Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some of These Things Are Not Like the Others

I never noticed before, but DC Comics has a feature listing the "30 Essential Graphic Novels" on its website. I'd say this is a pretty good idea to promote the company's top-selling and critically acclaimed books. Except... well, take a look at the list.

1) Watchmen
2) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1
3) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 2
4) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier
5) V For Vendetta
6) The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes
7) The Sandman: Endless Nights
8) Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile
9) Superman for All Seasons
10) All Star Superman Vol. 1
11) Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
12) Batman: Arkham Asylum
13) Batman: The Long Halloween
14) Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
15) Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again
16) Batman: Year One
17) Batman: Hush Vol. 1
18) Batman: Hush Vol. 2
19) Kingdom Come
20) Identity Crisis
21) JLA Vol. 1: New World Order
22) Green Lantern: Rebirth
23) Crisis on Infinite Earths
24) Transmetropolitan Vol. 1: Back on the Street
25) Pride of Baghdad
26) Hellblazer: Original Sins
27) Y: The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned
28) Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne
29) Crayon Chinchan Vol. 1
30) Ex Machina Vol. 1: The First Hundred Days

My two problems?

1) I guess nothing released before 1986 is "essential." Sorry Siegel, Finger, Kirby, Eisner, Kubert, O'Neill, Goodwin, etc. etc.
2) Jeph Loeb has more listings than Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Brian K. Vaughan, Bill Willingham, Marv Wolfman, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns, Brad Meltzer... AND JUST AS MANY AS ALAN MOORE.

I'm no fan of Loeb's work, but even a huge Loeb fan has to admit that Loeb has as much of a chance of equaling Moore's greatness as Jimmy Carter has a chance of getting his face added to Mount Rushmore.

I mean, seriously, Batman/Superman: Public Enemies is about as nonessential as you can get. And I personally feel Loeb's big "totally deep mystery stories that aren't actually mysteries at all and actually portray Batman a bush league detective" (Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Hush) haven't aged well, despite their popularity. But that's another post. Sale's art is gorgeous though.

But Public Enemies is essential? Seriously? To who?

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