
Batman: Year One – …and then Frank and David Mazzuchelli redefined the Dark Knight’s origin in a gritty tale that has inspired TV shows and comics everywhere. And made my altar very crowded.
Superman: Red Son – Mark Millar made his mark on the Superman canon with this incredible Elseworlds story of a man of steel raised in Soviet Russia. The ending is one of the coolest ever.
Saga of the Swamp Thing – Alan Moore is my favourite writer. Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson’s 70’s Swamp Thing is my all-time fave character, but Moore’s take took it, and his career, into the stratosphere during the 80’s and brought on a flurry of astounding work, including the aforementioned Watchmen.
Green Lantern – Geoff Johns is one of the most amazing creators in comics today. He has an understanding of the characters and the medium that raises the bar with every book he takes on. This is his ground-breaking run on titular character Hal Jordan.
Marvels – Marvel’s superheroes and seminal founding events, seen through the eyes of conventional people, by Kurt Busiek and with art by the incredible Alex Ross. If you haven’t seen Mr Ross’s lifelike painted artworks, you don’t know what you’re missing. Awesome.
JLA – Grant Morison has written some unbelievable comics, including this superb and influential run on the Justice League in the 90’s. Big moments. Big characters. Big stories. Big creativity.
Y: The Last Man – Brian K. Vaughn is a brilliant writer. This is a brilliant story. It also contains the saddest scene I’ve ever read in a comic. No contender.
Ex Machina – Brian K. Vaughn (there’s that name again) puts the politics in superhero, with this amazing work with artist Tony Harris.
Sandman – The work that made Neil Gaiman BIG. Yep, even before the novel writing. Eerily good. And Dave McKean does the best covers EVER. Hands down.
That’s not all of them, of course. The list goes on and on. But that’s enough, for now…