The Best Comics of the Decade

Comics were reborn in the last decade. On the brink of extinction, comics clawed their way back to the surface, and we got ten years of comic book renaissance.  Creativity flourished, and we saw the the best that comics could be, from mainstream to independent, the 2000's were full of quality.  Here are my picks for the best of the decade, in no particular order.



The Authority (DC Comics/Wildstorm) – At the beginning of the decade, Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch, followed by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, set the tone for what superhero comics would be in the decade to come, in tone, scope, and presentation.  If you're wondering why The Ultimates isn't on the list, it's because The Authority did it first, and did it best.  It was a wonderful group of characters, mad imagination, and was really a new type of superhero comic book.


Captain America (Marvel Comics) – Ed Brubaker, along with artist Steve Epting, revived Captain America, showing us what was so great about Steve Rogers, just before killing him.  The Winter Soldier story, and ensuing Bucky storylines were as good as comics get, and did the impossible: I didn't miss Steve Rogers.  It was a long term command performance, and it showed how good comics can be.


Astonishing X-Men (Marvel Comics) – I am not an X-Men fan, and not really much of a Joss Whedon fan, but this superb story made me both.  Finally, we have a modern X-Men story that can be given to people who just want to read some good mutant adventure, but that still takes advantage of all the wonderful undercurrents of the X-Men.  The dramatic pages by John Cassaday compliment and raise the game completely.


Box Office Poison (Top Shelf) –  Stories about real people in their real lives are my favorite kinds of comics, and Box Office Poison is my favorite of those kinds of comics.  Reading the whole thing in one day, I could not put it down back in 2001.  The giant volume has yet to be matched in the real life, human drama, or comedy category.  The book does so many things right, and is a perfect way to challenge people's expectations of what comics can be.


Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth
(Pantheon) – This is the book that broke out and showed the world the potential of comics.  It's a book that is so much more than it first appears to be.  The art is both simple and complex, and there is so much emotion conveyed in the tiny round heads and delicately designed pages that I was very emotionally affected when I read it.  This is a treasure, and a seminal volume from the 2000's.


We3 (DC Comics/Vertigo) – This story about three technologically enhanced animals consisted of three perfect issues, with pages of perfect art, and one perfect story.  It didn't need to be a panel longer than it was, and without many words at all, I was devastated at the end of this one.  The pages burst and crackle with speed and energy, and made me a massive Frank Quitely fan, and reinvigorated my faith in Grant Morrison.


Palestine (Fantagraphics) – More than any of the documentaries or news stories I've seen, Palestine shaped my view about what things are like in the Palestinean territories.  Joe Sacco spent time with the people who live there, and explored the sticky, nearly untenable situation that persists today.  Sacco's cartoons put a human face on the people involved, and it's a stunning work, comics or otherwise.


DC: The New Frontier (DC Comics) – As if he had a fine scalpel, Darwyn Cooke cut to the quick of what makes the DC Universe what it is with his camelot-era story of the forming of the Justice League of America.  Before Geoff Johns came along to revamp Hal Jordan, Cooke did he best Green Lantern story I'd ever read.  On top of that, he also happens to be as fine a cartoonist as there is in the world, and the book is simply beautiful.


Y The Last Man (DC Comics/Vertigo) – By the end of the first issue, the world knew it had something special on its hands.  Brian K. Vaughan was a star from the get go, and Y was his masterpiece.  Over sixty issues, we went on a roadtrip across the world, had some laughs, shed some tears, and did some heavy thinking about how things are and could be.  It ended as strong as it began, and crossed the cultural lines, serving as a comic book for people who don't read comic books.


Identity Crisis
(DC Comics) – No one saw this one coming.  I'd been out of DC Comics for years, and with seven issues, Brad Meltzer reeled me in hard.  It was a murder mystery spanning the DC universe and continuity that managed to teach me about the things it was referring to, and surprise everyone with the deep subject matter, and exploration of who these characters actually are.  It's safe to say that DC was not the same after Identity Crisis.


