View Full Version : Top 10 Graphic Novels or collections of completed work

Cyberstrike nTo
2015-08-18, 12:00 AM
Here is mine:

10) Batman: The Dark Knight Returns-It shows it age but as Frank Miller said "I gave Batman his balls back." and he did now if he and DC would stop doing sequels to it.

9) Kingdom Come-Mark Waid and Alex Ross' masterpiece about heroism is one of DC's best works in 90s.

8) Batman: Arkham Asylum-A Serious House on Serious Earth I'm not a big fan of Grant Morrison but I like this take on Batman and his rouge gallery. Twisted, tragic, and even a little funny.

7) The 12 JMS' post-modern take on WWII heroes who were all put in suspended animation near the end of the war and are finally re-awaken in 21st century is a not only a great character study but a great study on how culture and society have changed.

6) Ronin Frank Miller's graphic novel about a ronin samurai cursed by a demon that gets brings them both back to life in a corrupt 21st century NYC to finish their feud in one of the longest panels in comics.

5) Give Me Liberty Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons' dark political satire feels more like the real world every day.

4) Supreme Power JMS's very dark and violent take on Squadran Supreme was brutal and nasty.

3) Camelot 3000 DC's first official 12 issue maxi-series is sci-fi/fantasy about aliens attacking the world and a teenager finds King Arthur who comes back and along with Merlin who reincarnates the most famous Knights of the Round Table this is was also DC's "mature readers" comic (although it's tame by today's standards) and I believe Sir Tristan is DC's first transgender character and it has their first lesbian kiss and sex scene (again tame by today's standards) Brian Bolland's artwork is still amazing and the story by Mike W. Barr while it's dated in some very cheesy ways (the POTUS is dressed like a cowboy and has shootouts with Congress) and some of the Knights get lost in the shuffle to focus on two love triangles the first being the classic Arthur/Gwen/Lancelot and the second being with Tristan/Isadore/Sir George. There is also a quest for the Holy Grail and a battle on an alien planet.

2) Midnight Nation For me this is the finest work JMS has done in any media a horror/fantasy/adventure series about an LAPD whose soul is stolen by a demon and he falls into the Midnight Nation a limbo where people, animals, buildings, art, and technology that are forgotten winds up, he has one year to get his soul back or he becomes a demon himself he is guided by Laurel, who might be an angel to NYC and meets a future version of himself, a crazy old man, and a blue skinned Devil. At the end of his journey he learns that Laurel has been doing this for a long time and wants out of it but the only way his for her charges to give her their soul and if they do they become trapped between the two worlds and damned to wonder for all time. The artwork by Gary Frank is also the best of his career. He makes Laurel realistic but attractive.

1) Watchmen A great series that broke all the rules and showed that superheroes could be more than escapist fiction.

2015-08-18, 12:20 AM
In no particular order:

Y the Last Man
The Killing Joke
Swamp Thing by Alan Moore
Mobile Suit Gundam The Origin

There isn't much I could say about any of these stories that doesn't apply to all of them. They are all brilliant and beautiful in just about every respect. If you've not read most of those you're really missing out.

Brendocon 2.0
2015-08-18, 08:34 AM
Most of what Hound said, except for that Gundam nonsense because who the hell wants to read about robots amirite.

So I'm going to be spectacularly difficult (I know, me, difficult, who'd believe it) and go with a list of stuff nobody else has said yet.

In no particular order*

Fear Agent
Locke & Key
The Boys
100 Bullets
The Unwritten

And number 11 is Rover Red Charlie.


2015-08-18, 07:05 PM
Ones I'd add;

Ellis's Stormwatch + The Authority
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Gotham Central
Top Ten
Astro City (early)
Tom Strong (early)
Hellboy (early, especially The Chained Coffin)
Brian Miller Batgirl

And a couple of standalone picks;

ABC Warriors: Khronicles of Khaos
JLA Classified: New Maps of Hell

Brendocon 2.0
2015-08-18, 07:11 PM


Ahem. I mean yay the third volume just (****ing finally) started?

[EDIT] I mean yeah I know the first two series are completed but can we just derail this topic and talk about The Immaterial Girl?

2015-08-18, 07:33 PM
Wish they'd go back and colour the first series, I've never really gotten on with black and white except as short pieces.

