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The Greatest Brian Wood Stories Ever Told!

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Every day in April we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!

Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).

Today’s list is the Greatest Brian Wood Stories Ever Told!


10. DV8: Gods and Monsters #1-8

Wood and artist Rebekah Isaacs give their take on the mid-90s nihilist superheroes, DV8, by having the group transported to a pre-historic world. The superpowered youths are, in effect, gods on this world, and Wood and Isaacs show how these gods quickly turn into, well, you’ve seen the title of the series, right?

9. “Girl You Want” Demo #5

Wood and Becky Cloonan introduce us to Kate, in this tale of a young woman who shapeshifts based on how people perceive her. If someone thinks of her as a sexy librarian, she becomes a sexy librarian. When a barista sees Kate as herself, then, Kate becomes obsessed with her, although along the way she ends up creating an identity for the barista just as much as other people have created for Kate. It’s a fascinating exploration of how we tend to reduce people, even ourselves, into cliches.

8. Reservation X Ultimate Comics: X-Men #19-22

In the regular Marvel Universe a few years back, the mutant population was reduced to a few hundred. In his powerful Ultimate X-Men arc, Brian Wood did them one better and through the introduction of a “cure,” the mutant population is reduced to a couple of dozen mutants. The United States government has given them a terrible spot of land and given it to them. However, when Kitty Pryde and her misfit bands of mutants find a way to make the best out of what they were given, how quickly do you think the United States government decided to reverse their non-intervention policy? All of this outer pressure is countered by the inner pressure Kitty has from her fellow mutants, those who feel that she essentially sold them out after they won their freedom in the previous storyline. Artists Paco Medina, Carlo Barberi and Juan Vlasco did the art (and Nathan Edmonson co-wrote the last issue).

7. “Body of a Journalist” DMZ #6-10

After the opening arc established the main concept of the DMZ (Manhattan has become the demilitarized zone between two warring factions of the United States – The “main” Union and the “Free States”), we left off with Matty Roth being the survivor of a journalistic expedition into the area by a famous journalist (who Matty was working with as an assistant). In this story, though, Matty finds himself working at the mercies of both sides before he uses the only thing he has – the truth – to bargain his way into a unique position in the DMZ, someone who is free to report on what he wants. Riccardo Burchielli did the artwork for this story.

6. “Sven the Returned” Northlanders #1-8

This story, drawn by Davide Gianfelice, introduces us to the world of vikings as Wood explores how a young man returns how to reclaim what he feels is rightfully his. As you might imagine, it does not go smoothly.

The top five is on the next page!

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Brian Wood’s a great writer these days, but I’m surprised to see Channel Zero make the list. That was a bit if a mess.

Probably the list where I’m least familiar with the majority of the entries.

Glad to see local take #1. One of my all time faves.

Surprised at only one arc from DMZ on here.

@DanCJ: It was, yeah, but the ambition was admirable. And, it’s arguably one of Brian Wood’s best known works. For quite some time, he was “Brian (Channel Zero) Wood”.

I wonder how Jennie One fared in the voting. Wood’s collaborations with Cloonan are always excellent.

I’m kind of surprised that his Adjectiveless X-Men run with Lopez didn’t rank, but maybe it wasn’t read by enough people to make an impact. For my money, though, it was the best of his recent work-for-hire comics catalogue.

That said, this Top Ten covers a remarkable cross-section of his incredibly diverse body of work. The top two are especially pleasant surprises.

I’m kind of surprised that his Adjectiveless X-Men run with Lopez didn’t rank, but maybe it wasn’t read by enough people to make an impact.

It came close! I believe it was actually #11 (or #12? I forget exactly).

Gave up on X-Men years ago, but that Reservation X story sounds quite good.

This is a good list.

The only sad part is the lack of love for Couriers. My fault for failing to vote in this one.

Channel Zero, while a bit uneven, was a lot of fun and looked pretty amazing. I still think it looks pretty amazing actually, but to each their own. Still… I’m kind of surprised to see it so high on the list!

I’m really, really glad to see Plague Widow at number two though. Probably one of my favorite works of his to date.

Channel Zero looked great from a distance. Brian Wood has an excellent sense of design. I didn’t think it stood up to a closer look though.

He’d probably be a brilliant guy for doing breakdowns.

I just read some Wood stuff over the weekend (finally catching up with Mara and some other stuff), and I read the first 3 issues of Channel Zero. Wasn’t sure how much else he did with that, neat to find out I have 3 more issues to track down. It’s certainly interesting, but I’m not sure how well it “works” as a story. One great thing is the “subliminal messages” and “news crawl” (before news crawls were 24/7) used in the issues. Really shows the bombardment of media.

And if I remember right (I read a lot of comics, so it might have been a different book), there’s a Tom Fitzpatrick that has a letter in the second issue, and I do believe it might just be our pal here at the blog. So Tom was in on Wood before most of the rest of us.

@ Brian

I think it didn’t make the list because it wasn’t as controversial as his Reservation X storyline. I know Chad Nevett’s been very vocal about how awesome his run on Ultimate X-Men has been, specifically Reservation X, which had to help boost it’s notoriety on the site.

Personally, I’ve also liked his run on Ultimate X-Men a lot (the last time it was this good, Vaughn was writing it). That said, it started out pretty disjointedly. Reservation X was much more up to the standard Brian has set on past X-books, but I still think he’s finding his footing. Do this list again in a year, and you’d probably have two or three arcs that would replace RX. I’d say his best X-work was Generation X #71-5. The art was overall stronger and I feel like he had a better grasp of those characters. He did so much in those five issues, it’s a shame the book was cancelled like it was.

Even going off his recent X-work, I’d say his X-Men vol. 3 run was better than RX – he worked with much better artists in David Lopez and Roland Boschi, once again a better grasp of the characters, and I think a more thought-out plot. The sub-plots in Ult. X-men are definitely more interesting, but overall I’ve never cared for the idea of Xavier’s pupils isolating themselves from society. And while he’s introduced some very cool new ideas w/ RX, they feel much more ill-formed compared to the ones in X-Men vol 3, like he’s only thought the series through one issue ahead of what’s coming out – “Ok, the X-men take down Bastion, and then… they become endangered., and then, uh…. they come up with a really cool plant! And then, they uh… give me a sec…”

I’ve barely read any of Wood’s stuff so thgis provides idea for the to-buy list.

I read the big Channel Zero collection a few months ago and enjoyed it, but while I loved the idea, concept and overall design etc, I thought the story was lacking something. Don’t know what but it didn’t quite click with me.

Interested in reading Demo and DMZ.
And my lady loves Northlanders!

joe the poor speller

April 26, 2013 at 2:30 am

I’ve read this dv8 mini recently, and it’s actually pretty good stuff.

His DV8 mini was a great read. I was pleasantly surprised and highly recommend it. And not just for DV8 fans. It reads as a stand alone story. The art was amazing, although it didn’t seem as clear and crisp in issues #7 and #8 for some reason.

Disappointed that DMZ friendly fire wasn’t included here. One of my favorite comic arcs of all time.

It was the next highest vote-getter among DMZ stories, at least!

I forgot DV8 – if I had remembered it I would have put it in second place (after the Couriers), kept my vote for Mara and dropped my vote for one of the Conan or XMen stories

I wonder if this list would be posted now… I really hope not.

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