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The Official "So What Do You Recommend?" Thread (Vol. 3)

Discussion in 'Comic Book Culture' started by wonderfly, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
    Staff Member Moderator Reporter

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    I'm not as enamored with most of DC's Elseworlds titles, mostly because they seem to be all concept and no follow-through. For example, Gotham by Gaslight has a wonderful setup and glorious design (by a very young Mike Mignola), but I remember the story kind of falling flat and not really going anywhere. Kingdom Come is definitely one of the better ones, but I dislike Mark Millar enough that I'm not in a big hurry to get to Superman: Red Son.

    I will double the recommendation for The Dark Knight Returns, though, which is not only perhaps the definitive Elseworlds story but also one of the best comics ever done. I also have very fond memories of Alan Davis' Justice League: The Nail, even if I am having a hard time remembering anything about it other than the setup and the punch line. I also liked Justice Riders, which is short and to-the-point by putting select members of the Justice League in the Old West. Also wins points for putting Wonder Woman as the leader of the group as Sheriff Diana Prince, who is a taciturn badass in the finest Western tradition. Just good, straightforward pulpy fun and satisfying in a way I don't find many other of DC's Elseworlds titles to be.

    I love Gail Simone's run on Wonder Woman, although some are definitely better than others. The Circle kicks off the cycle, which is followed by WW: Ends of the Earth, WW: Rise of the Olympian, WW: Warkiller, and WW: Contagion. I enjoyed reading them all, although sometimes the plots end up being a bit unwieldy. Mostly I just love the way Simone writes the lead character.

    I'm also rather fond of the original George Perez reboot from the 80's, even if they're kind of cheesy now and the writing and storytelling style of the time has fallen a bit out of fashion. There's 4 TPBs, starting with Gods & Mortals and then following through with Challenge of the Gods, Beauty & the Beasts, and Destiny Calling.

    Last TPB recommendations are for JLA: A League of One (which is ostensibly a JLA book but is really about Wonder Woman) and for Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia. The latter is a bit of an odd bug, showing what happens when someone manages to invoke an ancient Greek request for shelter that eventually puts Wonder Woman at cross purposes with Batman.

    I still rather like Wonder Woman #170 by Phil Jimenez and Joe Kelly, which is a day in the life of Wonder Woman, who is trailed by Lois Lane doing a feature for the Daily Planet. No worlds are saved and no supervillains are beaten, but it's still a lovely little story and shines a light on how WW can be such an appealing character. I didn't care for almost anything else in Jimenez's run, but that story in particular is definitely one of my faves.

    Not comics, but I highly recommend the Wonder Woman DTV movie. Still think it's the best one they've done, and Gail Simone worked on the story for it also.
     
  2. Angilasman

    Angilasman Active Member

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    I have to recommend Usagi Yojimbo, which has become my all-time favorite comic book over the past year.

    It has everything... no, that's no exaggeration, this book literally has everything. You don't need to buy any other comics because this is all the good stuff in one package.

    Usagi is a ronin, or masterless samurai, in a version of feudal Japan populated by anthropomorphic animals. He wanders the warriors' pilgrimage, sharpening his skills and searching for enlightenment - a endless quest due partly to the fact he has nowhere to go home to and his increasing philosophy is to do what's right rather than one society dictates (which sometimes puts him at odds with authority) - but life isn't depressing for Usagi, as his kindness wins him friends almost everywhere he goes.

    While Usagi would rather not hurt anyone he's always running into trouble - sometimes he gets involved to help someone, sometimes he's just unlucky, and occasionally someone has it out for him specifically (such as assassins or his most frightening adversary, the demonic figure known as Jei who stalks Usagi for his own strange reasons). When faced with a fight he always tries to be peacemaker - often giving his oppenents the astoundingly incorrent impression that he's a coward and weakling, but Usagi is master swordsman of an eccentric style, taught by the mountain hermit Katsuichi (a lion) - although Usagi's style leaves him vulnerable to spearmen (guess what weapon Jei uses?).