Scott Pilgrim (Oni Press) – Bryan Lee O'Malley's story of a 23 year old slacker fired a shot across the bow of comics, signaling that the future had arrived, and he lived in a single room with his gay roommate.  Scott Pilgrim is quirky, funny, compelling, and fascinating.  It can't be explained exactly what it is that makes Scott Pilgrim what it is, but what's clear is that there is nothing else like it, and that people can't get enough of the bass player from Toronto.


52 (DC Comics) – This was the experiment that shouldn't have worked.  52 weekly issues in a row, written in collaboration by Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid, and Grant Morrison just seemed like too much.  But by the end, we could not get enough of the giant, winding story, and mad alchemy of imagination.  They beat the odds and produced something that was more than the sum of its parts, and that was one hell of a sum.


Young Avengers (Marvel Comics) – I ignored this story as a gimmick by a TV writer that I wouldn't like.  That was a bad move.  Young Avengers is a love letter to Avengers comic book fans.  Enjoyable for fans with no idea of the history, and giggle inducing for long time fans, Young Avengers delivered on every page, as well as introduced me to the beauty of Jim Cheung's artwork.  From the moment Kang showed up, I knew this was something special.


Green Lantern (DC Comics) – It's hard to remember just how dead Hal Jordan was just a few short years ago.  It was difficult to think of a seminal story for the character, so Geoff Johns decided to make one.  Incorporating the Green Lantern Corps, and keep Hal to his space cop roots, Johns crafted an epic three part opera we're not even done with yet, and made Green Lantern more popular than anyone ever imagined.


Walking Dead (Image Comics) – Walking Dead is the comic book about zombies for people who don't like zombies.  People who do like zombies like it too though.  Rick and his motley, bedragged gang wander the dying roads of America searching for safety, and Robert Kirkman won't let them have it, not even for a moment.  The book is still going strong, surprising readers with every issue or collection, depending on how you choose to read it.  It is also the most successful black and white comic book this industry has seen in a very long time.


Wildcats vols. 2 and 3
(DC Comics/Wildstorm) – When you look at what The Authority did for bombastic comics, Joe Casey took the Wildcats in the opposite direction.  The book was subtle, low-key, and thoughtful, but no less brilliant.  Picking up the pieces from a weak relaunch, Casey reinvented Wildcats not once, but twice, exploring the convergence of superheroes, technologies, and corporations, as well as introducing me to artists Sean Phillips and Dustin Nguyen.


Gotham Central (DC Comics) – What do you get when you combine a superhero comic book with no superheroes, Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, and Michael Lark?  You get the sublime Gotham Central, and honestly, you really need nothing else.  Batman barely showed up in this one.  Hell, Jim Gordon barely made an appearance, but the Major Crimes Unit of the Gotham Central Police Department was all we needed.  It was almost good enough to make you just stop reading comics when you were done with it.


Ultimate Spider-Man (Marvel Comics) – Brian Michael Bendis, more than anyone save Joe Quesada, was the pilot of Marvel Comics over the past decade.  He did a great many comic boks, and it was difficult to pick just one to highlight.  But if I had to pick on that was the most impressive, and the most consistent, and most defined what Bendis does right in this Marvel work, it's Ultimate Spider-Man.  For over a hundred issues and still going strong, Brian Michael Bendis just did great Spider-Man story after great Spider-Man story.  It's a legendary run, and people will talk about it for years to come.


  1. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Really stellar list. Something for absolutely everybody. 52 and We3 are really inspired choices.  

    Very interesting that Alan Moore isn’t on here. Also kinda surprised that Fables didn’t make your cut. 

  2. Fantastic list, Josh.  I’m amazed at how many of these I missed when my friend and I were talking about the last decade in our own recent podcasts.  Identity Crisis definitely got me back into reading DC books full-time after the unique take it gave on its characters and the many revelations it brought about with our supposedly "squeaky clean" heroes.

  3. That is a great list. Nice choices. Y: THE LAST MAN is the only comic series that my wife has read front-to-back, though she’s certainly loving FABLES as well.

    I tried first three volumes of SCOTT PILGRIM over a year ago and it didn’t connect with me. But, I’m going to go back and try it again just to see if perhaps I’ll find it better during a second run-through.

