Favourite comic books

Well Marlo is in a heavy comics phase right now PLUS she’s always asking me about favourites so Marmar, this ones for YOU!

Just a note – when I collected comic books in the 80’s and 90’s, my buying criteria was 90% art, 10% story.

Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew. This is the series that got me into comics. The art was sometimes good, sometimes bad, usually okay. The writing was typical, but the puns and the whole anthropomorphic animal world was entertaining. Animal parodies from the JLA (Just’a Lotta Animals) falls into the so-bad-it’s-good category (Super Squirrel, Batmouse, Martian Anteater, – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justa_Lotta_Animals

Marshal Law. Drawn by Kevin O’Neill. O’Neill’s art (later seen in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) is flat and chunky, but it grew on me. However, the concept of a world in which the time of superheroes has past (the genetic engineering that created them for government soldiers eventually drives them mad), and they’re generally considered rogue and that the protagonist is a self-loathing ex-hero whose job it is to take down rogue supers and…aw just read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshal_Law . Very twisted, filled with machismo and violence, and not for everyone. But it has a place in my heart.

Hellboy. I started getting into Mignola about the time he did Cosmic Odyssey. Maybe even before that with Rocket Raccoon (my Captain Carrot days). His style became more refined and ‘his own’ over the years until he became what fans now recognize him as the quintessential Mignola. Even though the stories are generally good, mixing Lovecraftian with traditional folklore, I was mostly interested in the art, and the way Mignola’s presentation was more film-like than comic book-like.

Excalibur (original one-shot and series). Nothing really terribly new, this is one of many X-titles. However, the writing was consistently good, the characters were a good mix, and art by Alan Davis was the icing on the cake.

The Last American. Mike McMahon’s art is amazing and completely unique. The story was generally interesting. Not phenomenal but good enough.

Big Guy & Rusty the Boy Robot, and Hard Boiled. Frank Miller wrote, but that wasn’t the point. Geoff Darrow does the art and there’s not much to say about that beyond ‘wow.’

Madman. I’m kind of bored of Madman now but there was some really fresh, fun writing in the series and Mike Allred’s art was clean, which was unusual at the time, and refreshing.

Flex Mentallo – introduced in Grant Morrison’s run of Doom Patrol, he later got his own 4-issue series that I adore. I learned from Wikipedia that they won’t reprint the series into TPB because the Charles Atlas company sued DC due to the likeness of Flex to those old “the insult that made a man out of Mac” ads in comics.

Justice League. The only run of JL that I ever collected was the late 80’s early 90’s run with Adam Hughes predominately drawing (Keith Giffen, DeMatteis writing). This era really brought out the personalities of the characters in a new way. It wasn’t the heroes just fighting villains – it was the heroes trying to get along with one another and keep the organization from collapsing under modern day pressures (like finances and public relations). The expressive art (especially Hughes) mirrored the extremes of playfulness and seriousness of the writing. The heroes made non-heroic faces quite often. This incarnation put the character back in the characters.

Marvels – it’s like a retelling of classic Marvel stories and characters with Alex Ross art. What’s not to like?

Astro City. Always disliked the art, except of course the Alex Ross covers. Kurt

Busiek’s writing was generally good to great, and played on old comic book stereotypes in a fresh way.

Kingdom Come – fully illustrated by Alex Ross, the story was also very well done and interesting.

Earth X – Marvel’s answer to Kingdom Come and also an Alex Ross design concept, though he didn’t do the interior art. Had some neat ideas and played with the Marvel mythology in interesting ways.

Powers. Excellent writing – two cops, one an ex-hero, investigating superhero homicides. Art was a different style and well executed.

Alias. Don’t care for the art but the writing makes up for it. One storyline in particular had me weeping. Takes the Marvel universe tropes and gives you a sort of behind-the-scenes. Again, an ex-hero uses her smarts and abilities in a real-world approach.

Comics for Toren to check out:
We3 (Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely)
The Authority illustrated by Frank Quitely
Invisibles illustrated by Frank Quitely
JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel
Formerly Known as the Justice League/Super Buddies (Giffen & DeMatteis)
1997 JLA by Morrison
2004 JLA/Avengers crossover – anybody read this? Is it any good? We need an imdb for comics.
JLA Classified (Morrison, etc) – again…any good?
House of M – any good?

Also taking suggestions.

13 Replies to “Favourite comic books”

  1. I can’t e-mail you, I am at work. What time do you expect to be on tonight at the Vault?

    PS: I always liked the Peter David written Hulks, but you probably remember that.

