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  • Comic Books!

    Stemming from an off-topic discussion in the Buffy Season 8 forum, this will be a thread for comic book discussion, exultation, recs, and anything else we can think think up. So, welcome! Enjoy! Compose lists and versus battles!


    I'll start with a Top 5 List that I posted in the other forum, and expand on it a bit.

    Top 5 Series

    5. Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
    - In an age steeped in zombie stories, this one is by far the best. Uncompromising storytelling by Kirkman, more sadistic to his characters than even Joss, pure and unrelenting realism. This is exactly what a post-zombie world would be, and it's nothing pretty.
    4. Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis
    - Savvy, futuristic political satire wrapped in chaos. Spider Jerusalem, a bald, tattooed misanthropic journalist, is called down from the top of a mountain to fulfill his book deal and he just can't help but tear his city into pieces, literally and metaphorically.
    3. Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore
    - Follows the saga of three friends through their twenties and into their thirties as they deal with the art world, religion, crime bosses, and, worst of all, love.
    2. Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn
    - A gendercide occurs for no apparent reason and suddenly every male animal on the planet is dead. Except for one man and his monkey.
    1. Sandman by Neil Gaiman
    - Neil is...unbelievable. Follow Dream of the Endless in one of the most remarkable literary achievements of the 20th century. Everybody in the world must read this series.
    Last edited by XavierZane; 21-09-08, 10:06 PM.

  • #2
    Walking Dead: I don't know. It is good, don't get me wrong, but even from early on the personal struggles of the characters are always a tad to overly cliché. While I admire his story telling abilities and the fact that he does not coddle his characters, I wish he would experiment with different personal and emotional themes, considering the setting of the story and all. And sometimes he is a bit too brutal with his characters. I don't say this because I think the body count is too high but because it seems that whenever a character gets to the point where they can truly have some sort of revelation or character growth, he kills them. I don't mind if it happens sometimes, but it's gotten to the point where it almost feels like an easy out for him without having to have the characters change. It's also more than a little repetitive, and this is not because of the situation but because of the reasons I've already listed. Again, don't get me wrong, I like the series, but in my limited exposure to comic books, I still wouldn't put it top 5.

    Y: The Last Man: I can't speak enough about this series. I loved everything about it. Every issue offered something and I felt fulfilled after reading them and still wanting more. Someone in the other thread said that you can't compare stuff like Season 8 to Y because it is so amazing. I think the opposite. This caliber of story telling she be something all comic book writers aim for. They say that the structures of Season 8 and Y are too different to compare, but look at Ex Machina (also by BKV). That takes the jumbled feeling of Season 8 and does something amazingly great and artistic with it. Okay, but I'm not here to bash Season 8. I'd just like to say that I completely agree that Y: The Last Man deserves this top 5 vote.

    Sandman: I've only read about 6 issues of Sandman, but I am a big Gaiman fan. Okay, I'm a big fan of some of his stuff and a little washy on some other of his stuff. Like I loved Stardust but thought Anansi Boys was amazingly lackluster. Anyway, I totally plan on reading this series just because when Gaiman's mind fires, it fires big.

    Strangers in Paradise and Transmetropolitan I've never actually heard of, but if they are as good as you say they are, I'll have to check them out one day.

    Here are a couple I can suggest off the top of my head:

    Fallen Angel: I'm about halfway through the IDW run and my god? Peter David is amazing. I have some Star Trek geeks in my family and I first heard about David because of his New Frontier series of novels. If they are the same caliber as Fallen Angel, I might just have to become a Trekkie. But if you read Fallen Angel, I strongly suggest finding the original DC run (20 issues) somehow. I was able to read them because my aunt has the individual issues, but apparently, the collections are hard to find. Maybe on eBay or somewhere? Great, great, series, though. (Plus, news just came that Illyria will cross-over from the Buffy-Verse in an upcoming story arc, approved by Joss Whedon himself.)

