Dave’s Faves: All The Best Comics I’ve Ever Read

Much like Liam Neeson, I’m always making lists. If you’re familiar with Comic Book Herald, you know these are typically massive reading order lists, with a primary focus on Marvel comics (and some DC!).

The below list is a very different breed, and is instead a collection of all my favorite comics and graphic novels I have ever read. Every time I read a new comic book series, I add it to the list, and rank it among the substantial competition of all the best comics ever.

There are two essential notes I’d like to add before you get to the list.

1 – I do not claim to have read all the greatest comics of all time. I am literally one man (at best, a half animal, part party machine). This list is an evolving organism that will take new shape as I pick up new books. If you have a personal favorite you don’t see included here, I’d love to hear about it in the comments, on Twitter, via email, on the street, from a disembodied voice floating through my attic… you get the idea.

2 – For the most part, I do not include Marvel comics throughout this list. The only real exceptions are Marvel graphic novels, or limited series that I haven’t recommended elsewhere. Again, if you’re looking for your Marvel comics fixin’s, I’d check out my favorite 100 stories from 1998 to 2015, or the top 25 Marvel trade collections from 1961 to 1998.

Neil Gaiman's Sandman from Vertigo Comics

Finally, the rankings you’ll see here are almost entirely comics I like a lot. The higher a comic is ranked, the more I like it. The only real blatant exception to this is Mark Millar and J.G. Jones’ “Wanted,” which is a comic I despise beyond words, and really only want to include in perpetual last place on this list to make a point. (The point? It stinks.)

Let the superlative headlines begin, and enjoy the comics!

Last Updated: 1.20.16

The Best Comics Of All Time

1) Watchmen

2) The Sandman

3) Bone

4) Doom Patrol by Grant Morrison & Richard Case

5) Miracleman

6) The Bulletproof Coffin + Bulletproof Coffin: Disinterred

7) Mind MGMT

8) Maus

9) Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

10) Y: The Last Man

11) From Hell

12) Scott Pilgrim

13) Blankets

14) Boxers & Saints

15) Punk Rock Jesus

16) Starman

17) All Star Superman

18) Invincible

19) Preacher

20) Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima

21) Chew

22) Gotham Central

23) Batman: Year One

24) Usagi Yojimbo: Grasscutter

25) Fear Agent

26) Epileptic

27) Criminal

28) Batman: The Long Halloween + Dark Victory

29) Marvels

30) Morning Glories

31) The Walking Dead: Compendium One

32) Sweet Tooth

33) Supreme: The Story of the Year

34) Infinite Kung Fu

35) Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1

36) Saga

37) Batman (The New 52)

38) East of West Volume 1 to Vol. 6

39) Fables Vol. 1 – Vol. 6

40) Dreadstar

41) Love & Rockets

42) Daytripper

43) Jessica Jones: Alias

44) Hip Hop Family Tree

45) The Contract with God Trilogy

46) Grendel Omnibus Vol. 1: Hunter Rose

47) The Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga

48) Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye Vol. 1 – Vol. 5

49) Hitman

50) Rat Queens Volume 1

51) Locke & Key

52) JLA: A League of One

53) Black Panther: Panther’s Rage

54) Werewolves of Montpellier

55) Batman: The Black Mirror

56) Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

57) I Killed Adolf Hitler

58) John Constantine: Hellblazer – Dangerous Habits

59) Green Lantern by Geoff Johns

60) Sex Criminals, Vol. 1

61) Strangers In Paradise

62) Shutter Volume 1: Wanderlost

63) Atomic Robo (Vol 1-4)

64) Batman: Arkham Asylum

65) Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

66) Lucifer Book One

67) JLA by Grant Morrison

68) Nowhere Men, Vol 1.