    Usagi has a great supporting cast that includes frequent co-stars like Gennosuke, the rhino bounty hunter; Tomoe Ame, a feline female samurai (yes, a few women samurais did exist in history); and Kitsune, a lady fox and master thief - but less frequent supporting players also have a large following among fans, such as the detective Inspector Ishida and Sasuke the Demon Queller (a powerful sorceror).

    Usagi stories range from tragic to comic, light-hearted adventures to suspense thrillers. Some are based on real history and others mythology, and despite being 24 paperbacks long (so far) it is instantly accessible. You can pick up the latest issue and go from there!
     
  3. Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman Well-Known Member

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    Is the JLA: One Million TPB worth picking up?

    And what about the Absolute Dark Knight collection?
     
  4. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    JLA: One Million depends on how much you like Grant Morrison. If you like comics about big crazy superscience ideas and space drama, then go for it.
     
  5. Alpha Flight

    Alpha Flight Creator of the Mid-Night Detectives comic series.

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    Darkwing Duck good BUT what's with the small print?

    Kaboom! is doing a great job with Duck Tales and Darkwing but they should stop using very small font next to their nice sized font. Anyone else notice it?
     
  6. rggkjg1

    rggkjg1 Batman v Superman

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    can anyone help me out with some black widow?

    i've been getting ed brubaker's captain america comics ever since day one and she's popped in and out of the titles ever since. i must not forget her appearance in the punisher video game for ps2 as well. i'm mostly interested in solo stories, not team up stories. i only want a team up story if it's ESSENTIAL, truely is the BEST, or REQUIRED reading for the character. i'm also not interested in the iron man 2 film or the avengers (movie or comics). i hate iron man with a passion (see civil war.) and want no part of spending money on iron man.

    i have a marvel essentials reprint of daredevil #81, so i guess i'll be starting there for now.
     
  7. Shawn Hopkins

    Shawn Hopkins TZ Member of the Year 2013

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    She's not a character that's really had a lot of solo stuff, just a few limited series and graphic novels, and most of those are teamups with people like the Punisher and Nick Fury. Not many writers have taken Black Widow far from the Daredevil/Shield/Avengers comfort zone and I have to tell you you're going to have a tough time staying away from those things you don't like if you read her more important stories. I would recommend checking out her 1999 Marvel Knights Black Widow miniseries, where she tangles with her blond successor, and if you like that there are several that follow those by the same writer.

    Some solo and pivotal appearances are also conveniently reprinted here.

    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Widow-Sting-Stan-Lee/dp/0785137947

    And here:

    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Widow-I...1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1320291115&sr=1-1-spell
     
  8. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    In addition to the titles Shawn pointed out, I can highly recommend Black Widow: Homecoming by Richard K. Morgan and Bill Sienkiewicz. It feels like a good, nasty spy book written by the likes of Ed Brubaker or Greg Rucka and I enjoyed it quite a bit. It's out of print, of course, because this is Marvel ("Who needs backlist? And why are we getting our butts kicked in the bookstores?"), but you might be able to scare up a copy at the library or even in comic shops if you hunt.

    I would NOT recommend the follow-up, The Things They Say About Her, since it is the rare sequel that manages to make the first installment look worse.

    Given your other constraints, I can't recommend anything else, either because she's a supporting player or just because I haven't read the comic in question. She has had a few different solo titles, both as the redheaded Natasha Romanova and as the blonde successor whose name escapes me. I think she could be a headliner character if given to the right people, but nobody seems to have gotten much traction with her as yet.
     
  9. Anthonynotes

    Anthonynotes Active Member

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    Thought this thread would be worth bumping...

    Given the impending cancellation of several DC titles (Static Shock, Mister Terrific, Tiny Titans) and some I'm dropping, I thought now might be worth asking for suggestions on new titles to try?

    For some of what I'm reading now: Marvel Adventures Spider-Man (being canceled soon); Tiny Titans (also canceled soon); Batman: The Brave and the Bold (ditto); Superman; Action Comics; Mister Terrific (dropping, but being axed anyway); Static Shock; Life With Archie; the Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes miniseries. Also the usual comic strips, of course...

    Adding soon: Kevin Keller's solo book (Archie); Superman Family Adventures.

    Not interested in anything else from the DCNU (too many of the same elements I disliked about the old DCU/its writers still present)...
     
