Friday, August 29, 2008

All Time Top Five

So I one of those millions of people that are underemployed in this fair country, significantly underemployed. It’s not that I haven’t been looking for work. I have been on job interviews, I have done test teaches at schools, I spent many evening until two or three a.m. writing cover letters. But I digress. So I was at a job interview yesterday (fingers crossed) and the guy interviewing asked me “Desert island top three books you would take with you.”

Now I hate this question. I hate being asked if I could only eat one food again what would it be. Or if I could only use one type of moisturizer on my smooth skin what would I choose. So, because I am that type of guy, I am going to ask you loyal Second Printers a similar question.

Desert Island Top Five Single Issues – What Would Go With You?

I know we have done top five comic moments but that’s not the same thing as the top fives comics you would be content reading over and over again. To me Green Arrow’s death was a huge comic moment, one that drove me from DC Comics for years, however I am not taking it to the island with me. After all, I assume if I am on an island I would crying a lot already. No need to throw something into the mix that also gets me all misty.

Now I say single issue to avoid the people who will throw in Morrison’s New X-Men Omnibus into the mix. However, if you want to say a comic that only came out as a graphic novel, say Blankets, I say go for it. However, if you are taking Blankets with you to a desert island you have more problems than being stranded on a desert island.

So here are mine.

5. Battle Chasers #5

Cringe all you want. Let your respect for me drop. It’s cool. There is something about Battle Chasers that hit me at just the right moment to ingrain itself on my comic psyche forever. Maybe it was the unnaturally large chests on women, maybe it was the robots mixed with swords. Whatever it was, I go back and reread the six issues I own (when I say own I mean stole from my brother) of the series at least once a year. Issue #5 is the one where they kick all sorts of ass. It makes me happy.

4. Scud: The Disposable Assassin #24

Hitting the shelves earlier this year, the last four issues of Scud were something I have been anticipating for a decade. I know I haven’t talked that much about Scud here at Second Printing, but I can say it was the series that kept me in comics through most of the mid-90’s. I love the book and everything it has to say about growing up and being part of this crazy world. The fact that it ended with love and hope and big ass, naked God eating angels secures its final issue a place in my top five.

3. Starman #16

Here is where the series really began for me. Sure the first storyline was great and the battle at the freak show was interesting, but issue #16, where the Mist says to Jack, “You become the best hero you can and I will become the best villain I can,” is just an amazing moment between two archenemies whose fates are so intertwined. Also they talk about Bringing Up Baby and I love that flick.

2. H*E*R*O #22

Have you ever read the ending to a series and realized that it was totally the best way they could have ended it? That even though you are sad that no more stories will be told with those characters or in that minute corner of the comic universe you’re o.k. with it because of how it went out. You read that last issue again and again and it reminds you how awesome the series was as a whole. That’s what issue #22 does for me. I could, and do, read it again and again.

1. Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together

I don’t think I have read a comic so many times in such a short amount of time. I read it the moment we pulled it out of the box at the comic shop. I read it twice more while working that shift. I bought it and read it twice more that night. Then I read it at least once a day for two weeks. Scott is the everyman for my generation. He is a witless hero who blunders into great things and then tries his hardest to keep them. He makes me wish I was the greatest fighter in the province.

There’s Mine, What’s Yours?


Devon Sanders said...

5. 100 Bullets #11

A clinic on how to do crime fic in 22 pages.

4. Thunderbolts #1

Just so I can remember the rush of air I let out at the big reveal.

3. H-E-R-O #11

Just a great F****** story.

2. Nightwing #19

Went from former teen sidekick to man in 22 pages.

1. Action Comics #775

Superman shows why, after seventy years, he's still as relevant as ever.

KENT! said...

In no particular order:

- Invisibles #9... a side story about one of the many. many, many bad guy grunts that King Mob and co. killed.

- Justice League America #27 - Amanda Waller ventures into Blue Beetle's mind to deprogram him... touching and intense

- Justice League (Antarctica) Annual #3 - Major Disaster and co. vs. killer penguins... to keep me cool on those desert island nights

Maybe don't count because they're really, like, graphic novels?

