My Top Ten Comic Book Mini-Series
Here are my personal top ten favorite mini-series ranging from well-known DC titles to lesser known Vertigo ones!
10) Rising Stars: Voices of the Dead –
Voices of the Dead is the second Rising Stars spin-off and stars Lionel Zerb, a man with the ability to talk to the dead. Despite the obvious parallel to numerous movies like the Sixth Sense Voices of the Dead manages to make an interesting character and a compelling story. The story was something you really had to pay attention to since it was easy to get lost, but the stories complex nature just makes it more open to interpretation – anything could happen and a lot does despite the fact that Voices of the Dead was only six issues long. The story is fully realized and not rushed like many other mini-series are and the series does not focus on a well established series like Superman where a mini-series usually has no effect on the character. In this series anything can happen to the characters: and again, it does.
9) Faker – Faker is a horror title about a group of college students with a friend only they can see. This series is definitely focused on the more mature aspects of college life including a student blackmailing a teacher after he sleeps with her. The series perfectly illustrates the worst that can happen in college and adds a supernatural element to giving you the best of both worlds.
8) Cyberforce – Cyberforce hits the scene for the first time in this limited series. Cyberforce is a team of genetically modified humans and must save a young run-away, Velocity from her own sister, Ballistic. This is the first issue I ever read of Cyberforce and I was automatically hooked by the characters alone: Velocity was the fun speedster looking awesome with her white skin and her sister was evil, immediately creating an interesting sisterly conflict.
7) Robin II: The Joker's Wild – Batman is away in Rio de Janeiro (I guess he finally decided to take that well-deserved vacation) leaving Robin alone to fight the Joker. I have never been a huge Robin fan but in this mini-series Robin becomes a more interesting character when he is finally on his own and deals with Joker's antics – which are as fun as ever! Another perk with the series were the numerous covers you could get and the holographic cards on the front of each issue.
6) Batman Cacophony – Onomatopoeia visits Gotham and breaks the Joker out of jail to bring the Batman out of the shadows and take him on himself. Joker is at his best with vulgar and hysterical jokes. Onomatopoeia is also one of my favorite villains that is very underrated. Who could not love a hitman that loves to reiterate the sounds of old comic books – every time he mimicked a "BAM" or "POW" I could feel the creativity in his character, who at that point had not been revealed leaving an air of mystery to his character that is usually absent in Batman since his enemies identities have been revealed already.
5) Spider-man: Hobgoblin Lives – Hobgoblin was always thought to be the daily bugle reporter Ned Leeds but this mini-series raises the question – What, it wasn't? The best part of this issue was Ned's wife – seeing her go through thinking her husband was a deranged maniac makes you feel sympathetic towards her and it's interesting to see its effect on her. Not only that but it makes you want the Hobgoblin not to be Ned Leeds – and if you do not know the answer, this series does a great job keeping his identity a secret until the shocking conclusion...
4) The Creeper – Jack Ryder, a TV host and, according to him, "journalist," learns about some top secret work and is turned into the schizophrenic Creeper with a laugh that could make the Joker cringe! Creeper's full origin story is told in this series and it is a great introduction to this hysterical character. Cameos by Batman and the Joker make this series all the more awesome and a horror epic you won't want to miss!
3) Arkham Reborn – Jeremiah Arkham is trying to keep up with Arkham Asylum with the help of his employee Alice Sinner – but she may turn out to be his destruction! This series introduced Alice Sinner, an intriguing character with an original past that makes her stand apart from many of Batman's other villains. It was also great to see numerous villains of Batman in their natural habitat with a friendly visit to Arkham Asylum that quickly turns deadly.
2) Jonah Hex: Two Gun Mojo – After Jonah is almost hung by three varmints for killing their sister, Jonah meets a bounty hunter known as Slow Go Smith. The two travel into town and Slow Go is shot – now Jonah is on the run with a town full of people carrying dark secrets (and a little voodoo) after him. Hex has always been in some grisly comics but this issue takes the gore to a new level while carrying a competent story that leaves you hanging (pun almost unintentional) each issue and eager to read the next.
1) The Last Days of Animal Man – Animal Man discovers that he is losing everything - his powers are weakening, his kids hate him and he is so strained from his wife he begins cheating on her. Will this series truly be Animal Man's last? This futuristic story is full of suspense and very well-crafted. Buddy's estranged relationship with his kids is the best demonstration I have ever seen of the consequences of being a hero to the extreme. The series has many emotional scenes and also introduces a new villain – Prismatik, a short lived and very underrated villain with an interesting back-story easily wrapped around Animal Man's. This series has it all carrying the emotion needed to make it stand out in my mind as the best mini-series ever.