"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Comic Books, Film
Top Five Month continues (check here to see an archive of all the top five lists featured so far) with a look at the top five current comic books written by Garth Ennis!
5. The Boys
Ennis’ twisted look at superheroes, along with the great Darick Robertson on artwork, is a fun comic book series, and often, you will be astonished at some of the truly sick jokes that Ennis not only attempts, but manages to actually convincingly PULL OFF! To wit, he had a plot in a recent story where a hero suddenly felt compelled to have sex with anything nearby him, including a robot and a cat.
He quickly sent his young sidekick on a year-long journey to keep him away from him.
Such a joke is quite gross, but Ennis actually managed to sell it as an actual personal torment, showing the guy dealing with the ramifications of his actions. It was twisted but almost endearing.
That is a lot of The Boys right there – twisted, but almost endearing.
It’s a fun series.
4. Dan Dare
Dan Dare is ending soon (or at least Ennis’ involvement is), but Ennis has given it a good strong foundation, by taking an extremely back to basics approach to the comic.
It is a lot like reading a turn of the century war novel, only done in space with aliens. This is right up Ennis’ alley, as he loves to write war comics and does so better than practically any other comic writer.
Gary Erskine does a fine job on the artwork.
3. Streets of Glory
Artist Mike Wolfer does not give Ennis as much help with the art on Streets of Glory, the series by Ennis that is wrapping up soon, but he doesn’t really need to, because Ennis goes out of his way to tell an extremely clear tale where the story is told as much by his words as any of the drawings.
It is a very traditional story about a veteran lawman fighting the good fight in the Old West, but it is done with such great professionalism by Ennis that even the most standard of stories feels convincing and entertaining.
2. War is Hell: The First Flight of the Phantom Eagle
Ennis has already done Enemy Ace for DC, and now he turns to the Phantom Eagle, Marvel’s World War I pilot hero. Ennis takes a sort of satirical look at the character, filling the book with tons of twisted humor, but again, there is a real heart behind all of the jokes – and Howard Chaykin’s artwork helps get across the grittiness of it all beautifully.
Still, seeing stuff like the Phantom Eagle’s first encounter with a prostitute? Comedy gold.
Another cool thing is how the covers by Cassaday are sort of like the propaganda versions of the stories within – it’s quite clever. To wit, the issue with the prostitute has a super-romantic cover. Very cool idea by whoever came up with it.
This is a great series, and it is also wrapping up soon – try to pick up some back issues!
1. The Punisher MAX
This list was more about letting folks know about the other strong work Ennis is doing right now in comics, because I don’t think anyone really needs me to tell them that Ennis is doing a fabulous job on the Punisher, do they?
If so, then yeah, Ennis is doing a fabulous job on the Punisher, mostly by surrounding the fairly bland character of Frank Castle with amazing plots and intriguing supporting characters. The art has been good, too, by a variety of artists (Goran Parlov is the current artist).
Right now, Ennis is ending his long run on the book by tying up all his loose ends and forcing the Punisher to go up against American Soldiers, something Ennis has established that the Punisher is not really willing to do.
It’s strong work – it’s going to be quite sad when Ennis is all done on this title.
Well, that’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!
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