- Superman vs. Muhammad Ali... perhaps my first comic and perhaps my last?

- The Cowboy Wally Show - absolute genius from Kyle Baker

(if those are cheats, my alternates are:
- DC Comics Presents #59 - Superman and the Legion of Substitute Heroes vs. Ambush Bug... oh, oh yes
- Pop Gun War #1, because it's a beautiful read.
(I considered copping Devon's H-E-R-O #11...It was an awesome f****** story)

Jon said...

X-O Manowar #0.
It's cool to knock Quesada now, but back when he used to draw stuff, he was pretty good at it. I could spend a week just looking at the pictures. Cool story too.

Silver Surfer #25.
SS trying to remain neutral in the Kree/Skrull war, failing, and kicking the crap out of some space ships. A one-issue study of every element that makes him a great character.

Countdown To Infinite Crisis #1
Just a really really touching story, that made me love a character I didn't really care much for.

X-Factor #68
The climax to the best story of the best X book (yeah, I said it).

Annihilation #1
So many "holy shit" moments, and a great internal dialogue from Nova. Dehydration on the island might make me forget Keith Giffen is god- this will remind me.

Brian Smith said...

Also in no particular order:

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8.
Because it's page after page of Marvel's best good guys beating up Marvel's best bad guys, all building up to Spider-Man in an alien fortress saying, "This machine looks like it wants to make me a costume."

What The--?! #1.
Because "Forward! Onward! Two doors down and to the left!" was an inside joke with my best friend in junior high, and "Hey, boss, how come your hand got all big like that?" from the same panel is still an inside joke with my best friend from college.

Fantastic Four #51.
I don't own this issue, so I'd either accept a free copy for my island stranding, or take that whole coffee table book that reprinted the story in its entirety. That book was the first time I saw this story, which gives me Lee, Kirby and Benjamin J. Grimm all in one.

Milk and Cheese #666.
I like "Darth Vader Overdrive," and I like tiny jokes scrawled in the margins. (And if this is the wrong issue of Milk and Cheese, I'm OK with that.)

JLA #41.
If I'm going to bring a Grant Morrison/Howard Porter "JLA" issue with me, I might as well bring the one that wraps it up.

Unknown said...

Mine are Battle Chasers #1, Battle Chasers #2, Battle Chasers #3, Battle Chasers #4, and Battle Chasers #5. Actually, I think I'm gonna re-read them right now! Let me just check my long box here...WTF!? Give me back my comics!

Luis K. said...

Totally agree with the Starman and the Scott Pilgrim. That said, I am going to assume that we're all stranded on the same island and I can borrow your copies. Mwahahaha.

My list turned out more Vertigo-centric than I would have liked (hovering just outside of the Top 5 were issues of X-Men and Ambush Bug). But it's an honest list; these are issues I have read and reread and would like to keep rereading.

5. Watchmen #4

Dr. Manhattan's story. For the longest time -- until I saved up enough lunch money to buy the trade -- this was the only issue of Watchmen I owned, because it ended up for some bizarre reason in a bargain bin. It stands up well on its own, actually, and rewards rereading.

4. Deadpool #11.

Wade Wilson impersonates Peter Parker and makes fun of the Osborns' freakish hairstyles, among other things. This made me laugh SO MUCH.

3. Sandman #31

"Three Septembers and a January," about the Emperor of the United States. The ending isn't particularly sad or dramatic, but it makes me tear up every time. Brilliant single-issue story.

2. Shade, the Changing Man #40

YOU MUST READ THIS. Never mind if you never read any other issues of Milligan's Shade, this is a great stand-alone story, involving guilt, love and Jim Morrison.

1. Doom Patrol #63

"Have you ever read the ending to a series and realized that it was totally the best way they could have ended it?" Yes. Here you go. So many great issues of Morrison's DP to choose from, but it was his last issue that really got to me, appropriately enough. Full of surrealism and longing and despair and hope and wonder and all that good stuff. Even a Smiths quote. They actually continued the series after this. But they shouldn't have.