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 V.1: Here Was A Man
1. Something Old -
The violence and atmosphere brings to mind some of the seedier Batman and Daredevil comics. The overwhelming corruption and the sense of both progress and frustration echoes in my mind James Gordon’s journey in Batman: Year One.
2. Something New -
Although they both head into supernatural territory, I think Kirkman’s Outcast or Snyder’s Wytches both share a decaying small town feeling with this book.
3. Something Related -
Jason Aaron’s Scalped seems like an obvious recommendation for this one.
4. Something Batman -
Having already chosen Batman: Year One as it relates to the corruption in the story, I think Mercy, from Legends of the Dark Knight #37, is a solid story about a character who decides to stand up with violence because they can’t let something go.
1. Something old: Jamie Delano (with artists Goran Parlov and Goran Sudzuka put out a book through Vertigo (?) during the late 90's called Outlaw Nation. It has since been re-issued in black and white by Image. The backwoods setting in Southern Bastards reminds me of the western setting in ON. I would have to say that the characters in Nation are a tiny bit more likeable than the ones in SB, but that could be the difference in the eras in which they were published.
2. Something new: I have to go with The Goon on this one. Eric Powell can make you laugh (unlike this book) one second and then punch you right in the stomach with the emotion in the next second, which Bastards is good at. The biggest difference here is, of course, the comedy element, but in terms of quality, this book is right on the same level, and is also centered around a rural setting.
3. Something related: Well, Border Mutt, I'm happy to say that you took my first choice, Scalped, because it is an awesome read. I'm actually finding a lot more in common between Bastards and Scalped than anything else Aaron has written. So I'm going to go with another book with Jason Latour's art: Sledgehammer 44. It's a WWII book set in the Mignolaverse along with Hellboy and the BPRD. It's about a giant robot fighter which is seemingly haunted by some kind of spirit. So, you know, it's right there with the rest of the Mignolaverse--only with some beautiful artwork! (Okay, that's always true of Mignola books too...this thing is pretty much pure Mignola!)
4. Something Batman: You'd think this one would be much easier, but it turns out there aren't many Batman books that come to the top of my head that involve Jason Aaron, Jason Latour, football, or small towns. So I am going with the theme of the first book (or one of the themes) where a man who moved away from his hometown and then came back to try to reclaim it after having been taken over. Yes, I'm going with the movie Dark Knight Rises. That's about the best I can do on that one! Wouldn't it be fun for someone to write a story about Batman fighting crime out in a rural area (probably busting meth-heads).
And thank you for starting this, Border Mutt! Great idea! I hope it takes off.
And by the way, Border Mutt, even if this is a game that you and I just play between the two of us, I will keep playing as long as you do! (Although it would be a lot more fun if we had more participants--hint hint, people!)
Okay, I'll bite:
Something Old: In Preacher Volume 2: Until the End of the World (Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon), Jesse Custer heads south to confront his awful, abusive family. Yes, it's full of hillbilly stereotypes and Faulkneresque whack-a-doos. Repulsive and violent, Ennis & Dillon are just hitting their stride here.
Something New: A small, insular town where everyone's all up in each other's business? Try Wasau, Wisconsin, and Tim Seely & Mike Norton's Revival, where the dead come back to life, and no one can leave until it's all sorted out.
Something Related: Jason Aaron made his Vertigo debut with The Other Side, an excellent war comic told from the POV of an American GI and a Viet Cong soldier. The art's by Cameron Stewart, so no complaints there, either.
Something Batman: Oh, let's go with A Death in the Family, just for the spectacular beatdown.
Thanks, Rob! Good call on the "Something Related" pick!
Also, I have the first two or three trades of Revival. Sadly, I haven't read any of them.
Yeah, you guys pretty much stole everything I would have suggested. I read the first issue of Revival on Comixology and was intrigued, but for some reason I couldn't get our Acquisitions department to buy it for the library. I just checked the one near my house, and they've got the Deluxe Vol. 1-2, which goes out to issue #23, plus the Chew crossover. So I'll get to them before long. Thanks for the reminder!
I definitely need to get caught up on Revival, because all I've heard are wonderful things.
Okay, Border Mutt, what next? Do you pass off the next book? Or do you hand off that duty to someone else?
Well, why don't we try a more widely read DC book for the next selection, then I'll hand off the baton for the following one?
Lets try Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga
(The Baron has a short review here.)
Legion of Super-Heroes: The Great Darkness Saga
1. Something Old -
In the future, a group of super powered young people protects the galaxy from assorted menaces. Partly an elite organization, partly a bold statement, the Hypernaturals are pitted against the worst the galaxy has to offer... but this time they face a being of indescribable power. This 12 issue maxi-series, while clearly owing a lot to the Legion, manages to move out of its shadow and tell a compelling story all its own.
