30 Graphic Novels To Read in 2013

In the first blog post in quite a while, and of 2013 – I write a list of the 30 graphic novels that I plan on reading this year. 

Okay, so the  new year happened a few days ago, and I spent New Years Eve watching The Fellowship of the Ring extended edition, and doing my best to remember which bits were added from the original, and attempting to ignore the fireworks being set off near the nearby manor. I even managed to come up with a few resolutions – and you’re about to see two of them, even if the second was only created today. The first was well, blog more. The second though, is what this thread’s about. To read 30 Graphic Novels in 2013, not counting any New 52 Volumes which I will do my best to read as well. (I currently have four trade paperbacks, the first volumes of: Swamp Thing, Teen Titans, Demon Knights and Batwing, and I plan on getting the trade of Green Lantern in a couple of weeks).

So, do you want to know what the 30 graphic novels are? Well, let me show you:

30 – Green Lantern: Rebirth  by Geoff Johns

Green Lantern Rebirth

Writer: Geoff Johns | Artists: Ethan van Sciver, Marlo Alquiza, Prentis Rollins, Mick Grey | Publisher: DC Comics

The sold out 6-issue miniseries event of 2004-2005 — written by Geoff Johns (BLACKEST NIGHT, TEEN TITANS) with art by Ethan Van Sciver and Prentis Rollins — is available in this new edition, complete with the preview story from Wizard Magazine as well as a number of extras previously only available in ABSOLUTE GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH! 

Hal Jordan was considered the greatest Green Lantern of them all. But Jordan lost control, allowed himself to be corrupted and transformed into the villainous Parallax. Later, Jordan reappeared and made the ultimate sacrifice — a sacrifice that allowed him to become the Spectre, the Wrath of God. 

After several years of activity on Earth, The Spectre became restless and sought a way to prove himself worthy of that noble reputation. See how a man born without fear and seeking to rebuild his life, puts cosmic forces into motion that will have repercussions not only on Earth but across the universe. This volume sets up the events of BLACKEST NIGHT and revitalized Green Lantern as one of the most important heroes of the DCU!

Why? Because I saw a copy in the print copy of Scott Snyder’s Batman 15, and it looks like a good place to get into Green Lantern as I enjoyed the first three issues of the New 52 reboot and prehaps this will give me an idea as to what Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns were like before then.

29 – Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns

Batman Earth One

Writer: Geoff Johns | Artists: Gary Frank, Jonathan Sibal | Publisher: DC Comics

A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Batman is not a hero. 
 
He is just a man.
 
Fallible, vulnerable, and angry.
 
In a Gotham City where friend and foe are indistinguishable, Bruce Wayne’s path toward becoming the Dark Knight is riddled with more obstacles than ever before. Focused on punishing his parents’ true killers, and the corrupt police that allowed them to go free, Bruce Wayne’s thirst for vengeance fuels his mad crusade and no one, not even Alfred, can stop him.

In the tradition of the #1 New York Times bestselling Superman: Earth One, writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank re-imagine a new mythology for the Dark Knight, where the familiar is no longer the expected in this long-awaited original graphic novel from DC Comics.

Why? Because in short, it’s Batman. Geoff Johns is an writer who’s already featured twice on this list and I’m really enjoying his comics, and Earth One seems like a particularly good Batman origin tale after Snyder’s #0 for the New 52 was rather disappointing, so I’m hoping this one can be as good as Year One.

28 – Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski

Superman Earth One

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski | Artists: Shannon Davis, Sandra Hope | Publisher: DC Comics

J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of Babylon 5, joins forces with rising star artist Shane Davis (SUPERMAN/BATMAN: THE SEARCH FOR KRYPTONITE) to create this original graphic novel that gives new insight into Clark Kent’s transformation into Superman and his first year as The Man of Steel. This is the first in a new wave of original DC Universe graphic novels, featuring top writers’ and illustrators’ unique takes on DC characters. 

