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Best Science Fiction Graphic Novels

The 25 Top Science Fiction Graphic Novels

Graphic storytelling dates back to caves in France. It's always been around, in everything from graffiti cartoons to tapestries to political cartoons. The comic strip rose up in the late 19th century, becoming one of the key innovations of the newspaper, and eventually, people wanted to read many stories all together instead of one strip at a time. This led to the first collections, and eventually to the invention of comic books. The comic books were often close in tone and content to the comic strip of the days, but would eventually come into something new with the addition of superheroes like Superman in the late 1930s. The comic book, typically monthly, ruled for decades, telling a long, unified story through a series of arcs, sometimes rebooting, sometimes running as a single reality. Even as the mainstream of the fine arts world started taking them seriously, comics were still seen as a non-serious enterprise that could only do long-form storytelling.

Until Will Eisner hit on the idea in the 1970s.

Picture novels, and comics omnibus editions, had been around for decades. Bantam released a hybrid of comic book storytelling with traditional prose called Blackmark in 1971, but it was Eisner's A Contract With God that brought the graphic novel, and the term, into regular use. It was the start of comic book storytelling with a new container. While graphic novels often collect portions of on-going series, they are almost always of a single story told within that series, or a completely new story created specifically for the medium. Since a graphic novel is free of the structure of a traditional comic book, it can go further afield, digging into deeper, heavier storylines. It became a popular format for personal storytelling, such as the works of Eisner or Alison Bechdel, and quickly became popular with artists and writers as a way to tell a more limited story. This suited it to genre storytelling in a more adult vein, since in theory, a graphic novel wasn't competing for shelf space with super heroes.

Marvel jumped on the graphic novel in 1982, releasing a series of well-received graphic novels as the Marvel Graphic Novel line. This line of titles often featured mainstream Marvel characters, but also brought new characters out, and even had a title for Elric, Michael Moorcock's legendary hero. DC released the DC Graphic Novel line slightly later, which led to the DC Science Fiction Graphic Novels, which adapted work by top-flight SF writers like George RR Martin, Ray Bradbury, Fred Pohl, and Harlan Ellison. These helped to get the graphic novel into the mainstream.

By the end of the 1980s, graphic novels were being put out by companies both large and small. Smaller houses like Slave Labor Graphics and Fantagraphics, released many excellent graphic novels of all kinds, and DC and Marvel both used the graphic novel format to explore darker sides of characters and storylines.

This list features a look at graphic novels and collections that tell whole stories. Some series that are split across several trade paperback collections are left out, but everything on the list is a single, sometimes massive, book that you can sit down, enjoy cover-to-cover, and come away with an entire story to digest.

Ah, steampunk. The genre itself was only cooling on the windowsill when Mark Millar and Brian Augustyn basically created the Elseworlds concept, taking Batman to a Victorian-era Gotham where a mad man is on the loose. It's basically the Jack the Ripper story, only transported to the DC Universe as it might have been told in the page of Punch magazine.

The storytelling here is phenomenal. The Batman character is so flexible that it easily fits in with any time period, and the idea of a costumed hero in the time of Queen Victoria actually fits so perfectly. The story is dark, and by the end or it, you're realizing that this is the start of something much bigger; an entire concept was born in those first pages. DC jumped on Elseworlds, taking established characters and putting them in new scenarios, usually for a one-shot, but sometimes for miniseries as well. Batman, even moreso than Superman, has been turned into some of the most amazing scenarios in these comics, though none of them approach the level of Gotham by Gaslight. In fact, very few comics approach it period.

Why it tops the list:

Hugely influential, brilliantly written, gorgeously drawn, and masterfully realized, it is a rare comics masterpiece.

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Alan Moore will make several appearances on this list, as he is undoubtedly the master of the form. While Watchmen gets so much love, from the point of view of storytelling and depth, you can not get a better graphic novel experience than V for Vendetta. The story of one man's revolution against what Moore saw as the logical conclusion of Thatcher's England. The character of V is amazing, one of the most impressively driven characters in the history of comics.

While the story is the highlight, the art should not be ignored. The strong work of the legendary David Lloyd, who provided an incredible counterpoint to the story, perhaps softening the rage and providing a way to engage with the story in a natural way. The entire package, as collected in the trade paperback, is a masterpiece of sequential storytelling, and especially the way that the art and story play off one another is the heart of the power of the graphic novel.