    By the way, JIMMY CORRIGAN may be my favorite stand-alone graphic novel of all time. Beautiful book.

  4. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Feel free to Digg this list!

  5. I also would have added the Wolverine Origin mini-series from Paul Jenkins to the list as well.  Very well-written, fantastic art, and opened the door to more stories for the canuck.  Of course, those stories today aren’t living up to much, but you can’t dispute what Marvel did after putting off his distant past for so long.

    But I’m still cool with your list.  That’s the great thing about lists – they always can be debated and it’s just plain to talk about them, especially when it comes to comics. 

  6. The Hulk Embargo continues. What does this guy have to smash to get your attention?!? 

    Seriously though, surprised Scalped and Invincible didn’t round it out to an even 20. But a fantastic list. I’ve got We3 on order.

  7. No Invincible?

  8. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Oh, man, yeah, Scalped. 


  9. Interesting list.  I have missed a few of those.  I will remedy that shortly.

    If this were my list (since this is an entirely personal thing) I would certainly include All Star Superman, Y: The Last Man, and Fables.

  10. Ennis’ Punisher Max!

  11. A very wonderful list.  I’m glad it at least mentioned Ultimates

  12. @trobinson79 – I would say that I’m not a fan of Wolverine Origin. I don’t think they should ever have tried to tell that story. It wouldn’t live up to the mystery, and in my opinion, it didn’t. Not that it wasn’t well done, but it just didn’t work for me.

    Re: Alan Moore.  I tried to find something from the 00’s he did, but most everything started in the 90’s.

    Re: Scalped and Fables, They made it on the list in earlier versions, but for one reason or another, they didn’t stay.

    Re: Invincible wasn’t nearly as big a deal for the comics culture as Walking Dead. Also, it is immensely enjoyable, but doesn’t really break new ground in the way Walking Dead did.

    I’ve never been a Hulk or Punisher fan, but you people know that.

  13. It looks like you put a lot of thought into that list.  Since I only got back into comics in 2007, it’s nice to see a list of some things I should go and check out.  It’s a shame I only bought the first trade of Y: The Last Man.  I wish my wallet would let me buy that and other things on this list.  Damn you anorexic wallet!

  14. See now i am sad that i don´t own all these books. Thanks a lot iFanboys!!!

  15. @josh – Fair enough, I know it wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but thought it had enough impact to change the direction of some of Wolverine’s stories.  Of course, that direction led him to star in 50,000 different books, but that’s another tangent unto itself 🙂

    I am actually surprised that you feel Invincible wasn’t as big a deal for comics culture.  Wasn’t groundbreaking, yes, and it had a slow start, but it did re-imagine some aspects of the superhero genre that most mainstream superhero books wouldn’t have touched upon at the time it came out.

  16. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    I think if you’re gonna pick one Kirkman book to highlight, Walking Dead has gotta be it. For just the reasons Josh listed. Same for Y with BKV. 

    And as much as I love All-Star Supes, I think We3 was a great choice because it’s an original, self-contained story with such a powerful visual style. Quitely was operating at the top of his game on All-Star, but We3 is next level. He was tapping into something pretty incredible. 

  17. Awesome list! I really need to read Box Office Poison, and now I’m interested in Palestine, as well. I feel very lucky to have started reading comics in the 2000s (2006, to be precise), and am especially glad I came aboard just in time to read 52 from the first issue.

  18. Superb list, that means I’m going to have to open my wallet again for all the things I don’t have. A little surprised at the lack of Scalped: that is the book, along with Fables, that has really been drawing me into Vertigo in the last few years.

  19. Glad to see We3 on the list.  That book doesn’t get enough attention.  Really surprised All Star Superman didn’t make the list since it seems to be one of iFanboy’s top recommended books.

  20. Great list. Glad to see The Authority get the props it deserves. 

  21. I dugg it

  22. Paul explained my reasoning for We3 over their other work exactly.

  23. What? Why isn’t (insert comic that I really love) on the list??

    I kid, I kid. Pretty good list, Josh. I’m not entirely sure about Identity Crisis simply because I thought the last issue was such a disappointment. The rest of the series was fantastic though. 

