Top 5: Comics Within Comics

5. Science Dog from Invincible

Science Dog is Mark Grayson’s favorite comic book! ¬†Somehow he is able to keep up with it even when he is out saving the world, exploring space or deep in a coma. Science Dog also leads to one of may favorite jokes in Invincible.

4. Flex Mentallo

This whole list could have been made up of comics written by Grant Morrison. His work is full of meta-textual layers. It is one of his trademarks. Flex Mentallo does it the best though. We follow Flex through all the different ages of comics and we see how they have changed over time through him. This book isn’t meant to be summarized in a few sentences. Just read it if you haven’t already.

 

3. She-Hulk from The Sensational She-Hulk

Marvel Comics have a reputation of having their creators pop up in their books. Stan and Jack poke their heads into all sorts of Fantastic Four stories. This type of thing doesn’t happen as much anymore but John Byrne used to have a lot of fun with the idea of it when he was writing She-Hulk. The cover of the first issue sets the tone perfectly.

 

2. Tales of the Black Freighter from Watchmen

The part of Watchmen people always skip. They really shouldn’t. It is a great parallel narrative to the rest of the story. Alan Moore said his reasoning for making it a pirate comic was because in a world of superheroes who would read a comic about them. Would you read a comic about Superman if Superman existed?

 

1. The Flash from The Flash

WHOA! What a twist. Seriously, if I was a ten year old kid my mind would have been blown reading this exchange. Wait, so Gardner Fox is both real and lives in the DC universe and his mind tapped into another DC universe that Barry Allen read in the former universe. Talk about a crazy idea you could only read about in comics books!

What are some of your favorite comics within comics?

Comments

  1. This is a great list, although I wish there was room for Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four and Captain America in Captain America. science Dog is so great.

  2. I remember when Steve Rogers got a job to be the artist for the Captain America comic book.

  3. flakbait flakbait says:

    Dan Slott used comics in his She-Hulk run, too, presenting them as documentaries. Jen used them as legal documents.

  4. Kmanifesto says:

    The Invincible exchange is a riot and so spot on. ‘Cutting & pasting’ should be saved for amateurs and deadbeats.

    This is a great list, although I wish there was room for Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four and Captain America in Captain America. science Dog is so great.

    I remember when Steve Rogers got a job to be the artist for the Captain America comic book.

  5. ryanwhodat ryanwhodat says:

    I like the comic strip in Criminal. I’m drawing a blank on what it’s called. Plus, the Escapist. This should have been a top 10. Those two are great.

  6. General Glory, Guy Gardner’s favorite comic book.

  7. Skruff Skruff says:

    I always loved the Flash explanation!

    • Tad Tad says:

      That conversation led to a couple of alternate universe stories in DARKWING DUCK including an audio crossover with the Rescue Rangers.

  8. RedBaron504 RedBaron504 says:

    In Y: The Last Man, Yorick reads a comic about a woman and her horse being the last females on earth. I always loved the idea! But also thought how frightening that would be.

  9. Flex is a good one, but what about The Bulletproof Coffin, the first series is a comic within itself telling the future of reality!

    • jwaesch jwaesch says:

      Bulletproof Coffin was excellent. The way you would flip through and read the comic made it so that there was literally a different comicbook that you read within the Bulletproof Coffin comic itself! genius.

      I would also add Savage Dragon to this list.

  10. Heroville Heroville says:

    “Alan Moore said his reasoning for making it a pirate comic was because in a world of superheroes who would read a comic about them.”

    I’ve always hated this idea. If this was true we’d never have so many TV shows about police officers or movies about soldiers. Hell we’ve had long running comic series about people like Jerry Lewis! Just because something exists in the real world doesn’t mean we’d stop fictionalizing it.

    • RoiVampire RoiVampire says:

      True but how many cop/doctor/lawyer comics are there? Not that many. Plus in Watchmen the heroes aren’t really viewed all that well. They’re kinda looked at as outcasts so in that universe i doubt many publishers would want to put vigilantes in a good light.

    • BCDX97 BCDX97 says:

      I think Watchmen is a lot more enjoyable when you skip the pirate stuff. That’s what I did the first time I read it and it was a better read. When I read the entire book, every time I came to the pirate stuff, I was like Oh No I Don’t Care!

  11. RecksDeud RecksDeud says:

    All I really want to say on the subject is this: John Byrne makes me want to couple with an imaginary, big-haired, green giantess.

    • BCDX97 BCDX97 says:

      She is the sexiest 6’7″ woman I’ve ever seen.

      Also, the sexiest green woman – those Star Trek aliens don’t hold a candle to her.

  12. Hell yeah Science Dog. Plus Science Dog is now a real comic that rocks in it’s own right.

  13. slightly cheating, but my favorites are always the comics in the Simpsons, especially the one that was produced by LensCrafters that Millhouse bought a ton of when he and Bart took over the comic shop. =)

  14. bigben2012 says:

    No Animal Man?

    • WheelHands WheelHands says:

      It’s been years, but if I recall correctly Buddy simply broke the fourth wall. So there wasn’t an actual comic within a comic, aside from Buddy realizing his entire reality was a comic. Does that count? I dunno.

      Timmy mentioned that Morrison’s entire career is rife with meta. So I assume with his inclusion of Flex Mentallo, he was also referencing everything under Morrison’s umbrella (Animal Man, FInal Crisis, Seven Soldiers, etc.).

    • Timmy Wood Timmy Wood (@TimmyWood) says:

      I couldn’t have said it better. Thanks Wheelhands.

  15. That She-Hulk run was so good. I’d add 1985. The bit when the kid goes into the Marvel unierse and tracks down Peter Parker because he knows he’s Spider-man from reading comics is one of my favourite moments in modern comics.

  16. grigs grigs says:

    The Escapists. I would put it at the top of the list. :-)