The Official Recommendations Thread

Discussion in 'Misc. Comics' started by Elijya, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    God Loves, Man Kills
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    X-Fans that are wary of Claremont's current work, and even those who are not, should all have this graphic novel under their belts. Released in 1982 as "Marvel Graphic Novel #5" at 62 pages, the story is pretty much a stellar sample of Claremont's golden years on the X-Men, as well as a tale that gets to the root of what the X-Men are about; sci-fi allegories about the dangers of bigotry. NOT about aliens, demons, alternate realities/dimensions, or Wolverine (he's in it, but not the star). This tale was also loosely adapted for the X2 film, although this graphic novel is far different. Rather than use the military as the voice of humans-against-mutants, Claremont uses religion, or at least religion as interpretted by the zealous William Stryker. Magneto, naturally, is against human bigotry and often gets the best agruements, as he isn't quite an "Emperor Ming"-style villian here. The X-Men are naturally caught in the middle of zealots.

    There are some dated bits, of course, like the costume designs and a lot of the scenes with Kitty and Illyana, but the tale still is quite entertaining more than 20 years later. The art is by Brent Anderson, who may be better known for his work on Alex Ross' ASTRO CITY.

    It was re-released after X2 hit theatres, and shouldn't be hard to find in the graphic novel section of most comic shops. For a one-shot tale that offers a thrilling, and slightly chilling, account of everything the X-Men should be, you can't go wrong with this offering.
     
  2. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    Now for a DC title that was canceled months back and was an underrated work:

    BLOODHOUND
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    Released last year from DC and running for 10 issues before cancellation (blamed to abysmal sales; Bloodhound #2 sold at a depressing #126 that month and the sales only went downhill from there). If you like gritty crime noir like SIN CITY, as well as metahuman action, then this is a good title for you. Image a SIN CITY bruiser like, say, Marv from A DAME TO KILL FOR, tossed into the outskirts of mainstream DC (as in, thrown into midwestern cities where superheroes rarely cross) and given, or forced, into a mission to track down metahumans. You get all that and more from this run by writer Dan Jolley and artist Leonard Kirk.

    In BLOODHOUND, meet Clev, a hulking prison convict and ex-cop, thrown in the clink for murdering his partner. It seems, however, that he had a "knack" for being able to read/profile metahuman criminals (folks with superpowers who commit CSI-style crimes instead of donning costumes and fighting Superman), and it is precisely that reason that the FBI contacts him and offers him a deal; help them track down metahuman perps, and he can take time off his sentence. While Clev has no offensive "powers" aside for his "knack" for reading people, he makes up for it by being a massive bruiser who's as strong as he nasty. Whether it's punching people through walls or poking out someone's eyes, Clev does what it takes to win a brawl. He naturally interacts with the female FBI agent given the task to work with him, and more about the pair are revealed. Aside for a crossover with FIRESTORM in BLOODHOUND #5 that can be easily bypassed without effecting the other 9 issues (which I did), Clev really stays outside the mainstream DCU, operating on the outskirts the heroes miss. In 9 issues you get 3 storyarcs, including a breif return to prison for Clev. As a convict and a former-cop, AND a cop-killer, Clev has few allies in the underworld or the law, who both want a piece of him. Given a controller/tracking collar that Clev seems to know how to bypass if he wanted to, and later on a bullet-proof t-shirt and brass knuckles, if you like those hard broiled "grit" stories, this is for you.

    Kirk's art is refreshing, and even the fill-in artist around issue #8 or so manages to capture the style enough. The last issue finishes the arc but leaves the tale as a hint of what could have been accomplished. Due to low sales, I doubt this run will ever see a TPB, so you may be on your own in tracking down the issues. Thankfully, poor sales should make it not too difficult to find. When I hopped aboard I easily found issues 1-4 on one "I can't give these away!" shelf last year.

    Definately a mature title, but if you thought the DCU was all about aliens and superheroes, this title will make you see otherwise.
     