Why it's on the list:

An incredibly powerful story, well-drawn and brilliantly written, and one of the best records of the fears that occupied Britain in the 1980s.

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Frank Miller. He's a difficult figure in the history of comics, but you can't deny that his work on The Dark Knight Returns helped to bring the super hero into the darker world of the graphic novel. This is the story of Batman as the crazed 50 year old who has returned to battle crime in Gotham. The story, set in a relatively dystopian near-future Gotham, is as impressive, and dark, as anything that had been published by a mainstream comics company.

The Dark Knight Returns is one of the most influential pieces every written in comics. The Dark Age of Comics started here, and the stylized art influenced two generations of comics artists. The heavy tone re-invigorated Batman, and you can point to the Christopher Nolan films as evidence of the impact of The Dark Knight Returns on the wider pop culture landscape. More young writers were impressed with Miller's work than you can shake a stick at, and the two decades of comics reflect that.

Why it's on the list:

Powerful storytelling, and a major turning point in the history of the graphic novel medium.

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A venture capitalist with a brain-damaged mother. A technology that can transform the world. A ruthless enemy with a dark agenda.

Packed to the brim with non-stop action and thought-provoking science, Mind Machines is an intensely complex sci-fi thriller you don’t want to miss. The unpredictable plot hooks you immediately, and the snarky narration lightens even the darkest scenes. The inventive Brainocyte technology will appeal to die-hard fans of the genre as well as casual readers. 

The characters are well-developed and the relationships are realistic. As entertaining as it is clever, Mind Machines is a story you won’t soon forget. Get the Kindle ebook copy here, paperback here or audiobook here.

Alan Moore again, and not Watchmen. This was one of those moments in the history of comics where you can see the changes about to hit, and aren't entirely sure what to do about it. Swamp Thing had been around for nearly15 years at the point when Moore took over writing the title.

Moore, a consumate comics historian, began to mine the history of DC comics to bring out long-dormant characters to light. The tone of Moore's run, dark, heavy, and densely-layered, was also incredibly adult, and is considered to be the first time that a mainstream title broke with the Comics Code Authority, which DC would run with by creating the Vertigo series of titles.

You only have to look at what came out of characters used during Moore's run to understand the impact. Hellblazer's John Constantine was created by Moore in Swamp Thing, and Gaiman's Sandman used Cain and Abel, who had made appearances in the title. Add to that the power of Moore's more adult-themed work and you could see where comics were going to be headed in the 1990s, and beyond.

Why it's on the list:

The great on-going series run of all-time.

Books in Swamp Thing Series (9)

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Gorgeous. That's the first word that comes to mind when I think of the incredible art by Alex Ross for Kingdom Come. The painterly work here is incredible, calling to mind Norman Rockwell and Thomas Hart Benton more than Jack Kirby. The story itself is amazing as well. An alternate history look at what happens when heroes are in for the long run and lose touch with the reality on the ground. It is the story of super-powers vs. humanity, about force of will vs. force of conviction, about loss and pain vs. the path towards rightousness. The stand-offs between all the concepts here are what make this series one of the truly great Elseworlds concepts, but it also pushes the emotional baggage of decades of each and every one of these characters right up to the front.

The gouache work by Ross is phenomenal, and heroic, and has redefined the imagery associated with so many of these characters, especially Captain Marvel, but the script, by Mark Waid and Ross, is equally strong, and it is this comic, more than any other, that brought the Elseworld's concept to a new maturity in both critical content, and artistic approach.

Why it's on the list:

Powerful story, unforgettable art, and an amazing reading experience.

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When you say graphic novel, most folks will first conjure the image of Alan Moore's masterpiece. It's an incredible, and powerful, comic to be sure, and one that every fan of graphic storytelling needs to read at some point. Moore's exploration of what being a super hero must mean sits alongside a story that goes deep into the theme of power as control mechanism, heroism as justifier, and knowledge as weight holding us back. In many ways this is Brave New World and 1984 meeting The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Dune.

The characters here are intensely conceived, but the more you know about the history of comics, the more you'll understand the depth of them as reference. While Moore's writing is always considered to be the finest in the game, artist Dave Gibbons is responsible for created the images that brought these characters to life, and is at least as much a creator of the package as Moore.  While controversial in the contract that DC has taken advantage of by keeping perpetually in-print, along with Maus, it was the first to gain serious academic attention.

Why it's on the list:

Because while it might not be the great, it was certainly the graphic novel that blazed the trail.

