Archive | January, 2014

Top Five Runs

17 Jan

Yesterday I blogged about five runs in comics that I think are some of the best.  What follows is my five favorite runs in comic history.

5 J. M. Demattias’s Dr. Fate

Dr. Fate is one character I have always thought looked great.  It is such an elegant costume.  The backstory is neat but unfortunately I never really cared for the Fate minis or series that have come out since I began reading comics.  And then, this summer, at a convention I found Demattais’s classic run on the character.  It is a crazy series that is much deeper than your typical comic. It deals with the nature of reality, love, and God. Although I might not always agree with the theology, I can’t argue that it is a much more intelligent and thought provoking read than most comics.

4) Karl Kesel’s Superboy

As I previously said, I began reading comics with the death of Superman.  Karl Kesel wrote about a clone of Superman named Superboy and soon began writing a Superboy book.  The book had a high level of fun and great art for most of Kesel’s run.  To make it better, Karl also introduced me to much of Kirby’s DC work in the title.  I definitely recommend this book!

3) Geoff Johns’s Green Lantern

My favorite character in comics has always been Green Lantern. Geoff Johns’s run on the book is easily my favorite run on anything in the last fifteen years. Bringing Hal back from Emerald Twilight was a huge success. But the book continued getting better building to the Sinestro Corps War and then my personal favorite story in fifteen years, Blackest Night. It’s high octane and one crazy idea after another.

2) 5YL Legion

The 5 Years Later Legion is one of those runs that people love or hate. It is easy to see why if you have ever read. Beloved characters were irrevocably changed or killed. And that is before the series even began, as background for the title. Then, due to unforeseen problems with post-crisis continuity, the book had to go through several timeline changes. But if you can accept that, it is a rare chance to read a book where things REALLY change and characters REALLY died. It’s a chance to see a team slowly come together and rebuild. The 5YL Legion may not be the easiest read but is an unbelievable ride.

1) JLI

And the only book I would rate higher than that is Giffen’s other 80s and 90s era masterpiece. And like the Legion, the JLI is another book which relied heavily on collaboration (with Demattais and Maguire) and also involves the rebuilding of a classic team. Unlike the Legion though, the fun in the JLI is that most of the characters in this version of the Justice League were new characters to the franchise.  In fact, some like Blue Beetle and Captain Atom were fairly new to DC, having been introduced to the DCU through the Crisis.  It also featured new characters in general  like Rocket Red and Booster Gold. But the beauty of the international league is found in the characterization of the members of the league.  They acted like real people.  Jokes are aplenty; flirtation is essential.  Fights happen.  Life is what it is all about.  And although the book is most famous for the humor, serious story lines like the Despero saga and the Extremists were some of the best books I have ever read.  Seriously, give it a shot.  


Five of my favorite runs

14 Jan

It’s that time of year when people do top ten lists.  Because of this, I figured I would spend the next two blogs to tell about my favorite runs in comics.  There have been a lot of great runs in the twenty years I have been reading and then I have suffered through some runs do to a love of a character or previous love of the author.  But what follows are the best of the best to me.  

10 Classic Suicide Squad

This book actually came out before I began reading comics but it was such an interesting title that I went back and collected most of the series.  The book included B, C, and D list villains who were recruited by the government to solve problems.  It was “birthed” out of a fun crossover called Legends, one of my favorite crossovers ever.  Several characters died in the book and Deadshot and Rick Flag became two of my favorite characters ever.  Plus the early crossover with the JLI was too much fun.  

9 DNA Legion

I began reading comics right around the time the Legion rebooted.  Due to my love of sci-fi, I quickly began reading the adventures of the 30th century’s greatest heroes. After a while, the reboot began to fizzle but then suddenly Abnet and Lanning came on board and shook it all up with the dark “Legion of the Damned” and “Legion Lost” stories. They reminded me of what I loved about the Legion but also actually had consequences.  Characters died (seems to be a theme) and others eventually debuted.  Shikari became my second favorite reboot Legionnaire (nothing will take Gates’s place!).

8 Geoff Johns’s Flash

Mark Waid’s Flash had been one of my favorite runs of any book ever but had begun to fizzle (also a similar refrain).  When I heard he was leaving, I worried the new writer would drop the ball.  I then heard Geoff Johns (of then JSA fame) was coming in to the title.  This alleviated my fear a great deal.  His first two story lines were kind of slow but introduced several new police to Wally’s life.  They also slowly began to reintroduce the Rogues in a big way.  Over time, the Rogues became essential to the Flash in a way they had not been in years.  And his Zoom (Hunter Zolomon) is my favorite Flash villain.  

7 Kelly and Loeb’s Superman

I began reading comics with the death and return of Superman.  When the architects of that storyline left, I was worried I would be disappointed in Superman’s continuing adventures (twenty years too early to worry about that!). Instead, Loeb and Kelly began introducing new villains that breathed new life in a stagnant title.  They also added new concerns.  Would Lois and Clark break up?  No but as soon as that was settled, we find out Lois had been kidnapped and replaced.  When they found Lois, we hear Superman had been slipped a Kryptonite kiss (way before Trinity War!). And this continued thoughout their fun run.  

6 Gerard Jones’s Green Lantern

I have previously blogged of my love for this run in Green Lantern history.  But to recap: before he came along, the Green Lantern Corps had been destroyed.  Sinestro had died. Hal’s life had been in shambles.  And the Gaurdians and the power battery on Oa was gone.  And Jones brought it all back.  His run was so popular that the franchise grew to three regular titles and an auxillary title.  Sounds very similar Geoff Johns’s more recent run!