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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John Romita Jr.'s art style has really changed in the past 10 years or so, and not for the better. 

Sal Buscema's art style also changed drastically since his 70s work, and not for the better.

Lots of reading today. First up was The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - Century:1969, by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, which follows Mina, Alan and Orlanado in London of the swinging 60's as they do battle with an evil sorcerer.The story itself is entertaining enough,but for me a big part of the fun is spotting the various Easter eggs, such as appearances by Andy Capp and the Second Doctor,and even a mention of Doug Piranha! Good stuff. Bit of a bleak ending, though, with a bit o a set-up for the sequel.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Next was The Incredible Hulk vs. Superman, by Roger Stern, Steve Rude and Al Milgrom. This is an excellent book, a great combination of writing and art, in which our heroes get caught up in Luthor's machinations. It manages to evoke both the earliest Hulk stories while working Superman as the character was portrayed at the time this was produced. Interestingly,they make a very good mix.Definitely worth a look.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Next was Batman-Judge Dredd: Judgment on Gotham, by Alan Grant, John Wagner and Simon Bisley, in which Bats, Dredd and Psi-Judge Anderson meet and battle an alliance of Judge Death and the Scarecrow. This was very interesting to me, as it was the first Judge Dredd story I'd ever read. The characterization is well-done and the art is very trippy, but it suits the tone of the story well.


A highlight of the story for me was the moment when the Scarecrow sprayed Judge Death with his fear gas, and we see that Death's greatest fear is small, fluffy animals.  fun stuff!

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

After that, I read Batman-Judge Dredd: Vendetta in Gotham, by Alan Grant, John Wagner and Cam Kennedy. In this one, Dredd returns to Gotham, ostensibly to pick a fight with Batman, but in reality to save him from death at the hands of the Ventriloquist. Lower key than`the previous crossover, this is still an ingenious little story and quite enjoyable.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

Now, this book came out in 1993, and at the end it said: "Judgment 3: Die Laughing! will be out next year!" In the end, it didn't quite happen that way

Finally, I read the 1995 story Batman-Judge Dredd: The Ultimate Riddle, by Alan Grant, John Wagner, Carl Critchlow and Dermot Power. In this one, Bats, Dredd and the Riddler get caught up in the machinations of the mysterious Xero. This starts out seeming like a standard "heroes compelled to fight or die for the baddy's amusement" story, but there are a few twists along the way. It even manages to be a Zero Hour tie-in of sorts! The art's not too bad on this one, either.

Cull or Keep?: Keep.

What happened to Die Laughing?

That's next in the pile. It came out in 1998. Don't know why the delay.

Seconds of internet research indicate that Laughing was delayed because the artist was taking forever to draw it, so long that Vendetta and Riddle were commissioned as stopgaps in the interim. Dunno how true any of that is.

I bought the hardcover about a year and a half ago of all the Batman/Judge Dredd pieces. I liked it a lot for what it was. I do believe I had long since given up on having one cohesive Batman to my name, and had surrendered myself to multiple interpretations of the character. It's much easier to enjoy this way, I've found.

If you found that on wikipedia it's a crap shoot whether it's right or not.

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