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Peter Miligan is a writer who hasn't gotten the credit he deserves as one of the finest writers of comics over the last 30 years. Skreemer is the kind of story you can read again and again and find new concepts to latch onto, while riding a story that is intense and intelligent. This is a classic kind of story rich man, poor man, but more than that, it's the story of how the rise of the glorious and struggle of the inglorious are equal, and often terrifying. It is an epic, Godfather-like gangster epic in the form of a science fictional graphic novel. It pulls all these elements together, and reinvents the ideas within them.

What sets this apart is the style of the art. The covers, some of the finest and most instantly recogniseable of the 1980s, The covers show influences ranging from Jack Kirby to Patrick Nagel; and the art team of penciler Brett Ewins and inker Steve Dillon, later responsible for the art in Hellblazer and Preacher respectively, have to be considered one of the greatest pairings in the history of comics.

Why it's on the list:

A powerful and influential miniseries collected into an incredibly readable graphic novel.

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This brilliant work is decidedly adults-only. Grath Ennis, the mastermind behind brilliant comics like Preacher, brings us the story of a prostitute given superpowers by The Viewer, who then joins a super group, only to be booted for doing her thing. It would be indelicate to go any further on that one. The story shows the ways in which a character can jump through the most difficult of hoops, and still retain the markers of the path they've always walked.

The story is slightly dirty, the dialogue downright filthy, and the art by the great Jimmy Palimerri is at once cartoonish and stylish. The way the story manages to be both human and button-pushing, while never losing sight of the entertainment value, is incredible, and it's one of the graphic novels that has the most re-readablity. There's something to outrage everyone in The Pro, but there's also an endless amount of entertainment. The work is both well-thought out, and gorgeously told, and while you may find it difficult to see the value in following a main character who is deeply flawed, she's also bad ass and real.

Why it's on the list:

The Pro is an incredibly well-done work in a difficult arena.

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Another Elseworlds title, and another masterwork of alternate history. Writer Mark Millar takes the all-American super-powered alien that is Superman and turns him from Apple Pie to Borscht by having rocket land in the Ukraine instead of Kansas, thus making him a Soviet super-weapon, leading to a Cold War that is less about bombs and more about creating supers. That concept alone would be worth it, but it is the reinvention of the other characters who people the Superverse that feels so right; re-birthed are Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luther, Lois Lane, and others.

The story examines what Superman means beyond simply saving the day. It's an examination of the 1950s politically, as well as socially. It is a look at what happens when our villains and our heroes switch places, and when the greatest of all heroes is fighting for the other side, but also for everything we believe he has always believed in. There's might nuance, and beautiful art, but it is the impressive story, clinging to every word, that makes Superman: Red Son an absolute gem.

Why it's on the list:

Impressive storytelling and a gorgeous book to boot.

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Victorian Wonder Woman. That should be all it would take to put this title at the top of your to-be-read list. It's an incredibly prescient piece, where an 1888 bombing has killed the entirety of the family of Queen Victoria, allowing an American to take the throne, and he installs all sorts of anti-women laws. Of course, our hero is Diana has been kidnapped, and became bound to Steve Trevor. It's a dark world, but the way artist Phil Winslade approached the setting and characters is lovely, and brings William Messner-Loebs' story alive by adding the perfect amount of steampunk-y artistry to the mix.

As is often the case with alternate history works, the setting allows the writer to play with ideas, real world characters, and concepts in fascinating ways. The fact that Jack the Ripper is out and about, and that there are other bits that feel as if they are pulled more out of a history book than a writer's imagination. The play with the  setting is great, and the way they make Diana into Wonder Woman is downright magical!

Why it's on the list:

One of the finest telling of the wonder woman story.

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Grant Morrison is a massive figure in the world of comics. So much so that he has been consistantly named one of the top comics creators for more than twenty years. In We3, he has envision a governmental project which gives a dog, a cat, and a rabbit weaponized robotic exoskeletons, as well as implants that allow them to speak. The story then goes off into directions you'd expect them to, with escapes, violent encounters, and questions of morality, responsibility, and ethical treatment for those around us. The deep topics also don't detract from the impressive writing, or the phenomenal art of Frank Quietly.

The story might be the most powerful Morrison has ever tackled. The characters come across as so thoroughly human, even though our heroes aren't. They have motivations that we can relate to, and the scenario that they encounter isn't one that feels motivated by animal instincts, but by human greed and averace. In short, it is one of those graphic novels that takes us somewhere new, while never abandoning the human condition. 