Why? This is the first volume of Batman: Earth One, and I’ve heard really good things about it over at Civilian Reader, and my fellow reviewers really liked the second installment which was recently available on NetGalley. And after reading and enjoying the early issues of some of Superman’s New 52 series and wanting to see a Superman origin story, I figured that like Batman: Earth One, Superman: Earth One, would be a good place to start.

27 – Blackest Night by Geoff Johns

Blackest Night

Writer: Geoff Johns | Artists: Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, Joe Padro, Rob Hunter, Julio Ferreria | Publisher: DC Comics

Comics hottest writer Geoff Johns (GREEN LANTERN: SINESTRO CORPS WAR, THE FLASH, ACTION COMICS, JSA) and superstar artist Ivan Reis raise the dead in this hardcover collection of the most anticipated comics event of the year! 

Throughout the decades, death has plagued the DC Universe and taken the lives of heroes and villains alike. But to what end? As the War between the different colored Lantern Corps rages on, the prophecy of the Blackest Night descends and it’s up to Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps to lead DC’s greatest champions in a battle to save the Universe from an army of undead Black Lanterns made up of fallen Green Lanterns and DC’s deceased heroes and villains. 

This collection of the best-selling epic is the culmination of the events that Geoff Johns has been leading to since he relaunched the Green Lantern franchise in 2006!

Collects BLACKEST NIGHT #0-8 

Why? Aside from the fact that it’s Geoff Johns and another Green Lantern graphic novel, I really enjoyed #0 when I read it on Comixology and would love to read more of this series, especially as Civilian Reader has spoken highly of this Graphic Novel (You can tell that Stefan’s one of my go-to people for Graphic Novels). This is a graphic novel that I want to check out when I can, as it has an interesting premise and deals with two of my favourite things, superheroes and zombies in one graphic novel – I mean you cannot get something more awesome than that. Especially when it’s in the DC Universe, the home of Batman, Green Lantern, Superman…

26 – X-23: The Killing Dream by Majorie M. Liu 

The Killing Dream

Writer: Majorie M. Liu |Artist: Will Conrad, Sana Takeda, Marco Checchetto, David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez | Publisher: Marvel

Government-controlled killing machine. Child of the streets. X-Man. X-23 has lived many lives, but none of them have ever felt right. She knows she’s a killer, but she’s not sure she can be anything else. The X-Men offer her a home and help facing her demons, but she’s done being someone’s project. She wants to be her own woman, and she’ll do it on her own terms.

Leaving the X-Men’s island home of Utopia on a mission all her own, she’s already found trouble. Even with the mutant thief Gambit at her side, her past haunts her. With new enemies rising, can X-23 trust herself not to succumb to her deadly ways? Or is it all just in her head? Free of her chains, can this killer finally taste true freedom?

Why? Another Civilian Reader review. And, the X-Men are a team of superheroes that I’d love to read more of (having only read Ultimate X-Men Vol 1 by Mark Millar), and the premise of X-23 sounds interesting, and I’ve heard positive feedback about Liu’s writing.

25 – American Vampire Vol. 1 by Scott Snyder and Stephen King

American Vampire

Writers: Scott Snyder, Stephen King | Artists: Rafael Albuquerque, McGaig | Publisher: Vertigo

From writers Scott Snyder and Stephen King, AMERICAN VAMPIRE introduces a new strain of vampire – a more vicious species – and traces the creatures’ bloodline through decades of American history.

This first hardcover volume of the critically acclaimed series collects issues #1-5 and follows two stories: one written by Snyder and one written by King, both with art by future superstar Rafael Albuquerque.

Snyder’s tale follows Pearl, a young woman living in 1920s Los Angeles, who is brutally turned into a vampire and sets out on a path of righteous revenge against the European monsters who tortured and abused her. And in King’s story set in the days of America’s Wild West, readers learn the origin of Skinner Sweet, the original American vampire – a stronger, faster creature than any vampire ever seen before.

Don’t miss out as Snyder and King set fire to the horror genre with this visionary, all-original take on one of the most popular monster stories!

This beautiful collection features a new introduction by Stephen King and bonus art including character sketches, variant covers and more!

