Here I’ll share some comic books which, I think, people should know about them more. It is not a list or a detailed breakdown. Just a short compilation which you might use if you want to start buying comic books as an adult.
THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS — Frank Miller
This is the comic book for people who enjoyed the whole 3 movies of Nolan’s Batman but thinking those stories maybe can have a bit more exaggerated characters and more dilemmas or maybe a bit more darker setting overall. Here is Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”. With its Joker, the attitude of our old beaten Bruce Wayne towards his ‘enemies’ and ‘friends’, depiction of the cold war and many other details, it is by far my favorite comic book. This comic book also has two animated movies from Warner Bros, you can watch those first and then buy the book or vice versa.
Maybe a bit Spoiler: “Tunnel of Love” section, when both the Batman and the Joker decide that the “the moment they both dreamed about” is finally there, is sentimental.
MAUS — Art Spiegelman:
I was not aware at first and postponed buying this one for so many years. It was a mistake that I bought this in 2021. This is the first non-superhero comicbook that I’d like to mention. It is not colored, it is black ink on white paper and it is about Holocaust. Nazis are pictured as cats and jews as “maus”. This is a really good piece, if you are into comicbooks and want to make some people understand that comic books are not always about heroes in sweatpants.
THE WATCHMEN — Alan Moore:
“Who watches the watchmen?” is what people ask when they protest the Watchmen, a group of superheroes with many humane deficits. Who watches the watchmen, really? Who can land a knocking blow to the Superman, or imprison Dr. Manhattan if they do any evil? I know, every superhero has its Archilles’ heel by their design. But still, isn’t it too much of an effort to try and force someone to obey the law while that someone is capable of headbutting a nuclear missile and continue his or her life like nothing happened? Ok, let’s move on.
This was one of the first comic books that I’ve read which not only focuses on a fight between the hero and the evil but providing more on how superheroes see theirselves, how society sees them, how do they continue their life after they retire, how daily life is getting affected because of the tug-of-war between US-USSR, and so forth.
I read the Watchmen in 2009, as a highschool senior and It was the first time I’ve heard the term “the doomsday clock”. And I learned the name of the inkblots which are being used during psychological tests.
By the way, movie adaptation is “not so bad” but it is not comparable to the comic book itself in my opinion.
This one is a really simple go-no go decision. If you like vikings, nordic culture/saga or such, get it. Get it as soon as possible.
One thing that I’d like to highlight, some of the stories in this series are historically accurate. That is why, I believe it is a nice method to google the characters & stories simultaneously while reading this collection of short stories.
HELLBOY — Mike Mignola:
With a similar approach, I also googled many characters right before Hellboy beats them in the next panel. Imagine a series which chooses Rasputin as the main antagonist. And same guy also trying to have an alliance with the Satan’s Son, who is Mignola’s protagonist and also loves kittens, to basically wreak havoc to entire universe by simply unleashing ‘Ragnarök’. Lovely.
What about the Adventures of Asterix & Tintin?:
Next time, maybe I can focus on more Franco-Belgian comics
Not Mentioning Sandman?:
I am still reading it but haven’t bought it yet. I was aware of how marvelous the Sandman character is, since 2005, because my geek/nerd friends were mentioning so much about it.
It is being a pretty similar activity for my side, like Hellboy or the Northlanders, for every 3–4 pages, I need to google for the mythological or biblical reference that Gaiman used.
I’ll definitely buy the whole series at some point, that expenditure was approved by me years ago but not yet prioritized.
I will most probably write another short piece about Marvel Comics and how Marvel pulled the multiverse trick so intelligently.
However, I remember I was a bit mixed up as a 13 year old guy, after I’ve read all speech baloons occuring betweeen Ezekiel and Spider-Man during their fight.
What Ezekiel tried to explain to Peter is: Each and every hero comes with its own villains and this is how life works. It will always try to come up with an anti-you. If you are hero enough, you’ll handle the situation. If not, it will end you. However, if life comes up with Thanos against you and you somehow manage to beat him as a spider kid, then it is not the capabilities of you that wins a fight against a god-tier villain but it is the schema of life and destiny, which served Thanos for you as something to beat, while Thor needs to handle other ‘anti’s created yet again by the same schema. A little fatalistic speech for a character from The Amazing Spider-Man, I think.
Read comic books and while reading, also google the concepts because people who make this art are spending so much thought and effort to create something which is both fun and serving good for our liberal education.
If you read enough comic books, then you will not end your blog posts abruptly because you will be literate enough to stick with working and accepted blog writing methods.