Why it's on the list:

Grant Morrison came up with a brilliant piece of science fiction that challenges even the toughest reader.

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What happens when an avant garde filmmaker who is obsessed with the science fiction novel Dune, like Alejandro Jodorowsky, ends up collaborating with the legendary French science fiction artist Moebius? The answer is a strange, dark, powerful like The Incal, a sprawling, mad space opera that is a thing of absolute beauty.

With elements borrowed from Dune, early issues of Metal Hurlant, and evenStar Trek, we are presented a galaxy where humans have spread all about, and are still kinda lame. Our hero, John DiFool, is a private eye who happens to be moody, damn-near bi-polar in his presentation. He's a tough guy, but at the same time, he's got a trusty sidekick handling the tough stuff for him!

No matter how good the writing is, the fact that it got made at all is a wonder. Jodarowsky didn't know how to write a comic script, and so he mimed and told the concepts to Moebius, who then put it all together and created art that is instantly recogniseable. The out-of-this-world conceptualization, mixed with the gorgeous images, makes The Incal an absolute delight.

Why it's on the list:

Few graphic novels go as far into the strange as The Incal, and fewer still manage the level of incredible.

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Joss Whedon's one of the truly great TV and film directors, but his comic stuff has been hit or miss. When he took the Buffyverse to comics, the first pass was only OK, but once he  hit on Slayers in 2002, it was obvious that Joss knew exactly what he was doing. Digging deep into the Buffy storylines, we're presented with a group of writers, Joss, Amber Benson (Tara from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer series), Jane Espenson, and more, who take on the tales of various Slayers from the First to Fray, a far-future Slayer after vamps return to Earth. The various stories are snapshots, but show how wide a table Joss had set.

The key to making this work is the understanding of the way that Buffy works as storytelling. We're given a glimpse and it stands for the entirety. Though some of these characters we see more of in comics, and one even appears in the series' final season, it's through this telling that we come to understand what the Slayer idea really is, and moreso what it means to be in the position. Plus, setting Slayers in the French Revolution and Nazi Germany just makes sense.

Why it's on the list:

A great one-shot that tells some really fun stories in a really fun universe.

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Jeph Loeb is a name that Batman fans tend to love or hate. Tim Sale is one of the most beloved of all Batman artists. Together, they have crafted one of the most impressive Batman stories ever told, going into the origin of Two-Face with a long-running detective story that hits nearly every major villain in Gotham City. The story feels as if it is undertaking to bring in the rising true crime genre with the procedural thriller that had been popular since the release of the film Se7en. The search for Holiday, a killer who murders on holidays, is involved, twisted, dark,violent, and most of all, engrossing. The way Loeb goes into each character may represent the best work on demonstrating the paths of every villain for modern comics readers. 

The art is magnificent. Sale's work is dark, moody, and tense, without feeling overly heavy. The way he pairs his panel work with Loeb's story is so smart, allowing every character a visual voice that pairs with their dialogue. This symbiosis feels so natural, and elegant, but the tone and mood are strong on both sides, and that makes the entire graphic novel a joy. 

Why it's on the list:

Perhaps mor ethan any other Batman story, The Long Halloween gave us the tone and mood for the Christopher Nolan Batman films a decade later. 

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On the serface, Bryan Talbot's Grandville series of graphic novels would appear to be furry comics. The world is inhabited by anthropomorphic animals, so you're thinking furry, right? If there are furry animals, it's not got any depth to it, right? It's just a lotta talking animals. Not by a long shot.

There's a badger detective, LeBrock, solving a diplomat's murder in Grandville, aka Paris. Calling it a detective story would even be giving it far too little credit. The world that Grandville plays in is incredibly dense, layered with political intrigue, mystery, sex, and alternate historical fun.

The Napoleonic Wars ended much differently, with France ruling over the UK for more than a century, Talbot thrills in giving us little details in his works that tell a thorough story of the world that he creates, things like the French guillotining the entire British Royal Family. He also tells an amazing detective story, all using furry animals. It's practically magic!

Why it's on the list:

One of the darkest, most complete alternate history graphic novels ever created, Grandville and its follow-ons show Talbot as a master of the form.

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Howard Chaykin is one of the finest comic creators in history. His work on titles like Amerikan Flagg, not to mention dozens of science fiction paperback covers, has made him one of the most beloved comics artists in history. In Barnum, he has re-imagined the legendary showman P.T. Barnum, and turned him into something akin to James Bond, or more accurately, El Santo in his super-science spy films. Using Barnum's real life cast of characters from Barnum's American Museum, Chaykin creates a world that is tinged with Steampunk, not to mention weird, and often serious alternate, history.