    Also, I don’t read this, but what about Powers? It was around for most of the decade and figured it would find it’s way to the top of your list because all the iFanboys seem to love it.

  24. Great list.

    I don’t know if I would put Scott Pilgrim up with these heavy hitters, but it’s all subjective anyways. I would love to add the other GL book (Corps) into the mix. That has been a soild title for the latter half of the decade.

  25. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Scott Pilgrim is totally a heavy hitter. I’m not saying it’s Pogs or Pokemon, but it’s about as close as comics come to that level of fan fervor these days. Also, a damn fine book with a great sense of humor. Years from now it’s gonna be a time capsule. 

  26. Certainly a great list for someone like me, just getting started reading comics. I just bought the first four Ultimate Spider-man SC and I couldn’t stop reading. Actually I started to read Spider-Man after watching The Spectacular Spider-Man cartoons (I’m so hoping for a third season man).

    Josh, I take your advice and about to start reading Sleeper and Y the last man.

     Keep up the good work!

  27. I understand We3 over All Star Superman.  We3 always elicits an emotional response from me.  I’d probably put them both on my list.

  28. Seriously, no Daredevil?  I don’t think I’ve read a bad issue of DD in the last 10 years with two of the most memorable runs I’ve ever read in comics (Bendis/Maleev & Brubaker/Lark). 

  29. I actually dropped Daredevil for a while in the middle of Bendis’ run, and thought it was really good, but I don’t put it on a pedestal. Just my take. At one time, I had New Avengers and Powers on the list as well, but I can’t include everything.

  30. I am so happy that WE3 and Young Avengers made this list. And the inclusion of The Authority might finally get me to read it.

  31. Nice list – can’t complain about any of them. I really should reread BOP – I loved it the first time around. Also want to give Jimmy Corrigan another crack – it didn’t wow me that first time.

    Only thing I would have added was League of Extraordinary Gentlemen vol. 2 – far exceeded vol. 1 and is probably the best LOEG so far.

  32. This is, for me, the most satisfying "Best of the Decade" list I’ve read thus far. All the other ones I’ve come across invariably had some omission that to me seemed glaring, but this one hit everything I wanted.

    Thank you for assembling this, Josh! I’m definitely going to check out the things I’ve not yet read 

  33. Great list, but if it were up to me, i’d replace Ultimate Spidey with Bendis’ Daredevil. He and Maleev accomplished the impossible on that book, they surpassed Frank Miller’s phenomenal run

  34. It’s a good list.

    @mikegraham6: I don’t think you can remove Ultimate Spidey. At its worst it was still a good read. Daredevil, which I love always had moments that were "really, he’s still all emo?" It got repetitive without actually being bad.

     I would change some things too, but mainly out of ignorance since I haven’t read the entire list. Prolly knock Young Avengers off and replace it with "Detective Comics 854-860" I think those 7 books are the best comic books from the last 10 years. I can’t stop rereading and just looking at them. Finsest pieces of art I’ve seen outside of a Museum.

    Oh and there’s still one year left in the decade. 

  35. @Crucio: 2000-2009 is a ten year span which we are calling the ’00 decade.

  36. And everyone else in the world.

  37. Identity Crisis helped me dip my toe into the DC U right when i was getting back into comics. i never grew up reading DC as a kid but the mature storyline hit at the perfect time for me. I’ve heard A LOT of shit talk about that mini since then and in some respects i understand the criticism. They don’t like it made thier superhero universe grim and gritty. they thought old stories were fine without the introduction of mature themes. But for me, it helped to illustrate that mainstream superhero comics could tackle serious themes in an intelligent manner. Sure it may have led to a trend that some people may not like in DC (superhero comics that take themselves too seriously or whatnot) but in my opinion the "fun, over the top" superhero comics dominated the market for decades. plus, if people still want those types of stories, they can easily find them in other books. The industry is all about cycles and eventually the majority of comics will swing back into the old over the top camp soon. Hell, in my opinion, i think that trend has already begun with writers like Remender, Fraction and, in some cases, Johns

  38. Great list.

    I’d like to add the oft-overlooked Christopher Priest run of Black Panther, though maybe that started in ’98 or ’99.

