Top 5: Brian K. Vaughan First Issues

The comic world hasn't seen much of him lately, so it's easy to forget that no one starts a series like writer Brian K. Vaughan. Nobody can get you to commit to buying issue #60 on page 22 quite like this guy. Here are just a few examples:


5. The Escapists

In a few short pages, Vaughan makes you care about the characters, convinces you a comic book about people trying to make a comic book won't be boring navel gazing, and engenders in readers a fondness for Cleveland. Can you engender a fondness for Cleveland?



4. The Hood

"Oh boy, another one of these grim, postmodern antihero stories. How am I supposed to relate to this scumbag for six iss– oh. Oh."



3. Runaways

Their parents did what?! OMG, children, run! Run away!



2. Ex Machina

You're interested, you're curious… and then there's that last page.



1. Y: The Last Man

This ranks up there with the Lost pilot as a first chapter that immediately made me settle in and proclaim, "I'm in."

(Thanks to Jeff)


  1. Where is Brian k??

  2. @rottenjorge  – Busy in Hollywood.

  3. The Escapist mini BKV did was awesome, incredibly high quality literature.

  4. these were all during the time when i stopped reading comics thanks to the craziness of the 90s. Y and Ex Machina are always on my list to get into, but the sheer amount of volumes is a very daunting investment indeed. The escapist and the hood look and sound really cool…

  5. BKV needs to come back to comics!

  6. Yeah, this really makes me remember how much I miss reading his books.

  7. @wallythegreenmonster  The Hood is great and it’s only one volume. Plus it ties into whats been happening in the new avengers and really gets into Parkers head and his motivations

  8. I love the art in The Hood. It’s by a guy named Kyle Hotz who doesn’t get nearly enough high-profile work. I think he’s just done the pencils for the Ghostbusters chapter of that “Infestation” crossover.

  9. @Jimski  He does the Billy the Kid Old Timey Oddities, which we have praised endlessly.

  10. I miss Brian K. Vaughn.

  11. Speaking of Vertigo, I just read D.J. Caruso is directing Preacher. He did Disturbia, Eagle Eye, and I Am Number Four that’s out right now. I would have preferred a TV series.

  12. Every book of his is something special. Hopefully there is a truth to the rumors that he has something in the works.

  13. while i liked y the last man more, i gotta give the best first issue nod to ex machina

  14. Great list. If I were making this list I’d probably swap out The Hood #1 for Logan #1 simply because I’ve never read The Hood and Logan #1 had one of those patented “holy shit” BKV first issue moments.

    There’s a reason why this guy has been busy in Hollywood.

  15. I have to revisit The Hood. It’s been ages. Remember loving it. 

  16. I actually created a BKV rap to the song “You down with OPP?” by Naughty by Nature. Instead of reviewing an issue of Ex Mach I just went into song.

    Check it out below and sing along with the real song!

    You Down With BKV?

  17. those were the days

  18. I’d have switched Runaways with Ex-Machina, but otherwise yeah, BKV is frakking awesome

  19. @pppiquer-I was thinking the exact same thing, but I do think that, since this is a list of top 5 first issues, the reveal at the end of Ex Machina makes it deserve the spot it has.  I’ve never read the Hood, so now I’m going to have to check that out.  I have loved just about everything this guy did and I really miss him writing comics. 

  20. I miss BKV. Come back soon, Brian! We miss you!

  21. BKV, I probably wouldn’t be the comic reader I am today without his infulence.

    Y not only started my love-affiair with all BKV comic books, but with creator owned books in general. Once I was how much freedom they really have. I loved Y: The Last man monthly,and am getting the Hardcovers now so I can relive the adventure.

    While your right the first issue was something BKV excelled at, I think his real strenght was his cliff-hangers. I don’t think every writer can do a 20 page comic anymore, some really do right for the trade, but Brian made sure every issue ended with a great cliffhanger that drove you crazy for 30 days until it was resolved. His run on Runaways and Y were perfect, I almost forget about his great Hood series, or Dr Stange mini, but they too were awesome.

    Pride of Bangdad I think should get a mention as well, though as it was an OGN there was no real “first issue”. If a new BKV comic project was announced it’d be on my pullist today!