Where Chaykin is at his best is getting characters to feel as if they are both historical and off-the-wall. Appearances by Barnum's famed Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng, as well as various other figures from history, makes it a lot of fun if you know what you're seeing. Perhaps the most fascinating part is the fact that is casts famed inventor (and Thomas Edison punching bag) Nikola Tesla as the villain. That alone makes it worth reading, but the fan and silly story makes it a true great!

Why it's on the list:

Well-written, and the most fun for anyone who loves 19th century balderdash!

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Let's talk comedy. Too often, graphic novels are hyper-serious, almost always justifying their existence by using the format afforded by the longer, uninterupted length to tell heavier stories. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe is a comedy, and a dang funny one, and one that uses the form to full advantage.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl can talk to squirrels, and can also punch really good, but as a character, that's not what she's about. In her on-going series, she's talked Galactus out of eating the Earth, which is a feat! Here' we're presented with what happens when a doppleganger with none of her convictions rises and then proceeds to beat everybody up. The way this works is juts about perfect, and it's an all-ages idea, and a rare presentation where the art and the writing are so synch that they can be each taken alone and still give you the whole story. Artist Erica Henderson is a remarkable, and her comedic style plays so well with the writing of Ryan North that they may as well be sharing a single mind!

Why it's on the list:

Great comedy and a great character suitable for all ages!

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The graphic novel format can be approached three ways. The first as simply as a collection of issues of a comic book, which is actually the most popular way to go as it requires no new content creation. You can also tell a longer story as a single original story, but still within the basic idea of the comic book conceptual framework. The third is to re-imagine the entire format and turn it into something new and exciting.

Artist and writer Chris Ware took the strips that had been appearing in the newspaper Newcity and made a graphic novel out of them, added new material, and presented them in a way that made it more of an album than a graphic novel, with pages without any written content, merely art, and strange, surrealist moments of dream, fantasy, and the strange.

To read Jimmy Corrigan is to dig into the parts of Ware's brain that are darkest in conceptual narative, but also brightest in the light of day. To read Jimmy Corrigan is to discover an entire new set of potentialities for the graphic novel.

Why it's on the list:

A literary masterpiece that steps across many genre borders without fear.

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Writer Greg Pak doesn't get the credit he deserves for having reinvigorated the character of The Hulk. With World War Hulk, Pak takes the legendary Marvel monster-hero and puts him at odds with The Illuminati, a core group coimprised of some of the most powerful of heroes who sent the Hulk's pregnant wife on a mission towards death. He brings himself back to Earth seeking revenge, and ends up battling the most powerful heroes of Earth.

As a character, The Incredible Hulk can be as difficult to write as any in history. He's nigh-invulnerable, but he's also not exactly human-thinking. That makes it difficult to come to grips with motivations beyond the surface, and that's exactly what we're led to understand. At the same time, Pak has crafted a story that forces us to look at the way heroes are heroes, and how that often collides with those around heroes, as well as the welfare and loves of others In short, this is a juggernaut of a storyline that has a remarkable gentle undertone... well, at least for the Hulk.

Why it's on the list:

One of the finest examples of what is possible with the character of The Hulk.

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Rarely can you point to the moment when everything changes, but when you can, you need to pay attention. When it was coming out monthly, we all knew that Crisis on Infinite Earths was changing the way that comics worked, and that nothing would ever be the same. When it's collected, the story of Crisis is easily the most important of all the 1980s comic events.

The DC Universe had been dealing with dozens of Earths to allow it to tell a series of different stories that both did and didn't connect. Crisis was launched to help collapse them all into one single storyline, where a reader could easily follow the entirety of the DC within a single timestream. It didn't last forever, but it felt like it would when it was all over.

There were far-reaching repercussions to Crisis significant characters died, others were re-imagined, and some of the most impressive science fiction storytelling ever attempted. With the powerful writing of Marv Wolfman and the undeniably perfect penciling of George Perez, it is the first truly great comics universe cross-over.

Why it's on the list:

The DC Universe can only truly be divided into two periods: before Crisis, and after.

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Scott Morse is an artist and writer who gets far less attention than he deserves. His run on Plastic Man was great, and his series of Magic Pickle books can't be beat. In Littlegreyman, he looks at an alien with a story to tell, a Little Grey Man, as it were.