  3. Dread TMNT 1984-2009

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    This will probably be my "hardest-to-find" recommendation today, but if you are one of the lucky fans who can track down this little-known mini series from Marvel in 2002, you'll know why I recommended it.

    TASKMASTER
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    This 4 issue mini series was released by Marvel and UDON in 2002; written by Ken Siu-Chong with UDON art (David Ahn, Omar Dogan, Alan Tam, Rob Ross & Shane Law), it is a "caper" title starring Taskmaster. Don't know who Taskmaster really is? Not a problem. This series not only provides an EXCELLENT redesign for the character, as well as gives him a cool "energy weapon" and holographic emitter, but it nails down his character and what he can do with his abilities. Taskmaster is an Avengers-rogue who makes a business out of either training goons for other villians or doing merc work; this title focuses on the latter. Taskmaster, whose true name is never given, has the ability to copy any action he sees once perfectly (aside for superhuman feats), basically "photographic reflexes". Taking espoinage jobs for high prices, you get to see Taskmaster do things like fight Iron Man, try to score in Vegas and pit his enemies against each other. The selling point of the series is that not only does it make Taskmaster more like a real character who you can root for without making him a "hero", but it does his power justice and allows him to use it for MANY different techniques and tactics. Often underrated and forgotten, and utterly ignored by Marvel despite Taskmaster moving onto a supporting role in AGENT X months later, this little known gem is worth tracking down.

    DBM actually scanned and posted the entire series a few times, but naturally reading the issues in your hand is not the same as squinting at scanned pages. Sadly, no TPB was ever made of this series, and many stores won't have the entire run on stock, so it may take some hunting both on foot and online to collect them all. And yes, the cover to issue #4 was drawn by former X-artist and "lazy dude" Joe Mad.

    So, unlock your inner Taskmaster and collect the series; the score at the end will be worth it for a character many fans likely don't even know well.
     
  4. DBM Mad Scientist

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  5. Doc Destruction Geaux Saints!

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    I got that mini...loved it. Taskmaster was very cool.
     
  6. DBM Mad Scientist

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    I loved that mini too. One of my favorite parts was how Tasky took down Iron Man in that first issue. That one scene shows just how badass Taskmaster is.
     
  7. Phaedrus45 Registered

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    If you are looking for something completely different than anything Marvel puts out, try Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore.

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    Strangers In Paradise (SIP) is the story of three friends, Francine, Katchoo and David and the people they fall in and out of love with.
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    It's a tale of dark pasts and hopeful futures, double-crosses and true friendship, love and hate.
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    In other words: it's a story of real life, kicked up a notch.

    You can get these in a great pocket book form. There are four volumes, each containing about 17 issues.

    Phaed
     
  8. Elijya Registered

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    phaed, fix your pictures
     
  9. WallCrawl Registered

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    This thread is just what I need right now. Props to everyone who's posted so far, especially on the Thor titles. I'm extremely glad to find out Simonson's work has been collected.
     
  10. Phaedrus45 Registered

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    Ok, I got them from a different source. Maybe it will work now.
     
  11. TheSumOfGod Registered

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    Ultimate X-Men issue 6. Best. Comic Book. Ever. Really! It doesn't get any better than seeing a fleet of 300 to 400 reprogrammed Sentinels blowing up Washington D.C., and then seeing Magneto making George Dubya Bush (!) get naked and lick his boots clean in front of the world while the White House is burning down to the ground behind them. And the superb artwork doesn't hurt, either.
     
  12. Anubis Sup?

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    Okay, I'm gonna recommend James Robinson's Starman series. This book follows the exploits of the reluctant hero Jack Knight. Taking over the mantle of Starman after his fathers retirement and his brothers death, Jack has to protect Opal City from super villians, aliens, and whatever else comes his way. This book is great. So far I've just read the first four trades, but, man, I am really loving this series. I think the best part of the series is the great support characters, like the Shade. Immortal sometimes villian, who offers to help Jack out whenever possible. He's a very interesting character that one. The O'dares. A family of cops who have help out the Knights for years. This book is all about the Legacy aspect of the DCU. Where the old isn't just tossed aside, but embraced, as others take up the mantle of those before them. Highly recommended.