Why? It’s Scott Snyder and Stephen King working together. Snyder is my favourite graphic novel writer after his work on Batman and Swamp Thing in the New 52, and I really loved Stephen King’s 11.22.63  (I own five other books by King, but I’ve only got around to reading Cell though).  It’ll also be interesting to read something non-superhero for a change.

24 – Batwoman: Elegy by Greg Rucka

Batwoman Elegy

Writer: Greg Rucka | Artist: J.H. Williams III | Publisher DC Comics

A new era begins as Batwoman is unleashed on Gotham City! Marked by the blood-red bat emblem, Kate Kane is a soldier fighting her own private war – one that began years ago and haunts her every waking moment. In this first tale, Batwoman battles a madwoman known only as Alice, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, who sees her life as a fairy tale and everyone around her as expendable extras!

Batwoman must stop Alice from unleashing a toxic death cloud over all of Gotham City — but Alice has more up her sleeve than just poison, and Batwoman’s life will never ever be the same again.

Also, witness the origin of Batwoman in the shocking and tragic story “Go,” in which young Kate Kane and her family are kidnapped by terrorists, and Kate’s life – and the lives of her family – will never be the same!

Why? Because I thought that JH Williams’ first three issues of Batwoman were one of the highlights of the New 52 and even though this series is actually not written by JH Williams (who draws it), I’ve been told that this is a good introduction to Batwoman, and the graphic novel has received some positive feedback from several places.

23 – Judge Dredd: The Complete Case Files Vol. 1

Judge Dredd Complete Case Files Vol 1

Writer: John Wagner | Artists: Various | Publisher: 2000 AD

Contains all of future lawman Judge Dredd’s adventures in chronological order – complete and uncut from Prog 2 -60!

Why? Judge Dredd is one of Britain’s (I live in England, for those who aren’t in the know) most iconic comic characters and with the recent Dredd film, which I sadly still haven’t seen, it’ll be good to go back to the beginning and see where it all began.

22 – Astonishing X-Men Vol. 1: Gifted by Joss Whedon

Astonishing X-Men Vol. 1 Gifted

Writer: Joss Whedon | Artist: John Cassaday | Publisher: Marvel

Dream-team creators Joss Whedon (TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and John Cassaday (Planetary, Captain America) present the explosive flagship X-Men series – marking a return to classic greatness and the beginning of a brand-new era for the X-Men! Cyclops and Emma Frost re-form the X-Men with the express purpose of “astonishing” the world. But when breaking news regarding the mutant gene unexpectedly hits the airwaves, will it derail their new plans before they even get started? Collecting: Astonishing X-Men #1-6

Why? Joss Whedon, director of the Avengers, one of my favourite superhero films, writing a comic series about The X-Men, one of my favourite superhero groups. Enough said.

21 – New Avengers Vol. 1: Breakout by Brian Michael Bendis

New Avengers Vol. 1 Breakout

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis | Artists: David Finch, Mark Morales, Danny Miki, Alen Martinez, Frank D’Armata, Richard Starkings | Publisher: Marvel

In the wake of the systematic destruction of the original Avengers, just what sort of threat to the world could persuade Captain America to assemble an all-new team? And following the events of Avengers Disassembled, who could possibly be on this team? How does Cap, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Wolverine sound? Fate has brought them together, and now Captain America wants to make it permanent. Who will take his hand and join the new Avengers? And will they be strong enough to fight the mysterious forces at play around them? Collects New Avengers #1-6.

Why? Not only is this a good place (I think) to break into the Avengers, I love the idea of a team of Captain America, Spiderman, Iron Man and Wolverine. And I’m loving Brian Michael Bendis’ All New X-Men at the moment so hopefully this will be just as good.

20 – Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan

Saga Vol. 1

Writer: Brian K. Vaughan | Artist: Fiona Staples | Publisher: Image

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From New York Times bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man, Ex Machina) and critically acclaimed artist Fiona Staples (Mystery Society, North 40), Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

This specially priced volume collects the first six issues of the smash-hit series The Onion A.V. Club calls “the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make.”

