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Five For Friday #16: Modern Superheroes
posted February 11, 2005
Recommend Five Runs, Four Issues or More, of Superhero Comics, 1980-2005
#404-407 by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli
#19-63, Grant Morrison and Various
#1-4, Grant Morrson and Frank Quitely
#1-12, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
#1-36, Scott McCloud
Other Lists and Responses
#1-12, by Christopher J. Priest, Mark Texeira, Joe Jusko, et al.
#1-6, by Brian K. Vaughan and Kyle Hotz
#1-6, by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones
Startling Stories: Fantastic Four - Unstable Molecules
#1-4, by James Sturm and Guy Davis
X-Men Archives featuring Captain Britain
#1-7, by Dave Thorpe, Alan Moore, Alan Davis and Paul Neary
1. The Daredevils
(Captain Britain stories) # 1-11, by Alan Moore and Alan Davis
#20-25, by Mark Gruenwald and Greg Capullo
3. The Mighty Thor
#337-353 by Walt Simonson
4. Batman: Gotham Adventures
#1-14, by Ty Templeton, Kelley Puckett, Rich Burchett, and various
5. Superman Adventure
s #21-31 , by Mark Millar, Evan Dorkin (issue 21 only) and various
None of these stand up to serious criticism, but then, they're superhero comics, so why should that matter? I recommend them purely on entertainment value alone. I would also second the nod for Flex Mentallo
, which is still in my mind far and away the best thing Morrison has ever written. Those four issues of a fictional story do a better job of describing why we love those crazy Silver Age stories than any essay I've ever read.
#1-6 by Pat Mills & Kevin O'Neill
(Vol. 1) #42-52, 54-56, 61-67 by Alan Davis
(2000-01 Maxiseries) #1-12 by Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon
Animal Man #51-79 by Jamie Delano & Steve Pugh
#116-129 - X-Statix
#1-26 by Peter Milligan & Mike Allred
I think you nailed it. I've never had the pleasure of Zot
, I was going to pick up the collections but I wanted to wait until the final one came out, so I'm still waiting.
I think I'd drop Animal Man
#1-26 by Morrison, Truog, Hazelwood and Wood in since I've not read Zot. On an aside, all of your list are written by writers with a surname beginning with M. This is probably a well commented fact.
To come up with another four is very hard. There's Zenith
, Morrison & Yeowell, although perhaps only the first arc, 2000AD
#535-550, and yes it's that man again.
I really enjoyed the Giffen Bierbaum LSH
, but it's not a run that has a definite end point, instead disappearing up its own arse, if one can say that, before the story finished.
I'd recommend the artwork in Havok & Wolverine: Meltdown
, by Kent Williams & John J Muth, although the story by Louise and Walter Simonson doesn't stick in my memory and I'm not going to reread it in a hurry.
, by Busiek and Ross was a good read, and was four issues if memory serves.
That's four more, and I guess someone could make a case for Ellis & thingummy's Authority
run, #1-12, but I'm not that person, even though I enjoyed them. Starman
by Robinson and Harris had promise but no legs, Promethea
needs to finish and is probably way too dense. It's strange, that in a genre where so much is published, so few works both manage to embrace and to simultaneously transcend the trappings of a superhero idiom. I think I'll quit there before I turn into a critic. Like I said in the beginning, you nailed it, and the only one I've listed here I'd deem worthy of inclusion is Animal Man
, and is one I've heartily recommended in the past.
A last gasp addendum to point out if you'd had a 3 issue limitation I'd have mounted a mention of Black Orchid
by Gaiman and McKean.
And struggling to come up with this made me feel better about my struggle with mini-comics last week. I neglect all fields with equal intent.
1. Batman Adventures
#1-36 by Kelly Puckett, Ty Templeton, Mike Parobeck and others
2. Sleeper Season One
#1-12 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
3. Madman Comics
#1-20 by Mike Allred
#1-16 by Alan Moore, Alan Davis and others
5. Kurt Busiek's Astro City
vol. 1 #1-6 by Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross and Brent Anderson
Alan David Doane
- Vol. 2 from where Joe Casey takes over (#5? #6?) until Vol. 3 ("Wildcats 3.0") when "Coup D'Etat" rips the shit out of what was a great book for a long, uninterrupted run. Also Alan Moore's Vol. 1 run of Wildcats.