The Top 10 Comic Books That Define Brett Smith

It's no secret that I love comics. I grew up on the Spiderman and Batman cartoons. (And by that I mean what my family could rent as we didn't have cable till I was 10). I didn't really seriously get into comics till my high school years, which was also around the same time I got into anime and metal seriously. So which comics did I find that shaped me into the comic fan I am today? I think you'll be surprised by what makes and doesn't make my list. (Slight spoiler alert)

10. DV8 Gods & Monsters:

Brian Wood and Rebekah Isaacs took a book that had not seen print in over a decade and made it fresh, entertaining, and thought provoking. The idea is a group of super powered youths that don't like each other or what they do are dropped onto a primitive world where they are treated like gods. And while there they learn things about themselves and the responsibility that comes with having their powers. Whether you followed DV8 from the beginning or just got into it, Gods and Monsters is written in a way that newcomers aren't lost and honors the themes established from day one.

9. Hellboy:

Combining the best of pulp fiction, classic horror, folklore, mythology, and HP Lovecraft with Mike Mignola's unique art style, Hellboy under Mignola stands as one of the most entertaining reads I've ever had. And of course Hellboy stands as one of the best characters of all time.

8. Origin:

Being a longtime Wolverine fan it's no secret that one of his books would end up here. Telling the story of where everyone's favorite hairy Canadian came from, what I love about this book is the emotional impact it leaves on you. Paul Jenkins shows how a young James Howlett grew into the gruff and mean Logan who would go onto to be one of the most dangerous men on the planet, and it's tragic ending is nothing short of impactful. If you dare call yourself a Wolverine fan and haven't read Origin go read it.

7. The Crow:

We all know the movie the starred the late Brandon Lee but how many of you know about the comic. Yeah the movie's pretty tragic but the comic's something else entirely. From the poetic prose of Eric's narration and dialogue to the awe inspiring art by James O'Barr to the raw emotion and pain that flows from every page, the Crow stands as one of the most somberly beautiful comics I've ever read.

6. The Walking Dead:

Zombie fan so yeah this would end up here. Where George Romero movies focus on the chaos caused by the crisis itself, Robert Kirkman goes one step further and focuses on the people as they have to face the threats from the zombies, but also from within their own groups. As friends turn each other and alliances are made, we keep wondering how much longer can any of these people stay alive?

5. Watchmen

Everyone and their brother have talked about how great this book is so here's the short version. Blah Blah Blah Alan Moore Blah Blah Blah Multi-layered and complex narrative Blah Blah Blah Thought provoking questions Blah Blah Blah Memorable characters Blah Blah Blah Changed how comics were perceived.

4. Runaways

I wouldn't have gotten into comics seriously had it not been for Runaways. Every kid at some point thinks their parents are evil, well in Runaways that's actually the case. What draws you into the book is the characters, the kids all burst with personality and you really feel the bond between them as they become each other's family and are forced to grow up before they're ready. One of the best team and teen books Marvel ever put out (save a lame last arc) here's hoping Avengers Arena and their rumored upcoming movie brings them back.

3. X-23

Laura Kinney is my favorite character out of Marvel, there I said it. And if I can be allowed something controversial... Margerie Liu got the character better than her creators Craig Kyle and Chris Yost ever did. Now don't take that as me saying their stuff was bad cause it wasn't. But Kyle and Yost kept piling problems onto Laura and whether it was narrative necessity or something they never got around to doing, they never really tried to fix them and help her grow. After being through a childhood from hell, a life as an assassin, her mother's death, a soldier for X-Force, and a cutter on top of that, it was nice to see someone come by and finally get X-23 past all the crap in her life. I loved this book from start to finish for those very reasons, seeing Laura finally become a person and move past all the bad things that happened to her. And no I was not broken up about the break up between her and Hellion. (I never liked him anyway, I thought he was dull)

2. Berserk

Yeah I know manga, but it's still technically a comic, it's just a comic from Japan. I love Berserk for its MacBethian story, its epic artwork, and the great characters found in the likes of Guts, Griffith, and others. Guts is without a doubt one of the most badass characters out there and I love he's made to embody the strength of human will. The guy will not give up, and despite a less than immaculate past Guts is still a good and honorable man at heart. Read Berserk people! Benchmark for dark fantasy if you ask me.

1. The Sandman

Neil Gaiman's my favorite writer of all time, makes sense right. Never before have I read a comic that was as dark, surreal, fantastical, atmospheric, and imaginative as the Sandman. I love how Gaiman makes nods here and there to other mythologies while crafting his own. I love the character of Morpheus, he's mysterious and yet at the same time he brings a feeling of calm. He is not a being to be feared but to be awed. Reading the Sandman the feelings range from dread, to quirky but there is always a sense of wonder as you walk through the world of dreams. The Sandman mt favorite comic book of all time.

So you know the comics that define me as a comic fan, now show me the ones that define you. Put up a blog entry and show me.

1 Comments Refresh
Posted by OldManJoe

Glad to see that X-23 tops other people list as well. The first comic I ever read was X-23 Traget X.