Collects Saga issues #1-6.

Why? Saga is one of the newest graphic novels on my list and with good reason. I actually had a NetGalley copy of this which I, not on purpose deleted from my computer a few months back and never got around to re-downloading it. If judging by the praise heaped upon this graphic novel, that is the biggest book-related mistake I’ve made since the accidental requesting of  a biography of a classical musician on NetGalley even though I made that after the Saga incident. But I’ll pick this up in print hopefully sooner rather than later, for it’s something that I’ve been meaning to read for a while.

19 – Batman: Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison

Batman Arkham Aslyum

Writer: Grant Morrison | Artist: Dave Wekean | Publisher: DC Comics

In this painted graphic novel, the inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over Gotham’s mental illness detention center on April Fool’s Day and demand Batman in exchange for their prisoners. Accepting their demented challenge, Batman is forced to live and endure the personal hells of the Joker, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Two Face and many other of his sworn enemies in order to save the innocents and retake the prison. During his run through this absurd gauntlet, the Darknight Detective’s own sanity is in jeopardy.

Why? Aside from the fact that this is Batman, it’s meant to be one of the best Batman graphic novels out there. The blurb sounds interesting as I got it from Goodreads and this is regarded as a Batman classic. This is something that has been on my list for a while (ever since I nearly picked it up two years ago in Waterstones Exeter), and I really want to read this if I can.

18 – Batman: A Death in the Family by Jim Starlin

Batman Death in the Family

Writer: Jim Starlin | Artists: Jim Aparo, Mike DeCarlo | Publisher: DC Comics

Batman readers were allowed to vote on the outcome of the story and they decided that Robin should die! As the second person to assume the role of Batman’s sidekick, Jason Todd had a completely different personality than the original Robin. Rash and prone to ignore Batman’s instructions, Jason was always quick to act without regard to consequences. In this fatal instance, Robin ignores his mentor’s warnings when he attempts to take on the Joker by himself and pays the ultimate price. Driven by anger with Superman by his side, Batman seeks his vengeance as he looks to end the Joker’s threat forever.

Why? It’s Another Batman title, famous for the death of Jason Todd. Having only read one Jason Todd story outside of the more recent issues of Snyder’s Batman, Death in the Family is going to be interesting for me as I can see where his story as Robin ended. Despite the fact that we know how this is going to end – as it was decided by a vote for the outcome of the story and is in the blurb, I think it’s going to be an interesting read to see how Batman deals with the death of his Boy Wonder.

17 – Daredevil Omnibus Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis

Daredevil Vol 1

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis | Artist: John Rhett Thomas | Publisher: Marvel

An epic of ambition, betrayal, and comeuppance culminates with the world learning the devil’s mask hides a pair of blind eyes The hero of Hell’s Kitchen is assailed as both civilian and super hero by a wave of his worst enemies – including the Owl, Mister Hyde, Bullseye, Typhoid, and the Kingpin of Crime But it’s the heart of the Man Without Fear that gets the real workout with not only the introduction of Milla Donovan – but also the Black Widow, Elektra, and Echo Who? Echo Plus: the mystery of Leap-Frog and the trial of the White Tiger Also featuring Luke Cage and Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and enough other guest-stars to fill a jury box Collects Daredevil #16-19, #26-60

Why? Because I’ve heard very good things about this graphic novel, and I believe Bendis is a good writer after reading the first three issues of All New X-Men. This is also the introduction (according to Goodreads) of Black Widow, which will be interesting to read about as I enjoyed her character in Iron Man 2 (One of the few saving graces of an otherwise awful film), and The Avengers film.

16 – Green Arrow: Year One by Andy Diggle

Green Arrow Year One

Writer: Andy Diggle | Artist: Jock | Publisher: Marvel Comics

Oliver Queen has been a faithful member of the Justice League of America and defended Star City with his trusty bow and an arsenal of deadly arrows for years — now thrill to the definitive tale of how he became Green Arrow in this hardcover volume collecting the acclaimed 6-issue miniseries by Andy Diggle and Jock!