69) Lone Wolf and Cub

70) Bedlam

71) Six-Gun Gorilla

72) Essex County

73) Revival Vol.1 to Vol. 3

74) Astro Boy Vol. 1

75) Achewood: The Great Outdoor Fight

76) The Life & Times Of Scrooge McDuck

77) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

78) Planetary

79) The Underwater Welder

80) Dr. Strange & Dr. Doom: Triumph & Torment

81) Animal Man (Grant Morrison Run)

82) Acme Novelty Library #20

83) The Omega Men

84) The Fade Out

85) Seconds

86) Multiversity

87) Batman & Robin (by Grant Morrison)

88) Habibi

89) Richard Stark’s Parker (by Darwyn Cooke)

90) Pride of Baghdad

91) Wicked + Divine: Year One

92) Stumptown Vol. 1

93) Black Magick Vol. 1

94) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

95) Gotham Academy Vol. 1

96) Hellboy: Seed of Destruction

97) Kingdom Come

98) Black Science Volume 1

99) Bitch Planet, Vol. 1

100) Strikeforce: Morituri Vol 1

101) Copra Round One

102) Superman: Secret Identity

103) Grayson (The New 52)

104) Zot!: The Complete Black and White Collection

105) Wizzywig

106) DC: The New Frontier

107) Paying for It

108) The Manhattan Projects

109) Fatale

110) Suicide Squad (John Ostrander Era)

111) Batman and Son + The Black Glove

112) The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story

113) Bandette Volume 1

114) Captain Britain by Alan Moore & Alan Davis

115) Zero #1 to #10

116) Low, Vol. 1

117) Monstress Vol. 1

118) Superman: Man of Steel Vol. 1

119) Return of the Dapper Men

120) Superannuated Man

121) X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills

122) Batman: The Killing Joke

123) Irredeemable Vol. 1 & Vol. 2

124) Paper Girls Vol.1

125) The Walking Dead Compendium Three

126) Batman R.I.P.

127) Bacchus, Book 1: Immortality Isn’t Forever

128) Superman: Last Son of Krypton

129) Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 1

130) Alan Moore’s Writing For Comics

131) Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art

132) Wytches Volume 1

133) Descender, Vol. 1: Tin Stars

134) Deadly Class Volume 1

135) Queen & Country Vol. 1

136) 47 Ronin

137) Superman: American Alien

138) Green Lantern/Green Arrow (Denny O’Neil & Neal Adams)

139) Manifest Destiny

140) Green Arrow: Quiver

141) Dark Night: A True Batman Story

142) Prophet Vol. 1

143) Star Wars: The Crimson Empire Saga

144) Comic Book History of Comics

145) March: Book One

146) Superman: Secret Origin

147) Private Eye

148) Southern Bastards Volume 1 and 2

149) Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom (Valiant reboot, uncollected)

150) Deadshot: Beginnings

151) Hellblazer: Original Sins

152) New 52 Justice League: Forever Evil

153) Attack on Titan Vol. 1

154) Outcast Volume 1

155) Star Wars: Dark Empire Trilogy

156) Injection, Vol. 1

157) Lazarus Volume 1

158) Divinity

159) The Sixth Gun Vol. 1

160) JLA: Tower of Babel

161) Local

162) Lost At Sea

163) Unity

164) Scalped Vol. 1: Indian Country

165) Superman: Birthright

166) Emperor Doom

167) Batman: Hush

168) Casanova

169) Superman for All Seasons

170) Buddy Does Seattle

171) I Hate Fairyland Vol.1

172) Batman Incorporated

173) Deadpool Max: Nutjob

174) Trees by Warren Ellis Vol 1 + Vol 2

175) Providence, Act 1

176) Gotham City Sirens

177) Batman: Under the Red Hood

178) Archer & Armstrong

179) Harbinger

180) X-O Manowar

181) Shadowman

182) Bloodshot

183) Star Wars Tales (Anthology)

184) Crisis On Infinite Earths

185) Good-bye, Chunky Rice

186) Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre

187) Miniature Jesus

188) Big Damn Sin City

189) Pretty Deadly Vol 1

190) DC Comics Bombshells Vol. 1

191) Superman: Red Son

192) Doom 2099: The Complete Collection by Warren Ellis

193) Trillium

194) The Flash: Born to Run

195) Wonder Woman (The New 52)

196) JLA: Year One

197) Swamp Thing By Scott Snyder (The New 52)

198) Star Wars Vol. 1: Skywalker Strikes

199) The Invisibles Vol. 1

200) The New Teen Titans (Volume 1 & 2)

201) Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland

202) Identity Crisis

203) We3

204) The Joker

205) Valiant’s Original Unity Saga

206) The Wake

207) The Nightly News

208) Batman: The Man Who Laughs

209) Batman: Year One Hundred

210) iZombie Vol 1: Dead to the World

211) Justice League: The Darkseid War (New 52)

212) Star Wars (Brian Wood Era)

213) The Boys

214) Star Wars: Princess Leia

215) Green Arrow: Year One

216) Mage: The Hero Discovered

217) V for Vendetta

218) American Vampire Vol. 1

219) Nemo: Heart of Ice

220) Darth Vader and Son

221) Star Wars: Rebel Heist

222) Animal Man (The New 52)

223) Luthor

224) Happy!