  10. Radical Raven

    Radical Raven Bow bow bow, bow bow bow...

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    Wolverine & the X-Men, undoubtedly. A great mix of humor and drama, so far it’s been almost completely kid-friendly, there are a few ties with other X-books but nothing that makes it difficult to understand, and both of the artists are brilliant.
     
  11. Vyse

    Vyse Active Member

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    Second it. Probably one of the better reads out there. I will also motion towards graduating from MASM to Amazing and Avenging Spider-Man. Dan Slott has truly made Amazing Spider-Man great again and pretty much made me get over One More Day/Brand New Day. Avenging is straight-up the modern day Marvel Team-Up and is a blast to read even though its 3rd issue comes out this week. And while you said you don't want any more DCnU books, I still say Supergirl is worth a read for developing Kara slowly and its excellent art; it is very kid-friendly as well IMO.

    It's also worth noting that while MASM is gone in March, Bleeding Cool has reported that it will be replaced in April with a series to tie-in to the upcoming Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.
     
  12. Anthonynotes

    Anthonynotes Active Member

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    I don't consider moving from MA Spider-Man as "graduating"---I like the title! ;-)

    Still, have thought about giving "Amazing" a go (godawfulness like "One More Day"/a dislike of crossovers still lingering on my mind)... and thanks for informing me about a tie-in comic to the upcoming new cartoon!
     
  13. The Talon

    The Talon Active Member

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    For DC, I'd recommend Batman & Animal Man.

    For Marvel, I'd recommend Ultimate Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Force, & Wolverin And The X-Men.

    Also, try out ​Gladstone's School For World Conquerors. Just great books all around.
     
  14. Anthonynotes

    Anthonynotes Active Member

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    As I said, not interested in anything else from the DCNU (especially not Batman or his related titles, who I'm definitely not a fan of regular-DCU-wise)....

    However, I did give reading a few issues of "Ultimate Spider-Man" and "Amazing Spider-Man" a go (plus looked up the previews for upcoming issues), and now interested in them enough to add them to (at minimum) the "might buy" list (budget and all). Managed to get caught up pretty easily on Peter's current status quo, as well. And hope to add the new "Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures" to the list depending how well I like the TV show/how well its spinoff book is done.
     
  15. Vyse

    Vyse Active Member

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    Some questions regarding Power Girl and the Helena Wayne Huntress, since I am interested in picking up Worlds' Finest in May and want to probably read some Pre-52 issues featuring them and the recent New 52 Huntress mini.

    -How is the Power Girl series that ended a few months ago? All of it is on ComiXology and wondered if it is a good read.

    -How is that Huntress mini?

    -Are there any other books featuring either of the two or both you would recommend?

    Sent from my iPod touch using toonzone
     
  16. suss2it

    suss2it Active Member

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    It's alright. I really love the art by Marcus To. Huntress' characterization is also pretty good. Each issue is kinda repetitive though, and the villains are just generic mobsters and generic Middle Eastern dictators/terrorists.

    If you're gonna buy World's Finest I recommend it though, since it's written by the same who writing the mini, so you can get a get feel for his writing and his handling of at least Huntress.

    I haven't read much of Power Girl, but I've heard good things about Geoff Johns' Justice Society run, of which I believe she's a main character.

    I haven't read any Helena Wayne stories, nor have I heard about any good ones in particular, and they're mostly from the Bronze Age so they might be harder to track down. However if you're interested in Helena Bertinelli, I'd recommend Huntress: Year One, Gail Simone's first run on BoP. Her second run had good Huntress moments in it too, like Huntress' team-up with Catman, but there was never a consistent artist on that book so that might be jarring for you, and the "Death of Oracle" storyline wasn't that great either.
     
  17. VictoryStar

    VictoryStar "Here is your first present~"

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    I read the entire Power Girl series and I have to say I don't recommend it in the slightest. It never figured out what it wanted to do with the character and it was unmotivated story after story until the end. Sucks too because she's a favorite character of mine.

    I'd suggest reading Geoff John's JSA run if you want a series that uses Power Girl well. She's a main character in the series and she gets a lot of screen time so she gets to do a lot of cool stuff.