Why? Because of Arrow, the recent TV series, one which I’m enjoying despite the fact that it’s a sort-of rip off with Batman Begins. I’m interested to see the origin tale of Green Arrow in the comics though, so hopefully Year One will be interesting from that perspective.

15 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1: Legacy by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning

guardians-of-the-galaxy

Writers: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning | Artist: Paul Pelletier

Launching out of Annihilation: Conquest, Marvel’s sci-fi heroes unite to protect the cosmos Back-to-back Annihilation wars have weakened the boundaries of our universe. Dark gods and monsters are seeping through the cracks, reigning horror upon those still reeling from the recent calamities. In the face of terror, who stands to defend a desperate universe? Star-Lord and his squad of butt-kickers – the modern day Guardians of the Galaxy You’ve heard that Annihilation: Conquest rocks – the guy at the comic shop keeps telling you to try Nova – well, now’s your chance to experience the glory that writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, and artist Paul Pelletier can unleash All this…plus a wise-cracking raccoon and a telepathic dog C’mon, people, time to lock and load! Collecting Guardians of the Galaxy #1-6

Why? Despite the slightly absurdness of the whole concept, I thought I’d better check it out after hearing the news that there’s an upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film, and the fact that Dan Abnett, one of my favourite authors (not quite in my Top 5 but certainly in my Top 10), is the writer of this.

14 – Superman: Secret Identity by Kurt Busiek

Superman Secret Identity

Writer: Kurt Busiek | Artist: Stuart Immonen | Publisher: DC Comics

Set in the “real world,” Superman: Secret Identity examines the life of a young Kansas man with the unfortunate name of Clark Kent. All Clark wants to be is a writer, but his daily life is filled with the taunts and jibes of his peers, comparing him to that other Clark Kent — the one with super-powers. “Hey Clark, where’s your X-ray vision? How come you can’t fly?” Until one day when Clark awakens to discover that he can fly, that he does in fact have super-strength! But where did these powers come from and what will he do with them?

Why? Because of the concept. It just sounds great, and doesn’t seemingly require that much knowledge about the Man of Steel. 

13 – Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar

Superman Red Son

Writer: Mark Millar | Artist: Dave Johnson | Publisher: Marvel Comics

Strange visitor from another world who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands … and who, as the champion of the common worker, fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, Socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact.

In this Elseworlds tale, a familiar rocketship crash-lands on Earth carrying an infant who will one day become the most powerful being on the planet. But his ship doesn’t land in America. He is not raised in Smallville, Kansas. Instead, he makes his new home on a collective in the Soviet Union!

Why? Well, again – partly for the concept. And for the fact that it’s Mark Millar. What if Superman was raised in Russia rather than America? It certainly sounds interesting and I’ve heard good praise about it from Sam Quixote, another of my go-to-people for comics on Goodreads.

12 – Avengers vs. X-Men by Various Authors

Avengers vs. X-Men

Writer: Various Authors | Artist: Various Artists | Publisher: Marvel

The Avengers and the X-Men – the two most popular super-hero teams in history – go to war! This landmark pop-culture event brings together Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Magneto and more in the story that changes them forever! And in AVX: Vs., experience the larger-than-life battles too big for any other comic to contain! Iron Man vs. Magneto! Spider-Man vs. Colossus! Captain America vs. Gambit! And more! Plus: For the first time ever in print, Marvel’s groundbreaking Infinite Comics are collected, revealing key events through the eyes of Marvel’s major players. It’s Marvel’s biggest event ever – but will the Avengers or the X-Men emerge triumphant? Collecting Avengers vs. X-Men 0-12, Point One (AVX story), AVX: VS 1-6, Avengers vs. X-Men: Infinite 1, 6, 10. Each collection includes a code for a free digital copy available exclusively through the Marvel Comics App!

Why? I read the #0 of Avengers vs. X-Men when it was free on Comixology during the free different issue every 12 days sale that they had on in December, and rather enjoyed it. I’ll certainly be checking this collected edition out despite the fact that it’s at the moment, so hard to pick a side between the Avengers and the X-Men. I never had this difficulty in Civil War, as I went for Captain America’s team (I never thought I’d pick Captain America over Iron Man before reading this comic though), but it’ll certainly be interesting to try.

