Going Through My Graphic Novels: Cull or Keep? (SPOILERS)

I've got rather alot of graphic novels, most of which sit on my bookshelves or in boxes in my closets from one year to the next, never being looked at. So, I've decided to go through them all, re-reading each one and deciding whether to keep it or to cull it. Culls will be donated to the local public library.

 

As I re-read each one, I'm going to try to present my impression of each one, and then announce the verdict: Cull or Keep?

 

There will be spoilers here, so beware. I most likely won't read one every day, but I 'm going to try to keep up a steady pace.

 

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The story started when Ronan the Accuser came to Earth to get Mar-Vell, who had just had surgery for Negative Zone poisoning. Hank was turned into a caveman and almost killed Jan since he didn't recognize her. (Why was it always Hank that kind of thing happened to?) Then Super-Skrull came to get Mar-Vell because he knew how to make some sort of device the Skrulls wanted. So I think they attacked Earth because he was there and both sides wanted him. When the Skrulls landed Ronan had already left and the Kree were unaware that any Skrulls were on Earth.

Darkseid vs Galactus was a fun little book from what I remember. Just to see the crossover between the two, and John Byrne was in fine form at that time.

I don't recall if I ever read the "Kree-Skrull War", if I did it obviously didn't leave any kind of impression on me. I've generally been unimpressed with a lot of the "classic" Marvel stories from the 70s though.

...Wasn't it #17 which introduced the " trading Neg Zone slots " relationship with Rick ???

Ron M. said:

The Supreme Intelligence gives them to Mar-Vel in #16 but I don't remember how he got them. I don't think he really said.

Rick got his pair in #17. How exactly a second pair got on Earth wasn't explained. It's been awhile but I think in #16 they just made Mar-Vell fly and explained how he could breath in space. It's obvious that series was being made up as it went along. How many writers had it had by #17?  

Next is Batman & Captain America, by John Byrne.  A nice, simple, solid story of Cap and Bucky teaming up with Batman and Robin agaisnt the Joker and the Red Skull. It's well-crafted and entertaining, and I especiallu liek the epilogue.

 

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

After the above, I read Superman & Batman: World's Funnest, by Evan Dorkin and a host of artists, including Mike Allred, Frank Miller, Brian Bolland, Alex Ross, Sheldon Moldoff, and Dave Gibbons.

 

This book shows Bat-Mite and Mr. Mxyzptlk battling their way through just about every DC continuity that had existed by that point.

 

You know, it's funny - I've always enjoyed this. In fact, I still enjoy parts of it. The parody of The Dark Knight is particularly amusing. But - maybe it's a function of age - it was only when I was re-reading it last night that it occurred to me what a dark, morbid book it is underneath the superficial wackiness.  The two imps basically murder everyone they come in contact with. Yeah, they restore it al at the end, but it's still kind of creepy.

 

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Finally, this morning I read Zatanna: Everyday Magic, by Paul Dini and Rick Mays.  A nice, fun book in which Zee tires to live a "normal": life, all while rescuing John Constantine from the machinations of a rival sorceress.

 

I found this quite enjoyable.

 

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Lat night I read History of the DC Universe by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. The art on this is exquisite, but the texst is somewhat disjointed. It feel sort of like a rush job, or like Wolfman kept remembering stuff he wanted to put in. It's nice to look at, but not a great read.

Cull or Keep?: Keep, if mainly for the art.

Next up, I read Legion of Super-Heroes: The Darkness Saga, by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffena and Larry Mahlstedt. This one is another one that's more of a "collection" rather than a graphic novel. It contains Legion of Super-Heroes #287, #290-294, and Annual #3.

This storyline tells the story of the appearance of Darkseid in the 30th Century, which I always thought was a cool idea. The storytelling is pretty good, and although I'm not always the biggest Giffen booster, the art is pretty good, too. All in all, I enjoyed this. Is it true that the Legion doesn't exist as such in the Nu52?

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

After that, I read Superman: A Nation Divided, by Roger Stern and Eduardo Barreto. This is an "Elseworlds" that posits Kal-El coming to Earth much sooner, so that young "Atticus" Kent fights for the Union in the Civil War.

The artwork in this is OK, the storyline is enjoyable, but not brilliant. I'm a sucker for alternate history, so this sort of thing tends to interest me. If anyhting, the story doesn't explore the impast of a Superman appearing in th e1860's as much as it could have. In some ways, I like the idea of this story more than I like the actual story.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.
Finally, I read Batman: In Darkest Knight, by Mike W. Barr and Jerry Bingham. Another "Elseworlds", this time Abin Sur chooses a young Bruce Wayne, who becoems a somewhat different Green Lantern. Sinestro becomes a sort of "Joker" figure, and he kills Commissioner Gordon and Alfred, and makes Harvey Dent ands Selina Kyle into his minions. In turn, the Guardians recruit Superman, Wonder Woaman and the Flash to even the odds, and we end with Bruce leaving Earth to pursue Sinestro and Pals to the stars.

I like the story OK, but I'm not perfectly happy with Bingham's art - it's not terrible, but it could be a little cleaner.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.
I've been reading this discussion, Bob. I just haven't had much to add.

HISTORY OF THE DCU: I think I’ve read this cover-to-cover once; beyond that, I’ve referred to it frequently over the years and read bits and pieces.

THE GREAT DARKNESS SAGA: A favorite of mine. I have it in both HC and TPB (and original issues). I could stand to cull the TPB from my shelves, but it has a fold-out poster by Giffen. I don’t know the answer to your question about the status of the LSH in the Nu52. One thing sadly lacking, IMO, from the Nu52 in comparison to CoIE is the lack of a standard “what’s in and what’s out” guide such as History of the DCU.

ELSEWORLDS: At some point I decided to drop all “Elseworlds” from my list because they “didn’t count” and I had to trim the fat somewhere. The two you mention came out after I made the cut.

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