Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
5. Spider-Man: Blue #1-6
Spider-Man: Blue is a love letter from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale to the period where Stan Lee and John Romita changed the dynamic of Amazing Spider-Man into an almost teen romance comic with superhero trappings. The story has Peter dictating an audio letter to Gwen, thinking back to the time that they fell in love for the first time (roughly Amazing #41-47). It is compelling work from Loeb and Sale obviously is having a blast, especially when he draws Gwen and Mary Jane. This is a heartfelt, touching work.
4. “Hush” Batman #608-619
Loeb wrote this for artist Jim Lee (and inker Scott Williams). In this storyline, Loeb completely embraced the fact that he had one of the comic book industry’s most acclaimed action artists drawing twelve consecutive issue of one of the most popular comic book titles by coming up with a story that made sure that every issue was basically a mini-epic. The storyline introduces a mysterious villain named Hush who is hunting Batman and also knows Batman’s secret identity! Every issue featured at least one classic member of Batman’s Rogues Gallery, and nearly every issue had a major event occur in them, from Batman fighting a possessed Superman, to Riddler revealing he solved the riddle of Batman’s identity, to the return of Jason Todd (but not really…but maybe!) to Batman and Catwoman finally getting together. It was a roller coaster ride of all of the best aspects of Batman rolled into one epic tale and Hush imitators sprang up by the dozens in the years since. It revitalized sales on Batman and showed the power that a top creators like Loeb and Lee can bring to a comic book series.
3. Daredevil: Yellow #1-6
This story launched Loeb and Tim Sale’s series of “color-coded” mini-series for Marvel. It has an ironic title (as Daredevil is the Man Without Fear, but his comic is dubbed “Yellow”) and it is about Matt Murdock’s journey into becoming Daredevil but more specifically how his relationship with his secretary Karen Page developed (and how their relationship led to him changing his costume from yellow and red to the iconic red). It is a charming mixture of action and romance with beautiful watercolor art from Sale.
2. Superman for All Seasons #1-4
In this breathtakingly beautifully drawn series by Tim Sale, Loeb uses the seasons to depict different points in Supermans’ life. Along those lines, each issue is narrated by a different person who has a different take of who Superman is. Jonathan Kent, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and Lana Lang all have wildly different views of Superman (especially at the various points in time that they tell their respective stories) but when you put them together you have a fascinating picture of Superman as a whole.
1. Batman: The Long Halloween #1-13
As noted before, Loeb and Tim Sale had already produced three great annual specials spotlighting Batman during Halloween. In this year-long mini-series, they had us follow Batman from one Halloween to the next by following Batman trying to hunt down the mysterious villain Holiday, who murders people on holidays, one a month. The comic is set in Frank Miller’s Year One timeline, with the backdrop of the murders being the crime war between the Maroni and Falcone crime families. In addition, the comic deals with District Attorney Harvey Dent becoming Two-Face for the first time. This comic was a major influence on Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy of films.
That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let us know!
NOTE: Just like I mentioned in the voting, as a general rule for all of these polls, don’t be a jerk about the creator in question in the comments. No snarky comments about the creator. I’ll be deleting comments like that.
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