  39. @stuclach You are right sir, All-Star Superman… how can that not be there… I re-read vol. 2 last night and it’s truly an amazing and unparellelled work. Probably the most perfect superman story every written and defintely one of the best Superhero comics ever written. period.

  40. also @Paul, i love that you almost equated Scott Pilgrim’s fandom to that of pogs! great!

  41. You forgot MAYHEM!!!

  42. Great list. Only comic I would have included would have been Ennis’ Punisher MAX.

  43. Also wouldve had Powers I think.

  44. Oh man, I have GOT to read ‘Box Office Poison.’  I loved ‘Too Cool to Be Forgotten,’ so here’s no excuse.

    And no, the presence of ‘WE3’ on this list does not in any way excuse the absence of ‘All-Star Superman.’ Creating what’s probably the greatest arc in the history of the medium’s most iconic character is no small feat. Next time just add both books.  After all, Morrison and Quitely were the creative team of the decade.

  45. This is a nice list Josh.  There’s couple things on here I haven’t read, like Palestine, Jimmy Corrigan, and the WildCATS comics.  I would really love to read those WildCATS books, but it’s kind of hard to find them in trade form.  Maybe ebay can cure my woes.

    I think one book from the 2000s that totally blew my mind would have Nightly News. That book left me breathless and open to just how different comics can be.  Also, Criminal has single handedly revived my love of noir and detective novels.  If it wasn’t Bru and company, the stack of books and movies would filled with far less…and far less quality. 

  46. what a great decade, huh?

    i remember being a fresh-faced youngster travelling for a hours from my country hometown to the big-smoke to get my hands on the Authority trades. I really loved Warren Ellis back in the early 00’s. he had such a great new voice. Awesome comics. bloody awesome.

    Box office Poision was one of the best reads of the decade. great little surprise.

    I have to disagree with Astonishing X-men. it started strongth but ended up as one of the weakness and silliest runs i read in the decade. totally over-rated

  47. Also, With regards to Y-The last Man. I think this is my favourite of the 00’s. No other character really reflexed or refracted my experiences with the ladies and life. I think in the extreme situation Yorick found himself in, the true of the character was revealed

  48. Great list Josh, thanks.  I ordered We3 after reading your article.

  49. Awesome list! I think it’s safe to say that you can’t make a list without having Scott Pilgrim. Also glad to see the Joe Casey Wildcats getting some love. That was great. Based on the coverage it gets I am convinced that Josh and I are the only ones who read that awesome series.

    Man, this is the decade that Wildstorm went from being one of the best comic book universes out there to being almost completely irrelevant. Come on DC let me have the keys to that kingdom. I really want to just make it fun again like it used to be. 

  50. How can we have a "Best of the Decade" when the decade is not over? What about the books that will becoming out in 2010?

    How can that be? If we go back to year one, January 1, 0001 ended on December 31, 0001. As a result the first decade ended December 31, 0010. I think can most can take it from here 🙂

    Nice list, but this year will have some great books too

  51. @HipHopHead: 2000-2009 is the ten year decade we are dealing with here. It’s already been talked about up in the comments.

  52. Awsome list Josh. Really glad you included The Authority. No comic book influenced superhero stories more in the past decade than The Authority. Also love the inclusion of WE3. That has to be one of my favorite stories.

    I’ve always wanted to read Joe Casey’s Wildcats but I just never got around to it. Has most of his run been collected and is it still in print by any chance?

  53. In terms of influence, the Authority affected more superhero comics than any other comics since.

    And it’s not like I’m the only one doing a best of decade list. Pedants…

  54. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    *snicker* "pedants"

  55. @Josh- I see that you commented that Scalped and Fables were on earlier versions of the list, what made you remove them?

  56. I dunno. I should probably have included them. I guess Scalped isn’t done yet, and I don’t think it’s necessarily been all that influencial. And Fables should probably be on here honestly, but I blew it.

