After re-reading my original Top Ten Graphic Novels, I was startled by how utterly wrong it was. Let’s just say I could’ve done a lot better, which is what I’m doing now, funnily enough. Prepare yourself for copious amount of Batman, so much that the next time you watch The Dark Knight, you’ll be sick in your mouth.
10. Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe – Cullen Bunn (2014)
I like Deadpool. I like spectacularly bloody deaths. So, if you came up to me with this book and said “Here’s a medley of Deadpool killing superheroes/villains in spectacularly bloody ways”, I would kiss your face. Double points for the originality of the kills in question and stunning cover art, courtesy of Kaare Andrews.
9. Watchmen – Alan Moore (1986)
Watchmen? 9? Really? Yes. Responsible for the revolution in the perception of comics as a serious art form, Watchmen, with is textbook artwork and famed story, tackles politics and morals in a way that I could never have thought I could understand, because I am a massive idiot.
8. Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth – Grant Morrison (1989)
Soon after Watchmen established that comics can be adults, Arkham Asylum proved that they were really for adults. On the surface, the story doesn’t seem as if it could be so bed-wettingly terrifying, because it isn’t. That is brought in by Dave McKean’s beautiful and horrific harmony of experimental artwork accentuated by slight uses of photography that hasn’t even been notably attempted, let alone bettered.
7. V For Vendetta – Alan Moore (1989)
Inspiring the most “revolutionary” t-shirts since Che Guevara and a legion of douchebag twelve-year old’s Facebook profile pictures, V For Vendetta is super stylish tale of fascist oppression with more than enough substance to hold up to it’s sleek exterior.
6. World War Hulk – Greg Pak (2007)
My first proper graphic novel, I’ll always have a soft spot for World War Hulk. Filled to the brim with characters from throughout the Marvel universe, WWH also includes some of my personal favourite panels put to page, with the blistering fights between Sentry and The Green Giant in question being particularly cool.
5. The Long Halloween – Jeph Loeb (1997)
Not simply a superhero escapade, The Long Halloween is actually a gripping crime story, littered with the characters you know and love. The whole book has quite dark and secretive atmosphere thanks to Tim Sale’s shadow vanished artwork, only adding to the story, with it’s twists and turns throughout.
4. Joker – Brian Azzarello (2008)
One of the most atmospheric graphic novel’s I’ve read, Joker is a gritty crime drama about the scum of Gotham City, told through the viewpoint of a rising gangster and his period with The Clown Prince of Crime. The red tinted visuals, courtesy of Lee Bermejo, really emphasise the dirty surroundings, celebrating the act of sin throughout.
3. Kick-Ass – Mark Millar (2010)
A new favourite of mine, taking World War Hulk’s place in my top three, Kick-Ass has the laughs, the violence and is all round a pretty perfect comic. The story is engaging and the artwork is bright, colourful and horrifyingly gory. I can’t help but be entertained whenever I read it.
2. Scott Pilgrim 1-6 – Bryan Lee O’Malley (2010)
I’ve finally made my mind up, sorry Scott. As I’ve said on multiple occasions, I adore the film adaptation as much as the graphic novels. The dialogue between characters is hilarious, coupled with an original story, fourth wall breaks, hyperactive action and references to video games and indie rock, well that’s just perfect.
Now for the comics that aren’t as good as Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, because Deadpool.
Mars Attacks Judge Dredd – Al Ewing (2014)
Batman: Death of the Family – Scott Snyder (2014)
Civil War – Mark Millar (2007)
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Frank Miller (1986)
Kick-Ass 2 – Mark Millar (2013)
Batman: Year One – Frank Miller (1987)
Hellboy in Hell: The Descent – Mike Mignola (2014)
1. Batman: The Killing Joke – Alan Moore (1988)
Wow. Just wow. Batman’s, or should I say Joker’s, best story yet. The plot is clear and coherent, as well as being nail-biting and gripping. Brian Bolland’s artwork is spot on, with bold, thin lines and bright colours. The deeper look into Joker’s backstory is surprisingly poignant and surreal imagery presented throughout is unforgettable.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations