Marvel Comics is celebrating its 70th anniversary, and the company has been encouraging fans to vote for the best Marvel characters, single issues, etc. I played along by voting for the best comic book covers in Marvel history, though I only voted for 30 rather than pushing the 70 limit. I think these are all pretty great:
I came across this comic book cover recently at Marvel.com and I'd like to share it here:
Ms. Marvel #38 (Wolverine Art Appreciation Variant)
The Sentinels, monstrous constructions, signify the oppression mutants face in the X-Men universe. They are built to capture and control the mutant population, and they echo real human ignorance. But this cover art shows more than the terror of these machines. It shows an individual protecting his fallen comrade and friend. It focuses on the defiance of a few versus the unyielding authority of the many.
A great X-Men movie (there haven't been any thus far) would convey these emotions.
I knew this was going to be a great read before I looked at the first panel, but truly great works will still rise above high expectations. Though I read at a slow and steady pace at first, the last few chapters hooked me into page-turning more often, school work be damned. Then the climax hit, and I was floored. This is not a normal sensation, but it was only after I studied the final panel and thought over all that I had read that my appreciation for the first chapters of the book really grew. The symbolism, character development, and intriguing spin on the "superhero" genre found in Watchmen is unparalleled. I could gush about this graphic novel (which was originally released as a 12-issue limited series) for a long time, but there's a quote on the back of my copy that sums my thoughts up nicely:
This is the book that changed an industry and challenged a medium. If you've never read a graphic novel, start with WATCHMEN. And even if you have, it's time to read it again.
In reference to the quote above, it should be noted that if you begin reading graphic novels with Watchmen, be prepared to feel let down while reading subsequent graphic novels - most will fall well short of Watchmen. My more knowledgeable comic book buddies are in agreement: this is the best comic book series ever. Don't believe them? Let's look at the credentials - Watchmen was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Best Novels, and it is the only comic book to win a Hugo Award.
By the book's close I realized I had inadvertently developed a strong attachment to an anti-hero named Rorschach, a vigilante who follows his own sense of justice no matter what the cost to himself or others. Some people would call him deluded or downright crazy, and others, myself included, view him as heroically uncompromising in attempting to save the human race and defend truth. As of this point, Rorschach is right up there with Spider-Man as one of my all-time favorite comic book characters. Those who know me realize how much of a compliment to the character that statement is.
If you have never read Watchmen and have at least a passing interest in comic books, buy it now. Rorschach is ready.