225) The Batgirl of Burnside (The New 52)

226) Inhumans: By Right of Birth

227) All Star Western Vol. 1 The New 52)

228) Dial H For Hero

229) Final Crisis

230) The Walking Dead Compendium Two

231) New 52 Justice League: Origin

232) The Comic Book Story of Beer

233) Fearless Vol 1

234) Thief of Thieves, Vol. 1

235) Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again

236) The Flash: Rebirth

237) Death of Superman

238) Infinite Crisis

239) Wonder Woman: Earth One

240) Superman; Earth One Vol. 1

241) Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?

242) The Last Days of American Crime

243) Batman: Earth One

244) Wanted

40 Replies to “Dave’s Faves: All The Best Comics I’ve Ever Read”

  1. Interesting list…I have to agree with a lot of it. I would have put Strangers in Paradise much higher. There are a lot in there that I have no knowledge of, so will have to do some research. And now you have sparked my interest in a couple that I had heard of but had not given much thought: Batman: The Black Mirror and Grayson (The New 52). Dick Grayson is on of may all time favorite characters, but I have had a hard time getting into the New 52…may be time to try again.

    I wonder why Fables was left off the list…did miss it? I would have that at number one on my own list.

    1. I actually just read the first volume of fables this week. My brothers been raving about it for years, so you can expect to see it added when i finish!

      1. I can totally understand. I’ve only read the first 9. I see it as something really amazing, but it’s so heavy. Almost on the depressing side. I would do the same thing at this point, if I was to compile a list. Just being curious.

        If you had to choose a top 10 of all time, would these first 10 be the ones? (with whatever marvel events omitted mixed in)

        1. Mixing in Marvel makes it really tricky for me. So many of my favorites are extended runs. I’m not sure any would bump anything out of my top 10 here. Bulletproof Coffin and Mind MGMT are the clearest beneficiaries of recency bias, but for the time being I absolutely love those comics. If I was going to bump From Hell out of the 10 slot, it would be for the first 40 issues of Amazing Spider-Man, the Walt Simonson run on Thor, the Claremont/Cockrum/Byrne Uncanny X-Men, or everything Hickman’s done from Secret Warriors through Secret Wars. Off the top of my head 🙂 I’ll have to make another list…

          1. Hahaha cool, yeah, hickman’s new avengers was got me back into comics (after 20 years) so I look forward to whatever he does. Did you read god is dead? I was about 14 in and lost interest, but still might. It was intriguing that alan Moore was writing some associated stuff.

  2. A lot of really great selections on this list! So pleased “Morning Glories” made the cut!

    Have you ever read Archaia’s “Artesia” by Mark Smylie? A truly rich and intricate fantasy epic. Great review of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnlC8vvtoS4

    Other great titles in no particular order:
    — Iron Empires (Sheva’s War in particular)
    — 100 Bullets
    — Conan (Dark Horse)
    — Preacher
    — Rex Mundi
    — The Metabarons
    — Negation
    — The Revenge of Count Skarbek
    — Girls
    — Scalped
    — Blueberry (by Moebius)
    — Meridian
    — Give Me Liberty
    — Drifter
    — Planetary
    — Mice Templar
    — Marvel’s 1602 (you’ve written elsewhere this wasn’t a favorite of yours)

    And no list is complete without some “GOON” by Eric Powell!!!

    I appreciate all the work on your guides which are incredibly helpful. Hopefully, you might find something you like on this list that you haven’t heard of.

  3. Yay, Dave’s a Dreadstar fan! I love the whole run, but I think the final 24 or so issues, the ones that Peter David wrote, are especially great. I really hope that the current omnibus collections will cover the entire run. I own it in floppies, but it’d be nice to have it on my bookshelf.

  4. Great list! As for additions, I see another commenter mentioned Planetary. I would also add Ex Machina, The Fade Out, Sleeper, Pretty Deadly vol 1. And my daughter is chiming in from the background for Echo.

  5. I’m just getting in to some Image comics this week because of the comixology special offers.
    -Postal (definite favoutrite)
    -The Tithe
    That should get me through the next few weeks. I was having Marvel cheesy dialogue overload.

