Superman: Earth One- This one's been controversial. Many have complained it was too moody or edgy, I disagree. It's more serious than most Superman stories, but it stayed true to the character. Superman shows a variety of emotions (anger, sadness, determination, happiness) and that's one thing I haven't seen enough of for awhile. At times it's familiar, and at times it's radically fresh and surprising. The writing was witty and the characters were handled well. The villain was created new for this story, the character itself is pretty good, in all honesty. It was great, but has shortcomings. Clark's decision to become Superman is interesting, but could've been and has been handled better. In short, the story has weakpoints but these are overcome by the clever writing, great characters, iconic art, and overall intelligence to the whole thing. I'd call it a successful reimagining. 8.5/10 Permalink
Maus I: My Father Bleeds History- Okay, I'm gonna keep this one short because little needs to be said about this already acclaimed work of art. One could argue that this is one of the greatest graphic novels of all time. I would be one to argue this. Intelligence, depth, and great symbolism. If you aren't familiar with it, it's a story about the Holocaust from the perspective of a survivor and his son. The characters are represented as different animals depending on ethnicity (Jewish= mouse, German=cat, etc.) and you have to get used to it, but this is absolutely amazing. 'Nuff said. 10/10 Permalink
DC: The New Frontier- Okay, I know I've said lots about this one. It still remains my favorite graphic novel, so it deserves a place here. Taking place in a Cold War setting, The New Frontier analyzes prejudice in all its forms and the true reasons behind it. This is a very profound work that makes you think, and there's pretty much nothing bad you can say about it. The story is told in two volumes, both of which deserve a read. 10/10 Permalink
Batman: The Long Halloween- This is another or my favorites. It was an inspiration to both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, so you'll all probably find this an interesting read. The good characterization and intruiging view of Gotham City is what really sells this one. If you have any interest in Batman whatsoever, this is a must-read. The story is properly intelligent and mysterious, exploring both organized crime and super villains. The ending is pretty impressive. Some of the villains aren't portrayed quite right (The Riddler is the main place where it could've been so much stronger) and some should have just been left out (I'll never like Poison Ivy) but there's not much bad you can say about this story. 8/10 Permalink
Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader- If you're beginning to think I'm overly positive, take a look at this. My criticism is not of the premise, but of the way it was executed. The idea is simple: after Batman dies, his alies and enemies hold a funeral for him and each has their own story to tell. Good so far? Keep on reading. None of the stories are true, but they aren't lies either. Each story is a vague symbolic view each character had of Batman. It still could've been good even at this point. But the stories are so devoid of emotion and reason that there's little to enjoy here. At the end the reader discovers that none of it even happened, and the entire thing was a near death experience Batman had. Had stories had been memories of so far untold secrets or famous storylines, it could've been amazing. So here's to the story that could've been the best Batman graphic novel ever, but ended up being the worst one I've ever read. 2.5/10 Permalink
Green Lantern: Secret Origin.
Collects Green Lantern (Volume 4) #29-35.
Let me start off with saying this is a great read. Now I haven't read the Silver Age origin yet, but I'm sure this is a perfect substitute. I like how well this book develops the characters, even Abin Sur, who dies in the beginning, but they still develop him. Also, the artwork is amazing. What I also like, is how they introduce classic Silver age villains (Black Hand, Hector Hammond) In the end, Green Lantern: Secret Origin left me wanting more, and set up suspense for future stories. Permalink
Green Lantern: Rebirth
Collects: Green Lantern: Rebirth #1-6
Great story. Geoff Johns doesn't just bring Hal Jordan back to life, he brings him back to greatness! Also, this story is a great read for new readers to Green Lantern (like me), because it gives a great insight on what happened in the past. However, some reading on Wikipedia couldn't hurt. Ethan Van Schriver's artwork is amazing. This story was a great set up for Hal Jordan's return, and made me beg for more!