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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I don't have time to put my own recs down right now -- and won't until late tomorrow -- but how about the most popular comic in the universe, Saga? Volume 1 if we need to break it down that way.

I figured Saga or Hawkeye would be coming up soon.

As I seem to be one of only a couple of people in the universe that doesn't like Saga, I'm going to have to abstain from this one.

Saga, eh?  I've been meaning to jump in, so OK, I'll jump in.

Something Old - Star Wars: A New Hope is one of the many influences I see in Saga.  A very human story with a galaxy at war set as the background, a futuristic science fiction tale on the surface evoking the feel of the old movie serials.  I think Saga will hold up with numerous re-readings years from now, as much as the original Star Wars movie does for me after numerous viewings.

Something New - Saga has many elements to it, including horror and the supernatural, and is full of twists and turns.  Those are things it shares in common with Fatale, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.  Fatale is mainly a crime noir thriller, but it also veers into the supernatural, and full of surprises like Saga.

Something Borrowed - Brian K. Vaughan has an impressive resume, and one series I highly recommend is Runaways.  It's the story of group of teenagers who discover their parents are secretly a group of super-villains called the Pride, and the teens also discover they have super-powers that they have inherited from their parents.  There's lots of twists and turns along the way here too, 

Something Batman - I'm hard-pressed to think of a Batman story that brings Saga to mind.  I suppose the era before the New Look of 1964 where aliens and monsters and trips to outer space were commonplace would qualify, and the best story of that time was "Robin Dies at Dawn!" from Batman #156 (June '63).  Batman finds himself on a mysterious planet with no memory or explanation of how he got there,  He is soon joined by Robin, who saves him from a plant monster, and then a living statue, but at the cost of his life - but what really happened?

I am an erstwhile Saga fan, so even though I'm no longer a reader of this series, I know enough about it to give it some hearty recommendations...

Something Old: I'm not quite sure if this qualifies as "old", but it's a few years old, anyway. I'm going to go with the cosmic theme and tell you all to read Fear Agent. I own both of the hardcover shelf-porn versions, but you can get the trade paperbacks around, I'm sure. It's Rick Remender and Tony Moore--who was replaced eventually by Jerome Opena, so that was a lateral move if not a step up. But man, this book is about a grizzled space-fighter. The setting is the same, but there's a whole lot more alpha-male than anything you'll find in Saga.

Something New: For this category, I'm going to suggest something that should appeal to the quirkiness (which eventually became "preciousness" or "twee-ness", to coin a British word) of Saga. I would like for everyone to try Archie Vs. Predator. The first issue came out last week. But it was a solid first issue. It lies somewhere between the regular Archie style (the artwork is 100% Archie) and the darkness of the Afterlife With Archie storyline. It's a pretty awesome juxtaposition.

Something Related: My recommendation is Copperhead from Image. This is another one that is related only by virtue of its setting, but I really liked the first volume. It's written by Jay Faerber, whose work I have always found tepid, but he really delivers here. At first, you're taken by the story much more than the characters, but by the end of the first trade (the only one out), you're hooked because of the characters. It's about the new sheriff in a backwater town on a planet that is full of hillbilly aliens. It's really good. Trust me.

Something Batman: For this one, I'm going to go with Batman: False Faces. There is a trade that collects a three-part Batman story (plus a Wonder Woman story and another one-issue Batman story) written by Brian K. Vaughan. My favorite part is the 3-parter Batman story by a long shot. This story involves Nightwing, Matches Malone, False Face, and that Bat-Guy with humor in some parts. When was the last time you read a regular Batman story where Bats and Nightwing are jawing with each other? That's why this is one of my all-time favorite Batman stories. And it reads as breezily as an issue of Saga, so there's no filler here either.

And thanks for jumping on board, John! Hope to have you around for the long haul!

I'm going to cheat a little on the categories.

Something Old/Something Related: No one has mentioned Brian K. Vaughan's epic Y: The Last Man, which qualifies for both categories.It even has a similar family dynamic, if you allow "family" to include a secret agent and a monkey. Still one of my favorite Vertigo series.

