Trade Paperbacks And Graphic Novels

May 16th, 2018 by

I might have posted something a while back, but I am lacking something to write about. The list is of trade paperbacks and graphic novels you might want to check out. The books that made the list are ones I have read multiple times, and will more than likely read again. Some of them are very good, and when I read them with my current world view, seem better or different. Books are listed in Alphabetical order.

Amazing Spider-Man, Kraven’s Last Hunt: The title does give away the story, but the ending is where it is the most shocking. Kraven takes his enemy, Spider-Man through a wild psychotic journey, riddled with darkness and tragedy. Very scary, and interesting tale.

Avenger’s Forever: Avengers are a hot commodity these days. Take members to the Avengers through the various time stream, and team them up. It is an interesting premise, and the foe they fight is Kang or not. It is an interesting, twisted tale, where obscure characters and villains are woven in. Even if a modern fan picked it up, the story would still be very good.

Batman, The Dark Knight Returns: If you have been watching many of the DC movies, Batman Vs. Superman was sort of based on this book, combine with the Death of Superman. The Batman Movies with Christian Bale were also based on this book. Today it still has some relevance, but because Frank Miller wrote certain elements set in the 1980s, it loses some of it’s cache.

Batman, The Killing Joke:
Technically not a graphic novel or trade paperback, but a one shot. It is still one of the finest, and scariest tales written. The Joker is as evil as ever, and torchers Commissioner Gordon and pushes Batman to nearly lose it.

Batman, Hush: Usually in two books, there is probably a combine series. Jim Lee, one of the best comic book artist ever, worked in secret with Jeph Loeb on a project. The bet was neither could keep it secret until it was done. They introduced one of the best and freshest villains to the Batman lexicon, then everyone screwed it up.

Crises On Infinite Earths: DC’s original attempt to reboot their universe, except they did not do it every four years. It tried to compress the multiverse into one, and was filled with shocking events, like the Death of Supergirl and Flash. Still a very good book to read, and with the internet handy, you can look up lots of the obscure villains or heroes.

ElfQuest, Book 1: Sometimes Volume 1 or whatever current incarnation that reprints the first ElfQuest tale. It follows Cutter and his band of Wolfriders to Sorrow’s End, where they meet other elves. Cutter is brash and young, prone to rash behavior, and acting before thinking. He falls in love with Leetah, the healer of Sorrow’s End, and a much older elf than he. It is high fantasy, and one of the best drawn trade paperbacks out there. Wendy Pini shows she is a master at her craft.

Golden Age: Another DC tale using the golden age heroes. Except it reframes them as being put out to pasture, and the government inventing a new hero. It is an excellent book, keeping the mysterious elements hidden until near the end.

Green Arrow, The Longbow Hunters: An attempt to strip down Green Arrow into less of a trick arrow guy, and more serious bowman. It also was during the attempt by DC to tell more mature tales, and make the heroes more gritty. This one does all of that, and it is extremely well written.

Infinity Gauntlet: The current Avengers movie is somewhat based on this book, though the plot is somewhat revised. Thanos gathers the Infinity Gems, and decides to reshape the universe based on his ideals. The Marvel heroes unite to fight him.

JLA, Tower of Babel: Batman’s enemy Ras Al Gul uses failsafe measures thought up by Batman to defeat the JLA should they go rogue to neutralize the JLA to implement his plans. After the team defeats Ras the real things hit the fan.

Judgement Day: Written by Alan Moore based on characters created by Rob Liefeld, and yes Liefeld does draw most of the art. It is a great story, and it helps people appreciate that Liefeld is a great idea man. So please don’t bash him for his art. It was produced by Liefeld when he owned his own imprint.

Kingdom Come: DC deconstructing it’s universe in a tale that has the second generation of heroes being worse than the villains. Eventually something has to be done after an anti-hero kills a villain and wipes out half of Kansas. Superman becomes involved, and the title tells what begins to happen.

Legion of Superheroes, The Great Darkness Saga: I admit, I am a Legion fan, but my personal prejudices do not shade the fact that this is a great tale. A powerful villain from DC’s past enters the future, and begins to create havoc. The Legion has to figure it out, and stop the plans of universal conquest.

Maus, A Survivor’s Tale: Written by Art Spiegelman, he tells his father’s story about his ordeal in Nazi Germany, and surviving a concentration camp, except the Jews are Mice and the Nazis are Cats. It is very gripping and stoic tale, it treats the subject strongly, even though it might not seem like it do to the juxtaposition of people for animals.

Planetary: Four volumes of trades collecting the entire run of one of the most interesting, pop culture referencing and twisting superhero tale. What if the Fantastic Four were evil was the whole basis for the comic. Three heroes, Jakita Wagner, Drums and Elijah Snow must stop them and figure out how to make the world a better place.

Secret Wars: In the 1980s Marvel needed a comic to sell toys based on their characters. Marvel decided to team up all the major heroes in one book, and have them fight major villains on a planet in a far away solar system. It was not cheesy or disrespectful or poorly handled, it is still one of the best team up stories written. The sequel sucked.

Squadron Supreme: Marvel’s knock off of the Justice League take over the United States with good intentions. Creating cures for diseases and all kinds of good things. Unfortunately the group paves a path toward dictatorship. The very thing the group fears might happen, they become.

Superman & The Legion of Superheroes: As I admitted, I am a bit prejudice when it comes to the Legion. Jeff Johns writes an incredible story. Superman is brought into the future to save the Legion and the United Planets.

Superman, Red Son: One of the finest alternate versions of Superman written. What if the rocket containing the baby Kal El crashed into the Soviet Union? Batman is a freedom fighter and terrorist, Wonder Woman a sympathizer to the Soviet cause, and Lex Luthor is still a jerk. There is an interesting twist in the end.

Watchmen: The seminal and best comic book written. I read this trade paperback once a year. Not on a specific date every year. I might read it in February of 2017, then May of 2018, but at least once a year. Every year I marvel at how good it is, and pull more from the story.

That is my list of trades and graphic novels you might want to check out. I did not link to anything on Amazon, because Amazon cancelled any advertising I could do, since I did not bring in enough traffic. So, just Google or go to Amazon on your own.

Thanks for stopping by.

Barstool Entertainment

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