    Everybody's Dead: I heard about this series because it is written by Brian Lynch who is writing Angel: After the Fall. I liked what Lynch was doing with Angel so I decided to give his original series a try, and I'm glad I did! It's a zombie story so if you are pre-inclined to Walking Dead type books, then that should be a plus. And to be honest, the real reason I'm putting this on the list is because it is the only comic book series that has ever made me laugh aloud-multiple times per issue. The TPB is coming out soon and though it has only run 5 issues, it looks like a sequel is on the way.

    Ex Machina: Another by BKV. Maybe this shouldn't have been one of the first series I tried picking up and reading because of its structure, but man is it amazing once you can wrap your head around it. Think of the Buffy issue "The Chain" structure-wise. I know a lot of people didn't like that issue, but it's the only way I can describe it to someone who may not have a lot of experience in the comic book field.

    Runaways: Damn. Another BKV. I'm going to have to stay with only the initial 18 issue run, though. The second run was? meh. It fell victim to that which has made Marvel nigh unreadable (cross-overs, crappy time travel issues, and re-using dead bad guys over and over and over again) but the first run was just plain amazing.
    "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill

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    • #3
      Never read Fallen Angel, but Peter David is a great writer. He wrote Young Justice, one of my favorite series from when I was just getting into comics. The Illyria news is interesting. I'll have to check it out if only to see that.

      I heard about Everybody's Dead, but haven't the money to get it at the moment. I've liked everything I've read by Lynch so far, so I'm sure I'll check out a trade at some point.

      BKV is the man, isn't he? I've read Ex Machina since it started, but, unfortunately have had to cut that out of what I read as well. It is amazing though. I have a friend who likes it more than Y, which I can't understand at all.

      As for Runaways...love it. In fact, Runaways really should be on my list rather than Walking Dead. I've loved every issue of it (except for maybe Joss' run) and now I can't wait to see where Terry Moore (the writer of Strangers in Paradise) is going to take it.

      Some more series/storylines that are amazing:

      League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore
      Fables by Bill Willingham
      Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
      Powers by Brian Michael Bendis
      Preacher by Garth Ennis

      New X-Men by Grant Morrison
      Batman: Hush by Jeph Loeb
      Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb
      Superman for All Seasons by Jeph Loeb
      Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis

      And, if you haven't, you should check out Joss' Astonishing X-Men. Though you should read Morrison's run on New X-Men first.

      Ex Machina: Another by BKV. Maybe this shouldn’t have been one of the first series I tried picking up and reading because of its structure, but man is it amazing once you can wrap your head around it.
      It's better than what my friend started me off with. My first introduction to comics came through Earth X, Watchmen, and Crisis on Infinite Earths. Three of the most screwed up, intricate, intense series ever written. It's the equivalent of introducing somebody to the Buffyverse by showing them "The Wish", "Restless", and "Normal Again" and then hitting them over the head by a two-by-four and saying, "Alright, I'm sure you can sort it all out."
      Last edited by XavierZane; 22-09-08, 01:41 AM.

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      • #4
        Ha! I still can't get into Watchmen. I read an issue and just have no desire to read the next or the next. I mean... I get it but I don't GET it, ya know? I can see why people love it, but... Then again, I don't own it and am just reading bits and pieces here and there because my friend has it.

        When I think of comic books (I'm new to the whole scene) I feel overwhelmed. It seems like there is no way to catch up with any of the big series (like X-Men and Batman and Spider-Man, etc) so I've more or less stayed away from them. I did read Astonishing X-Men, but to be honest, I found it kinda lackluster (and it was the first comic book series I ever followed and bought). It wasn't until I read V for Vendetta later and then Y: The Last Man that I realized that not all comic books were drab and overly convoluted.

        Anyway, lots of stuff on your list! How could I ever afford them all! lol. I couldn't, that's how. I think my goal after Fallen Angel is Sandman. I'm a HUGE fan of reading (novels) and there is so much I wanna read that I gotta set myself down and just choose one otherwise I end up drowning myself and never finishing anything.