    There! Are you all happy?!

    I’m not perfect! Sob…

  57. jesus, i need to learn how to write. i always sound like a moron

  58. Great list Josh.  Keep up the good work!

  59. can’t complain about anything, some I would change (just personal preference) Identity Crisis did nothing for me.  It was certainly not bad just didn’t back that punch for me, still I can see why it would be on here, for my money I would have had JMS first two arcs on ASM and Queen & Country, which may be my favorite comic of the decade. I loved every issue! Read both novels and even bought the sandbaggers on DVD (which if you haven’t seen is awesome!)

  60. @edward Astonishing may not have ended strong in your opinion but DAmn Cassiday Killed it EVERY single time!!

    Identity Crisis was a strong series in my opinion and Rags Morales art is phenominal (I don’t recall it being late either)

    All this love for We3? nice story, great art but it was only 3 issues!!Brubaker, Vaughn and Kirkman had LOOONG runs of great stories!!

  61. Love the list. If were to add anything…

    1) Alias. I really believe that this was a game-changer. Took the concept of revisiting the minor character (as in Morrison’s Animal Man or Moore’s Swamp thing) and one-upped it by inventing a minor character and fitting her perfectly into historical continuity. Plus, the meta-comentary on comics was brilliant.

    2) Fables. Shows that pure storytelling belongs in comics. Always did; always will. The art and Jean covers didn’t hurt either.

    3) Nova. Abnett & Lanning are reigniting everything I loved about the comics of my youth. Nova is the standout of the Abnett & Lanning line, and the A&L imagining of the Marvel cosmic universe is even better than the Jim Starlin era – which is saying something.

  62. @ Coltrane
    I love nova too, not sure if it would make my lost but it might! Especially the two arcs leading in to secret invasion

  63. Gotham Central! Fuck yeah!

    Though I thought for sure Criminal would be on this list but I suppose there was already enough Brubaker mentioned here

  64. Seeing Gotham Central in any best of list is always good. One of the best series I’ve read.

    @Josh: Pedant, I haven’t heard that word used in years (last time was english lit in Uni I think), I enjoy minutiae, so the pejorative nature of it doesn’t bother me, it would be akin to calling me a geek, I’ll own it. The decade/century thing has always amused me because people are more fixated on the psychological nature of 9 the greater leading to 0 the lesser, then the actual fact that the actual summation of 10 years starts at 1 and ends at 10. I know it’s societally wide acceptance, but it was me being facetious in a throw away crack. Figured it would just be met with a shrug.

    Preacher just pressed it’s cheeks into 2000. I would argue with myself if I wanted that on my list. Just because my love for it is beyond word. I believe it got me back into comics, but it was definitely the highlight of the 90s.

    Scalped, Fables and the Cosmic stuff from Marvel are the only things I can think of that would make my list that you don’t already have. Oh and All Star Superman.

  65. Awesome list. I’ve got a few more things to read…. like The Authority.  Although Invincible is my favorite book the last year or so, it doesn’t feel appropriate for this type of list.  It’s far too good for any lists anyways. 🙂

  66. whew!!

    amazing list–I LOVED see We3 in there–I can’t wait to check some of these out…


    well done, Josh–I can’t even imagine trying to get a list like this together…really awesome.


  67. WE3 seems to getting a ton of praise here in the posts. Kinda odd….for me anyway. It was good but didn’t really hit home for myself.

    However, I felt All-Star Supes was something that was both extremely rare and special. Let’s face it, the big boy in blue is not the easiest character to write and 99% of the time he seems either over or under used. Morrison and Q created a defining watershed moment on the Superhero of Superhero’s and blessed us with a story that finally equalled the characters iconic status.

    Really like that The Authority is on here over Ultimates. I love both and couldn’t agree more on why it get’s the pick.

