The world of comics is vast and filled with a variety of stories and genres. Whether you are a fan of superheroes, slice-of-life, or historical fiction, there is a comic out there for you. Here are some of the best comic story arcs and graphic novels that you should check out.
I Kill Giants by Joe Kelly and JM Ken Niimura
Barbara Thorson believes there are monsters in her world; she just does not expect them to be human. As both the new girl and outsider at school, Barbara has a hard time making friends because she was obsessed with fighting giants. However, when real giants begin attacking her small town of wood, everyone starts to take notice of Barbara’s strange behavior.
I Kill Giants may start as your average teenage angst story, but Kelly has a much bigger story in mind than when you first read it. By the time I was done with this trade paperback, I felt that this is one of the most powerful stories about dealing with loss that I have ever read in comics. Joe Kelly gets what it means to be young and lonely and he allows us to experience these emotions through Barbara Thorson’s eyes. What makes Barbara so special is her ability to tell herself that she can fight giants even when there are none around which prevents her from breaking down(At least for the most part). The artwork by Niimura fits perfectly at capturing these raw emotions on Barbara’s face as she struggles to come to terms with her mother’s death and how it has altered her life.
I Kill Giants is one of those rare books that gets everything right: the mystery, the characters, and the dramatic payoff. It also comes highly recommended to fans of Ghost World and The Crow.
All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
When you think of superheroes who need a break from saving people daily, Superman ranks at the top. After all, he has been doing this for over 70 years now(and will celebrate his 75th Anniversary this year) so if anyone deserves a vacation from their job, then it’s him. Well, writer Grant Morrison had the same idea as he wrote All-Star Superman where he turns the Man of Steel’s life upside down once again(He even threw him in Arkham Asylum at one point) by having Lex Luthor create a special breed of kryptonite that can kill Superman. And since this is Grant Morrison after all, he did not just settle on having our hero fight for his life; he also throws in some time travel and makes it so that Superman’s powers are gone for good.
Is it any wonder why I consider All-Star Superman to be the best Superman story ever written when you take into consideration how Morrison goes out with a bang? Anybody who has been reading comics from DC for the past few years knows that their version of the Man of Steel has been gradually getting more and more bleak and depressing. And ever since the inception of the New 52, things have gotten even worse; readers can expect Superman to kill somebody in their next crossover event. But Morrison knows that we deserve a treat for all those crappy stories that we had to endure for almost two decades and he rewards us with an insight into what makes Superman such an awesome character: He will always choose to do what is right no matter how hard life becomes for him.
Superman may be one of the most powerful heroes of all time, but All-Star Superman reminds us that his greatest power comes from doing good because it’s a power he can never lose as long as he remains a hero.