Cheers for the reminder -- I think I'm going to wait for the paper copy to turn up and take some time rather than hitting up the usual haunts. Same with the couple of volumes of Casanova someone got me; it's not the sort of stuff that rewards skimming.

Brendocon 2.0
2015-08-18, 07:55 PM
I think after Young Avengers and The Wicked + The Divine most shops will have ordered in lots of copies so #1 should still be floating around for a while. It's just nice to have it back.

Can't imagine reading Casanova in anything but trades, tbh.

2015-08-18, 08:59 PM
My knowledge of Graphic novels is limited and the only complete series I own is Scott Pilgrim.

Auntie Slag
2015-08-18, 09:48 PM
Just Transformers Generation 2 for me, but it is a cool set. I was pleased as punch when I found both hardback volumes in a shop a few years ago! Especially since I only owned the first two issues since '93.

2015-08-19, 05:56 AM
G2 (and Last Stand) would be my desert island TF collections I think. There are better stories out there but that one's the best solid run TF comics have ever had.

Not mentioned thus far but high up my list: -

Zenith Phase III (others have useful plot stuff but the first two are a bit dated around the edges; Phase III is hands-down the best universe crossover ever)
Incredible Changebots
Still really like Morrison's New X-Men
Millar/Hitch Ultimates, hugely dated pop culture references and all.
Busiek's Avengers, particularly the Kang War, are some of the most enjoyable straight no-edge comics ever.

inflatable dalek
2015-08-19, 11:49 AM
Just finished Zenith a few weeks ago. Found the third series a good climax (though you probably get more if you know the featured characters better, did the Steel Claw ever really look like that? Blimey).

Though Phase IV ended in a way that made me go out and punch a tramp. And the less said about the "Funny rape of Britney Spears" one off special the better.

Still yeah, Robot Archie riding a trex. I've never even read any Robot Archie but that is da bomb (as the kids say).

Brendocon 2.0
2015-08-19, 12:44 PM
My favourite thing about the resolution in Zenith IV is that at least I wasn't reading it in three page chunks spread over 16 weeks or whatever.

inflatable dalek
2015-08-19, 12:50 PM
Yeah, was that the point Morrison had his falling out with Tharg that stopped the reprints for years (IIRC the current ones weren't the result of reconciliation but Rebellion putting out a limited run expensive set and then daring him to sue them)? It would explain the full on trolling there.

Brendocon 2.0
2015-08-19, 01:03 PM
Yeah, was that the point Morrison had his falling out with Tharg that stopped the reprints for years (IIRC the current ones weren't the result of reconciliation but Rebellion putting out a limited run expensive set and then daring him to sue them)? It would explain the full on trolling there.

No idea. I find it really hard to keep my focus whenever I try and do any research about Morrison having a dispute with somebody. At least when Alan Moore throws a hissy fit a) it's amusing and b) you get the impression he's only doing it because it's what people expect of him.

Rebellion have done a quite nice slipcase for the new hardbacks, available from their website for about 15. Quick despatch and really well packaged too.

2015-08-19, 07:41 PM
Here is mine, for you all delectation:

Preacher - loses it a bit when we hit the overlong 'Salvation' arc, but is full of awesome all the same (even if most of the themes and ideas showed up in Ennis earlier run on Hellblazer) and probably the last time Steve Dillon bothered with backgrounds.

Transmetropolitan - Still brilliant political satire / mad future stuff thats actually alarmingly prescient from Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson.

Fatale - Excellent noir/ horror series from the Brubaker/ Phillips team. First thing of theirs that I've really got into (not that their other stuff is pap, far from it).

Scud: The Disposable Assassin - huge surreal robot/ oddball funtimes from Rob Schrab and Mondy Carter. One of my very favourite things from the 1990s.

Y: The Last Man - Joyful wee series about the last man on Earth and his monkey. Love that it isn't what you expect, despite bearing the irritating hallmarks of all American fiction (a bloody quest).

Scott Pilgrim - recently re-read this and had forgotten how awesome and lovely this is.

Marvels - Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross kick start the modern era of comic book storytelling and tell the entirety of Marvel history in very deft strokes indeed. Does its job so well that you don't need to read any other superhero comics ever again.

