What started as my 134 favorite comics of all time (and Wanted), has now grown to 178 comic book runs and graphic novels. Keep reading to see what significant additions and ranking changes have been made to Dave’s Faves.
Best Updates of All Time:
19) Barefoot Gen: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima
The highest update to my list by far, Barefoot Gen completely blew me away. If you’re as unfamiliar as I was, Barefoot Gen is the partly autobiographical account of writer/artist Keiji Nakazawa’s childhood in Hiroshima before and during the bomb. Even with the absolute horror of the atomic bomb singeing every page with impending tragedy, Nakazawa writes a funny, heartwarming family trying to navigate Japan’s Imperial rigidity during World War Two. I read Maus during a more formative time in my comic book upbringing, but Barefoot Gen is comparable in its earnest look into family during atrocity.
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Breaking my Marvel limitations on the Dave’s Faves list, simply because Alias isn’t available on Marvel Unlimited, and likely won’t be so long as Marvel Max titles are restricted. In the wake of Jessica Jones’ cultural and critical success on Netflix, a lot of recappers have stated Alias is their favorite work by Brian Michael Bendis at Marvel. It’s a fair argument, but personally I wouldn’t place it quite as high as Ultimate Spider-Man. Nonetheless, with Michael Gaydos’ perfectly suited art, Alias is one of the best Marvel comics of the 2000s, and a top 50 book on my list.
I put off reading “The Black Mirror” for too long, despite my love of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s work on New 52 Batman. The wait was well worth it, as Jock’s art replaces Capullo’s and Snyder depicts a typically dark murder mystery during the time Dick Grayson still wore the cowl. I don’t think Black Mirror is quite as good as New 52 Batman, but it’s a worthwhile read for any Batman fan who stopped with Grant Morrison, or only started with the New 52.
49) Saga of the Swamp Thing, Book 1
I said when I started this list that I wouldn’t rank Saga of the Swamp Thing until I’d completed Alan Moore’s time on the saga, but that feels increasingly unnecessary. Book 1 is great, it’s as simple as that, and the Swamp Thing’s battle royale against the Floronic Man is one of the most memorable DC Comics showdowns I’ve read.
Another Scott Snyder and Jock joint, Wytches is dark, scary, and a beautiful short story about a father and daughter. I’ll never look at trees the same way again.
I’m generally a big Warren Ellis fan, but I did not love Planetary nearly as much as expected. Nonetheless, a top 70 place on this list is nothing to slouch at, and Planetary is essential reading for any fan of comics, science fiction, and the fantastic in popular culture. There’s a brilliance on display from Ellis and John Cassaday here at creating art out of art you love. It will also totally clue you in on an Easter Egg from the first season of Mr. Robot.
Zero’s disturbingly smart and innovative, to the point that I could easily this series climbing the ranks as Ales Kot and company continue. It’s James Bond for the modern age, with a far more sophisticated spy story than you’ll see anywhere else in comics.
98) Batman and Son
Grant Morrison’s first chapter in his late 2000’s run on Batman. Morrison is frequently too smart for his own good, and the opening panel is a brilliant callback that required somewhere between 5 and 10 double take reads. There are a preposterous number of great ideas in these pages, with Manbat assassins, a nearly all-text Joker in Arkham story (it’s great), and the debut of Batman’s son, Damien!
102) Bacchus: Immortality Isn’t Forever
Eddie Campbell, the man who drew the #10 book on Dave’s Faves, delivers his deliciously flippant tale of gods walking among us. If you’re a fan of Campbell’s art, Bacchus is a must read.
105) Star Wars: Crimson Empire
I went on a Star Wars comics kick prior to The Force Awakens, and Crimson Empire was likely my favorite. Turns out those guys/gals in red robes around the Emperor could have their own story in the aftermath of Return of The Jedi!
106) The Comic Book History of Comics
My favorite non-fiction book on the list to date, The Comic Book History of Comics is a brilliant ride through ALL of comic book history. If you’re a fan of the medium and history, this is a must read.
113) Star Wars: The Dark Empire Trilogy
Dark Empire is perhaps the ultimate “What If?” in Star Wars lore, and one of the first Dark Horse Star Wars comics published in the early 90’s. If you’re a Star Wars fan, this is a necessary comic.
114) JLA: Tower of Babel
Tower of Babel is a better idea than actual story, but Mark Waid and company do their darndest to cement Batman’s modern standing as “the guy who even plots ways to beat his own teammates.”
118) Scalped, Vol 1
Scalped comes in unfortunately low on the list, largely because I’ve only read the first volume. Given the other Jason Aaron comics I’ve read, I anticipate this placement will rise as I make time for more.
128 Archer & Armstrong
130 XO Manowar
All of the Valiant Comics relaunch books are clumped together in order of preference. If you’ve never given the new Valiant U a shot, I really recommend it. It’s a more manageable, streamlined version of a Marvel or DC superhero universe, without the obvious analogues that comprise most alternate super universes.
139 Batman Inc (Pre New 52)
Grant Morrison’s final Batman book before the New 52. It’s not my favorite of his Batman books, but there are some great moments, including the investigation of Mr. Unknown’s killer, and a giant Squid in a high rise.
154) iZombie Vol 1
Turns out iZombie the comic is almost entirely different from my beloved CW TV show! Comic iZombie is far more supernatural, and predictably gorgeous with Mike Allred art. Personally, I like the show more (did NOT see that one coming), but it’s a clever set up and concept.
Speaking of CW shows, Green Arrow: Year One sets up a lot of the modernized Arrow. Again, I think the show fleshes out Ollie’s island time in clever ways, but you get a first draft on that concept here. There are better Year One’s, but this is a plausible version for Oliver Queen, and Jock’s art looks fantastic.
So… that’s a lot of comics. To check out the whole list for yourself, or simply to tell me what I should read next, head on over to the list!
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