    There are a few books (ex. Batman Year 100 & LOEG vol 2) that would’ve made my list over _________. But more then any other title (missed on this list) over the last 10 years, I’d choose Planetary. A real shame it was riddled with delays and a poor release schedule. Combined with 3 one shots and multiple tpb releases/re-releases – all looking different then the last. This was the book that refused to make life easy for fans and made it all the more difficult and confusing for new readers wanting to give the book a shot. But read as a single piece – is second to no other book of this decade and may well prove to be Ellis’ masterpiece. The funny thing is that the final volume has yet to be collected…so unless you track down the issues, this makes doing that a little tough. And I can’t help but giggle at the irony.

  68. Idenity Crisis is almost insultingly out of place on this list. Even ignoring the issues of its shock value premise and absurd contradictions of continuity, the story was objectively horribly constructed. What kind of idiot would craft a murder mystery where the villain’s only motive is "INSANE!" Characterization was off (to say the least) and nothing made sense. Just thinking of the Deathstroke fight makes me giggle. Thinking of the villain not-going-to-kill-Sue with a fricking FLAMETHROWER only makes me cry.

  69. @Bornin1142 – You can certainly disagree with Josh’s opinion of the quality of Identity Crisis (just as he can disagree with yours), but it is very, very hard to argue that it didn’t have a huge effect on the DCU (which is a very large part of the comic book industry). 

  70. I read Identity Crisis just as I was getting back into comics, so it may very well not hold up. But I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it at the time, and as stated, it had a major impact on the way things are today in the DCU in both content and characterization and continuity.  Basically, it didn’t bother me.  But for a dude who hates it so much, you remember a lot more about it than I do.

  71. Deathstroke fighting the ‘Justice League’ and kicking their ass is one of the best moments of the decade. I remember reading that for the first time going back into comics and was just floored that a villain, who I really didn’t know much about, just made these heroes look like rookies. I think the story overall was a good one.

  72. I love when people remember Wildcats. To this day it’s a crime that it got canceled the way it was.

  73. I’d say all things equal with Sleeper and Criminal, as far as my affinity is concerned.

  74. IDENTITY CRISIS was and still is awesome.

  75. @conor I can not rad the first issue of identity Crisis without tearing up. And I’ve read the series like ten times, so I’m well aware of what’s coming.

    @Josh great list. Can’t really argue with anything on here. Box office poison is my favorite "it can be read in one volume" story ever, and Identity Crisis is my favorite DC mini ever. 

  76. @ TheNextChampion – You really hit the nail on the head. The Deathstroke fight made the Leaguers look like extraordinary idiots. Why would the most creative man in the DC Universe, who happens to be wearing the most powerful weapon in the DC Universe… try to punch Deathstroke? Just think about that for a second. And while you’re at it, try figuring out how Wally West managed to run into a sword. These kinds of contrivances are a perfect hallmark of bad writing.

  77. This is a great list.  To anyone who wants to check them out but can’t afford the 100-odd trades covered by the list, I recommend checking out your local library (I know it’s been said before, but it can’t be said enough).  A big enough branch will have many of them, and nearly any library can order them through Interlibrary Loan.  The Library: The Broke Person’s Bookstore!

  78. I would have to add Hellboy. Even though it started in the nineties it grew and branched beautifully in the aughts.

  79. The Authority – Gonna have to get on that soon. Until then I’ll reserve judgement.

    Astonishing X-men Blech! I’ll never understand why people love it. I feel like it’s the Brand Name of Joss Whedon that’s really carrying him along after I got a look at a hardcover in a library over a weekend.

    The New Frontier – Liked the art. Not so much the story. The animation was cool though.

    Y – The Last Man – The way I see it, Brian K Vaughn did a lot of great things and a lot of terrible things in the series and not (ick terrible). It’s a love and hate relationship. I’m just glad I read the whole series in a span of a weekend because I literally stayed up all night reading Trades 5,6,7, and 8.

    Identity Crisis – This trade was so good I’m doing an analysis on the sequential story techniques and concepts used in it as part of my disertation.

    Scott Pilgrim – still waiting for the last one

    52 – I wish COUNTDOWN was as good as this, because I was so disappointed when it wasn’t and immediately sold back my trades for 75% of the price to another book store.