        So what would you recommend for my next series to dedicate myself to after Fallen Angel? Sandman? Fables? I have connections and can get pretty much anything.
        "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill

        Comment


        • #5
          I haven't read it, but I heard from the guy at my comic store that originally, "Fallen Angel" was going to be revealed as the set up to the Supergirl relaunch.

          "Y: The Last Man" is fantastic. (spoilers for all of "Y: The Last Man")
          Spoiler:
          I wasn't really caught up in the idea of a romance between Yorick and 355, but I wasn't closed to it. It just didn't inspire me. It was still enough to cry over when 355 dies, and I honestly trembled in amazement to see Yorick standing there, gas mask on, as we've so awesome seen him, holding 355's weapon. He couldn't honor her in a better way, IMO.

          I thought the panel where he kisses Beth was one of the most romantic things I've ever seen, at least in a comic.

          I was a bit disappointed in how things were resolved. It was a great story, but I just don't buy that Yorick would, apparently, just pull away from all the people who love him like he did. His sister, the Beths. He and Beth Deville could still have been friends, IMO -- she obviously cared a lot about him. And I don't see why, even if he might not have wanted to be with the second Beth he met romantically, why he wouldn't want to be a part of Beth, Jr's life. I was upset that the last man was apparently also a deadbeat dad. Plus his sister and he needed much more reconciliation. I mean, Beth and Hero crossed an ocean on a total hunch to try to find him, and apparently he loses 355 and just goes off with Ampersand to sulk? Unhappy.

          But overall, Vaughan wrote such a masterpiece that I couldn't hold those flaws in the ending against the story.

          My early fancasting --

          Yorick Brown -- Jason Dohring
          Agent 355 -- Rutina Wesley ("True Blood")
          Dr. Allison Mann -- Lucy Liu
          Hero Brown -- Sarah Michelle Gellar
          Beth Deville -- Scarlett Johansson (since she's more of an ideal than a character most of the time, I think going A-list is worth it here)
          Beth #2 -- Kristen Bell
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          • #6
            Originally posted by hawkedup View Post
            When I think of comic books (I'm new to the whole scene) I feel overwhelmed. It seems like there is no way to catch up with any of the big series (like X-Men and Batman and Spider-Man, etc) so I've more or less stayed away from them.
            It does seem pretty overwhelming from the outside. I avoided the big titles as well for a long time, and still kind of do. The mainstream superhero comics, especially in Marvel, mostly don't do it for me. But I've slowly integrated myself into a couple of the big books - the Bat-family especially, X-Men, New and Mighty Avengers. It's not as overwhelming as it seems at first, because mainstream comics are always in such a state of flux. There's a lot of continuity, but it's all being retconned constantly. Batman is going through his biggest upheaval in a decade. You could get in on the storyline being written by Grant Morrison right now, Batman RIP, and then enjoy the beginning of a new era without any knowledge needed except the basics that nearly everyone knows. X-Men, too, have recently went through another giant change and are starting a new era. It's a great time to start with them. Not that you should, necessarily, but just know that the comic book industry is pretty much designed around creating jumping on points for new fans who don't know anything.

            Anyway, lots of stuff on your list! How could I ever afford them all! lol. I couldn't, that's how. I think my goal after Fallen Angel is Sandman. I'm a HUGE fan of reading (novels) and there is so much I wanna read that I gotta set myself down and just choose one otherwise I end up drowning myself and never finishing anything.

