I thought it might be kind of fun to pick a comic (storyline) and see what kind of recommendations the board would come up with based on that comic.  (If it works well, who knows, I might choose another one next week. :))

Just 'cause it's not a game without criteria, why don't we go like this:

1. Something old (a specific story or issue)

2. Something new (a series being published currently)

3. Something related (by a member of the creative team or another story featuring the same character)

4. Something Batman (a specific story or issue)

So, the comic is:

Southern Bastards Vol. 1: Here Was A Man

(Mark has a review here.)


Our picks so far:

Southern Bastards Vol. 1: Here Was A Man

Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga

Daredevil by Mark Waid Vol. 1

Saga Vol. 1

The Magneto Testament

Avengers: Ultron Unlimited

Seven Soldiers of Victory by Grant Morrison

Secret Origins (1987) #10: The (possible) origins of the Phantom St...

JLA: Year One

Action Comics #241: The Super-Key to Fort Superman

Detective Comics #s 604-607: The Mudpack

Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

Planet Hulk

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Is this the one with art by Bart Sears? I know I have bought this issue (haven't read it) long ago, but can't remember whether it was digitally or if it was a part of a collected volume I bought. I will have to read that one!

Border Mutt said:

Something Batman: Like the finale of the Mudpack, Gotham Emergency in LOTDK 200 is another bad day at Gotham General.  In this issue, the hospital staff must deal with the Joker being admitted.

Yup, Bart Sears did the art on that one.

Wow, it's long past time for another one of these! Let's go with Alan Moore & Curt Swan's "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?" (originally published in 1986's Superman 423 and Action Comics 583, but reprinted several times since then) as our jumping off point. 

So... something old, something new, something related, and something Batman?

Thanks, Rob! I was out of commission for a week, so now that I'm back in, I am happy to continue this thread. I'm going to try to use only one Alan Moore-written book, just to keep myself from getting lazy.

Something Old: Just because it's in my mind and I've been rereading it lately, I'm going to go with Legion of Super-Heroes #21-24, "The Quiet Darkness". The Legion guest-stars in the Superman story, so that's where I fit this in. I'm loving taking my time going back through this story.

Something New: I'm going to go with the three volumes of Grant Morrison's Action Comics. Alan Moore was a big influence on Grant Morrison, and no one writes the modern Superman like Grant. It's every bit as crazy and cosmic as you would expect.

Something Related: Here I will go with my Alan Moore book: Top 10. I love everything about this 12-issue original series. So many Easter eggs; so much good story about a police precinct in a world where every single citizen has super-powers. You would think this would be a contrived idea, but Moore makes it work in ways and on levels you would never expect.

Something Batman: I would go with Neil Gaiman's Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?, but the truth is I didn't actually enjoy that story. But because it is tangentially related, I will recommend another Gaiman-penned Batman story; the Riddler origin from Secret Origins. This story, drawn by Bernie Mirault, has the Riddler asking questions that so many of us were asking, like, "What happened to all the fun? The Joker is killing people, for God's sake..."

That Riddler story was a great one -- it's exactly that moment where he mentions the Joker that really got me.* Man, I'd love to see more Bernie Mireault comics!

*Incidentally, an incidental mention of the Joker is one of my favorite moments in another comic, in Flash 53, where Wally asks Pied Piper if he thought the Joker was gay. (This was right around the time Joker goosed Batman in Arkham Asylum, so there was talk in fandom about it, IIRC.) Piper says he's only met him once or twice, but "I doubt he has real human feelings of any kind." This struck me as a really deft piece of writing on Messner-Loebs's part. Not only does it make a statement about the Joker, but it also puts Piper's coming out to Wally squarely in the category of "real human feelings" -- something that sadly needed to be explicitly said in the 80s. Messner-Loebs handled that so damn well.

Well, there's a tangent!

That issue of Secret Origins also had the heartbreaking origin of The Penguin, told by Alan Grant and drawn by Sam Keith. Talk about the perfect character to draw Oswald Cobblepot.

At first, I thought Poison Ivy's story was in this issue as well, but it's in another issue. It is also written by Neil Gaiman, and talk about character bits--I will always remember that story (drawn by Mark Buckingham) because it has Poison Ivy flirting with the guards and the reporter in a very believable way. Instead of turning the sexy on and using innuendos, she comes off as someone you could really talk to and get to know. Of course, we know what's really going on, but this is a unique (and very believable) take on it.

And since we are just all set up here in Tangent Town, I'm going to say that I remember that particular scene in that issue of Flash as well. Incredibly well-done. Messner-Loebs and Greg LaRoque are two of the must underrated creators alive.

Let's see... it's well past time I answered my own question here.

Something Old. I'm choosing a Legion story for this one too, Sensei -- Adventure 365-366, "Escape of the Fatal Five/The Fight for the Championship of the Universe." Not just because of the Legion's involvement, but because it also has a "last stand at the headquarters" scene, in which the four Legionnaires (and Shadow Lass, who becomes a Legionnaire later in the story) flee to the Legion Clubhouse, which the Fatal Five surrounds with "atomic barbed wire" (whatever that is). Quite a lot of tension (and some great death-trap escapes) in this two-parter, which is one of my all-time favorite Legion stories. I first read it in shrunken reprint form in a DC Blue Ribbon Digest, and it held up even at tiny size. It's also reprinted in Legion Archives #7.

