Comic books are an important part of pop culture as we know it today, and they have helped shape a huge portion of entire generations. In addition, every comic book lover knows that this medium is not just for entertainment – comic books often have deep truths about life and humanity within them, making our favorite superheroes or characters as human as we are.
If you want to dive into the enticing world of comic books, you may not know where to start. Here, we compile the top five classic comic books everyone should read.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
Written by Frank Miller and illustrated by artists Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley, this 1986 comic book changed the fate of Gotham’s superhero forever. In this comic book, Batman puts on his cape once again for the last time after he retired in order to save his city from The Mutants. This time, he is accompanied by 13-year old Carrie Kelley as Robin.
Written by Warren Ellis, this comic series ran from 1998 to 2009 and was illustrated by John Cassaday. It tells the story of an inter-dimensional organization known as Planetary, which has three superhero members. Their job is to uncover secrets of 20th century history, such as a supercomputer from World War II which can access other universes.
Written by one of the most prolific comic book writers, Alan Moore, and illustrated by artist Dave Gibbons, Watchmen is among the most celebrated comic books of all time. Everything from the art to the plot as well as the dialogue, character, and structure make this series a must-read, showing us that superheroes can be just as human and corrupt as we are. It’s no wonder it was among Time’s All time 100 Greatest Novels in 2005. There is a movie adaptation too, which was released in 2009.
The Sandman series
One of the most acclaimed series in the history of comic books, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman Series is centered around the god of dreams, Morpheus, who, along with his siblings The Endless and Dream, travels across time and dimension. A great deal of the story explores the relationship between humans and reality itself. Sandman is more than just a comic book – it’s a work of art and literature, which is unprecedented in the history of the medium.
The work of Art Spiegelman, who is both the writer and artist, Maus is a comic book that tells the story of the Holocaust, where all the characters are portrayed as animals. The Jews are portrayed as mice, Nazis as cats, Americans as dogs, the British as dolphins and the non-Jewish Polish as pigs. This comic book is based on the life of the author’s father – a Polish Jew who survived a concentration camp. There is no doubt that this is a tear-jerking tale, but Spiegelman’s commitment to the entire production is what makes this comic book really stand out.
These are the five comic books you should definitely read, whether you’re a long time comic book lover or just getting started.