asked in in his own journal, what 10 comic titles influenced my work and my perception of the media the most.
Here is my top 10 must reads
1.) The Punisher- believe it or not, I wasn't that much into comics when I was a kid, superheros never really appealed to me. Then I found a issue of the Punisher on the comic rack and my whole idea of the medium of comics changed. Punisher reads like a crime story from start to finish, morality blurred between ruthless criminals and the man hunting them down one by one showing no mercy. Garth Ennis run on the Max line was arguably the best though I'll never stop asking Marvel bring back the Suicide Run and Countdown in trade form.
2.) Alien Vs Predator- This was one of Dark Horse comics best ideas. At the time, even Hollywood couldn't pull off something as epic as pitting these two iconic sci-fi creatures against one another in the same story. When this battle finally made it to the big screen years after, it was still far short from the depth and intense action that could be found in the comic. Only Dark Horse make this happen.
3.) Team 7- One of the most underrated origin stories in comics, it's what made me a fan of the original Image team. Internationale Operations' star Black Ops Team is made up of the best killers in the world, Director Craven wants to make them better by unknowingly exposing then to the 'Gen Agent' to turn them into super-soldiers... but at what cost and what ends? For a miniseries that established the foundation of the entire Wildstorm line up, it's sad this book was never in trade format.
4.) Super Patriot- Another criminal underrated mini series during the original Images hay day, Super Patriot tells the story of a once Captain America like WWII super hero who has been reduced to a modern day walking gun after years of being used and abused by his government. After being captured by a terrorist organization, he is then turned against America destroying half the Pentagon in a frighting (very frighting considering what happens in the real world years later) only hope that a fellow once-was hero turned weapon can still reach than human-being inside the killing machine before it's too late. Great story, beautiful art, it has it all. Only reason why this isn't in trade is because of the mix of Savage Dragon and Young Blood characters prior to the Image founding fathers splitting up.
5.) Sin City- In my option, Frank Millers most defining work. Gritty noir crime stories though forgot to the by comics, Miller took you for a ride in a world of sex, violence and psychopaths with stunning artwork, unforgettable characters and subjective matter not often explored in the american comics. Sin City told the industry it was time to grow up.
6.) Kingdom Come- We I finally read this book, I looked at DC characters in a whole new light. In a dystopian future super 'heros' act more like violent street gang, fighting each other over their own beliefs without regard of the casualties that ensue, Wonder Woman convinces Superman to return from a self imposed exile, along with the original JLA, to bring back order to the new world. But others have their own ideas of what the new world should be and it's not long before these forces clash with dire consequences. This book defined the idea of 'Gods and Monsters' for all other super powered books that followed, proving even gods can bleed.
7.) The Walking Dead- The book that define the tradition Zombie genre create by Romero, not as much about the zombies as it is about the people trying to survive the world slowing slipping into hell all around them. One of the only books that leaves my jaw on the floor and screaming 'good god!' after every book.
8.) Battle Royal- A Japanese manga filled with some much violence, it leaves even a desensitized child of the 90's like myself gasping. A tragic story of a high school class chosen at random by their dystopian oppressive government to fight to the death as the nation watches for entertainment. The real of this achievement book is not the over the top violence but the how the writer and artist almost magically gets you to invest yourself in every character of the story... right up to when you pull the trigger. Then ask you point blank: 'how did you enjoy the show?' unforgiving, unrelenting and got damn brilliant.
9.) The Authority- Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch literally rewrote the definition of super teams with this book, a team of super powered former UN peace keepers and black op agents set out to save the world from itself as they take on super human terrorist, invading armies of a parallel dimension and near omni power god like being. Mark Millar and Frank Quitely take over without missing a beat, showing the conciseness of the heroes intervening in international affairs leading to a bloody battle with a former US super powered black ops team and their master mind who has become disillusion world and it's leaders. The book went down hill after Millar and Quitely left but it forever left it's impression on the industry.
10.) Lone Wolf and Cub- There are few books in ether the comic or manga industry that have influenced or inspired as many people as Lone Wolf and Cub, a story of a former samurai turned assassin traveling with his baby boy across feudal Japan in search of revenge. It's a samurai father, son story of love, death, betrayal and revenge that will leave you asking for more from beginning to end.
HellBoy: Only reason why I didn't list this book is because you should already be reading it. Hellboy is honestly one of the best characters ever written.
Blade of the Immortal: A tale of a ronin who cannot die until he slays 99 evildoers, great artwork and amazing fight scenes.
Gipsy: a great series I found in Heavy Metal Magazine that follows a Roma trucker, Tsagoi, driving across the international freeways of a not so distant dystopian future trading ill gotten cargo on the black market. Mess with his sister or his truck, you will regret it. Great writing and artwork.