But even from an in-universe perspective, the X-men's job is to protect and train mutants, and to fight threats to all of humanity...

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FAVORITE* SUPERHERO Comics *(non-marvel)

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If I'm reading superhero comics, generally I mostly read marvel comics, simply because they have the most characters that interest me.

But having read comics for decades, there's still a lot of other superhero stories I've enjoyed, so this list is basically the ones I enjoyed most.

List items

  • Watchmen #1-12 (1986)

    almost 30 years later this book is still a singular masterpiece of the genre; no other comic is even the same animal as this.

    I could go on for days about all of the things I love about this story, but as it's already one of the most talked about comics in the history of the genre, I'll just say, if you get the chance, read it.

  • All Star Superman #1-12 (2006)

    Of all of the Superman stories I've read, for me this one is still the best example of why Superman is the greatest of all Superheroes.

  • All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder (2008)

    Possibly the best version of Robin's origin story ever, and my favorite of Miller's considerable contributions to Batman.

  • Batman #404-407 (1987)

    you read it for Batman's story, you love it for Gordon's.

  • Kingdom Come #1-4 (1996)

    Basically the same idea as Squadron Supreme, but with 100 times the character, characters, and epic-ness.

    This was probably the story rhat made me personally first appreciate the great dynamic and history of DC, especially their "big 3", Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

  • Promethea #1-32 (1999)

    is this a superhero story?

    it is, but it's also something else. What starts as a fairly unique superhero story evolves over the course of the series to be a story about stories, about magic, symbolism, and the nature of reality itself.

  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (vol.1) #1-6 (1999)

    it's like the Justice Society, but British and made up of characters from before there were superheroes..

    While later volumes of this series would expand on the concept, even getting into some of the same thematic territory as Promethea, this first 6 issue series is still just a perfect gem.

  • Top 10, #1-12 (1999)

    Good cop drama in a world where everyone's a superhero.

  • Batman: The Killing Joke (1988)

    the classic story of the Joker's ultimate triumph over Batman; essential reading for fans of either of these characters.

  • The Dark Knight Returns #1-4 (1986)

    Nothing more needs be said about this book, really. It's such a well-told classic that even Miller's over-the-top drawing style can't bring it down; essential reading for fans of the genre in general.

  • Wonder Woman, (2011)

    Though I haven't read a lot of Wonder Woman (outside of the Justice League), for me this is a perfect example of not only what's great about the character but even more interestingly what makes her especially unique among the pantheon of DC's classic characters.

  • JLA, #1-41 (1997-2001)

    I haven't really read enough JLA to be able to claim that I think this is their definitive run, but it's the one I grew up with and a big part of why I love the team.

  • Formerly Known as the Justice League, #1-6 (2003)and

    JLA: Classified, #4-9 (2005)

    These two series are pretty much a perfect distillation of what was so great about Giffen and Demattis' no-star Justice League of the late 80's and early 90's, focusing on the absurdity and humanity that made that era of Justice League so classic, even despite itself.

  • The Savage Dragon, (1993)

    ..speaking of a great balance of absurdity and humanity, it's hard to find a series that ever balanced the two quite like the Savage Dragon.

  • The Man of Steel, #1-6 (1986)

    Though it's personally always bugged me how DC feels the need to make sense of or put any limitations on the appealing simplicity of Superman's character, this series still manages to be a textbook example of what makes him fun in the first place.

  • Planetary, #1-18 (1999)

    A team of superhuman investigators unlock the secret mysteries of a world of gods and monsters that most of the world never sees.

  • The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite, #1-6 (2007)

    A weird tale of a dysfunctional family of super-humans adopted under mysterious pretenses. Definitely worth a look for anyone who likes superheroes that break the mold.

  • 1963, #1-6 (1993)

    it almost feels wrong to put this series on a list of "non-Marvel superhero comics", since it's basically an homage to the original Marvel Comics of the 60's, but as such, it captures all of the fun of that era so well that I simply can't not include it.