COMICS: Cook's Top Ten Items For Christmas

– by Michael Connally

Top 10 Christmas List

As we begin the holiday season, my good friend Michael Connally asked me to put together a top 10-wish list for Christmas.

Cook’s “Top 10 for the Holiday’s” List:

10.  Ronin Warriors – DVD Price - $20

I have never followed anime much, but at one point I thoroughly enjoyed Ronin Warriors.  It was first introduced in 1988.  Its plot centers around the demon lord of the Netherworld who is bent on conquering the mortal world. Standing against him and his four Dark Warlords are the five Ronin Warriors, each in possession of mystical armor and weapons. They are assisted by a young student-teacher, and a mysterious warrior-monk known only as The Ancient (Wikipedia).  I found the storyline to be quite entertaining with each warrior’s powers balancing one another, as do their individual personalities.  The tale also provides interesting inspiration from Japanese folklore / culture.

9. The Flash – 1990 TV Series – All 20 Episodes - $25

I always enjoyed The Flash TV series growing up.  Some aspects are campy, and dated by today’s standards, but in 1990 the graphics and costume were fairly advanced.  The Flash lasted two seasons, and The Scarlet Speedster was helmed by John Wesley Shipp.  Amanda Pays and Mark Hamill also had rolls in the series as Dr. Tina McGee and The Trickster respectively.  Aside from merely enjoying the series, I find it interesting that the current Flash series contains these members as well.  Some are playing the same characters, and we have just been introduced to Earth 2.  Coincidence, or wonderful plot twist?  Who knows.  Let the speculation continue.  Until then, enjoy!


8.  The Usagi Yojimbo Saga – Book 1 - $13

Usagi Yojimbo is the epic saga of a Ronin Rabbit, which actually means “rabbit bodyguard”.  The series was created by Stan Sakai. The plot is predominantly set during the time of the Edo period of Japanese history in 17th century Japan, when the age of civil wars has barely ended and the Shogun has established power.  Animals replace humans as the characters for symbolic reasons, much like Art Spiegelman’s, Maus. 

 7. and 6. The DC Comics Encyclopedia and The Marvel Comics Encyclopedia -$26.48 each.
The next two on the list are wonderful for rookies or veterans in the comic book world.  Each encyclopedia consists of a wide variety of characters, from lesser known characters to the staple characters we all know and love.  The information for each character includes background information, character attributes / stats, key comics, and a brief chronology of the character’s development.  I thoroughly enjoy these encyclopedias as they display how characters are connected, and what specific comics are good to read if you are interested in learning more about the character.


 5.  The Rocketeer – The Complete Series, By Dave Stevens - $15
If you were a kid in the 90’s you may remember when Disney came out with the movie The Rocketeer and Universal Pictures came out with The Shadow.  I enjoyed these movies, and my dad then introduced me to Dave Stevens.  Stevens unfortunately died on March 11, 2008 after a long battle with leukemia.   Stevens left behind a legacy of comic adaptions, but was famous for his work with The Rocketeer.  The Complete Series contains wonderful artwork, and a plot centered on the 30’s and the reader is treated to some guest appearances by The Shadow!



4.  CrazyCoolCustomTees – Batman / Ohio State Hoodie - $45
Now this is pretty cool.  CrazyCoolCustomTees has begun making college team gear with the prints within superhero logos.  Superman and Spiderman logos are also available.  What a great way to combine two of your favorites!
 


3.  Season 2 of Arrow - $20

I know ratings for Arrow have somewhat declined during seasons 3 and 4, but season 2 is something to remember.  From the subtle addition of characters, the constant cliffhangers and plot twists, to seeing Slade Wilson seem to own Oliver in every way, season 2 of Arrow has been the best to date.

2.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1: The Ultimate Collection - $30

Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s original TMNT comics collection will take you back to the roots of the turtles.  The tone is much darker, and the story line would go on to become inspirations for some of the movies, cartoons, etc.  This is one of the first comics I remember my father introducing me too, and I have been a fan ever since.  If you are a fan of TMNT and have never read the originals, this is definitely for you.

1.       A Visit to Your Local Comic Book Store with a Loved One

Number one on my list is to take a loved on to the comic book store.  After all, giving is the reason for the season, and what better way than to share the love we all have for comics and superheroes than with a loved one.  I cherish the continued memories of going to the comic book store with my father whenever we see each other.  He began taking me when I was 4, and we still go to this day.  Celebrate the season together!  Happy Holiday’s!


Fun From the 90’s:

A little trip down memory lane.  I remember how excited I was opening this bad boy on Christmas back in the 90’s!!

Source: Mark Cook

Twitter: @olivervsslade

Column, Comics Christmas, TMNT, Ronin, Batman, Marvel, DC, Flash, Usagi, Rocketeer, CrazyCoolCustomTees, Arrrow, Comics