Comics I love.

As promised to

, here is a list of comics I ADORE. There’s probably more, but these are what first came to mind when I did this exercise some time back.

Now, let’s think—my five? I’m going to make it EIGHT (because I like to share good findings of mine).

Wanted

I just read this over the weekend, and OH MY GOD. It’s just… it’s a story about villains, and the world they’ve created for themselves to live in. It moves so quickly, that you can’t even feel the effect of what’s happened to you until you’ve gone through it and reflect. And then WHAM—it’s like “oh my GOD, what did I just READ?!” I swear—when Millar was inspired to write this, his cajones had to be MASSIVE. I’ll be reading it again shortly, for sure. A worthy addition to my collection. I almost want to avoid the movie just so I don’t need to see how they’ve trod all over it, because this thing just would NOT translate well to the screen if kept as is!

John Constantine: Hellblazer

This series is the reason why I’ve never seen Constantine. Keanu Reeves does not a British-Sting-lookalike-magician make. Snarky humour, dark arts, and lots of twisted gazes into the soul make up a series which has been one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve ever had. A quick glance at Wikipedia tells me that there’s 28 trades, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I own 25 of them. I can’t get enough of this series—I read it, and I just get drawn into the madness that Constantine must constantly face in order to do what he does best—con the hell out of people.

Invincible

While I must admit that the intensity and allure of this series has died off somewhat in recent issues (rumour has it that writer Robert Kirkman has falen into a bit of a slump), Invincible is the story of a teenage superhero and the trials and tribulations he must face as he gets accustomed to this new life of his. But it gets better. The story provides some SERIOUS twists that shake EVERYTHING up. You get to the end of trade #3 and your jaw has hit the floor, because you NEVER saw it coming. The book’s at trade 9 right now, and if I remember correctly, the last two trades have been a bit stale, but generally speaking, I stand by this book. It’s quality persona construction.

Lone Wolf and Cub

Out of this entire list, this is by far the oldest series on here (it ran in Japan from 1970-1976), but it’s sheer genius. It’s the story of a ronin (wandering ninja) and his infant son in their quest to get revenge against an enemy clan for shaming their family name. It’s now sold in 28 books of about 300 pages each (and yes, I own all of them) as they carve a path of destruction in order to attain their ultimate goal. Their bonds are tested, the battles grow fiercer as they square off against foes of increasing skill, but they continually look forward. The story is just… amazing. I re-read it from time to time.

Batman: Knightfall

Batman is probably my favourite hero by far. He has the perfect combination of skill, intelligence, dark humour and just sheer badass levels that force you to respect him no matter what. He always knows how to take care of a situation, and wins out no matter what the odds against him.

Except this time.

This is the story arc where Bane has released all of the criminals from Arkham Asylum, and Batman runs himself ragged to get them all back where they belong. We see the Bat battle tirelessly as he takes out one foe after another, and it shows as he grows more bruised, battered and haggard. This is one of the defining moments in Batman history—he manages to accomplish the feat after SEVERAL fights and can finally return to Wayne Manor, where he can rest and recover from his ordeals… except for the fact that Bane is there, already waiting. This battle would shape the Batman series for several years to come, and it’s worth whatever’s necessary to pay for it. Genius. Sheer genius.

The Authority, Vol. 1

This was collected in four trades—The Authority are a band of superheroes who fall in line to no specific government or ruling body—they have the power to change the world, and they’re using it. They take care of numerous terrorists and threats to the world, and many consider them heroes. Those in power couldn’t agree less, however, and decide to take matters into their own hands on dealing with the problem that is The Authority. Which leads to what may be one of the craziest comebacks ever printed in comics! If you’re looking for brutal, yet totally awesome fights, heroes that operate without the cheesy moral compass that those heroes created in the 30’s through the 60’s seem to operate by (you know who I’m talking about), and villains (especially one in particular) who are just deliciously MESSED, this is definitely the right place to look!

The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank

After a horrible revamp at the hands of the Marvel Knights line (where someone thought it’d be a good idea to make Frank Castle an angel of justice—i.e., literal angel), it was time to get good ol’ Frankie back to what he did best—whacking bad guys mercilessly just because they were bad guys! This story is an equal mix of sweet and creative action, dark humour, and solid storytelling—you pick it up, and you’d better believe that you’re not putting it back down until you’ve finished reading through it. The things that a man’s gotta do to completely eradicate a mob family are DEFINITELY extensive, and this story proves it!

Planet Hulk

Followed by World War Hulk, which is pretty good in its own right, Planet Hulk is the story of the Hulk after he’d been rejected by the Earth. After saving the planet from an interstellar menace, Black Bolt, Dr. Strange, Reed Richards and Iron Man (aka the Illuminati) decide to save the Earth from further potential threats from the Hulk, that they would instead rocket him off to a distant planet with no intelligent life, apologizing that it had to be this way as he moves further away from Earth. Obviously rather peeved by this turn of developments, the Hulk is ready to tear them all limb from limb, but is powerless to do so.

Now of course, as with any good Marvel comic, things don’t go QUITE to plan. Instead of hitting the intended planet, due to the damange the Hulk had incurred on his vessel in his blind rage, he instead careens into a wormhole, ending up on a gladitorial planet ruled by the Red King. The story turns into a tale of baptism by fire and measuring up against countless odds as the Hulk and his team of fellow gladiators must prove that they have what it takes to thrive on this planet. The ending itself is gold, as one final betrayal by the Illuminati reminds us of one important lesson about the Hulk…

…you don’t want to see him when he’s angry. And this story will see him at the angriest he’s EVER been.

Holy crap. Anyway, I have all of these if you ever want to take a gander. I need to sell a lot of my old comics as I save up for a Macbook pro, but these stories will remain with me forever.

And there you go!

–case p.

By Casey E. Palmer

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey‘s spent the last few decades in pursuit of creating killer content. From novels as a kid, comics as a teen, to blogs and photos once he could grow a beard, he’ll use whatever’s around him to create amazing stuff.

When he’s not creating, he’s parenting, exploring and trying to make life as awesome as possible for everyone around him.

Because a boring life’s not a life worth living!

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