  6. Have you read supreme blue rose? I loved it. Super weird acid take on supreme by warren ellis. Really David lynchy. There are even some suttle twin peaks Easter eggs. It’s like if alan moore’s supreme and inland empire (or whatever inserted random lynch film works) had a baby. Also the artwork is original and awesome

  7. Transmetropolitan. Would recommend it to anyone but for someone like you who writes (and pretty well at that) it resonates even more.

    1. Read and enjoyed the first volume and then just never made it back. It’s on the list! For as much as I love Warren Ellis’ Marvel comics and some of his novels, I’m woefully behind on his best comics.

      Also, thank you 🙂

  8. Great list. A few that I would add.

    Boys- Garth Ennis
    Batman & Robin (New 52)
    Revolver – Matt Kindt
    Jonah Hex – Justin Gray
    Batman: Earth One Vol 1 & 2
    Goliath -Tom Gauld

  9. A bit late to comment, probably. Just wanted ti say that I think this i a good list. I haven’t read most, but now I want to try them out. Btw I think Watchmen is great, but in my opinion Cerebus the Aardvark is the end all be all of comics. It may have it’s flaws, but good far outweighs the bad and I would definitely suggest reading it if you haven’t

  10. How about the Judas contract by Wolfman and Perez? New Teen Titans series is probably one of the most underrated comic lines in history, with the creation of Raven the daughter of an other dimensional satan. Slade Wilson the genetically modifed mercenary, Starfire, princess enslaved and escaped from an evil race of ET. Gotta love a bunch of Teen superheroes teaming up to destroy a demon that can dissipate mans atoms into the lightstream to cause eternal suffering and nothingness for the rest of time.

  11. U should also check out ‘The Punisher’ Max series by garth ennis. And Daredevil ‘Born Again’ by frank miller. I’m sure they’ll be on your list someday.

  12. Great list! Thanks for all the good work you’re doing here, I’m just starting to use some of your reading lists to work my way through some Marvel classics on MU (literally just started on Claremont’s X-Men run yesterday).

    Once upon a time I would have felt crazy recommending a Transformers title, but I think that IDW’s More Than Meets the Eye series by James Roberts (currently going strong at #52) is worthy of a place in this list. The first 22 issues (its ‘first season’) are particularly consistent; the ‘second season’ (#28 onwards, following a mediocre crossover event with a stablemate TF title) less so, though I’m reserving judgement for the final story until it reaches its conclusion.

  13. You must try Stray Bullets by David Lapham from the beginning. Image has been putting out all of them collected recently. It is the only one in my top five you don’t have on this list and I would love to see your opinion.

  14. I agree with you about most of the comics in this list but I think squadron supreme by mark Gruenwald deserves a spot there
    I think it’s a lot better than Jessica jones

  15. Dave, I want to recommend Mark Millar’s Starlight to you. It think it’s a fantastic miniseries, and the first issue is one of the best issues of comics I think I’ve ever read. And I’m not even a huge fan of Millar. Check it out!

  16. Given the nice showing by Marvels and Kingdom Come, there are several other works featuring Alex Ross’ terrific art and story ideas to great effect:

    Uncle Sam Issues 1 and 2 (1998) (complimented for its story by Alan F*ing Moore),

    Superman: Peace on Earth, Batman: War on Crime, Shazam: Power of Hope, Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth, and Liberty & Justice
    showcasing some of the most heartbreaking and insightful stories into DC heroes that I can find, and found in a single collection called the World’s Greatest Super Heroes

    Enjoy my suggestions Dave, thanks

  17. I think Astro City, by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson, with covers by Alex Ross (!!!!) is entirely deserving of being on this list. It is certainly my number one.
    Seriously, read it. It is amazing!

    1. I can’t believe it’s not on this list. Astro City is a fantastic series. Very few writers know how to really hit the emotions of the everyday man like Busiek. It’s such a completely original and interesting series.

  18. I hope one day you add Marvel books to this list because I would very much like to see where certain Marvel books would fall in your overall rankings.

  19. I agree with a couple of other posts…
    You should really try Astro City if you haven’t. I assume you haven’t bc it’s not on the list. And it would be. So try it.

  20. I agree with a couple of other posts…
    You should really try Astro City if you haven’t. I assume you haven’t bc it’s not on the list. And it would be. So try it.

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