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Reading List: The Ten Essential Batman Stories

Batman: Year One, DC Comics
Batman: Year One, DC Comics

So you've decided to read about Batman! I would definitely applaud this decision, as I have spent the majority of the past thirty years doing exactly that, but I also know that it can be pretty daunting to figure out where to get started. There have, after all, been thousands of Batman stories published since he first debuted from Bill Finger and Bob Kane in 1939, and despite a few missteps along the way, he probably has more classic and definitive stories in print than any other superhero.

But don't worry, ComicsAlliance is here to help with a list of ten essential Batman stories. Read these, and you'll (hopefully) come away with a solid foundation for understanding the Dark Knight and how he works.

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Reading List: The Ten Essential Grant Morrison Stories

Alex Ross / DC Comics
Alex Ross / DC Comics

Grant Morrison is a polarizing creator, with some people writing off entire swaths of his career for being "too confusing," while others proselytize about its virtues, so long as you understand these very specific references and cult theories he's alluding to. It can be tough to decide where you stand on him, so if you're struggling to find a way into Morrison's impressive career and body of work, we've assembled a Reading List of the ten top stories that could turn you into a die-hard Morrison devotee.

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Reading List: The Ten Essential Superman Comics

Frank Quitely / DC Comics
Frank Quitely / DC Comics

Superman is the most iconic superhero in the world, and he's loved by millions --- but he's not necessarily the easiest character to get to grips with if you haven't been exposed to the right material. Even as a massive Superman fan, I'll admit that it can be a bit hard for some readers to wrap their heads around exactly why he's so great and why he matters so much. We've put together a list of the ten essential Superman stories for any reader looking to dive into Superman fandom.

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Fantastic Five: Best Creator Cameos

creators

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years on the Internet, it’s that there’s no aspect of comics that can’t be broken down and quantified in a single definitive list, preferably in amounts of five or ten. And since there’s no more definitive authority than ComicsAlliance, we’re taking it upon ourselves to compile Top Five lists of everything you could ever want to know about comics.

This week we're counting down the five of the coolest, weirdest, and meta-est creator cameos in the history of comics!

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Ask Chris #327: The Thin Line Between Love And Hate

Ask Chris #327, background art by Curt Swan

Q: Is it possible that Lex Luthor is actually in love with Superman? Is it the reason for his obsession and jealousy? — @RedEarth18

A: No.

Don't get me wrong: As much as it's been overused and misapplied over the years, the trope of a villain who's lashing out at a hero through some twisted kind of love isn't exactly one that I'm opposed to. It can be the source of some genuinely great storytelling, like Noelle Stevenson's Nimona, and it adds a lot of layers to villains that you don't often see in straightforward adventure stories where someone wants to punch someone else because they robbed the Crossword Puzzle Museum. I just don't think it works for Lex.

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Ask Chris #326: Solaris The Tyrant Sun

Ask Chris #326, background art by Val Semeiks

Q: I’m going to fall for it: Why would Solaris make a much better movie villain than Darkseid? — @robotfrom1984

A: In case anyone out there missed it, I made an off-hand reference in last week's column to my feeling that Solaris the Tyrant Sun would be a better villain for a Justice League movie than Darkseid, and as is usually the case, readers picked up on the fact that I'm obviously fishing --- er, seeding future columns, I mean --- and decided to follow up. Honestly, though, it's not really that complicated.

It basically just comes down to the fact that Solaris is a giant evil bad guy from space that you can beat by punching.

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Ask Chris #325: Operation Justice Incarnate

Ask Chris #325, background art by Ivan Reis,

Q: Superman just reintroduced Justice Incarnate. Can this team make sense outside of The Multiversity? — @EfremOshinsky

A: One of the great things about superhero comics is that over the past eight decades, it's been twisted into so many different forms that there aren't a lot of concepts that don't at least do something interesting when you remove them from their original contexts. That's half the fun of the genre, right? The idea that you can take a character like Batman and make him work in gritty street-level crime stories or cosmic Justice League sagas and have it all work with the same core ideas.

That said, I'll agree that Justice Incarnate --- aka Operation Justice Incarnate, aka Justice League Incarnate, a pretty confusing string of names for a team that's only ever appeared in three issues --- is a bit of a special case.

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This Magazine Kills Fascists: Christmas Disobedience In ‘Klaus’

Klaus-Featured

One of the best things about the holiday season is how packed with wonderful and positive messages it is. It’s a time to be a little bit kinder, a little bit more understanding; a time to come together with friends, family and loved ones and celebrate the best in life. Also, as shown in Grant Morrison and Dan Mora’s Klaus, it’s a time to stand-up to oppression through carefully planned civil disobedience.

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ComicsAlliance’s Best Of 2016: The Best Fantasy Comic of 2016

Best_Fantasy

Check out the best fantasy comics in 2016, including our critics' picks, and the comics you voted the runner up and winner in this category!

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Comics Alliance Gift Guide: Comics For Your Favorite Political Activists

March-Featured

We live in politically charged times, and it seems that more people are finding their voice and speaking out about the very many negative aspects of modern politics and politicians. If you have someone in your life that seeks to shake up the system and speak truth to power, we've assembled a holiday gift guide packed with comics perfect for the dissident in you life.

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