Graphic novels offer the chance to discover memorable stories in a comic format and since starting The Comic Vault I’ve come across so many. A graphic novel that combines a good story with emotive characters leaves a lasting impression, so I’ve decided to list my top 10 graphic novels of all time.
As convenient as technology is, it can become a double-edged sword. The more advancements that are made, the more we’ll come to rely on technology to carry out the smallest tasks. The danger of technology and the isolation it causes are themes that are explored in Michelle Stanford’s Centralia 2050: Volume 1. A girl named Midori is lost in the high-tech metropolis of Centralia, and the only memory she can hold onto is finding a child called Weiss. Stanford sent a copy of Volume 1 over to The Comic Vault in exchange for an honest review.
I’m sure you’ll be angry with me for disobeying you again but I don’t care, I will not let you fight Leviathan alone. You need me and I will always be at your side. Because it will be hard for me to say these words face to face, I want you to know that Mother may have given me life, but you taught me how to live.
Love and respect,
There comes a time in when we lose someone close to us, whether it’s a relative or friend. Grief is a natural coping mechanism and we all grieve in different ways. Grief is the focus of Batman And Robin: Requiem For Damian, as The Dark Knight struggles to cope with the loss of his son. Written by Peter J. Tomasi and drawn by Patrick Gleason, Requiem For Damian presents a raw, emotional father who will do anything to bring his child back.
“Ororo Munroe. Storm. Goddess-queen-teacher-leader of mutantkind. She stood up for the underdogs, despite what everyone said. Then she suffered the terrible consequences. But she endured and was redeemed. And now she returns in triumph. Not a bad story. But what really makes it sing is how she gives up that glory. Like Cincinnatus turning his back on the crown and returning to the farm after the war. She could be riding a hurricane, ruling a nation. But instead, she answers her emails, teaches her classes, chairs a plagiarism hearing, and most exciting of all…checks up on the mould problem.”
Some of my favourite stories involve strong female protagonists who are relatable and down to earth. Storm: Bring The Thunder ticks all the right boxes, as it follows Storm on a journey to clear her name after she’s framed for a crime she didn’t commit. The graphic novel is written by Greg Pak with art duties handled by Victor Ibanez and Neil Edwards. There are themes of friendship, cultural identity and female spirit all wrapped up into a compelling story.
“We don’t choose our teachers in life. Sometimes they are crazed vigilantes pretending to love us like a son. And other times they take the form of a space kitty who is smarter than anyone gives her credit for. Reminds me of me. It’s a load of bull to think of friendship and romance as being different. They’re not. They are just variations of the same love. Variations of the same desire to be close.” – Red Hood
If I hadn’t made it obvious by now, Jason Todd is my favourite comic character. I’m on a mission to bring as much recognition to him as possible, so I’m reviewing Red Hood And The Outlaws: REDemption today. The graphic novel collects the first arc of the original Outlaws, featuring Red Hood, Arsenal and Starfire. Written by Scott Lobdell and drawn by Kenneth Rocafort, REDemption brings together three damaged characters who find friendship and solace in each other.
There are some stories that work across multiple formats, whether it’s in TV, film or comics. The Witcher is a great example of this, spawning a series of successful games and books. The latest Witcher story has been collected in a graphic novel called Curse of Crows. Geralt of Rivia finds himself working alongside his adoptive daughter and ward, Ciri to stop a monster from terrorising the city of Novigrad.
“I remember one time I asked my father why. What made Gotham so special? And my father, he looked down at me, and he said…some places just have a hunger about them, son. And you either feed them what they want…or you stay far, far away.” – Dick Grayson
Some graphic novels are powerful enough to make you feel as if you’ve left a part of yourself behind on the page. I felt that sensation after reading Batman: The Black Mirror, written by Scott Snyder and drawn by Francesco Francavilla and Jock. It follows Dick Grayson as Batman and how he deals with Gotham as a living entity that is trying to challenge him. There’s murder and mayhem around every corner and Commissioner Gordon is dragged into the fray when an old ghost comes calling.