11 – Batman: Hush by Jeph Leob

Batman Hush

Writer: Jeph Leob | Artist: Jim Lee | Publisher: Marvel

BATMAN: HUSH is a thrilling mystery of action, intrigue, and deception penned by Jeph Loeb (BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN) and illustrated by comics superstar Jim Lee (ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER) in which Batman sets out to discover the identity of a mysterious mastermind using the Joker, Riddler, Ra’s al Ghul and the Dark Knight’s other enemies – and allies – as pawns in a plan to wreak havoc.

Why? Again, because it’s Batman. But this is another Batman classic that I really need to check out on, and as it’s Hush. Despite knowing Hush’s secret identity already after playing one of the side missions on Batman: Arkham City, It’ll be interesting to see Leob’s take, especially as I’ve really enjoyed Leob’s The Long Halloween. (Although I didn’t really like his Avengers: X-Sanction)

10 – V For Vendetta by Alan Moore

V for Vendetta

Writer: Alan Moore | Artist: David Lloyd | Publisher: DC Comics

“Good evening, London.” It’s nine o’clock and this is The Voice of Fate… It is the Fifth of the Eleventh, Nineteen-Ninety-Seven…

“The people of London are advised that the Brixton and Streatham areas are quarantine zones as of today. It is suggested that these areas be avoided for reasons of health and safety…

Police raided seventeen homes in the Birmingham area early this morning, uncovering what is believed to be a major terrorist ring. Twenty people, either of them women, are currently in detention awaiting trial…

The weather will be fine until 12:07 A.M. when a shower will commence, lasting until 1:30 A.M…

Have a pleasant evening.”

A frightening and powerful tale of the loss of freedom and identity in a chillingly believable totalitarian world, V for Vendetta stands as one of the highest achievements of the comics medium and a defining work for creators Alan Moore and David Lloyd.

Set in an imagined future England that has given itself over to fascism, this groundbreaking story captures both the suffocating nature of life in an authoritarian police state and the redemptive power of the human spirit which rebels against it. Crafted with sterling clarity and intelligence, V for Vendetta brings an unequaled depth of characterization and verisimilitude to its unflinching account of oppression and resistance.

“Remember, remember the fifth of November…”

Why? I loved Watchmen, also by Alan Moore, and I really want to read V for Vendetta. Shouldn’t that be enough of a reason for you? Oh yes, and it’s a classic. This is high on my list, as you can tell.

9 – X-Men: Schism by Jason Aaron

X-Men Schism

Writer: Jason Aaron | Artist: Jason Keith | Publisher: Marvel

The X-Men event of the decade is right here! It’s never been a more dangerous time to be a mutant. Even with their numbers at a record low, the world refuses to trust mutantkind. And after a mutant-triggered international incident, anti-mutant hatred hits new heights. Of course it’s at this moment, when the mutant race most needs to stand together, that a split begins that will tear apart the very foundation of the X-Men. From superstar writer and Marvel Architect Jason Aaron and a full roster of comics’ top artists, this is an X-tale that will reverberate for years to come! When the dust settles, the X-Men landscape will be irreparably changed. Collecting X-MEN: SCHISM #1-5, GENERATION HOPE #10-11 and X-MEN: REGENESIS

Why? This isn’t the first X-Men title on my list and it’s not going to be the last. This is the story of how the X-Men split apart, how Wolverine and Cyclops took different sides. And it’s by Jason Aaron, the author of Thor: God of Thunder, which is one of my favourite Marvel Now! titles so far.

