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– by Michael Connally

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Some of the best Christmas gifts I received as a youth were graphic novels.  Before the days of digital comics this was the only way for me to have a complete story set, and since they were expensive I would put two or three on my Christmas list.  Here is part 1 of what I consider important comic graphic novels for collectors and new readers.

Daredevil: Man Without Fear

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For those who are fans of the Netflix series or want to be introduced to Frank Millers best work this is the series to start with.  Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. worked collaboratively together to bring Daredevil to the forefront of the Marvel Universe.  This is a reincarnation of Matt Murdocks origin story that makes him a flawed hero. 

A fire burns deep within Matt Murdock. He was raised by a single father, an over-the-hill prizefighter with one last chance to make it good – a chance that cost him his life! Taunted and tormented by children while growing up, Matt’s life was irrevocably altered after he was blinded by radioactive materials while saving the life of an old man. The payoff? An unbreakable will and a keen intelligence, helping focus the super-senses he was blessed with during the accident. His story is one of love, pain, disappointment, and strength.

By Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.

Purchase on Amazon here

 

All-Star Superman

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This is a story that focuses on a Superman that is dying.  Superman sacrifices himself to save a group of astronauts that ends up supercharging him to the point that he is dying.  This is an emotional rollercoaster that we have not really seen with Superman.

The amazing creative team of writer Grant Morrison (BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM) and artist Frank Quitely (WE3) join forces to take Superman back to basics and create a new vision of the World’s First Super-Hero. This trade paperback collection features the first twelve issues of the acclaimed series. Witness the Man of Steel in exciting new adventures featuring Lex Luthor, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Bizarro, and more.

By Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly

Purchase on Amazon here

 

Wanted

This is the comic series that put Top Cow Comics on the map.  Going against the grain Mark Millar and J.G. Jones put us into a world where there are no more superheroes.  This is a world where only super villains are around and they run the world.  We then follow the journey of a young man whose life is turned upside down in one single moment and is uprooted into a life of an assassin.

What if everything in your life was out of your hands and those around you propelled your fate? Your girlfriend left you for your best friend; your boss gave your job to someone better. What if then, after all this, someone gave you back total control? What if he revealed you were the next in line to join a secret society of super-villains that controlled the entire planet? Mark Millar and J.G. Jones provide a look at one man who goes from being the world’s biggest loser to the deadliest assassin alive.

By Mark Miller and J.G. Jones

Purchase on Amazon here

 

Walking Dead Compendium 1

For the person that you know that is a fan of the show but never read the comics.  This is the book to get them to read over the holidays. 

Introducing the first eight volumes of the fan-favorite, New York Times Best Seller series collected into one massive paperback collection! Collects The Walking Dead #1-48. This is the perfect collection for any fan of the Emmy Award-winning television series on AMC: over one thousand pages chronicling the beginning of Robert Kirkman’s Eisner Award-winning continuing story of survival horror- from Rick Grimes’ waking up alone in a hospital, to him and his family seeking solace on Hershel’s farm, and the controversial introduction of Woodbury despot: The Governor. In a world ruled by the dead, we are finally forced to finally start living

By Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, and Tony Moore

Purchase on Amazon here

 

Civil War

This is the event that reinvigorated the comic industry in 2005.  Although reviews for this series were mixed it was a commercial success for Marvel.  This story is the foundation for the upcoming movie “Captain America: Civil War”, which will also feature Captain America and Iron Man on opposite sides.

The landscape of the Marvel Universe is changing, and it’s time to choose: Whose side are you on? A conflict has been brewing from more than a year, threatening to pit friend against friend, brother against brother – and all it will take is a single misstep to cost thousands their lives and ignite the fuse! As the war claims its first victims, no one is safe as teams, friendships and families begin to fall apart. The crossover that rewrites the rules, Civil War stars Spider-Man, the New Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and the entirety of the Marvel pantheon! Collects Civil War #1-7, plus extras.

By Mark Millar and Steve McNiven

Purchase on Amazon here

Source: Amazon