O Say Can You See: The Greatest Patriotic Super Heroes of All-Time
5. Gotham by Gaslight: An Alternative History of the Batman
Written by Brian Augustyn with stunning artwork by Mike Mignola and P. Craig Russell, this is the story that launched the whole line of Elseworlds comics! It features Bruce Wayne in the time of Jack the Ripper deciding to become the Batman to stop the nefarious serial killer.
4. Superman: Red Son
Simply put, what if Superman landed in the Soviet Union instead of the United States? That’s the question that Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, Kilian Plunkett, Andrew Robinson and Walden Wong try to answer in this Elseworlds mini-series that also sees a Soviet version of Batman and also a taste of what Lex Luthor would be like if the rest of the United States was actually on his side!
3. JLA: The Nail
Simply put, what if the Kents had a nail in their tire and never discovered baby Kal-El? The title, of course, is a reference to the famous proverbial rhyme “For Want of a Nail…” about how the smallest changes can have major consequences (chaos theory, essentially). Alan Davis follows this idea to its logical conclusion in this fascinating adventure with amazing artwork from Davis and Mark Farmer.
2. The Golden Age
James Robinson burst on to the mainstream comics scene with this lush, evocative tale of what happened to the Justice Society after World War II ended. As one voter put it (I’m paraphrasing here), one of the most intelligent comics ever written where they plot could be boiled down to “They saved Hitler’s brain!” Paul Smith was already quite well known before this series, but he was even more appreciated after it finished as he did a marvelous job handling the character-driven work that Robinson was going for with this volume.
1. Kingdom Come
Alex Ross and Mark Waid deliver this story of a future where superheroes are barely differentiated in their behavior from supervillains. Superman is called out of retirement to put an end to this behavior, but is it too late for him to change things? And is he even the right (Super)man for the job anymore? The handling of the trinity of Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman highlights this story, along with, of course, Alex Ross’ brilliant painted artwork.
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