50 Best Of The Best Graphic Novels

Whether you're a die hard fan or totally new to the world of speech bubbles, our selection of the best of the best in graphic novels is an outstanding testament to the geniuses of narrative storytelling.

A great starting point for exploring the genre, or a chance to expand your reading - it's the very best of words with pictures!


[Volume 1 (Anniversary - Titan Edition)]

50. Tank Girl: Volume 1 (Anniversary - Titan Edition)

Jam-packed with quirkiness, cyberpunk roots and general anarchy, Tank Girl is a beer-obsessed tank driver travelling through post-apocalyptic Australian landscapes with companions Sub Girl and Jet Girl, not to mention the mutant kangaroo boyfriend, Booga.

Mad Max designed by Vivienne Westwood Tank Girl is disorganized, anarchic, absurdist, and psychedelic flash of brillance from Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin!

[Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life]

49. Scott Pilgrim: Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life

Scott Pilgrim's life is totally sweet.

He's 23 years old, he's in a rock band, he's "between jobs," and he's dating a cute high school girl. Nothing could possibly go wrong, unless a seriously mind-blowing, dangerously fashionable, rollerblading delivery girl named Ramona Flowers starts cruising through his dreams and sailing by him at parties.

[Man Without Fear (Premium Edition Hardcover)]

48. Daredevil: Man Without Fear (Premium Edition Hardcover)

Witness the tour-de-force origin of the Man Without Fear by industry legends Frank Miller and John Romita Jr! If you've never entered into the world of Hell's Kitchen before here's the place to start!

Matt Murdock's life was irrevocably altered after he was blinded by radioactive materials while saving the life of an old man. The payoff? An unbreakable will and a keen intelligence, helping focus the super-senses he was blessed with during the accident. His story is one of love, pain, disappointment, and strength.

Although Daredevil had been home to the work of many legendary comic book writers Frank Miller's influential tenure on the title in the late 1970s and early 1980s is Daredevil at his best. It firmly placed Matt Murdock as the popular and influential part of the Marvel Universe we know today.

[Volume 1: Life In The Big City]

47. Astro City: Volume 1: Life In The Big City

Astro City explores all the niggling questions we have about superheroes: how do they really live? Are they really good guys? When shouldn't we trust them?

These highly acclaimed novels by Kurt Busiek investigate how people - both ordinary people and the heroes and villains themselves - react to living in their comic book world. With stunning artwork from Brent Anderson these snap shots of Astro City life explore a complex world that only leaves you wanting to find out more!

[Volume 1 (Hardcover)]

46. Saga Of The Swamp Thing: Volume 1 (Hardcover)

Collecting Saga of the Swamp Thing, this first volume features the stories that put Alan Moore on the comics map, in the 1980s, thanks to his unique narrative style and deconstructive storytelling.

Created by a freak accident, Swamp Thing believed he was once scientist Alec Holland - but when he discoveries his true nature, it shatters his universe and sends him on a path of discovery and adventure.

Moore's seminal horror series sets the stage for the groundbreaking tales that were to come.

[Volume 1: Breakout]

45. New Avengers: Volume 1: Breakout

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? Without the Avengers to answer the call, a group of heroes must form a makeshift alliance to subdue the rampaging villains and save the city. They are the New Avengers.

Intelligent, gritty, cutting. Brian Michael Bendis's New Avengers takes Marvel's traditional comic book superheros and adds dynamism, super sharp dialogue and a wicked sense of humour.

Bendis's run on Avengers is Marvel's comic heavy weights totally kicking ass is the very best tradition of the classic comics genre!

[The Long Halloween]

44. Batman: The Long Halloween

Early in Batman's career, a serial killer named Holiday began a series of monthly murders, each keyed to special days on the calendar. As the Dark Knight struggles to find the elusive Holiday before he or she kills again, he discovers no shortage of suspects in a Gotham!

A stylish story. with great artwork 'The Long Halloween' is a complex, film noir-ish murder mystery and with a nice post Batman Year One vibe to the whole tale. With brilliant characterization it's engrossing story-line draws the reader into the madness of Gotham and the bond between Jim Gordon and the Batman.

From Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale.

[Epileptic]

43. Epileptic

The most acclaimed European graphic novel of the last ten years, "Epileptic" is David B.'s story of his brother's battle with epilepsy.