2. Something New -
While lacking quite the same sense of menace and foreboding as the Great Darkness Saga, Kieron Gillen’s The Wicked + The Divine features returning gods turning the world on its ear.
3. Something Related -
The Legion has a lot of great and distinct eras, (some would probably say too many). Beyond the original continuity, I can think of great stories from “the five years later” period, the “reboot”, and the “threeboot”. That being said, it seems odd to say that I wish there’d been another ongoing continuity, yet the Elseworld’s tale, Superboy’s Legion, was a great read that made me wish it had longer in the sun.
4. Something Batman -
Whenever Darkseid and Batman clash, usually the Justice League does most of the heavy lifting. A couple of those tales leap immediately to mind, however, I think I’ll pick one that’s a little more obscure, Super Powers (1985); an unapologetically fun series with Kirby pencils. (There’s a nice little write up about it here.)
Alright, here goes:
Something Old: I'll recommend the biggest story the Legion had appeared in until The Great Darkness Saga, issue 241-245's "Earthwar,". Also written by Paul Levitz (with art by Jim Sherman and Joe Staton), Earthwar puts the Legion in the middle of a war with the Khunds, but like The Great Darkness, there's a mysterious villain pulling the strings.
Something New: Here I'll recommend one of my new favorite books, No Mercy, by Alex DeCampi and Carla Speed McNeil. There's only one issue out so far, but it features a bunch of teens from different backgrounds coming together to do good. And, since by the end of the issue they're lost in South America in very dire straits, it's got a lot in common with Legion Lost. (The good miniseries from 2000, not the lousy New 52 series.)
Something Related: I'll recommend another Levitz work here: The Silver Age of DC Comics coffee table book from Taschen. Adapted from the huge 75 Years of DC Comics book from a few years earlier, this more focused edition has even more great art, with expanded text as well. A real treasure trove. A Golden Age edition is out, too, and a Bronze Age book is scheduled for August.
Something Batman: I'm pretty sure there's a Batman connection in Legion of Superheroes Annual 1 from 1985 -- also by Levitz and Giffen -- but I can't reveal what it is without spoiling the issue. It's been a while since I've read it, but remember liking it, though!
First off, I want to second Rob's high praise for No Mercy. Great first issue!
Here are my picks:
Something Old: My introduction to Legion of Super-Heroes was a storyline called The Terra Mosaic. This took place in 1992, from Legion of Super-Heroes #25-36. Sadly, this has not been collected (yet!). It is, however, easy enough to find in either back-issue bins or very readily on the DC app. Written by Tom and Mary Bierbaum and Keith Giffen with art by Jason Pearson, Dusty Abell, Chris Sprouse, and Colleen Doran. The arc focuses on the SW6 Batch, which is a group of younger "clones" of the adult Legion. Also included is a massive war with the Dominators, the tragic death of the adult Sun Boy, the story of the adult Element Lad and his girlfriend who turns out to be not what she seemed (in a story that is years ahead of its time), and a ton of interesting characters (Sade, Bounty, Shvaughn Erin).
Something New: I'm going to tell everyone to try Justice League 3000. This book is a lot of fun; it's by Giffen and DeMatties (the writers of the JLI years), and it also takes place in the far future. I seem to remember Legion taking place circa 2995, and this obviously takes place in the year 3000. There will be a new series about the same characters called Justice League 3001 after Convergence is over. This book is about clones of the Justice League who don't maintain the personalities of their originals. Plus, it now features Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Fire, and Ice from Giffen and DeMatties's Justice League circa 1986. It's the same characters, but they've all been frozen in time for a thousand years. (Well, except for Ice, who has just lived that long...)
Something Related: I'm going to go with something Rob mentioned in his post and say the original Legion Lost. This thick slab of a hardback book contains an amazing story of a Legion that has been transported light years away to a dark corner of the universe with no way of getting home. I love the story by Abnett and Lanning, and you also get some really nice early artwork from Olivier Coipel. Man alive, this was awesome. I only wish they would have put out a second volume of the follow-up miniseries Legion Worlds. Never say never, I suppose.
Something Batman: Okay, I'm going to pull some fancy footwork here, and recommend a Paul Levitz-written story of Batman's daughter, Helena Wayne, in the New 52 miniseries Huntress. This was a great story of an awesome character who somehow isn't trotted out with bells and whistles when it comes to females in comics, but she has been around for a long time representing. This character has been around for a long time, but is seldom heralded for some reason. Of course, this turns out to be the Earth 2 Huntress, but the--Earth 1? Is that what the main DCU is now?--version of the character plays a pivotal part in the Grayson series.