    Oh and since I'm already here, I recommend to everyone Batman : The Black Mirror. It was a really interesting crime story that had a lot of good plot twists and an epic finale. Plus for those who wonder what happened to James Jr. after Year One will be happy to see that he reappears in this novel (Or not :p).
     
  18. Anthonynotes

    Anthonynotes Active Member

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    If interested in Helena Wayne, all of her solo stories (which ran as backups in the 70s "Batman Family" anthology and in "Wonder Woman" in the 80s) are collected in the "Huntress: Dark Knight Daughter" trade paperback.
     
  19. VictoryStar

    VictoryStar "Here is your first present~"

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    I finally finished the series yesterday and I have to say that I recommend Starman (vol 2) by James Robinson with my highest respect.

    It stars Jack Knight the son of the Golden Age Starman forced to take on the mantle after tragedy befalls him. Throughout the series you see Jack's slow start from someone who doesn't want to take up his fate to becoming a full blown hero. He's joined by several interesting characters such a his father, a family of cops called the O'Dares, an old villain of The Flash named The Shade who ends up becoming an unlikely hero himself, and some of the other characters who were known as Starman at one point.

    The story really shines in it's celebration of all things Golden Age. During the series you see a lot of small side stories called Times Past each which depict a story of one of the original Starman who held the mantle before Jack (with exceptions of course) these stories really show Robinson's love of DC's history and he also uses them to introduce new characters that is done in such a way that you would never had known they weren't really from earlier periods unless you researched it a bit. We even see the original Sandman show up in one arc being more awesome than you'd expect an 80 year old person to ever be at the point.

    Another cool thing about the series is that they gave Starman a city to call his own. Opal. It was never featured before this but once it was it became the home of all those who ever called themselves Starman. It has a rich history and it's own Starman museum too! And the museum even features Starman from the far future which not only shows how far reaching the name is but how the legacy will never die no matter what (something else discussed also but that is in one of the Annuals and not the main series).

    The art is another good thing about the series which is actually great because this IS a comic book. The artist never really hits his stride until the 20's in issue count but once he does you wouldn't want anyone else handling the art. Which of course happens but the new guy made sure to keep enough consistency between his art and the originals that you don't really mind him even if it does look a little more cartoony.

    Now for all this praise I do have a complaint and that's Robinson's writing style. He knows how to write a good story and all but the way he describes things in his writing is very...unique. It may annoy some people about how much he loves to use Dialogue boxes for dramatic effect for the story but by the end of the series it grew on me and I can't imagine the series without it.

    Seriously I can not recommend this series enough. But like all good things it had to come to an end, though unlike most comics it managed to be able to actually have an ending. Though it kind of sucked knowing this series had to come to an end with so many seeds planted that could have led to the series going on for at least 20 or 30 more issues James Robinson knew when to quit while he was ahead and tied up enough loose strings for the ending to feel satisfying. I only wish we could see Jack Knight one more time in his new life outside of Opal City but that becomes unlikely with the series now being out of continuity alongside many other greats due to the reboot but for what was done and what we got from it I couldn't be happier reading Jack Knight's adventures from beginning to end and I'm glad Robinson managed to give him his happy ending.

    Again I recommend Starman by James Robinson to anyone who can find it and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
     
  20. rggkjg1

    rggkjg1 Batman v Superman

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    can anyone help me out with marvel's transformers comics from the 80s/90s?

    i was looking to get the free comic book day transformers comic. the main concern i have is who makes up the rosters for the autobots and the decepticons when the marvel series ended? i consider myself a casual fan of transformers and have only seen the first season of the cartoon, the animated film, and the live action movies. i really didnt like the animated movie. mostly because i was totally unfamiliar with the main transformers in the movie. and that optimus prime dies in the first 15 minutes. i guess i dont have to worry about prime's absence in the continuing marvel adventures since prime is the only character on the cover of the free comic.

    besides being unfamiliar with the main animated movie transformers, i really didnt like the characters either, or have interest to get their background so i can "understand" more. so the minute they start to show up and are featured more, or if optimus prime dies, that's when i'll stop reading the new marvel series (as i did with the ongoing idw transformers series).

    i also know that the marvel series is considered to be in it's own continuity/universe than the cartoon.
     

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