A penetrating and sometimes lacerating self-examination on the author's part, as he delves into his own complex emotions and his family's troubled history, as well as his own youthful fantasy life. Particularly pointed is his description of the family journey from one attempted cure to another, including acupuncture, spiritualism and macrobiotics.

David B.'s drawing is utterly extraordinary, balancing literal representation and expressionist psychological distortion.

[WE3]

42. WE3

Action-packed and heart-wrenching, WE3 is a movingly brilliant high mark from two of comics greatest talents - Grant Morrison's and Frank Quitely.

WE3 tells the unforgettable story of three innocent pets - a dog, a cat and a rabbit - stolen for use by a sinister military weapons program. With nervous systems amplified to match their terrifying mechanical exoskeletons, the members of Animal Weapon 3 have the firepower of a battalion between them. But they are just the programs prototypes and now slated to be permanently decommissioned until they seize their one chance freedom!

Relentlessly pursued by their makers, the WE3 team must navigate a frightening and confusing world in which there is something called Home.

[By Whedon & Cassaday: Omnibus (Hardcover)]

41. Astonishing X-Men: By Whedon & Cassaday: Omnibus (Hardcover)

From comics super-team of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday!

Winner of multiple prestigious Eisner Awards, Whedon and Cassaday's Astonishing X-Men was a smash hit with critics and fans alike - racking up nearly every major comic-book industry award. Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Whedon and Cassaday assembled a tight cast - Cyclops, the Beast, Wolverine and Emma Frost, joined by returning fan-favorite Kitty Pryde - and set forth a groundbreaking pace, from the opening pages of a Sentinel attack to the unexpected return of a beloved X-Man.

Filled danger and drama it's classic superheros with a Whedon twist - un-put-down-able!

[Collected Edition (Hardcover)]

40. Black Hole: Collected Edition (Hardcover)

Suburban Seattle, the mid-1970s. We learn from the outset that a strange plague has descended upon the area's teenagers, transmitted by sexual contact. The disease is manifested any number of ways - from the hideously grotesque to the subtle (and concealable) - but once you've got it, that's it. There's no turning back. As we inhabit the heads of several key characters - some kids who have it, some who don't, some who are about to get it - what unfolds isn't the expected battle to fight the plague, or bring heightened awareness of it, or even to treat it.

A fascinating and eerie portrait of the nature of high-school alienation itself - the savagery, the cruelty, the relentless anxiety and ennui, the longing for escape. Stark and powerful, this is a graphic novel like nothing you've ever seen. A Charles Burn cult classic.

[Volume 1: In The Beginning]

39. Punisher MAX: Volume 1: In The Beginning

Hard-edged stories of Frank Castle: The Punisher - the antihero of the Marvel Comics' Universe as written by Garth Ennis.

A vigilante who considers killing, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats of violence and torture to be acceptable crime-fighting tactics The Punisher's brutal nature and willingness to kill originally made him a novel character in mainstream American comic books. Now a wave of psychologically troubled antiheroes follow in his wake.

Get ready for blazing bullets and bloodbaths with one of the grimmest and most compelling of illustrated characters!

[Kingdom Come (New Edition)]

38. Kingdom Come (New Edition)

An incredible graphic novel set in the future of the DC Universe, Kingdom Come is a modern milestone in super-hero comics.

This grim tale of youth versus experience and tradition versus change asks what defines a hero in a world spinning inexorably out of control. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and their peers find themselves up against a new uncompromising generation, and their final conflict will determine nothing less than the future of the planet.

With its intelligent storyline and superb painted artwork, writer Mark Waid and artist Alex Ross have create a thoroughly believable world where superheroes could exist.

[Volume 1 (Titan Edition)]

37. All Star Superman: Volume 1 (Titan Edition)

The amazing creative team of writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely join forces to take Superman back to basics and create a new vision of the World's First Super-Hero!

Following a desperate mission to rescue a team of astronauts from the Sun, Superman's whole body is super-charged with solar power - to the point where it will kill him! Now, the world's greatest superhero must set his affairs in order, beginning by telling Lois Lane the truth about Clark Kent's secret identity.

Packed with beautiful artwork, thrilling ideas and senses-shattering plots, this is a definitive take on Superman, presented by two of comics' finest creators!

