We had a HUGE response to the first part of this feature! Quite frankly, we can’t wait to unfurl the rest of the list…but we’ll limit it to ten entries a week. Round 2 sees us still deep in the DC Universe, but don’t panic…the World of Marvel will be featured next time! Plus there’s still indies, horror, real world stories…
Batgirl: Year One
Barbara Gordon is one of the most famous DC ladies, both for her run as Batgirl and for her turn as the handicapped yet kick-ass Oracle. Barbara first came about in the 60’s but it was her reimagined first year on the job in Batgirl: Year One that really delivers. This is the book that made me fall madly in love with the height-challenged, intelligent, witty, and charming young redhead who took it upon herself to follow in Batman’s footsteps. This is not only a wonderful introduction to the character, but an extension on her as well.
Hush has just about everything I love from a Batman story compiled into one epic arc. It further advances the relationship between Bruce and Selina Kyle, it introduces a brand-new and engaging villain into the Batman mythos and it’s chock full of appearances from a majority of the heavy-hitters in Gotham City. Batman literally has to run through a gauntlet of his biggest villains (and closest allies) to get to the heart of an elusive mystery. It takes the best elements of a Batman crime mystery while also marking the first major work for now famous Batman artist “Jim Lee”. Plus: he kicks Superman’s butt.
Batwoman, or Kate Kane, is an incredibly fascinating and important character that’s relatively new to the DC universe. She’s an ex-military, socialite, lesbian who kicks butt with the same fierceness and stoicism as Bruce Wayne himself. Batwoman: Elegy is not only a wonderful introduction to her character (including her backstory and family) but a truly fantastic story weaving natural and supernatural that is perfect as a standalone novel as well as an introduction to Batwoman’s New 52 series. Plus, it’s worth reading for J. H. Williams III’s beautiful artwork alone.
Batman: A Death in the Family
Sometimes giving the readers what they want can be the very worst thing they expect. During the run of Jason Todd as the second Robin the Batfans were unhappy with this new character. During a story of him seeking out his mother he encountered the Joker, and DC opened the phone polls. By a very close margin readers voted to kill off the new Boy Wonder…and then watched in horror as he was beaten to death with a crowbar. Be careful what you wish for.
Does this even need to be explained? Long considered one of the best, if not the best, superhero comic ever written this volume gives us realistic, damaged superheroes, a tale of subterfuge and manipulation and a psychological examination of the world of comics. Although Nite-Owl and Ozymandias are clear representations of well known characters others like Rorschach and Doctor Manhattan have gone on to be legends in their own right. Take the time to savor this story as you would an expensive meal, it’s worth the hype.
Tune in next week for the final wrap-up of the DC titles before we delve in to Marvel!
5 more at the source