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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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Image At 25: How ‘Astro City’ Transformed Superheroes Beyond The Big Two

Astro City #1, 1995

Over its 25 years, Image Comics has carved out a reputation as the biggest non-superhero publisher in North American comics. Sure, it launched 25 years ago with books like Spawn, Youngblood, and so on, but it evolved into a company that embraces and celebrates genre diversity. Yet it was also at Image that a new superhero universe was created that gave us many of the best superhero stories of the past twenty years; Astro City, by Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross, and Brent Anderson.

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

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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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Cast Party: Who Should Star In An ‘Astro City’ TV Series?

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This week we're turning to Astro City, the superhero meta-epic created by Kurt Busiek with artists Alex Ross and Brent Anderson. It originally launched at Image Comics way back in 1995, and now lives on at Vertigo.

Astro City would work best as a big budget semi-anthology TV series. The superheroes would have recurring roles, but each episode would focus on a different character, whether it's one of them or one of the regular citizens. With that in mind, I've focused on a few of the earliest stories, with room to cast more down the road.

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Comics Alliance Gift Guide: For the Fan Who Has (Almost) Everything

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There’s a strong strain of the collector in fandom, and buying for a comics fan can be a difficult endeavor, because so much of what they want is something they already know about. But even the most famous writers, artists, and characters have obscurer works that often go overlooked.

This gift guide looks at deep cuts for the superfan in your life, and we've divided into three sections; favorite artists, favorite writers, and favorite characters. If you know someone who is passionate about Darwyn Cooke, devoted to Warren Ellis, or a big-time Superman fan, we may have the perfect gift suggestion.

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How Pacheco and Busiek’s ‘Arrowsmith’ Keeps a Familiar Story Fresh [Fantasy Week]

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We all know the story: a young soldier marches proudly off to war, his or her (usually his) uniform pressed and tidy, chest puffed out, only to learn that war is Hell. It’s one of the first narrative deconstructions we encounter growing up in Western culture, so much so that it in some ways becomes the new narrative.

But any story can be kept fresh with the right elements, and by knowing how those elements are going to interact with the narrative. Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco’s Arrowsmith is a fine example of this genre, set in a world full of magic and fantasy where the equivalent of the first World War is underway, grinding many an inexperienced soldier-mage like Fletcher Arrowsmith under its wheels.

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If You Love ‘Lord Of The Rings’, Try These Comics Next [Fantasy Week]

Photo credit: New Line Cinema
Photo credit: New Line Cinema

We're currently in the midst of our Fantasy Week, and there's no greater fantasy tale than JRR Tolkein's epic Lord of the Rings trilogy. The series --- which was later adapted by Peter Jackson as one of the most critically acclaimed genre franchises of all time --- helped define Western interpretations of the genre as a whole and even people who don't care for fantasy probably have some positive feelings about Lord of the Rings.

Comic books have a long history with the genre and we've assembled a list of five of the best independent fantasy comics for you to check out if you're a fan of the genre. Love that? Try this!

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‘Thunderbolts’ And ‘Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’ Celebrate Anniversaries In 2017 [NYCC 2016]

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Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and Thunderbolts will both celebrate major anniversaries in 2017 with oversized specials that bring back the characters' original creators to work alongside their current teams. It's both a pretty cool way to observe these anniversaries, and a sign of just how much Marvel today is tied to what was going on in the '90s!

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On The Cheap: Experience The Greatest Twist In Superhero Comics In Busiek & Bagley’s ‘Thunderbolts’

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As experienced comic book readers it's hard to be fooled and it's hard to be genuinely taken by surprise, so when a last page comes along that makes you question literally everything you just read, that's something to appreciate. This week, Comixology has a sale on the first three volumes of Kurt Busiek and Mark Bagley's original run on Thunderbolts, which I promise you has the best twist in superhero comics.

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If You Love ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’, Try These Comics Next [Pride Week]

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The 2013 queer coming of age movie Blue Is The Warmest Color, directed by Abdellatif Kechiche and starring Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, has been acclaimed as one of the most emotionally complex and compelling movies of recent years. A beautiful story about two women's love for each other, and their eventual heartbreak, it's based on the graphic novel by Julie Maroh.

The movie is available to watch on Hulu and Netflix, so if you've seen it once, there's a chance you've seen it two or three or four times. If you're thirsty for more sorrow, love, or troubled adolescent relationships, here are some creator-owned or independent comics that you can check out next.

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