[Volume 1: Relentless]

36. Authority: Volume 1: Relentless

Uncompromising and hard-hitting, and Bryan Hitch's Authority brings you a team of superheroes who promised to get the job done - by whatever means necessary.

Jenny Sparks, the Spirit of the 20th Century, has brought together Jack Hawksmoor, The Doctor, Swift, The Engineer, Apollo, and The Midnighter. Together they are The Authority, and together they will change the world

This is widescreen, cinema-scope, super-heroic fiction at its finest!

[Wanted (Titan Edition)]

35. Wanted (Titan Edition)

What if everything in your life was out of your hands and those around you propelled your fate? What if, after everything, someone gave you back total control?

In Mark Millar's Wanted an amoral protagonist who discovers he is the heir to a career as a supervillain assassin in a world where such villains have secretly taken control of the planet.

With razor sharp dialogue Wanted is an uncomfortable, twisted, dark and brutal look into a villainous world where there are no rules.

[Blankets]

34. Blankets

Wrapped in the landscape of a blustery Wisconsin winter, Blankets explores the sibling rivalry of two brothers growing up in the isolated country, and the budding romance of two coming-of-age lovers.

A tale of security and discovery, of playfulness and tragedy, of a fall from grace and the origins of faith.

A profound and utterly beautiful work.

[Volume 1: Days Gone Bye]

33. The Walking Dead: Volume 1: Days Gone Bye

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.

Created by writer Robert Kirkman The Walking Dead chronicles the travels of a group of people trying to survive in a world stricken by a zombie apocalypse. Fighting growing despair - and sometimes each other - the group searches for a secure location which they can finally call home.

Cool, sharp and addictive reading it's perfect for long time fans or new readers. One of the best thing about zombies is indeed Robert Kirkman's superb comic!

[Volume 1: On The Ground]

32. DMZ: Volume 1: On The Ground

Set in New York City, sometime in the near future, in the midst of a civil war the island of Manhattan has been into a demilitarized zone. in Brian Wood's DMZ the citizens of Middle America having rising up against the pre-emptive war policies of the US government, causing a Second American Civil War.

The protagonist is Matthew (Matty) Roth, a naïve photo journalism intern from Long Island, who enters the DMZ with a news crew. He becomes trapped when the rest of the media and the soldiers escorting them are killed in a firefight with "insurgents".

Matty becomes the only journalist on the ground in the DMZ and he begins to report on the daily struggle of life for the everyday citizens of Manhattan.

[Volume 1: The First Hundred Days]

31. Ex Machina: Volume 1: The First Hundred Days

Created by Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris, set in our modern-day world, Ex Machina tells the story of civil engineer Mitchell Hundred, who becomes America's first living, breathing super-hero after a strange accident gives him amazing powers.

Eventually Mitchell tires of risking his life merely to maintain the status quo, retires from masked crimefighting and runs for mayor of New York City, winning by a landslide. But Mayor Hundred has to worry about more than just budget problems and an antagonistic governor, especially when a mysterious hooded figure begins assassinating plow drivers during the worst snowstorm in the city's history!

A stellar ongoing political thriller the series explores both the political situations Hundred finds himself in and the mysteries surrounding his superpowers.

[Volume 1: Who Killed Retro Girl?]

30. Powers: Volume 1: Who Killed Retro Girl?

In a world where superpowers are relatively common Powers follows the lives of two detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, police officers in a Homicide department devoted to cases that involve "powers".

Heroes glide through the sky on lightning bolts and fire. Flamboyant villains attempt daring daylight robberies. God-like alien creatures clash in epic battles over the night-time sky. And on the dirty city streets below, homicide detective Christian Walker does his job.

With great dialogue writing by comics genius Brian Michael Bendis and artwork from Michael Avon Oeming Powers makes an excellent read even if you never thought you'd enjoy a superhero comic!

[The Killing Joke (Special Deluxe Titan Edition)]

29. Batman: The Killing Joke (Special Deluxe Titan Edition)

A classic Batman tale from two of comics' great legends, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland!

The Joker escapes from Arkham once more - and breaks into Gordon’s home shooting his daughter Barbara - the former Batgirl - crippling her for life before kidnapping a distraught Gordon and attempting to drive him as insane as the Joker himself.

An influential one-shot and pivotal superhero graphic novel it's arguably the definitive Joker story packed with Alan Moore's intense, rhythmic dialogue and awe-inspiring art by painter Brian Bolland.