            So what would you recommend for my next series to dedicate myself to after Fallen Angel? Sandman? Fables? I have connections and can get pretty much anything.
            Sandman would be a fine idea, but it's so good I'm tempted to tell you to save it. Ultimate Spider-Man would be good, too, because it's all written by the same writer and the Ultimate line is a separate universe from normal Marvel and had no continuity baggage. A fun thing to do is to just go to Barnes and Noble or Borders when you have a few (or a dozen) hours free and find the graphic novel section and peruse it. You could build up your continuity knowledge and enjoy some of the series you want to read but don't want to buy. Pretty much every Barnes and Noble I've ever been to has Morrison's New X-Men run, Ultimate Spiderman, a dozen or so Batman trades, a crapload of X-Men, etc.

            As for Y:

            Spoiler:
            I wasn't too concerned with the romance until I did a re-read of the entire series with about ten issues to go. After that I was rooting for them big time. I was devastated by what happened to 355, but at least they both got to acknowledge their love. :niff::

            I haven't read it in awhile, and I don't have the issues nearby so I can't be sure, but I don't remember Yorick being a dead-beat dad exactly. He did all he could, and never neglected his wife or his daughter, but he just never was able to recover from 355's death. He wasn't absent, just not all there. After his daughter was grown he started falling apart even more, but it's clear that they had a pretty good relationship. She obviously cares about him a lot.

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            • #7
              I haven't read it, but I heard from the guy at my comic store that originally, "Fallen Angel" was going to be revealed as the set up to the Supergirl relaunch.
              That's what DC WANTED Peter David to do. He kept Lee's past completely vague, though, because he knew how DC rolled and when the title was picked up by IDW, he told her back story the way he wanted to tell it all along and, let me tell you, he did a wonderful job. MUCH more interesting than what DC wanted him to do.


              As for the ending of Y...
              Spoiler:
              I just think about how everything must have caught up with him over the years... That'll do a lot to a person, and I thought it was extremely tragic to see our hero go insane like that. Horrible, really. And also beautiful and heart breaking. It was a wonderfully tragic ending (and yet just a little hopeful on the last panel) and that's the most you can ask for with a series of this scope. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey.
              "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill

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              • #8
                I've never read "Fallen Angel", so I can't discuss it, but to be honest, I can't imagine using it to launch Supergirl would have been a bad thing, because I *love* the new Supergirl title. Jeph Loeb's work was the best character relaunch DC has done since John Byrne relaunched the Superman franchise.
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                • #9
                  Oh yeah, I agree 100%. When Jeph started Supergirl it was one of the best books DC had. It had so much promise when it first started out...now it's just laughably bad. It's tragic.

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                  • #10
                    I liked the first three TPBs, "Power", "Candor", and "Identity", but after that the new Supergirl has gotten kinda trite. "Candor" was actually really bizarre, though... I still find it a little bizarre that they went with having Kara make-out with the evil alternate-universe version of her cousin, and who knows what else. Even if it was mind-control. But the overall story and Supergirl's overall issues and backstory are awesome.
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                    • #11
                      I think I'm going to stay away from DC titles for now. There always seems to be some slight but obviously shady undertones when people talk about recent happenings with stealing ideas and screwing writers. Like they are the Fox of comic book companies now.

                      Oh yeah. What does everyone think of Hellboy? I've read the first trade and... Eh. It seems to be lacking depth and... you know... character stuff. Does it get better?
                      "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great thread! Just went comic shopping yesterday so up for a bit of a squee

                        Originally posted by XavierZane View Post
                        Stemming from an off-topic discussion in the Buffy Season 8 forum, this will be a thread for comic book discussion, exultation, recs, and anything else we can think think up. So, welcome! Enjoy! Compose lists and versus battles!
                        I'll definitely back some of the recs already made, though this isn't in order. I can't rank comics in order of how much I love them because I love them all. Well, most.

                        So, recs made so far that I agree with:

                        [b]Y Last Man, BKV: a great read and thought-provoking stuff, not just about the apocalyptic what-ifs of an almost male-less world and the ease with which society reverts into barbarism (or stops itself reverting when you think all's lost?or always was barbaric ). It's also a touching exploration of love and how what we think we want isn't always the thing we truly do want and need.

