Movies & TV / Columns

Must Read Comic Books During a Quarantine

April 8, 2020 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
The Dark Knight Returns

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last week we discussed Favorite Comic Book Villains of All Time!. Here’s what some of you had to say:

mcdropkick: “I have a soft spot for the Flash’s Rogues. (Too many to list, but Captain Cold was always a favorite.) I like their blue collar aesthetic, how they were just about getting loot, not taking over the world or being lunatics like the guys in Gotham.”

William Jansen: “Sometimes the cliché-answer that nine out of ten casuals gives, the villain even your mom could mention, is the correct one; The Joker is the greatest comic book villain of all time.”

El Atomico: “I’ve mentioned before that I used to think that The Joker was an outdated, cartoony villain until I read The Killing Joke (graphic novel.) He’s my pic. If we need the heavy weaponry, Dr. Doom, and I always thought the Serpent Society was Bad Ass.
Good column as always, Gusto!”

The Man Who Met Andy Griffith: “Paste Pot Pete of course. Trapster? Pffft. Who’s down with PPP? Yeah, you know me!”

poopsadaisy: “Dr. Doom is probably my favorite of all time. Looks awesome, always has brilliant plans and considering he”s just a “normal,” mortal human, has mastered both technology and mystic arts to give him an advantage over more powerful foes.”

Gil: “Joker seems to be on top of everyone’s list, but I never really got into any of the Batman comics so I put other villains in front of him. My top villain would be Apocalypse. For DC Comics, I would rank Sinestro as my favorite.

Anyway, when you do “of all time”, the classics will always shine the brightest. I’m kind of curious how this list would be if it was “best comic villain created within the past 10 years”.”

RAWmachine: “Joker is who I see as the very best villain because of his level and style of crazy. He can and will do anything and everything to only his reasoning. Ive always liked the methodical ruthlessness of Dr.Doom. I dont even think you can put a label on Magneto as hero of villain but just a great character. Black Adam probably there with him. I always though the Hellfire club never really got much consideration after that short series in XMEN comics, but as a group Ive always liked the Legion of Doom.”

Jack Burton: “Most of my list is Spidey villains so ill just list some that arent (not that he hasnt faced off against some of these): Dr. Doom, Magneto, Black Adam, Joker, Taskmaster, Loki and Thanos.”
Acolyte Of Glorious La Parka~: “Easy.
3. Dr. Doom
2. Apocalypse
1. Galactus (depending on whether or not you consider him a “villain”)”

smashadams: “Thanos, Magneto, Doom, Apocalypse and Lex Luthor. It is what they all have in common that makes me love these guys. Can you guess what that is? Joker is awesome and has a lot of depth but he can’t hold any of these guys jock”

Double J: “Favorite comicbook villain from the movies: Joker
Favorite comicbook villain from cartoons: Apocalypse (90s X-Men)
Favorite comicbook villain from comics: Superboy Prime
Favorite comicbook villain I’d like to see more of in all 3 mediums: MODOK”

“Quarantine” Jake Fury: “Luthor has been great in the current Justice League run by Snyder and Tynion.
Darkseid is just the personification of evil IMO.
Favorite Bat villains are Two Face and Riddler.”

Thank you to everyone who commented! Too many last week to run but check it out if you missed it. This week we discuss…

Must Read Comic Books During a Quarantine 

How is everyone doing? Hopefully staying inside and staying safe. While we adjust to our new routines I thought we’d do an easy column this week. While I’ve been reading a number of graphic novels, I’ll admit that I’ve dug out all my old Wizard magazines and started reading them from the first issue. If you have any old issues, give them a read and remind yourself of where the industry used to be and where we are now.

To say things have change is an understatement. It also reminded me of some books that I used to love and need to go back and read again. 

In the comments section, from time to time, I see someone ask for suggestions and everyone is great to jump in and share what they think. I wanted to open it up this week and talk about books you’d suggest that are on your “Must Read” list. 

When it comes to the classics, my list is pretty cliche. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s filled with titles like:

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Batman: Year One
The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen
V for Vendetta
Sandman: Volume 1: Preludes And Nocturnes
Kingdom Come

I also pepper it with titles like:

Invisibles: Volume 1: Say You Want A Revolution
Fables: Volume 1: Legends In Exile
Y The Last Man: Volume 1: Unmanned
Powers: Volume 1: Who Killed Retro Girl?
Transmetropolitan: Volume 1: Back On The Street (New Edition)
The Walking Dead: Volume 1: Days Gone Bye
All-Star Superman
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth
Ex Machina: Volume 1: The First Hundred Days
Superman: Red SonMiracle Man
Astro City: Volume 1: Life In The Big City

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Yes, I can be a bit overwhelming when it comes to titles to suggest. That’s the great thing though. There is so much out there that just about anyone can find something that appeals or speaks to them. For many of us, we got hooked when we were young. I’ve mentioned it before I used to read random comic books growing up but the first series I followed actively was G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Yes, I fell for the comic book/toy line/cartoon combo. Years and years later, I had the pleasure of interviewing Larry Hama, who wrote most of its 155-issue run. To be able to chat about that was a thrill and I could have easily went on for hours, talking his ear off. After that, the floodgates were open. I got hooked on the Legion of Super-Heroes and it grew from there.

I guess where I’m going with all this is I wanted to see what books you all would give someone if they had free time on their hand due to…say…a shelter in place order. It doesn’t have to be one, because that’s impossible. Throw a few out there and let’s see what happens.

Sound off below and stay safe out there!

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!