[The Heartbreak Soup Stories (Hardcover)]

28. Palomar: The Heartbreak Soup Stories (Hardcover)

Gilbert Hernandez's 'Heartbreak Soup' stories from Love & Rockets are collected in one 500-page edition - presenting the epic as the single novel it was always intended to be.

Set in the mythical Central American town Palomar, the stories weave in and out of the town's entire population, crafting an intricate tapestry of Latin American experience. Luba, the guiding spirit of Palomar, has been universally hailed as one of the great characters of contemporary fiction.

Ideal for fans and new readers alike.

[10th Anniversary Edition (Titan Edition)]

27. Violent Cases: 10th Anniversary Edition (Titan Edition)

Violent Cases reveals the often murky nexus between memory and imagination through the narrator's cloudy childhood remembrance of a visit to Al Capone's osteopath - and the impact of his seedy stories on a impressionable youth.

Written by Neil Gaiman's and illustrated by Dave McKean Violent Cases marks the beginning of the astonishing and award-winning collaboration between these two. Set only in the memory of its author, this brillant short story meanders through levels of recollection surrounding a childhood injury with some of the most beautiful illustration work you'll ever see in a graphic novel.

[Volume 1: Unmanned]

26. Y The Last Man: Volume 1: Unmanned

On July 17, 2002, something simultaneously kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome — including embryos, fertilized eggs, and even sperm. The only exceptions appear to be Yorick Brown and his Capuchin monkey, Ampersand.

Yorick embarks on a transcontinental journey to find his girlfriend and discover why he is the last man on Earth. But with a gang of feminist extremists and the leader of the Israel Defense Forces hunting him, Yorick's future, as well as that of the human race, may be short-lived.

Sharp one-liners and an enthralling plot make Brian K. Vaughan's series a outstanding read we'd recommend to anyone!

[The Smartest Kid On Earth]

25. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid On Earth

Full of beautiful, complex, iconic diagrams, numerous flashback scenes and parallel storylines Jimmy Corrigan is a unique, widely-acclaimed graphic novel written and illustrated by Chris Ware.

Jimmy is an awkward and cheerless character with an overbearing mother and a very limited social life who attempts to escape his unhappiness via an active imagination that gets him into awkward situations.

The illustrations alone are amazing in their own right and as a graphic novel it's masterpiece of storytelling.

[Volume 1: Legends In Exile]

24. Fables: Volume 1: Legends In Exile

Bill Willingham's reinterpretation of fairy tales and folklore brings you Fables - a beautifully illustrated graphic novel series chronicling the lives of the characters from Fabletown.

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown.

Ones of the best examples of dark fantasy writing - you really need to know all about the divorce of Snow White and Prince Charming!

[Volume 1: Say You Want A Revolution]

23. Invisibles: Volume 1: Say You Want A Revolution

Grant Morrison's Invisibles takes you to the world of The Invisible College, a secret organization battling against physical and psychic oppression using time travel, magic, meditation and physical violence.

Throughout history, the secret society of the Invisibles, who count among their number Lord Byron and Percy Shelley, work against the forces of order that seek to repress humanity's growth. In this first collection, the Invisibles latest recruit, a teenage lout from the streets of London, must survive a bizarre, mind-altering training course before being projected into the past to help enlist the Marquis de Sade.

The series that made Morrison famous - it's weird, wonderful, bizarre and personality-rich team of protagonists is un·put·down·able!

[The Tale Of One Bad Rat]

22. The Tale Of One Bad Rat

Bryan Talbot's moving, compelling and beautifully illustrated tale of childhood sexual abuse and recovery.

Helen Potter lived a happy life until she got lost in a nightmare of sexual abuse. Now she's traveling through urban and rural England on a journey that is remarkably similar to the one a certain Beatrix Potter once took.

This inspirational story of Helen Potter and her journey of healing has won numerous awards and unending acclaim for the British writer/artist. This book is the definitive example of a touching story that transcends the misperceptions that comics are disposable and banal.

[Volume 1: First Shot Last Call]

21. 100 Bullets: Volume 1: First Shot Last Call

It's happened to all of us at one time or another. Somebody, somewhere, did something so bad, so wrong, you wanted to kill them...even if it were only for a split second. So here's the question: what would you do if you were given the opportunity and means to get away with it, scot-free?

