Recently one of my good friends asked me via Facebook to list ten books that had an effect on me. The rules were simple, don't make it too difficult, don't think too hard about it, just list ten books that meant something to you. My list was pretty geeky. It included The Hobbit, Interview with the Vampire, and Neverwhere. But of course once you post something like this, you think of hundreds of others you wish you would have listed instead (Brave New World, A Spell for Chameleon, The Shannara Series, etc.) This caused me to think about all the comics I've read over the years and I wondered if I could do the same. So that's what I've done. Here's my list of 10. Some are old, some are new. Some are individual, some are series and they aren't in any particular order.
- The New Teen Titans #1 - relaunched in 1980 by George Perez and Marv Wolfman, this book hit the 10 year old me like a freight train. The action and stories were dynamic and the artwork was amazing. I'm still comparing all comic artists to Perez.
- Justice League of America #9 (1962) - I read this comic in a friend's basement years after it had come out. It would have been in the mid 1970's that I read it. The Cover was torn and the middle page was missing. This was the first appearance of the Appellaxians and I remember being completely blown away by the powerful aliens. This book only got better when the Appellaxians returned to divide the League in The Justice League of American #200.
- Uncanny X-Men #159 - This story involved Storm and Dracula so two of my worlds collided in the best way. This was published in 1982 and written by Chris Claremont. I was completely hooked on X-Men during Claremont's run.
- Shadowman #0 - I have always been a huge DC fan with a few Marvel titles thrown in. But in the last few years, I've been hooked on Valiant titles. Shadowman #0 tells the origin story of Master Darque. It is twisted and creepy, but somehow you feel sorry for this villain. Storytelling at its best by Justin Jordan.
- The Blackest Night story arc in DC's Green Lantern titles (and across the DCU) - This story arc by Geoff Johns in 2009 really pulled me back into reading comics as an adult. So many great characters from the past showed up and for me it raised the Lanterns to a new level in my comic experience.
- Uncanny X-Men #175 - I loved the way that this story messed with the X-men. Mastermind has always been one of my favorite villains. You can definitely see the influence of the story in the modern X-men movies.
- Batman #428 - The death of Jason Todd. I've always been a Dick Grayson fan, both as Robin and Nightwing. So I never really had much affection for Jason Todd. However, I remember laying on my couch and reading this book and just being overwhelmed with how evil The Joker was. The violence was extreme and the grief was powerful. Coincidentally, I love Jason Todd as The Red Hood.
- The Legion of Superheroes: The Great Darkness story arc - You know how there are some series you just never really connected with. You might buy a book every now and then, but never really commit. That's how I felt about The Legion of Superheroes. Their names were so lame. But then DC released this series in 1989 and I was hooked. It was such a great story to connect with the different members of The Legion. Plus Darkseid is a terrific villain.
- Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3 - This was the final installment in the Judas Contract story arc and it brought about the death of Terra. Terra was a great character in this series. You went from feeling sorry for her, to hating her and then feeling sorry for her again. She seemed so innocent, until she pulled everything down on top of her and killed herself.
- Batgirl #19 - In this 2013 release, writer Gail Simone puts Barbara through some physical and emotional torture while she fights to save her mother. Ultimately, Batgirl believes that to accomplish this, she had to kill her brother. Simone is so insightful with Barbara and her struggles and this story really showcases Simone's storytelling ability.
That's my list. I'm sure as soon as this gets posted, I'll think of other titles I should have added. What's on your list? Remember, the rules are simple, don't think too much about it.....just list.