                        Runaways, BKV and Whedon (so far): I've enjoyed both BKV's and Whedon's runs of this. It's not life-altering stuff, but very fun. It's comics candy, I just keep wanting more. It also had the best gag I've read all year (in the Whedon run),
                        Spoiler:
                        answering Philp K Dick's question about what androids dream about


                        Sidebar?I haven't read Ex Machina yet, but very keen to after a) BKV being awesome and b) everyone's recs about it.


                        Totally agree with all of these below.

                        League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore
                        Fables by Bill Willingham
                        Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
                        Preacher by Garth Ennis

                        I think Books of Magic (the first four trades anyway) are better than Sandman. Harry Potter is a pale shadow of Tim.

                        Watchmen is great, though it's not my favourite Alan Moore when it comes down to it. That will come below?

                        My recs (that haven't already been mentioned):

                        The Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore ? this brilliant, brilliant story was the Buffy of my childhood. It was first published in the excellent UK comic, 2000AD, but you can get trades easily. It's all about a heroine who's "just a girl" in the way that Buffy is (only more so ? she doesn't have any powers), but who is still extraordinary in her own way. I can't sum it up in a way that does it justice, but it features a beautiful spaceship, a genocidal love interest with fangs (ringing any bells ) and a talking robot dog. Oh, and it's in space. Mostly. It's a product of its time, but makes perfect sense outside of that time ? inspired by unemployment in the 80s, on one level it's a story about being on the dole and then getting a job, but it's about so much more. If you haven't read it, please, please do.

                        Maus by Art Spiegelman ? a heartbreaking animal fable about the Jewish Holocaust, with the Nazis as cats and the Jews as mice? only it's also a biography of the author's father. I'd urge you to read this almost as strongly as I would Halo Jones? the reason Halo gets more of a push from me is because Maus already has the Pulitzer prize to fight its corner.

                        Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa ? also a holocaust narrative, only this time about the atom bomb in Japan. The manga conventions may make it strange reading for people who are new to the genre (parents punching their kids in a jolly way certainly threw me a bit!) but again with the heartbreaking.

                        When the wind blows by Raymond Briggs ? while I'm on the nuclear theme, this cold war story brings home the everyday human ? almost banal - elements of war. It scared me shitless as a kid also. I was seriously expecting the bomb to drop any day (this was in the 80s, so the cold war was still going on, though perhaps not in full swing).

                        Garage Band by Gipi ? great art, a really interesting take on teenage life. He also writes some great stuff about war, but I think I've already gone a bit war-crazy in my list, so, keeping in the peacetime theme?

                        American Born chinese by Gene Luen Yang ? what does it mean to be foreign in your own country? Great book about identity and how we treat others. With added monkey magic

                        [Judgement on Gotham ? John Wagner and Alan Grant wrote this? which I consider to be the Best Crossover Eva, and one of my favourite stories for both characters individually (Judge Dredd and Batman). Ideological clashes FTW! Great art too, by Simon Bisley.

                        I don't know if I can pick a favourite Dredd story actually?but I'd recommend anyone who hasn't ready any Dredd to try a few. "The Day the Law died" (collected as Judge Caligula) is brilliant. I Claudius meets Bladerunner via Italian fascism of the mid 20th century with a touch of 1984 (more than a touch).

                        Also, Judge Anderson is awesome, especially in stories that have Judge Death in them. Shambala's also a good one.

                        Mega City one stories (from 2000AD) generally have so much going for them ? part cop drama, part political fable, part mutant kickass ass kicking with lots of quips and funny future stuff. Scarily a lot of the predictions seem to come true?.it even predicted the smoking ban I'd love a TV show based on Mega City One?.somewhere between The Wire, the West Wing and Terminator via Firefly

                        Right, there are many more I haven't mentioned, might just run down a few titles/characters?