8 – World War Hulk by Greg Pak

World War Hulk

Writer: Greg Pak | Artist: John Romita Jr | Publisher: Marvel

An epic story of anger unbound! Exiled by a group of Marvel “heroes” to the savage alien planet of Sakaar, the Hulk raged, bled and conquered through the pages of last year’s “Planet Hulk” epic, rising from slave to gladiator to king. Now the Hulk returns to Earth to wreak his terrible vengeance on Iron Man, Reed Richards, Dr. Strange and Black Bolt ? and anyone else who gets in the way. Stronger than ever, accompanied by his monstrous Warbound gladiator allies, and possessed by the fiercest and purest rage imaginable, the Hulk may just tear this stupid planet in half. Collects World War Hulk #1-5.

Why? Hulk Smash EVERYTHING!. There you go. That’s enough of a reason for me to buy this title already.

7 – The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1 by Alan Moore

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol 1

Writer: Alan Moore | Artist: Kevin O’Neill | Publisher: Wildstorm/DC Comics

1898. The Victorian Era draws to a close and the twentieth century approaches. It is a time of great change and an age of stagnation, a period of chaste order and ignoble chaos. It is an era in need of champions.In this amazingly imaginative tale, literary figures from throughout time and various bodies of work are brought together to face any and all threats to Britain. Allan Quatermain, Mina Murray, Captain Nemo, Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde and Hawley Griffin, the Invisible Man, form a remarkable legion of intellectual aptitude and physical prowess: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Why? It’s another Alan Moore classic that I haven’t read. I really shouldn’t need to say anything more than that.

6 – Captain America: Winter Soldier by Brian Michael Bendis

Captain America Winter Soldier

Writer: Ed Brubaker | Artist: Steve Epting | Publisher: Marvel

Cap is awakened in the dead of the night by agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., who need the kind of help only he can provide. But the corpse he finds on the Heli-carrier brings him face-to-face with the unthinkable, and opens doors to terror and manipulation he never dreamed possible It’s a new beginning as four-time Eisner-nominated Best Writer Ed Brubaker makes his Marvel debut, joined by white-hot artist Steve Epting As the new regular creative team, they will take Cap’s life in directions fans will never see coming Collects Captain America (2005) #1-7.

Why? I’ve been hearing really good things about this title from Civilian Reader and this is something that I want to check out hopefully before the Captain America movie sequel, Winter Soldier, is released in the cinema. 

5 – The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye

WalkingDead_Vol1

Writer: Robert Kirkman | Artist: Tony Moore | Publisher: Image

An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months, society has crumbled: There is no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. Rick Grimes finds himself one of the few survivors in this terrifying future. A couple months ago he was a small town cop who had never fired a shot and only ever saw one dead body. Separated from his family, he must now sort through all the death and confusion to try and find his wife and son. In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally begin living.

Why? Now, I’ve actually already read this title (you can find my review here), so this is technically cheating, but I’ve read a digital copy of this and I think The Walking Dead deserves to be read in trade paperback format. Especially with the fact that the TV series that I’ve got the first series of on TV at the moment and is continuing to be awesome, it’ll be interesting to revisit the graphic novel.

4 – Batman: The Black Mirror by Scott Snyder

Batman Black Mirror

Writer: Scott Snyder | Artist: Jock | Publisher: DC Comics

A NEW YORK TIMES #1 Bestseller and Amazon Best Book of 2011

In “The Black Mirror,” a series of brutal murders pushes Batman’s detective skills to the limit and forces him to confront one of Gotham City’s oldest evils. Helpless and trapped in the deadly Mirror House, Batman must fight for his life against one of Gotham City’s oldest and most powerful evils!

Then, in a second story called “Hungry City,” the corpse of a killer whale shows up on the floor of one of Gotham City’s foremost banks. The event begins a strange and deadly mystery that will bring Batman face-to-face with the new, terrifying faces of organized crime in Gotham.

Why? So, a Batman story without Bruce Wayne as Batman. This is going to be interesting, particularly as it’s got some great feedback and Snyder is one of my favourite graphic novel writers, so I’ll be checking this out again, sooner rather than later as it looks really awesome. And it’ll be interesting to see Dick Grayson as Batman as well.

