I couldn’t find an existing thread like this, so I figured I’d start one. This is a place to discuss your picks for the best of the best of Marvel comics: what’s your top five look like?
5.Thunderbolts by Warren Ellis and Mike Deodato: One of the last great Marvel series, Ellis’ take on the villains-turned-“heroes” theme is dark, violent, and riveting, featuring a team of lovable psychos, only some of whom are working towards redemption.
4.Warlock by Jim Starlin: For my money, easily the best take on the cosmic superhero ever published by either Marvel or DC. Despite his fantastic abilities and convoluted backstory, Adam Warlock emerges as one of the most sympathetic characters in the Marvel universe, and his doomed quest to find peace and happiness makes for one of the greatest Marvel stories ever told.
3.X-Men by Chris Claremont: How many classic stories and timeless characters emerged from Chris Claremont’s reboot of the red-headed stepchild of the original Marvel line up? Claremont (along with various artists including Terry Austin, John Byrne, and Jim Lee) took a book that was on the verge of cancellation and turned it around completely, embarking on a run that spanned nearly 20 years, completely re-invented the concept of super teams, and dominated the sales charts.
2.Fantastic Four by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby: Honestly, I could have picked just about anything from this era… in fact, I almost chose Lee’s Spider-man, which is probably the more entertaining book. But there’s something special about this book. Reading these first 100-odd issues is like watching the Marvel Universe being born and growing up right in front of your eyes, and it’s some of Lee and Kirby’s best work.
1.Daredevil by Frank Miller: in 1980, Marvel put a lanky, 22-year-old kid from Vermont in charge of a low selling book on the verge of cancellation and changed comics forever. Taking what had previously been a fairly standard superhero comic in a grittier, more noirish direction, Miller redefined the character. In the process, he changed the way people thought about comics, leading the way for books like Swamp Thing, Watchmen, and Miller’s own Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One.
A few years after his initial run, Miller returned to Daredevil to write the epic Born Again storyline with art by David Mazzucchelli, followed by the graphic novel Love and War with Bill Sienkiewicz, and The Man Without Fear miniseries with John Romita Jr. They’re all definitely worth seeking out in their own right.