Something New: I'm going to suggest another Image series, Morning Glories by Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma. There's family dynamics in this one as well, along with a very convoluted time travel element. 

I have read seven issues of Saga as it was coming out. I like it but not as much as some. So here are some attempts. I've racked my brain and it's hard to come up with some suggestions related to Saga. Here goes

Something Old: Star Wars by Brian Wood. this was published by Dark Horse and ran for almost two years before SW went to Marvel. This was a solid series with Princess Leia at the forefront.

Something New: Nameless by Grants Morrison from Image Comics. This is a different kind of space epic than Saga. However, it's good stuff

Something Related: Avengers the Initiative: Secret Invasion by Dan Slott and Cristos Gage. This was one of the best parts of Secret Invasion from a few years back. Lots of good action and some fine character moments.

Something Batman: JLA vol 1 by Grant Morrison. The JLA faces some Martians. Some great Batman moments in here.

Man, one of these days I'm going to get around to re-reading all of Grant Morrison's JLA run. This was some awesome stuff. I remember people crying that Morrison made Batman into too much of a god, but I disagree. I'm with Mark Waid in an interview I remember reading: "Batman could take down Galactus."

Jason Marconnet (Pint sized mod) said:

Something Batman: JLA vol 1 by Grant Morrison. The JLA faces some Martians. Some great Batman moments in here.

Something Old: Well, Like John, I was going to go with Star Wars for this category, too. But specifically, I was going to mention the first 6 issue of the Marvel comic book, with story by Archie Goodwin and art by Howard Chaykin. Back in the days before VCRs, those images are how I experienced the story again and again...and they were wonderful.

Something New: The new graphic novel by Jillian Tamaki, Super Mutant Magic Academy, is like Peanuts for people who grew up with Harry Potter and the X-Men: a bunch of short strips with humor rooted in all the depressing futility of life. It may not deliver the gut punches that Saga sometimes does (although it may... I haven't quite made it to the end), but those little body-blows can wear you down, too. A really enjoyable book, funny and heartfelt.

Something Related: I wish I could recommend the Mark Waid/Fiona Staples reboot of Archie, because every Archie image I've seen Staples draw shows how good she is at presenting these characters in a modern context. But since that's not out yet, how about Brian K. Vaughan's Doctor Strange story, The Oath, done with Marcos Martin. I've never been a huge fan of Dr. Strange, but this is probably the best Dr. Strange story I've ever read -- Vaughan and Martin make sure to remember he's a doctor as well as a mystic, and it really clicked for me. 

Something Batman: I'll have to recommend Batman: Son of the Demon by Mike W. Barr and Jerry Bingham. It's the story of how a couple got together despite being on different sides of a conflict and had a child. Seems appropriate, somehow.

Sorry, I was late to the game. This is a fun thread! So, when's the next one?

Stay tuned! I'm sure another one will be around in the next couple days. Thanks for joining in!

Jason Marconnet (Pint sized mod) said:

Sorry, I was late to the game. This is a fun thread! So, when's the next one?

I don't think Border Mutt would consider it out of line for me to ask you to start the next one, Jason. Go for it!

Saga, eh?

Something old: Crisis on Earth-X! In which the Justice League and Justice Society are transported to an Earth they weren't aware of where the Nazis won World War II and they have to defeat the tyrannical computer that has taken over for the Nazis.

Something new: Legenderry, A Steampunk Adventure. This series takes a number of characters such as Vampirella, the Green Hornet, Red Sonja and the Six Million Dollar Man , recasts them in turn of the century times and pits them against an evil cabal. Good stuff.

Something Related:  Preacher. If you've not read this Garth Ennis work, much of it revolves around the offsping of a demon and an ange. There's tons of other stuff going on as well. Parts of it are either dated or never were that good to begin with, but the other parts are quite outstanding.

Something Batman: JLA: Rock of Ages. Not entirely Batman, but he's the driving thrust of much of the resolution as the JLA battle both Lex Luthor's Injustice League and the forces of Darkseid.

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