Something New. Keeping with the Headquarters theme, I recommend Secret Six #3 & 4, in which the Six settle down in suburbia, at their member Big Shot's house. As luck would have it, they get attacked by some familiar faces, too. It's really good stuff, the kind of story Gail Simone writes best, IMO -- broken people picking their lives up and building new families. With swearing and fighting and all sorts of deviance. I can't wait for more. 

Something Related: Instead of another story with Curt Swan art (just look at my "something old" for a great one, or "something Batman" for a fine Alan Moore story), I'm recommending Legion of Super Heroes #92 (from 1997), a story called "Swan's Way." It's 1958 and the Legion all for some reason think they're students in Mr. Swan's art class, until a monster from another planet (aka their teammate Gates) shows up. I haven't read this in a while, but I remember it as a nice tribute to Curt Swan, how had passed away the previous year. By Tom Peyer and Lee Moder. 

Something Batman: Here I'll go with an easy one: Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons' "For the Man Who Has Everything" from Superman Annual 11. It's by Alan Moore, it takes place at the Fortress, it's one of the all-time best done-in-ones. And it has Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman. Think clean thoughts, chum. 

Anyway, those are my recommendations. Anyone else? Or does anyone have a new story to start us up again?

You know what, I'll go ahead and give another story just to get things hopping again:

Planet Hulk from 2006/2007, written by Greg Pak. Illustrators included Carlos Pagulayan, Gary Frank, Aaron Lopresti, amongst others.

I haven't read it, but there's a lot in the premise I can jump off of, regardless -- exile in space, gladatorial combat, and some fantastic creators involved. I'll give it some thought!

You described it very well, Rob, which I failed to do. Add in some powerful aliens and we're ready to launch. I admit that I have to give it a little thought as well, but I figured it would be a fertile topic.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I haven't read it, but there's a lot in the premise I can jump off of, regardless -- exile in space, gladatorial combat, and some fantastic creators involved. I'll give it some thought!

I'll probably do these piecemeal, but here's Something Old: Another hero who regularly gets exiled into space is Green Lantern. (And hey, hey's green, too!) There's a run in the 1980s, starting with Green Lantern issue 151 and ending with 172 that, unlike Planet Hulk (I assume) is kind of directionless and meandering, but it leads to a number of fun one- and two-parters set on different planets. There's "Star Cycle" in 152-153, and then a renegade GL (but not Sinestro) in 154's wonderfully titled "Rotten to the Corps." Gil Kane steps in for a one-parter in issue 158 (and sticks around for a number of covers), and even better, Alex Toth (!) does an issue as well (written under the pseudonym "Noel Naive" by Robin Snyder with extensive rewrites by Joey Cavalieri). Plus, there are appearances by Evil Star, Hector Hammond, and the Omega Men. (Also, there's the notorious Keith Pollard cover of a kid about the burst open from being stuck outside a spaceship, issue 162.) All in all, its a run with massive ups and downs, but probably plenty of stuff to keep a GL fan interested. 

And hey, here's Something New, too: The Omega Men, a DCYou book by Tom King and Barnaby Bagenda (with cool defaced-poster covers by Trevor Hutchison). Like Planet Hulk, it takes place in outer space and has a lot of cool aliens. It's a war story, and the Omega Men are fighting a war of terror against the Citadel, the empire that runs the star system. There's a lot of space politics, and a lot of very obtuse storytelling tricks -- more than anything, it reminds me of the "5 Years Later" run on Legion of Superheroes...and since I don't know these characters as well, it's finally giving me the experience that an outsider had reading those issues, rather than a lifelong Legion fan. This is complex, deliberately misleading, and, for someone who enjoys serialized comics you have to read closely and carefully ... so much fun. My favorite Omega Man, Nimbus, has been listed as deceased in a wanted-poster-style house ad, but I don't believe it. I'm scanning the corners of the panels for clues. Three issues have been published so far.

Something Old: I think you would probably have to scrounge to find this, because I don't believe this is anywhere in total collected form. I'm talking about Superman: Exile. This is in the issues of Superman (pre-Nu52) #28-32, Adventures of Superman #451-455, and Action Comics Annual #2. This is the story of Superman exiling himself in outer space after killing three Kryptonian criminals. Unlike Planet Hulk, though, Superman doesn't conquer his own planet. He does, however, engage in gladiatorial combat, fights Mongul, and finds out quite a bit about Krypton from an old holy man named the Cleric. I'm surprised this hasn't been collected, actually. At thirteen issues, it's a pretty tight little story.

Something New: I'm going to take kind of a tangent on this one, and recommend something that explores other dimensions and planets. Rick Remender's and Matteo Scalera's Black Science does a really trippy job of exploring the darker side and bleaker effects of dimension hopping in this series. This is another series where no one is safe, much like in The Walking Dead or Savage Dragon. I would say the tone is somewhere in between those two properties as well, and it's very different from both in terms of story. Think Lost in Space, the dark version.

Something Related: I'm going to recommend Secret Wars: Planet Hulk. Can't get too much more related than that, only this one features a Conan-like version of Captain America riding atop Devil Dinosaur as well as our beloved Hulk. Written by Sam Humphries with art by Marc Laming, this is, much like the rest of Secret Wars, just pure fun.

Something Batman: Hmmm, well, I think I'm going to have to go with Batman: The Black Casebook, the collection of Silver Age Batman stories from which Grant Morrison drew inspiration for much of his run. I know this one contains a story in which Batman and Robin ventured to another planet, where they wore caveman clothes (plus their masks, of course!). I read this story a long time ago, and it was very Silver Age-y, but it would serve as a companion piece to Planet Hulk for sure.

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