100 Bullets follows what happens when people from all walks of life meet Agent Graves, a mysterious figure who offers his 'clients' the opportunity of a lifetime: an attache case containing the proof, the gun and the carte blanche immunity to exact revenge on the person who's done them irrevocable wrong. So, would you pull the trigger?

100 Bullets exemplifies the noir and pulp genres of popular modern fiction - an Eisner and Harvey Award-winning comic book written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Eduardo Risso.

[Omnibus (Deluxe Edition Hardcover)]

20. Criminal: Omnibus (Deluxe Edition Hardcover)

Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips Eisner Award-winning series crime noir series - Criminal! With razor-sharp dialogue, believable emotion, and enough twists and turns to keep anyone on their toes, it's a fantastically-designed graphic novel par excellence!

When criminals need justice, Tracy Lawless is their best—and only—hope! But just who’s behind these mob-style hits on made men? It's hard hitting noir tales about tough guys, violence, and constant danger - with not a superhero in sight!

If you haven’t experienced Criminal before it's one of the best crime comics ever published and the lovely omnibus edition is the perfect place to jump onboard!

[300 (Hardcover)]

19. 300 (Hardcover)

Writer-artist Frank Miller's and colourist Lynn Varley retell the Spartans' heroic stand at Thermopylae. The story focuses on King Leonidas, the young foot soldier Stelios and the storyteller Dilios to highlight the Spartans' awe-inspiring toughness and valour.

Miller's retelling and Varley's art is terrific, as always; the combat scenes are especially powerful.

Read it!

[Volume 1: Back On The Street (New Edition)]

18. Transmetropolitan: Volume 1: Back On The Street (New Edition)

A post-cyberpunk comic book series written by Warren Ellis, with art by Darick Robertson, this is simply one of the best comics series of the last few years, mixing great characters, drama, humour and using the futuristic setting to parallel present day problems with wit and biting satire.

After years of self-imposed exile from a civilisation rife with degradation and indecency, cynical journalist Spider Jerusalem is forced to return to a job he hates and a city he loathes. Working as an investigative reporter for the newspaper The Word, Spider attacks the injustices of his surreal 23rd century surroundings.

[Ghost World]

17. Ghost World

A darkly comic, intermittently sombre exploration of friendship and modern life, Ghost World has become renowned for its frank treatment of adolescence.

Daniel Clowes's cult classic tells of the adventures of Enid Coleslaw and Beck Doppelmeyer, two bored, supremely ironic teenage girls as they spend their days wandering aimlessly around their unnamed American town.

Powerfully and authentically spelling out the realities of teen angst it's beautifully drawn, with a subtle and convincing storyline.

[Volume 1: Super-Human]

16. Ultimates: Volume 1: Super-Human

Created by writer Mark Millar and artist Bryan Hitch Ultimates is a modern reimagining of the Marvel superhero team, The Avengers.

It's a hard nosed and gritty exploration of what happens when a bunch of ordinary people are turned into super-soldiers and groomed to fight the real-life war on terror. Darkly written Ultimates breaks away from the standard notion of the 'superhero' with a big dose of cynicism and characters stripped of their 'super-heroic' status.

With amazing artwork from Bryan Hitch it's an intriguing and amusing modern takes on classic Marvel characters with Captain American as you've never seen him before!

Great stuff even if you've never entertained the idea of reading a superhero comic!

[Volume 1: Gone To Texas]

15. Preacher: Volume 1: Gone To Texas

Garth Ennis's savage epic Preacher exemplifies why some comics are only for the grown-ups!

Preacher focuses on narrative storytelling with an unapologetic handling of religious and supernatural themes. Preacher's full-on, with dark and frequently violent humor, plus a wide range of allusions to popular culture outside of comic books.

After merging with a bizarre spiritual force called Genesis, Texan preacher Jesse Custer has become completely disillusioned with the beliefs to which he had dedicated his entire life. Now possessing the power of “the word,” an ability to make people do whatever he utters, Custer begins a violent and riotous journey across the country.

[Year One (Titan Edition)]

14. Batman: Year One (Titan Edition)

This really is one of the greatest Batman stories ever and one of Frank Miller's best - high on the list of most important and critically acclaimed Batman adventures ever, Year One defined Batman for a new generation!

