The comic book medium has been growing exponentially since its early days in the 20th century. Gradually evolving mainstream culture and artistic approaches changed how comics and their characters are written, with each passing decade seeing more great stories published.
Now, comic books – or the long-form, graphic novels – are as ubiquitous in pop culture as any other “legitimate” variety of literature. Maybe because, like ancient myths, people are drawn to over-the-top stories about beings greater than, yet still bearing the same human flaws we all see in ourselves. Or it could be that they offer an escape into worlds and circumstances far removed from our own experiences. Perhaps, more simply, visual storytelling just offers a means of enjoyment unburdened by long and drawn-out prose.
Watchmen by Alan Moore
Perhaps Moore’s most iconic work in comics came in his Watchmen series. Along with artists Dave Gibbons and John Higgins, the series functioned like a dark satirization of the superhero genre by portraying a group of morally-ambiguous “heroes” that are clearly — and dangerously — unstable in their respective ways.
The comic also incorporated (for its time) more contemporary elements like the Vietnam War and the Cold War. Doctor Manhatten, for instance, can be easily seen as the physical manifestation of paranoia over nuclear war breaking out. Along with the likes of The Sandman and The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen was one of the first few comic books of the time to rank on The New York Times Best Seller list.
The Sandman by Neil Gaiman
An occultist attempting to capture the physical embodiment of Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his seventy-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power to reclaim his reign. From there, one of the most incredible series in the history of the graphic novel genre begins…
New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series The Sandman is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in comics storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore, and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.
This graphic novel–a perfect jumping-on point for any reader–includes the introductions of Morpheus, Lucifer, and The Endless, all intricate parts of this enduring series that is still as relevant today as ever.
The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
The ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Returns’ is a gripping story of the legendary comic book hero, ‘Batman’. This particular book deals with a unique adventure of Batman where sudden trouble causes chaos in Gotham city. As always, Batman is the only one who can save them from this trouble. This book was published by RHUS in 1997 and became a global best seller. IGN included it in their list of ’25 Greatest Batman Graphic Novels’ while ‘Time’ declared this volume to be one of the 10 best English language graphic novels ever written. The movie adaptation of this volume with the same name also became a worldwide hit.
The city of Gotham has become an easy hunting ground for The Joker and Two-Face as Batman has taken retirement. Their cruelty has reached its peak and the town now is in complete misery. The 55-year-old Bruce Wayne is enjoying his retired life but these circumstances are forcing him to return from retirement and don the Batman’s cape once again to save his beloved city.
Can Bruce Wayne stop The Joker and Two-Face? And what’s more, along with these two enemies he also has to deal with a new enemy, Superman! As the battle gets deadlier, there is going to be only one survivor. Will Batman turn the tables and emerge victorious in the most terrific battle the city of Gotham has ever seen? A breathtaking story and intriguing artwork keep you glued till the end.
Justice League: Last Ride by Chip Zdarsky
Once the most powerful group in the world, the Justice League was destroyed by tragedy and time, disbanding under a veil of mistrust and anger. Now, on the eve of the universe’s greatest murder trial, the League must come together one last time.
Can Superman and Batman bury the past before the cosmos’s greatest villains bury them? Learn the shocking truth about why the World’s Greatest Super Heroes disbanded in this unforgettable story by writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Miguel Mendonça!
Slip by Marika McCoola
From Eisner-Award nominated writer Marika McCoola and debut artist Aatmaja Pandya, an emotional coming-of-age graphic novel for fans of Bloom and Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me.
Right before Jade is about to leave for a summer art intensive, her best friend, Phoebe, attempts suicide. How is Jade supposed to focus on herself right now?
But at the Art Farm, Jade has artistic opportunities she’s been waiting for her whole life. And as she gets to know her classmates, she begins to fall for whimsical, upbeat, comfortable-in-her-own-skin Mary. Jade pours herself into making ceramic monsters that vent her stress and insecurities, but when she puts her creatures in the kiln, something unreal happens: they come to life. And they’re taking a stand: if Jade won’t confront her problems, her problems are going to confront her, including the scariest of them all—if Jade grows, prospers, and even falls in love this summer, is she leaving Phoebe behind?