3 – X-Men: Days of the Future Past by Chris Claremont

X-Men Days of the Future Past

Writer: Chris Claermont | Artist: Bryne | Publisher: Marvel

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times: Relive the legendary first journey into the dystopian future of 2013 – where Sentinels stalk the Earth, and the X-Men are humanity’s only hope…until they die! Also featuring the first appearance of Alpha Flight, the return of the Wendigo, the history of the X-Men from Cyclops himself…and a demon for Christmas!? Collecting UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #138-143 and X-MEN ANNUAL #4.

Why? The penultimate X-Men classic graphic novel on my list, and with the upcoming prequel film using this as a storyline, it’ll be really interesting to see how it turns out particularly as the film sees the return of Ian McKellen as Magneto and the older Charles Xavier (name to be filled in).

2 – X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont

X-Men The Dark Phoenix Saga

Writer: Chris Claremont | Artist: Bryne | Publisher: Marvel

Gathered together by Professor Charles Xavier to protect a world that fears and hates them, the X-Men had fought many battles, been on adventures that spanned galaxies, grappled enemies of limitless might, but none of this could prepare them for the most shocking struggle they would ever face. One of their own members, Jean Grey, has gained power beyond all comprehension, and that power has corrupted her absolutely Now they must decide if the life of the woman they cherish is worth the existence of the entire universe Collects X-Men #129-137.

Why? This is the classic X-Men graphic novel in my opinion, even though I haven’t read it yet. Featuring Jean Grey’s death and more, this is going to be one heck of a read.

1 – The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller

Batman The Dark Knight Returns

This masterpiece of modern comics storytelling brings to vivid life a dark world and an even darker man. Together with inker Klaus Janson and colorist Lynn Varley, writer/artist Frank Miller completely reinvents the legend of Batman in his saga of a near-future Gotham City gone to rot, ten years after the Dark Knight’s retirement.

Crime runs rampant in the streets, and the man who was Batman is still tortured by the memories of his parents’ murders. As civil society crumbles around him, Bruce Wayne’s long-suppressed vigilante side finally breaks free of its self-imposed shackles.

The Dark Knight returns in a blaze of fury, taking on a whole new generation of criminals and matching their level of violence. He is soon joined by this generation’s Robin — a girl named Carrie Kelley, who proves to be just as invaluable as her predecessors.

But can Batman and Robin deal with the threat posed by their deadliest enemies, after years of incarceration have made them into perfect psychopaths? And more important, can anyone survive the coming fallout of an undeclared war between the superpowers – or a clash of what were once the world’s greatest superheroes?

Why? This is the book that critics claim made Batman good again, after the cheesy TV show. This is the graphic novel that I will do my best to read ASAP, as I’ve been putting it off for far too long. It looks awesome, has an awesome premise, and will hopefully be a very good read.

So, there we go. There’s the 30 graphic novels that I will be reading over the course of 2013, as well as keeping up with Snyder’s Batman from New 52, getting as many volumes of the New 52 as possible, ideally in paperback. This is the year where I hope to get as many print graphic novels to boost my collection as I can, so hopefully this all goes to plan. I’ll be reviewing as many as I can along the way for The Founding Fields, so hopefully that’ll work out fine.

(I should point out that this doesn’t include comics coming out in 2013, as otherwise, Scott Snyder and Jim Lee’s Man of Steel would be on the list, which isn’t in any order apart from the order that I thought of them, with the first graphic novel being one that I thought of first).

What do you think of the list? What comics are you planning to read in 2013? Is there anything that you think I’ve missed that kicks off a series or is a standalone graphic novel? (I’ve read Sandman – the first volume anyway, Watchmen, The Killing Joke, Knightfall Vol. 1, Game of Thrones Vol. 1, Batman: Year One, The Man Who Laughs and Civil War, plus maybe a few others that I’ve forgotten)

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4 comments on “30 Graphic Novels To Read in 2013

  1. A lot of talented writers got a spot in your list, so it looks like your choices are very good. The New 52 series of Batwoman has taken a nosedive after the first story arc, but the art goes on being remarkable. The best series DC is publishing right now is Batman: Arkham Unhinged, in my opinion. Special mention for Animal Man and Swamp Thing.

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