                        Hellblazer (esp Garth Ennis), Swamp Thing (Alan Moore again), Persepolis (Marjane thingie whose surname is hard to spell), Superman Birthright, Superman Red Son, the new Grant Morrisson Supes stuff, the Michael J. S. Spiderman titles, Dare by Grant Morrisson (Dan Dare reboot from the 90s), Asterix, Jodi Picault's Wonder Woman.

                        I must stop now but?will be back I'm sure


                        -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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                        • #13
                          Must mention Blankets by Craig Thompson. One of the most poignant and heartbreaking memoirs I've ever read.

                          I just moved to Portland, Oregon from Arkansas, so my subscription is a lot less than it used to be. Because money is tight I've gone from getting 10 - 20 books a week to 3 - 5.

                          What I'm reading now:

                          Buffy: Season 8
                          Angel: After the Fall
                          Spike: After the Fall
                          Batman
                          Detective Comics
                          Robin
                          Batgirl Mini-Series
                          Runaways
                          Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane
                          Uncanny X-Men
                          Astonishing X-Men
                          Wolverine
                          Secret Invasion
                          New Avengers
                          Walking Dead
                          Powers

                          What I'm getting tomorrow:
                          New Avengers #45
                          Powers #30
                          Runaways #2
                          Ultimate Fantastic Four/Ultimate X-Men Annual #1
                          X-Men: Legacy #216
                          All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder (I won't hold my breath)

                          Has anyone been reading Final Crisis or Fables? I followed Fables from issue 1 on, but it got lost in the shuffle, and for a good ten issues I couldn't get into it. Now I have issue 75, where everything is supposed to go crazy and I'd like to get a summary of what happened in The Good Prince and in the war so far. Same with Final Crisis. I read issue 1 (it's back in AR), missed out on issue 2 because of the move, now have issue 3 but don't want to read it before I get refreshed on what's happened.

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                          • #14
                            I mostly read Batman =]

                            The Dark Knight Returns and The Dark Knight Strikes Again - I really loved all of the ideas. Most thought TDKSA wasn't as good but I honestly didn't find it that bad. I've heard if a movie gets made Stallone could play the older Batman and that'd totally win.

                            The Killing Joke - Fantastic joker lines and great story. And the artwork is fantastic.

                            Batman Year One - The only comic I read where Gordon is more bad ass than Batman.

                            Hush (Vol 1) - I love the art but think the story is to fast. There's great ideas in it but I wish they took more time to develop them.

                            Sandman - The art is amazing but a lot of the stories seemed like they would have benefited from being longer.

                            Watchmen - Easily the best comic I've read. If you like comics, read it. Seriously. Just do it. Right now.

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                            • #15
                              Comic Day!...Kinda.

                              I only got one comic, the newest issue of Batman. That hasn't happened since I was fifteen or sixteen and getting only three comics a month.

                              As for the issue: I won't ruin anything for anyone who reads it and hasn't yet, but let me just say, "No, Mr. Morrison/The Joker, I don't get it yet."

                              That's not to be read that i dislike it. It's just that i have absolutely no idea what's going on or where it's going. I wouldn't be surprised if Batman transformed into a sheep and the Black Glove turned out to be Millard Fillmore.


                              Top 5 Best Comic Writers

                              5. Warren Ellis
                              Why?: Transmetropolitan, Global Frequency, Desolation Jones, and Astonishing X-Men has been great so far
                              4. Frank Miller
                              Why?: Sin City, Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, All Star Batman and Robin, Daredevil, 300
                              3. Grant Morrison
                              Why?: New X-Men, Arkham Asylum, All Star Superman, The Invisibles
                              2. Neil Gaiman
                              Why?: Sandman, Books of Magic, 1602, Good Omens (not a comic, but hey)
                              1. Alan Moore
                              Why?: Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta, Batman: The Killing Joke, From Hell, Superman: For the Man Who Has Everything, etc

                              Honorable Mentions: Brian Michael Bendis, Brian K. Vaughn, Jeph Loeb, Garth Ennis

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