Best Comic Book Series Ever – There was a time when comics (and, by proxy, comics enthusiasts) were considered something of a joke. For whatever reason, the larger literary community didn’t seem to see it as a legitimate form of storytelling, even though so many of the classic literary themes—such as humanity, heroism, and overcoming insurmountable odds—overlapped. However, time would come to show that this autocratic view was both short-sighted and sinister.
Now comics – or the graphic novels in long form – are as ubiquitous in pop culture as any other “legitimate” type of literature. Perhaps because, like ancient myths, people are drawn to over-the-top stories of beings who are greater than, yet carry the same human flaws we all see in ourselves. Or it may be that they offer an escape into worlds and circumstances far removed from our own experiences. Perhaps, more simply, visual storytelling simply offers a means of enjoyment without the burdens of long and drawn-out prose. Whatever the reasoning, it’s clear that graphic novels are here to stay. But, like all things, some are far more deserving of your time and effort than others. With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of the best graphic novels out there right now. Excelsior!
Best Comic Book Series Ever
Some people already realize the connection between comic book superheroes and Greek myth. For those who need a bit more of an obvious nudge, there’s Frank Miller’s
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. This brilliantly executed graphic novel depicts the legend of the Battle of Thermopylae – where 300 Greek Spartans held off an entire invading Persian army. As you are probably already aware,
Was also turned into an incredibly popular action film. So popular, in fact, that it even got a big budget sequel. While this graphic novel certainly takes some serious liberties, it’s a great read for anyone who enjoys gritty literature and beautiful artwork.
In this series, you won’t find your standard Marvel or DC heroes. What you will find, however, is a parody of the two universes – or perhaps more accurately, a satire. Told through a series of short stories – each focusing on a different character – Astro City covers what everyday life is like in a city full of superhumans, while highlighting real social issues such as gender politics, paranoia, and whether we can really trust the heroes we all look up to. Combine that with this graphic novel’s stunning visuals, and you’ve got yourself a must-read for any socially enlightened comic book fan.
Movie, you should know that a good portion of the inspiration behind that movie came from this Frank Miller-penned miniseries. In fact, this graphic novel is the first time Batman and Superman went toe to toe. It also marked the reinvention of Batman into the brave and dark hero we all know and love today. Just remember that this book is full of gory violence, political satire, and social commentary that is as relevant today as it was when it was released in 1986.
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On our Best Graphic Novels list, we’re unabashed about our choice to leave out the dated story in favor of this much more disturbing Batman story. This exciting thriller jumps between time periods and covers both the story behind Gotham City’s most notorious facility, Arkham Asylum, and its founder, as well as an event that takes place on April 1st – where the institution’s worst inmates have escaped and taken it. above. If it reminds you of a recent video game adaptation, you’d be right to believe that this book inspired it.
A bit of a departure from the typical super-themed comics and graphic novels, this book tells a story that is just as, if not more, strange. Illustrated by David Mazzucchelli and written by Paul Auster,
Is an existentialist noir mystery that you really have to read to understand, but it’s well worth trudging through the inevitable confusion for what it delivers. If you like cerebral stories that keep you guessing until the end, then
Alan Moore may actually be the best short-form graphic novelist of all time. He has tackled everything from government conspiracy, to compelling romantic drama, to this crime fiction about the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper. And, like so many of his other stories, this one was popular enough to be turned into a movie of the same name (you know, the one starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham). You’ll just have to take our word for it, but that the book is far superior to the movie. Fans of historical fiction, this one is for you.
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Has been compiled into a multi-volume library of graphic novels, has spawned several notable spin-offs, and has also been turned into two feature-length sci-fi fantasy films (directed by none other than Guillermo del Toro). Each of these hardcover coffee table tomes covers two full story arcs (the equivalent of two paperback books) and extended supplemental materials covering everything from concept art to previously unreleased sketches and designs.
– you know, the global phenomenon about a small group of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. Well, he’s taken the same hyper-violent, no-holds-barred approach into the world of superheroes with his
Series. He also worked on the series with artist extraordinaire Ryan Ottley, infusing this genre-breaking series with the pair’s now-signature ultra-violent style. Just remember, as with his other works, these comics are not suitable for children or the faint of heart.
If you like the idea of familiar characters, but you’re also hoping for a slightly offbeat storytelling, Kingdom Come is a pretty good start for fans of the DC universe. Written by Mark Waid and featuring beautifully painted artwork from the masterful and legendary Alex Ross, the story follows an aging Justice League as they must once again don their capes to protect the world from the very heroes who took over after their retirement. This is one of the best-selling graphic novels of all time, and if you like superhero stories but haven’t read it yet, it’s time.
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Another masterful work of art from the myth and legend that is author Alan Moore (and another made into a film), this creative book follows the exploits of a host of vintage literary characters – including the Invisible Man, Captain Nemo and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. . Hyde – as they must team up to save the world from impending doom. It’s a clever blend of modern storytelling and classic literature that paints the iconic characters in it as the superheroes of a bygone era. And it is far, far better than the disastrous film from 2003.
If you appreciate the artwork of Alex Ross (after all, who doesn’t?) but you’re not a huge fan of the DC universe, you’ll be happy to know that they don’t have a monopoly on the artist’s brilliant talents.
Is told through the eyes of Phil Sheldon, a newspaper photographer who has documented the exploits and follies of the Marvel universe’s superheroes. It’s a fresh and incredibly human take on the world of comic book heroes that serves as both a new perspective and a reminder that at their core, these stories aren’t so much about heroes and villains as they are about the impact they have on humanity as a whole.
Before you look at the cover of this graphic novel and dismiss it as a sweet take on an overly serious subject, understand that this Art Spiegelman work won a Pulitzer Prize. In fact, it is actually a retelling of the true story of the artist’s own father – a Jewish survivor of Hitler’s Europe. It also served as a means for Art Spiegelman to recount his tortured relationship with his father and come to terms with the man’s tale of horror and survival.
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Is a heartbreaking story, but we think it’s one that needs to be told – and it’s incredibly well told.
The series might just be his best-received work of all time. In keeping with the author’s style, this saga brilliantly weaves together mythology, folklore and adventure in a new and refreshing way, while remaining genuinely original and spellbinding.
Is known for it thanks to the Edgar Wright-directed film that starred Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and a gallery of other now-great actors and actresses. And while the film remained loyal enough to the comics to not be blasphemous, it still had to leave out quite a bit due to the short format. If you liked the story, however, pick up this 6-volume set of the complete graphic novel series and get the full story. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
If you like your graphic novels with a bit more grit, you can’t do much better than Frank Miller’s
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Story. Divided into seven volumes, these books cover all the stories from the critically acclaimed film of the same name and much more. The stories are dark, brooding and violent, but will serve to draw you deep into the deep fiction of the saga, especially