Tank Girl - Hewlett & Martin's original run from Deadline is a brilliant chaotic bunch of sexy, sweary, violent nonsense. The two Vertigo series that closed the original run (The Odyssey and Apocalypse) are disappointing, mainly due to a lack of involvement by both Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin (the latter curiously absent from these two series).

Ghost Rider (volume 2) Although still to be collected in its entirety, the 1990s adventures of Danny Ketch are still my favourite era of GR (followed very closely by Robbie Reyes). The series does lose its way between 1992 - 1994 when its mired in a load of largely terrible crossovers (including a rather feeble origin story from Howard Mackie whom plumps for a terrible soap opera ending of revealing Johnny Blaze - here in his '40s, at least - and Danny - approx age 19 and definitely not ginger are,er, brothers). The series has a huge upswing in quality when Ivan Velez Jr comes on board as writer with #70, giving the cast some much needed character development and ignoring Mackie's rubbish supernatural hokum origin for a fresh new take that's infinitely more interesting, depsite being a continuity nightmare. Sadly, Velez never got a chance to fulfill his vision for the series due to it being axed by Marvel whilst they were operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Tied in tenth place (hey, its my list) ...

Death Sentence - one of the few decent things to come out of Mark Millar's Clint magazine, Nero and Dowling's book takes a wonderfully British look at superpowers - they give their owners six months to live. Russel Brand is also the villain.

Bone - Jeff Smith's excellent Disney/ Tolkien hybrid (my lazy comparrison) is still brilliant.

2015-08-19, 11:13 PM
Just finished Zenith a few weeks ago. Found the third series a good climax (though you probably get more if you know the featured characters better, did the Steel Claw ever really look like that? Blimey).

Yeh, brief superhero makeover FTL.

The best thing about Phase 3 is it's ridiculously democratic. The Blue Magician (and indeed pretty much all of the Amazing Three) is hardcore, Zenith disappears for episodes at a time, the Black Archer survives the whole thing despite being armed with a crossbow and moaning the entire arc (how amazing is the one where they'll all just gathered and trying to work out if they've won or not?)...

The trick to Zenith is to realise it's really about St. John.

2015-08-20, 04:50 AM
I'm so not going to have ten.


Tank Girl

I'll add in Sailor Moon and Calvin and Hobbes. Authority technically I guess but I never did finish it, Fables I've started but can't remember anything about, and though I just recently found out about it and haven't got my mitts on it yet, Age of Reptiles sounds like it's going to be right up my alley.

2016-04-11, 06:56 PM
Sorry for necroposting. I felt I had to mention Akira. It's such a monolith of awesome I'm afraid I'd even have to put it all the way at the top of my list.

I could add Maus as well, while I'm here.


Brendocon 2.0
2016-04-11, 07:00 PM
Top Ten

Finally read this a few weeks ago.

Given the writer and the general subject matter, I was genuinely taken aback with how restrained it is in terms of content. Nice change of pace.

2016-04-11, 07:22 PM
I've not read Top Ten, was that Alan Moore doing something something a bit superhero-y at Image? I'd google, but thats boring.

Although its ongoing, I'm going add Lazarus to my list which isn't a top ten now, but shh! I've recently re-read the 21 issues and its brilliant. Greg Rucka has done some proper ace world building, in this miserable (but plausable) future where the worlds resources are controlled by a handful of ruling families. Those that serve them are Serfs, all others are Waste. Michael Lark does the drawings, and that should be reason enough to give this a whirl.

Also, The Fade Out by Brubaker & Philips. 12 issues of '40s Hollywood McCarthy-era paranoia murdered starlet noir funtimes. Aces!

Brendocon 2.0
2016-04-11, 07:27 PM
Yeah, Top Ten is Alan Moore sort-of superhero stuff. Basic premise is a world populated (pretty much) exclusively by supers. Story follows the officers of a local police precinct.

Lazarus is ace. Really well built world, as you say. My main problem is, reading it in trades, I've often lose the thread of the story between volumes and don't always have time to go back and do a re-read ahead of time.

Very much enjoyed the Fade Out. I'll read pretty much anything Ed and Sean churn out. I think Sleeper and Criminal are still my favourites, though.

2016-04-12, 02:59 AM
Age of Reptiles


See, I knew I'd forget, so I threw it in there. *pats own back*