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  13. JackBauer Registered

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    Gotta recommend Fables, by Bill Willingham. It shows many exiled fairy tale characters living in a secret community in New York, after being driven away from their realm from a villain called simply The Adversary. Snow White runs the community, and the Big Bad Wolf (or simply Bigby), in a human form, is the law. They are the two main characters, but there are tons more, many great adaptations (Prince Charming, Goldilocks and Pinnochio are specially cool, IMO). Willingham did a great job of creating some great new stories and relationships between these already existant characters.

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  14. Elijya Registered

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  15. KAD Registered

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    Elijyahhhhhhhhhhh,

    You sometimes come off as condecending.


    The creative team: Ann Nocenti - John Bolton - John Bolton - Tom Orzechowski - John Bolton

    The Art:[​IMG]


    As far as who is in it: Nobody you would know.

    I was given a copy back when I was an intern at Marvel.
     
  16. Phaedrus45 Registered

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    This next recommendation is one that I was able to get non-comic reading fans hooked on: Elfquest.

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    While Marvel reprinted it in 1985 with 30+ issues in color, it was originally done by WarpGraphics in black and white, later being in color for the TPBs. Currently, DC comics is reprinting the entire series in chronological order with pocket books in the original B&W form. If you do give it a try, get Vol. 1 of The Grand Quest first. This is how the story originally started out, same as with Marvel issue #1:

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    As usual, I will borrow the synopsis from a webpage:

    "It all starts off with the Wolfriders, a small tribe of forest dwelling elves, closely bonded to their wolf-friends, who are driven from their holt by fanatic humans, who set the forest on fire.
    The leader of this band is Cutter, blood of Ten Chiefs. Young, but brave and determined, he has the loyalty of his tribe.
    Fleeing from the fire, the elves seek refuge in the troll caverns. The troll king, who is not happy about this invasion of his underground realm, promises to show the elves a new land, where they can live in peace.

    However, the trolls duplicity shows, when the Wolfriders stand at the end of a tunnel opening up to a burning desert, with the way back closed to them.
    Determined not to let his people die, Cutter leads them across the deadly waste. As they reach the mountains seen from afar in three days of hunger and thirst, they find not only water, but make an incredible discovery. Here in the oasis of Sorrow's End are other elves. The world view of the Wolfriders who thought they were the only children of their mythical ancestors, the High Ones, left, changes in the blink of an eye.


    From here enfolds the true Quest, Cutter's search for other elves, and the origins of their kind. They will find, that an enemy among their own race can be deadlier and more dangerous than any human. They will suffer and learn and grow.

    Elfquest is the creation of wife and husband-team Wendy and Richard Pini."


    Phaed
     
  17. Elijya Registered

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    yeah I know

    anyway, wtf is the book about?
     
  18. euroq Registered

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    Ah, I love Elfquest. :)
     
  19. Phaedrus45 Registered

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    You know, when they started releasing the pocket books, DC was also suppose to release a new Elfquest series. But, that never happened. Anyone know about what's up with that?

    Phaed
     
  20. Elijya Registered

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    >>-GREEN ARROW->

    If you’re looking for a great DC Superhero book to get into, Green Arrow is the place to be. The book succeeds especially because it’s not really tied into anything else in the DCU, so it stands on it’s own and you don’t have to pick up any other books to get it. Plus, Ollie is just such a great character.

    I’ve always felt Green Arrow was the Daredevil of the DCU: Both characters fly under the radar that superstar characters like Spider-Man and Batman and such exist on. Consequently, creators are given greater freedom to do more interesting things with them.

    I suggest starting with vol 1 of the current series, but there’re some other good books from the past I’ll mention, too.

