Now that Thanksgiving is over, there’s only one thing to do until Christmas: shop! If you’re looking for something for that comic book fan on your list here’s a few ideas. All of these are available in collected editions from your local comic book shop or online.
Absolute Death: During Neil Gaiman’s landmark series The Sandman (also a great gift idea!), Death was reimagined. Instead of the traditional grim, hooded, scythe-wielding spectre, Gaiman introduced Death as a cheerful, young girl (with quite the collection of hats!) tasked with ushering the living to the beyond. She would go on to rival, if not exceed, the popularity of series’ title character. This hardcover collects her two spin-off titles as well as new material.
Alias: Before Brian Michael Bendis was Marvel’s go-to guy, he was just a really good writer and this series remains one of his greatest works to date. Alias tells the story of Jessica Jones a failed former superhero who has now become a self-destructive, hard-drinking private eye. We follow her as she struggles with her place in the world and continue helping people. Bendis manages to inject emotion and reality into what is by its very nature an unrealistic world.
Green Lantern: Rebirth: DC had replaced Hal Jordan with a new, younger Green Lantern, much to the displeasure of fans. Finally relenting after years of protests, DC tasked ace writer Geoff Johns with resurrecting (literally!) Hal Jordan as Green Lantern. He did such a great job in this series that GL has become one of the company’s strongest books. It’s currently the backbone of the company-wide crossover “Blackest Night,” but it all started here.
Runaways: At some point while growing up, everyone thinks their parents are the most evil people on the face of the Earth. But what if it were actually true? That’s the dilemma faced by a group of young teens who find out that their parents are in fact a group of super-villains. Writer Brian K. Vaughan perfectly captures the youthful dynamic of the kids as they struggle to stop their parents.
Scott Pilgrim: The funniest comic I’ve read this year, hands down. Scott Pilgrim is a slacker who can’t seem to get his life together. Then he meets the girl of his dreams and everything changes. It seems like a normal romantic-comedy, until suddenly it takes a left turn and becomes so much more. Writer/artist Bryan Lee O’Malley creates a rich world with his unique art style that never fails to amuse. If you’re a fan of video games and the aimlessness of youth, this book is for you.
Starman: In the 90’s writer James Robinson and artist Tony Harris teamed up to work on what would become one of the highest regarded and best superhero titles of the decade. DC has finally gotten around to reprinting the entire story in a series of high-quality hardcovers that are well worth the higher price tag.