Alphabetical Index of DC / Vertigo

The Dead Boy Detectives

Jill Thompson brings together Sandman characters and shôjo manga in The Dead Boy Detectives. Charles Rowland and Edwin Paine are two British schoolboys who happen to be ghosts and who love investigating mysteries. They’re asked for help by Annika, a student at a prestigious Chicago boarding school, when her roommate goes missing. There’s a ton of entertainment in this packed original graphic novel, with jokes, character work, clues, and atmospheric illustration. Thompson does a terrific job capturing elements of the […]

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Human Target: Living in Amerika

Writer Peter Milligan uses human chameleon Christopher Chance to explore the nature of identity. Chance is the world’s best impersonator, and he takes the place of people in danger. In the first story in Human Target: Living in Amerika, he’s pretending to be Father Mike, a priest whose charity work among America’s undesirables — HIV patients, the homeless, immigrants — has made him a target. Next, in the book’s longest story, Chance is required to take the place of someone […]

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Scene of the Crime: A Little Piece of Goodnight

Before Gotham Central, Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark worked together on the mystery Scene of the Crime. Jack Herriman is a private eye hired by a woman to find her missing younger sister, who may have become involved with a strange commune-like group. Both she and Jack turn out to have father issues in common; when he was a teenager, Jack was raised by his uncle, a crime scene photographer who helps out on cases. Now, he’s fallen into something […]

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Sgt. Rock’s Combat Tales

Sgt. Rock’s Combat Tales provides a compact look at a once-popular, now-mostly-forgotten genre: the war comic. These classics from the late 50s were written by Robert Kanigher with art by Joe Kubert, Jerry Grandenetti, Irv Novick, and Russ Heath. The digest-sized book opens with Rock’s “origin story”, a tale of who he was (a boxer) and his determination, the quality that defined him as a person and a soldier. Other stories deal with what it’s like to be a grunt […]

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Top 10: The Forty-Niners

The city of Neopolis, the setting of Alan Moore’s Top 10, is populated only by superheroes. This prequel to the series explores how that city was established and why. The Forty-Niners is written by Alan Moore with art by Gene Ha. In 1949, the war is over, and the “science-heroes” and other powered people have been sent to the new city. Jetlad, an air pilot hero even though he’s only 16, provides the viewpoint of the innocent, fresh in the […]

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Astro City: Local Heroes

The Astro City stories seem to have lost the magic they once had — or perhaps, like most fans, I’ve gotten spoiled and am expecting more and better now that it’s no longer new, and pure consistency isn’t good enough — but the production design on Local Heroes is absolutely astounding. The cover is a faux newspaper, an image that perfectly captures the premise of the series, a “real world”-style look at superheroes. The back cover continues the approach, with […]

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