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Comic Milestones/Must Reads

Manic Oppressive's picture Manic Oppressive
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Okay, there's a few comics that stand out in every genre as being the pinnacle, the epitome of what comics can achieve. This is the place where well-read comic veterans can list the Great Ones for everyone else to check out and appreciate themselves. So I'll start, and break it down by genre so you guys can pick out what you like.

[B]Superhero[/B]
[U]Kingdom Come[/U] - This is the first real DC graphic I ever picked up, and the only reason I did pick it up is because of the absolutely amazing art done by the man, Alex Ross. It's a great tail about an ageing Superman trying to find his place in a world where almost everyone's a superhero. Really good stuff.

[B]Noir[/B]
[U]Alias[/U] - Before you think it, this series has nothing to do with the TV show of the same name. Penned by the superb Brian Michael Bendis, it centers on an emotionally screwed up private eye/ex-super heroine who's hired to solve all kinds of cases, sometimes involving other superheroes as well. Doesn't really belong in the "superhero" category because Bendis focuses on the lives of the characters in a much, much more realistic way than you'll ever find in a Superman or Batman comic.

[B]Manga[/B]
[U]Akira[/U] - Got to go with the best here. If you've seen the movie, you truly only know half the story. Katsuhiro Otomo really is the golden boy of all things anime/manga, and this is where he cut his fangs. Laden with all the gore and intense action you can portray in b&w, Otomo's tale of biker gangs in futuristic Tokyo only gets better with age. Luckily for us, Dark Horse recently published this huge series into five or six two inch thick graphics for you to get your hands on.

[B]Sci-Fi/Fantasy[/B]
[U]The Sandman[/U] - Gotta go with Gaiman on this one. What can I say? This man turns comics into literature. Pick up one of his novels(Neverwhere, American Gods...) or start at the beginning with the incredible Sandman series, which focus' on the Endless, the manifestations of the facets of reality: Dream, Destiny, Destruction, Death, Despair, Delirium, and Desire. It's very good stuff, and the artist rotation keeps the stories fresh and different as the plot evolves.

[B]Miscellaneous[/B]
[U]Johnny the Homicidal Maniac[/U] - This popular "underground" graphic was penned and inked by the talented Jhonen Vasquez. At first look it's just what every depressed, gothed-out, angst-ridden high school sophomore needs, a semi-goth look at a seemingly-unstoppable serial killer who only kills those who really deserve it, ex. those who tease him about his hair while he's eating at Taco Hell. Deeper inspection, however, reveals a lonely kid who just wants to understand why he's losing his mind....eh, it still sounds gothy as hell, and well...it is, but it's really good social commentary and self-depreciating goth too(think Type O Negative).