    Here’s what you need to know: Oliver Queen was a wealthy industrialist who decided to fight crime after an experience that led him to survive on his own. He funded the Justice League when it first began, and eventually became best friends with Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, who later turned evil and eventually became the all-powerful Spectre. As a younger hero, Green Arrow took a ward, Roy Harper, who took the name Speedy, and eventually grew up and called himself Arsenal. He now leads the Outsiders. Recently, a young man named Conner Hawke came forward and revealed he was Ollie’s unknown son. He’d spent time in a Buddhist temple and is one of the top martial artists on earth in addition to being as skilled with a bow as his father. Ollie has also had an on-again-off-again romance with Dinah Lance, the Black Canary, for years.

    Ollie died trying to disarm a bomb on a plane. He failed, and died right in front of Superman. Now we start…

    Vol 1 Quiver. Oliver Queen is back from the dead. Or is he? Kevin Smith writes the relaunch of the character and does it right. A lot of great things in this volume that will make you love the character, but I don’t want to give too much away

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    Vol 2 Sounds of Violence. Kevin Smith continues his run with an arc concerning a particularly peculiar villain named Onomatopoeia who has a fetish for killing costumed heroes

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    Vol 3 The Archers Quest. New York Times Best-selling author Brad Meltzer (of later Identity Crisis fame) makes his comic writing debut in a volume that sees Green Arrow taking a road trip with his former ward, Arsenal, in a quest to pick up the pieces of Ollie’s life he left behind when he died. The ending will have you in tears.

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    all three of the volumes mentioned so far feature gorgeous covers by Matt Wagner and interior art by Phil Hester and Ande Parks

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    the books got some of the best dynamics and constistently good story telling of anything from the past 5 years
     
  21. Elijya Registered

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    Go diving into the past for where Olliver Queen really started as a character. Though created in the 1940’s, Green Arrow existed for many years as a simple “batman with a bow” character. Similarly, for many years, Green Lantern struggled as a character with a lot of power but no personality. But it was in 1970 that that all changed with Green Lantern #76. The book became a team book, simply titled Green Lantern/Green Arrow, and writer Denny O’Neill and artist Neal Adams re-invented both characters and officially launched the Bronze Age of comics.

    Green Lantern/Green Arrow began openly dealing with political and social issues with its stories, starting off with a bang by re-inventing Green Arrow as a liberal and Green Lantern as a conservative. The point is especially driven home when an African American man asks Green Lantern why he’s been off on other planets helping purple people and green people, but hasn’t done anything for the black people right here on earth

    Shaken by this accusation, and without an answer, Green Lantern questions himself, and agrees to embark on a road trip with Green Arrow across America. Throughout the rest of the series, issues such as racism, Native American rights, and pollution are addressed. The book also featured the first Drug reference allowed under the Comics Code Authority in a powerful story which sees Green Arrows side-kick, Speedy, addicted to heroine.

    Undoubtedly one of the most important runs in all of comicdom, this is definitely a piece of history you should read.The entire run by Adams and O’Neill can be found in two volumes any comicbook store and most book store should be able to get ahold of for you

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    Writer/Artist Mike Grell also re-invented Green Arrow in the late 1980’s by giving the character a more urban and darker appeal, beginning with a story called The Longbow Hunters. It centers more on the characters relationship to the Black Canary as the two move to Seattle together. It features beautiful watercolor artwork by Grell and is another must-read chapter in the characters history.

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  22. Elijya Registered

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  23. Anubis Sup?

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    Greatest, GA artist, EVER.
     
  24. JewishHobbit Registered

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    I plan on getting Quiver eventually... almost got it today actually but passed it up for Wolverine's Origin tpb and Batman Hush Vol. 1 since combined they were only a few bucks more than Quiver was alone.
     
  25. JewishHobbit Registered

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    Okay, here's a question on Daredevil. I'm interested in the Bendis run because I've heard so much good from it. If I'm not mistaken he started on issue 26 but here's my question. Can I start there and know what's going on or should I get anything that starts before that? I'm curious about Smith's run but Bendis' interests me more because I've actually read a few comics of his and I liked them.
     

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