    Young Avengers – I wish Runaways was as good as this. This is my fix outside of New X-Men/Young X-Men after they got canceled and they brought out that crappy series New Mutants.

    Green Lantern Rebirth – it was a comic alright…

    Walking Dead – scared my sister’s kids when they found trade 4 laying around my apartment.

    ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN – The book that brought me back to buying comics. Yes thank god for Mark Bagely and Brian Bendis because there was no way I was buying comics before this series. It’s been about 9 years now but I think it was the second arc that got me pulled in. The established character dynamics really gave me an idea of who was who without exposition and each issue was such an engaging read I felt like I was "in" that world. Is that a little sick? I think so, but I also think that’s what it takes to make a great comic that can save an industry and that’s what I think it did because I seriously know a few of colleagues who felt the same way back in highschool. One day the second trade of the run was in the library and that made me go read the first one. After that I went online to find my local shop, the rest is history. I hope there will be more sleeper books like that in 2010.

  80. Doing some re- reading and although it launched in the 90’s transmetropolitan was on fire in the early 00 decade. I really loved spider writing for the hole and issue 40 “business” is the best single issue of the series. I get why it is not on the list but wanted to throw my two cents in.

  81. That’s exactly why it’s not on this list. It’s my favorite thing Warren Ellis has ever done, easy.

  82. @ Josh makes sense as to reason and it is his best work. If you haven’t read his novel “crooked little veins” it’s quite good and basically a novel about spider if he was a pi not a reporter.

  83. I just read Identity Crisis over the past two days and loved every page of it. The motive is very much more than "insane!"

  84. @ Noto

    I’m afraid you’re wrong. Why? Well, let me tell you.

    Spoilers for Identity Crisis (I guess):

    The villain killed a close personal friend to get back together with the guy SHE BROKE UP WITH. But oh, no! She didn’t really mean to kill Sue! So why did she take along a FLAMETHROWER? How does any part of this make sense? Oh, because, uuuh… she’s insane!

    Seriously, stupidity of this magnitude is indefensible.

    I’m not blaming anyone for liking Identity Crisis. It’s written professionally enough that it had me fooled too the first time I read it. But frankly, any objective analysis of it will make it clear that it’s a bad story.

  85. I can agree that the Flamethrower was a Red Herring where there shouldn’t have been/didn’t need to be one, but the death still had "motive" involved. A clear cut reason. Was it insane? Sure. But how many strange, insane and/or stupid things have been done out of what the assailant calls "love" have been done throughout history? Insanity isn’t a motive, certainly not on its own. If anything it can be a catalyst, but as I said, there is a lot more going on there.

  86. That dude really doesn’t like Identity Crisis.

  87. @josh:   I just wanted to say thanks for making the list and giving some really great reads over the past week.  I had Box Office Poison sitting on my stack since I saw the Alex Robinson video podcast adn seeing your list made me pick it up and read it.  Wow, one of the best real world comics I have read in quite some time.  The second is the "controversial" Identity Crisis, I went to the shop to pick this up and they were shocked that I had never read it.  Well I just finished it and it blew my expectations.   I am glad that I did not read the spoilers that were ahead because it was a great read front to back.  So thanks agian and now I am going to try some We3! 

  88. Thank you for putting together such a great list. I’m particularly grateful that you included comics from independent publishers also. I’ve been away from the comics world for 17 years. The Walking Dead was the comic that finally lured me back in and made me realize how much I’ve missed reading comics over the years. Now I’m in the process of rediscovering old favorites and catching up on all the stuff that I missed during my time away. I think I’m going to start off with Y: The Last Man since I have seen it referenced so many different places, and then proceed from there. Thank you once again and take care.


  89. This is such a great list. I dont know how I missed this article since I’m on the site almost daily.

    Have never heard of We3 before today, but the article, and comments convinced me to order it from Amazon.

    Also surprised at the high regard for Young Avengers, I’m compelled to check that run out on Comixology.

  90. Astonishing X-Men and the Authority are the only things on that list I’ve read…In my defence I only just started reading again after 6 years out… Y the last Man as good as all that?