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Required Reading


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Okay, to consider yourself a stand-up and all-right fan of comic books what do you consider "Required Reading".

I will start off slow.

Return of the Darknight

and

Watchmen

If you haven't read these you're a hack and a simpleton.

Other opinions?

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Oh for fucks sake.

Required reading, people. Not great, enjoyable or good comics.

What do you considered the pinnacles of the artform? No series is a pinnacle (Sorry Machina, but it can't). There can be stories within a series but please, no series can keep it going at the level I'm talking about.

If someone was going to read...three, three individual comics, tradebacks or graphic novels, would you feel obliged to shove into their hands?

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I'm not as widely-read as some of you, so far as comics are concerned, but here's my list. I'm a firm believer that comics are (ideally) as much literature as Hemingway or Huxley, as much art as Picasso or Parrish, and the graphic novel format in particular makes the best use of both; most of my admittedly small collection isn't made up of individual issues.

Sandman- Preludes and Nocturnes, Brief Lives.

Fables- March of the Wooden Soldiers, 1001 Nights of Snowfall.

Batman- Knightfall.

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The entire Sandman collection

Preacher

Grendel: Devil's Legacy

Enigma

The original Books of Magic miniseries

V for Vendetta

Watchmen

Kingdom Come

The Dark Knight Returns

Daredevil: Born Again

the entire Transmetropolitan collection

Promethea

Shade the Changing Man (up until the Season in Hell storyline, I didn't care for what followed that)

Stormwatch/The Authority (before they decided that more over the top was better)/Planetary

The Mystery Play

Breathtaker

Akira

Hellblazer (up to the Rake at the Gates of Hell storyline)

Starman (the version with Jack and the female Mist)

Arkham Asylym

of late, I've really enjoyed ULTIMATE X-MEN.

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I'd recommend Supreme Power - Nighthawk. Its a more realistic telling of the Batman motif, isn't about the moron they used in the original Squadron Supreme stuff (Squadron I and II), and tells the story of the relationship between an obsessed man (ala Batman) and a true psychopath (ala Joker).

Its short with only 6 issues and keeps up the level of quality throughout the 6 issues.

I also enjoy Ultimate Fantastic Four. Not every issue is a gem but its usually more interesting than the original Marvel Universe stuff.

Oh, and I'm looking forwarding to (hoping) Ironman/Tony Stark gets the crap kicked out of him so hard his name becomes synonymous with Benedict Arnold. I'm not a huge Civil War fan but I think his beat down is merited.

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Hmmm...

I suggest WildC.A.T.s when Alan Moore did the run, his Mr. Majestic story 'The Big Chill' and WildC.A.T.s: Nemesis.

Authority while Warren Ellis was doing it. Oh, and StormWatch from 37 to 50.

Oddly enough, I also enjoyed Zealot/Voodoo: Skin Trade, though the artwork got a little iffy at the end.

Empire from DC.

Mr. Majestic Vol. 1 and 2 if you like over-the-top Superman-style stuff, plus the four-parter done in the DC universe.

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  • 2 months later...

Shame on you all for forgetting:

Planetary

Rising Stars

"Whatever Happened to the Man of Tommorrow?" and "For the Man Who Has Everything" - classic Superman

Supeman: Red Son

Stormwach, particularly the "Change or Die" arch.

Also, if you have any interest in a darker view of superpowers and espionage, Ed Brubaker's Sleeper is a must.

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Seph: Personally, I tend to agree with you on the last three issues or so going firmly down hill, but the rest of the piece is of such resoundingly fertile quality in terms of ideas and execution that I think as a whole it retains its merit.

Despite the fact that I wanted to murder the man after the last panel.

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