By Alan Moore and David Lloyd
The epic tale of political genocide, rebellion and freedom of expression in a Fascist England is one that has been captured perfectly in this graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Every page is meticulously detailed in it's approach to anarchy, prejudice and comprehension of justice. It is, arguably, Moore's most poignant piece of writing, and is easily the best work of David Lloyd's career. Dark, witty and strangely realistic.
Available in: Absolute Edition and Trade Paperback
By Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson
How do you update the characters of Batman and Robin and make them frighteningly realistic and culturally relevant at the same time? Turn Batman into a psychotic religious fanatic named the Confessor and make Robin into his sidekick, Altar Boy. The harshest of the Astro City stories, this tale features the outlawing of superheroes, an alien invasion and vampires; which is more than most superhero books can boast. It also manages to maintain and, in many places, surpass the charm and originality of the previous volumes. This is the best piece of the Astro City story.
Available in: Trade Paperback
|"All Around the World|
and Other Stories"
By Warren Ellis and John Cassaday
For the last decade, the intricate and engaging tale of the Planetary team has been explored through the baffling genius of Warren Ellis and the wonderful artwork of John Cassaday. Every chapter is a self-contained micro-story with a beginning, a middle and an end; but every single one feeds into the larger spectrum of the series and builds on the mysteries established in the opening issue. It's an exceptional piece of work and, now completed, can be fully appreciated by everyone. The contents of this volume have also been released in trade paperback form as "All Over the World and Other Stories" and "The Fourth Man."
Available in: Absolute Edition
|"The Dark Knight Returns" |
By Frank Miller
Probably the most famous Batman story ever published, "The Dark Knight Returns" defined the hero for a generation, offering a dark and violent alternative to the previously camp and fun-loving caped crusader. The original graphic novel was an exceptional piece, charting Batman's return to crimefighting and his eventual confrontations with Two-Face, the Joker and, finally, Superman. The sequel, however, failed to capture the magic, but still offered quirky Frank Miller ideas within the world of the original; it was, at it's heart, a disappointment, though. Here, they're both collected together; and together, they're one hell of a good story. The contents of this volume have also been released in trade paperback form as "The Dark Knight Returns" and "The Dark Knight Strikes Again."
Available in: Absolute Edition
|"Volume One" Trade|
By Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
A combination of quirky, out-there storytelling and mind-blowing, immensely detailed artwork gives us the greatest Superman story of all time; a 12-issue opus recounting the final days of Superman following a plot by Lex Luthor to poison him. It's very much a Silver Age dedication; a look at the greatness of the 1950s and 1960s, with numerous call-backs and funny one-liners aimed at the strangeness of the past. It's Frank Quitely's artwork more than Grant Morrison's story that's the real draw here, though; the script is fantastic, but the pencils capture the sheer scale of Superman's problem and his desperation at ensuring the world will be protected in his absence. It's truly a wonderful piece of work. The contents of this volume have also been released in two untitled trade paperback releases.
Available in: Absolute Edition
By Grant Morrison and Dave McKean
How amazing would Batman be if his title was written as a consistently frightening horror comic book? Well, Grant Morrison and Dave McKean tested that theory with this graphic novel featuring monstrous versions of the Batman rogues gallery and the Dark Knight himself slipping deeper and deeper into a mental breakdown. It's a tough read, with some increasingly unsettling visuals and a story that becomes more and more steeped in mental illness and psychology as it progresses, but the whole thing is wonderfully rewarding and an insanely powerful experience to endure.
Available in: Trade Paperback and Hardcover
By Kurk Busiek and Alex Ross
Drawing in an audience to a comic book universe can be an exceptionally hard task, particularly when the majority of comic books are mired in years of continuity. This mini-series by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross attempted to change that; it retold early events of the Marvel Universe from the point of view of human beings on the street. It's a drastic, and yet, wonderful style of storytelling; the focus of the series is Phil Sheldon, a photographer, who sees the ever-evolving world of superheroes through his camera lense. It's fascinating stuff, particularly the final issue involving Phil's relationship with Gwen Stacy, unknowing girlfriend of Spider-Man, and her untimely murder.
Available in: Deluxe Hardcover and Trade Paperback
By Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
The greatest graphic novel of all time, as proclaimed by everyone in the universe. In actual fact, this is merely one of the greatest graphic novels; a perfect deconstruction of both superheroes as people, as well as the comic book medium as an art style and creative outlet. Everything that can be done with a comic book is done within this series. It was a stunning and unique piece of writing at the time and there has been nothing quite like it since. It's an absolutely fantastic tale of love, redemption and betrayal and every page deserves to be read over again.
Available in: Absolute Edition, Hardcover and Trade Paperback
|"Days Gone Bye" Trade|
By Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard and Tony Moore
This is the best comic book being published right now; the perfect tale of survival and humanity in a world where both are integral to everyday life. It's a zombie story, but one that goes further than every zombie movie and doesn't cap itself off with a cliffhanger ending or a cheesy resolution. This story is ongoing; it never ends. It's a story about people, trying to survive and making the most of a bad situation. It's gory, but it has a lot of heart to it. You can go entire issues without laying eyes on a single zombie. The book likes to lull you into a false sense of security before completely shattering your perceptions of reality. It's wonderfully crafted. And besides that it's frightening how the truly scary moments in the book are as a result of the humans' actions rather than the zombies' bloodlust. This volume contains content released in trade paperback form as: "Days Gone Bye," "Miles Behind Us," "Safety Behind Bars," "The Heart's Desire," "The Best Defense," "This Sorrowful Life," "The Calm Before" and "Made to Suffer."
Available in: Compendium Edition
By Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli
This is the best graphic novel of all time; a chilling portrait of people in a city bereft of hope. It recounts the first year in Bruce Wayne's career as Batman, and it does a stunning job. The dual focus is on Bruce himself and James Gordon, a Chicago cop who's just moved to Gotham City. By the time you reach the conclusion, both men's stories are intricately tied together into the biggest Batman epic ever. The Dark Knight himself doesn't appear much, the story instead focusing more on the Bruce Wayne aspect of his existence, as he develops himself into a crime fighter; but when Batman does make an appearance, it's violent, harsh and powerful. This is the perfect graphic novel.
Available in: Deluxe Edition and Trade Paperback