  2. Toren, not sure you’ve read these, but you also might like the following:

    Concrete, written & drawn by Paul Chadwick
    Enigma, (mini-series) written by Peter Milligan
    The Elementals, written & drawn by Bill Willingham

    Those are a couple of my favorites (along with several you’ve already mentioned).


  3. Comics for Toren to check out:
    We3 (Grant Morrison & Frank Quitely)

    great three issue series. thumbs up.

    The Authority illustrated by Frank Quitely

    not all of it is done by quitely so if you are buying based on art, choose wisely.

    Invisibles illustrated by Frank Quitely

    same thing as the authority.

    JLA: Earth 2 graphic novel

    great book. done entirely by quitely and morrison. features my favourite villians The Crime Syndicate.

    Formerly Known as the Justice League/Super Buddies (Giffen & DeMatteis)

    there was a bit of nostalgia in this one but i prefer the JLA a bit more serious.

    1997 JLA by Morrison

    if you are buying trade paperbacks, you better check for Morrison’s involvement. i like some of the stories a lot. i didn’t like other as much. i did like his run on the book though. brought JLA back to how i remember loving it.

    2004 JLA/Avengers crossover – anybody read this? Is it any good? We need an imdb for comics.

    the one book on your list i haven’t read. i never liked the Avengers so i skipped it.

    JLA Classified (Morrison, etc) – again…any good?

    ongoing series of mini-stories. since you are interested in Morrison, his story was really good. it featured Gorilla Grodd for crying out loud. what’s not to love? i just finished reading Warren Ellis’ story. started off really good but ended a bit flatly. all of the stories have been interesting though.

    House of M – any good?

    this is one of those crossovers like crisis on infinite earths. i never bought the books but i read a few. i wasn’t that impressed.


    since you like the twisting of superheroes, I think you’d like this book. Warren Ellis puts a spin on nut just superheroes but pop culture. the art is great too. slow release schedule means you don’t have to do much work to get caught up. by the time you get the three trade paper backs out, the fourth one might be ready to go.

    100 Bullets
    not a superhero book but definitely a captivating read. the art is wonderful. it is a noir type book involving secret societies. definitely recommend it.

    The New X-Men (Grant Morrison/Frank Quitely run)
    since you seem to be inquiring about morrison/quitely, you should probably check these graphic novels out. until this run, i never really liked the x-men for plenty of reasons. this made me like the x-men if only for a few years.

    Morrison/Quitely are doing a 12 issue Superman book that you might want to check out as well. Book two came out a week or two ago.

  4. My suggestions:

    300 by Frank Miller
    Golden Age
    Red Star
    Supreme (Alan Moore’s run on it)
    Y – The Last Man

    Drop by my place some time, I can loan you these.

  5. “2004 JLA/Avengers crossover – anybody read this? Is it any good? We need an imdb for comics.”

    Dreadful. Four issues of no story going nowhere.

    “House of M – any good?”

    8 issues which could have been told in 5.


    Infinite Crisis

  6. 100 bullets – I think this is in our bathroom. I started to read it. Seemed interesting but I got distracted. If I see it again I may get further.

    I always get Planetary and The Authority mixed up. I think I’ve read a bit of both from Stewie’s collection. Which one featured monster island? I really liked that collection.

    The New X-Men I started buying the individual issues, but then Quitely stopped drawing before the storyline ended and so I stopped immediately. I’ve been in too many comic traps where you keep buying thinking “okay the artist will come back after this issue” – like Mike Allred on X-Force.

    Preacher I’ve read a bit of but just wasn’t interested. Y The Last Man I believe Stewie has so if I can convince him to give me a handful to read, I’ll let you know what I think.

    Cerebus – definitely loved the early stuff.

    I’ve never known anyone to have an opinion on Concrete – I may investigate further!

  7. Planetary featured Monster Island. You like Planetary.

    Quitely’s run on New X-Men was sporatic but he did draw quite a few of the books and he even drew it up until the very last story featuring the X-Men in the future. I bought the book because the story was excellent so I didn’t feel ripped off at all. Once Morrison left the book, I stuck it out for another two issues and as predicted, it sucked.

    Mike Allred drew X-Force (which later became X-static) until the very end. There was no trap there.

  8. My god, why aren’t “Watchmen” and “Sandman” on this list? And “The Dark Knight Returns”? Are they too old to count?

  9. I only read Sandman when the guy who did Breathtaker was illustrating. Watchmen I have, of course, but I haven’t read it for since the early 90’s. I actually don’t remember much about it. Dark Knight Returns same deal–memorable for style but not my favourite.

  10. X-Force got very boring. I kept forgeting to cancel that comic from going into my box at the comic shop and so I kept getting it. It finally got good in the last few issues but of course the series was over by then.

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