Telling the entire dramatic story of Batman's first year fighting crime it's a great starting point for anybody wanting to try Batman comics and an essential read for all fans.

Perfectly capturing the corruption of Gotham with the realism, grit and humanity of Gordon and Batman it's an outstanding example of the very best in graphic novels.

[Volume 1: Original Sins]

13. Hellblazer: Volume 1: Original Sins

The consummate comic antihero Hellblazer is a great introduction the DC's left of field Vertigo imprint!!

This collection represents the earliest adventures of the tortured antihero John Constantine, who faces both supernatural and man-made horrors in this great volume. Excellent place to start the adventures of the somewhat amoral occult dabbler and psychic detective.

Get out the Marlboro Lights and head for Newcastle!

[Volume 1: Preludes And Nocturnes]

12. Sandman: Volume 1: Preludes And Nocturnes

Neil Gaiman's Sandman weaves the story of a man interested in capturing the physical manifestation of Death but who instead captures the King of Dreams.

The chapter '24 Hours' is worth the price of the book alone; it stands as one of the most chilling examples of horror in comics and let's not underestimate Gaiman's achievement of personifying Death as an overly cheery, cute goth girl!

One of the most popular and critically acclaimed comics of the second half of the century this first volume opens a magical door to the world of The Endless and Gaiman's stupendous literary talent!

[Volume 1]

11. The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume 1

Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's incredible reinvention of classic heroes and villains!

What if Captain Nemo, Allan Quatermain, Dr Henry Jekyll (together with Edward Hyde) and the Invisible Man were brought together by a Miss Mina Harker (who once had a dalliance with a certain Count from Transylvania), to fight the menace of Fu Manchu? Now, despite fighting their own personal demons - and each other - they must join forces to save the world.

A rare and wonderful treat for any fan of sequential storytelling which which beautifully illustrates how much the graphic novel medium can add to the written word.

[Library Edition Volume 1: Seed Of Destruction/Wake The Devil]

10. Hellboy: Library Edition Volume 1: Seed Of Destruction/Wake The Devil

Drawing heavily folklore, B-movies, ghost stories, monsters and pulp tales this is series about a paranormal investigator from Hell! Hellboy has proved to be a both popular and critical success with its abstract artwork and H. P. Lovecraft-style horror!

Created by writer-artist Mike Mignola, Hellboy was brought to Earth as an infant by Nazi occultists but discovered by the Allied Forces; amongst them, Professor Trevor Bruttenholm. Post WWII the Professor forms the United States Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.) and as an adult Hellboy becomes their primary agent fighting Nazis, demons and anything that goes bump in the night!

With a highly distinctive graphic style and cult story-lines Mignola has heavily influenced a new generation of comics artists!

[Marvels (New Printing)]

9. Marvels (New Printing)

Welcome to New York. Here, burning figures roam the streets, men in brightly colored costumes scale the glass and concrete walls, and creatures from space threaten to devour our world.

This is the Marvel Universe, where the ordinary and fantastic interact daily. This is the world of Marvels.

Written by Kurt Busiek and amazingly painted by Alex Ross Marvels portrays ordinary life in a world full of costumed supermen. Each issue features events well-known to readers of Marvel comics as well as a variety of minute details and retelling the most infamous events in the Marvel Universe.

[Arkham Asylum (15th Anniversary Edition)]

8. Batman: Arkham Asylum (15th Anniversary Edition)

In this groundbreaking, beautifully painted graphic novel by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean, the inmates of Arkham Asylum have taken over Gotham's detention centre for the criminally insane on April Fools Day and have demanded Batman in exchange for their hostages.

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 sworn enemies in order to save the innocents and retake the prison, jeopardising his own sanity.

A great introduction to the world of Gotham's many psychopathic criminals and the Dark Knight's Lovecraftian penitentiary!

[Alice In Sunderland (Hardcover)]

7. Alice In Sunderland (Hardcover)

Bryan Talbot takes the city of Sunderland and the story of Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell (the 'real' Alice) and around them spins a spectacularly diverse range of different stories.

He explores Carroll's links with Sunderland and shows how the city inspired his masterpieces. Talbot's artwork is a spectacular mixture of different styles and his stories are told from the stage of the Sunderland Empire theatre. In "Alice in Sunderland", he shows - triumphantly - how local history is national history in microcosm, how one story begets another.

The result is a landmark book in the graphic field!

[Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files: Volume 1]

6. 2000AD: Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files: Volume 1

For thirty years, one man has dominated the British comic scene. He is judge, jury and executioner, a merciless far-future lawman delivering justice with an iron fist on the mean streets of Mega-City One.

He is Judge Dredd. He is the law. He is the biggest British comics character of all time!

Discover (or re-discover) the roots of this legendary character in this vast, thrill-packed graphic novel collecting together all of Dredd's early adventures in chronological order - complete and uncut! No foray onto the world of the graphic novel could ever be complete without a visit to the Big Meg for block war, suicide boxes and umpty bagging!

[The Complete Maus]

5. Maus: The Complete Maus

Maus: A Survivor's Tale is the autobiographical work of Art Spiegelman. Told using the comics medium, it's the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Polish Jew, living and surviving in Hitler's Europe.

By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through anthropomorphic animals Spiegelman captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival.

Winner of a Pulitzer Prize and numerous other awards, it's a moving, contemporary classic of immeasurable significance.

[From Hell]

4. From Hell

Legendary comics creators, Eddie Campbell and Alan Moore, have created a gripping, hallucinatory piece of crime fiction about Jack the Ripper, the most infamous serial murderer of all time.

Detailing the events that led up to the Whitechapel murders and the cover-up that followed, 'From Hell' has become a modern masterpiece of crime noir and historical fiction. Alan Moore names Dr. Gull as the villain and creates the most compelling and terrifying psychological study ever undertaken.

All the conspiracies and cover-ups are considered and bound together in this vortex of terror. A gripping crime noir masterpiece of historical fiction.

[V For Vendetta (New Edition - Titan Edition)]

3. V For Vendetta (New Edition - Titan Edition)

Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s powerful epic about loss of freedom and individuality.

Taking place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet this amazing graphic novel spotlights a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask and his young protégé as they fight political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts. It's a gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good or evil and details a world where political, personal freedoms are non-existent.

Along with Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns, V For Vendetta is often held to be one of the 'holy trinity' of modern, graphic novels which re-invented the medium for a mature, adult audience. Written as a response to the right wing politics of the 1980s it remains extremely powerful today. It may be set in the 80s but it speaks of the fight for personal and societal freedom in any era or culture.

[Watchmen (Titan Edition)]

2. Watchmen (Titan Edition)

Watchmen redefined what superhero comics could be and re-introduced the medium to an adult audience with a gripping, labyrinthine script and ultra-detailed artwork.

Set in the 1980s, the novel follows a motley crew of costumed superheroes in an alternate universe where the United States is nearing nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Rorschach, a half-psychotic vigilante must convince his ex team-mates, now middle-aged and retired, that he has uncovered a plot to murder the remaining superheroes - along with millions of innocent civilians...Even reunited, will the remnants of the 'Watchmen' be enough to avert a global apocalypse?

Moore created a complex murder mystery with intense, unforgettable characters that explored the themes of absolute power, love and the medium of comic books. It's the only graphic work to also be included in the Time Magazine's 100 Best Novels. It's simply one of the most influential graphic novels of all time.

Total comic book brilliance from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons!

[The Dark Knight Returns]

1. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

No Batman story in the world is probably more important than Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns. Released in 1986, it was responsible for the rejuvenation of Batman as the dark, brooding character we know today - and for the comics industry as a whole. Batman represented all that was wrong in comics and Miller set himself the task taking on the camp crusader and turning this laughable, innocuous children's cartoon character into a hero for our times.

This is the tale of a tortured man's effort to save a city spiralling into chaos. An aging, time-worn Bats struggles with the acceptance of a new Robin while facing the latest generation of vicious, hyper-violent criminals. Old foes like the Joker and Two-Face add to the maddening mayhem which Batman must face and somehow conquer.

The Dark Knight is a success on every level. It keeps the core elements of the Batman myth intact; with Robin, Alfred the butler, Commissioner Gordon, and the old roster of villains present, yet brilliantly subverted. The artwork is design brilliance -harsh, claustrophobic, psychotic. It's fundamentally a great story: Gotham City is a hell on earth, street gangs roam but there are no heroes. Decay is ubiquitous. Where is a hero to save Gotham?

It's Frank Miller's richly imagined vision of the Dark Knight's future; Batman how he should be.

Genius.

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