Morse's style is so clean, not in the precision way, but in the way that emotional content , and the purposeful lack thereof at times, is so well-defined through the art. His fields are clean, his line influenced by deco and 1990s comics, and his entire approach feels at once painterly and in the mode of graphic design structuralist. The story is smart, and at times nimble, and there are jokes hidden here and there. This is a thoughtful comic, a powerful comic, and most importantly, a graphic novel that understands its point and makes it well.

Why it's on the list:

C. Scott Morse deserves way more attention... and also who doesn't love Greys?

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The hottest teams of the 1980s were The X-Men and the The New Teen Titans. The New Teen Titans were a cutting-edge youth-oriented title, while the original Teen Titans had been a teen-oriented title since the 1960s that mostly focused on long-standing sidekicks.

While the New Teen Titans, often just called Teen Titans, have stuck around and become popular in various media, the originals have made a return a few times over the years, notably in this Elseworld story of the original team - Robin, Aqualad, Speedy, Wonder Girl, and Kid Flash.  The story is straight-up science fiction. The team goes into space to save President John F. Kennedy.

The alternate history aspect of the story, combined with the science fiction space element, and the occasionally winking asides makes this a story that is not to be missed.   

Why it's on the list:

long-delayed, but well worth the wait, Teen Titans - The Lost Annual is a great read that rewards all level of comics readers!

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No individual writer is more important to undedrstanding the rise of the X-Men as the major force in 1980s comics than Chris Claremont. He redefined the team, modernized, and even humanized, them. WHile he work with John Byrne is the best known, the original graphic novel X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills, sees him work beautifully with Brett Anderson handling the art. 

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills somewhat proved that a story that is not necessarily a part of canon, but is at least canon-adjacent, can work in the graphic novel format. Here, it's a very specific slice of time, later put in between Uncanny X-Men #s 167 and 168, that is explored, and the emotional journey of the X-Men as a whole is expanded on in a very natural way, something that would be difficult to do in a single comic issue, or to sustain over an arc. This is one of Marvel's Original Graphic Novel netries, and while not the first, it certainly was the one that made it certain that the graphic novel format would be with the company for a long time. 

Why it's on the list:

Marvel's graphic novels helped to define how they would fit in with the traditional super-hero mode of comic, and it did so with great material presented with precision and grace. 

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Excalibur was an off-shoot of the X-Men centered around Captain Britain and various mutants who came along for the ride. Written by Chris Claremont of X-Men fame, the title was not merely a way to capitalize on another mutant team title, which Marvel was riding hard at the time, but was a way to make use of Captain Britain, a character created by Claremont, but really defined by the work of Alan Moore and Alan Davis. Several of Moore's more cosmic influences were incorporated by Claremont, which gave it a very different feel from his X-Men work... even if he was working with many of the same characters, including fan favorites Kitty Pryde (as Shadowcat), Phoenix, and Nightcrawler. 

The idea of a team that was essentially a team to defend the British Isles may seem odd for a US-based company, but Marvel hadd always viewed the UK as a valuable market, even establishing the Marvel UK imprint, initially just to reprint Marvel's US-based stories, but later to create original works. Unlike the X-Men of the time, Claremont seems more interested in the idea of location more than character relationships, though there is certainly some of that present as well. In a way, Excalibur's relationship to the UK is more like that of Batman to Gotham, and that gives the Epic collection that collects their story a powerful note. 

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George RR Martin, the guy in the Greek fisherman's cap who brought you Game of Thrones, got  his start writing comic books. Well, writing to comic books, as his first published piece was a letter printed in an early issue of Fantastic Four when he was a youth. His Hugo and Nebula winning novelette Sandkings was adapted by writer Doug Moench for the DC series of Science Fiction Graphic Novels in the 1980s, and the result is endlessly readable.

The story of an exotic pet collector who purchases bug-like creatures called Sandkings is like reading classic Ray Bradbury infused with the paranoia of the 1980s. The story is told with a sense of malaise and a near dystopian appeal that infuses every action. It's a story that feels as if it's saying that the state of the world is darker than we believe, and what the consequences of our modern choices are in reality.

The art is incredibly 1980s. If you remember comics from those days, this'll take you back to those days. The artistic slant allows the story to play out so smartly, and the aspects of the science fictional world Martin created come through beautifully.

Why it's on the list:

A wonderful example of a graphic novel adaptation of an award-winning story.

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