Alphabetical Index of DC / Vertigo

Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia

I hate to say it (because I abhor the cover), but this may very well be the best Wonder Woman story I’ve ever read. Diana is treated as a realistic person, not some symbol or image of all womanhood, and her unique abilities and heritage are an essential part of the tale. The Hiketeia is a vow where one party takes responsibility for sheltering another. When a murderer hunted by Batman vows herself to Diana, conflict ensues — but this […]

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Sleeper: Out in the Cold

Sleeper: Out in the Cold reprints the first six issues of the critically acclaimed superhero noir series written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by Sean Phillips. Holden has been sent deep undercover to infiltrate the organization of Tao, a genius who’s always five steps ahead. The problem is that John Lynch, the man who sent him under, is in a coma, and no one else knows about the secret. The book begins with Holden being sent to work with a […]

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Gotham Central: In the Line of Duty

This collection reprints the first five issues of the cop comic by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka, and Michael Lark. It’s a blend of Law & Order and CSI, complicated by being set in Batman’s city. Rucka and Brubaker have populated the cast with a variety of detectives, and Lark’s art is terrific at keeping the dialogue-heavy investigative scenes visually involving. He does a wonderful job with character expression as well. While investigating a kidnapping, two detectives encounter Mr. Freeze, who […]

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The New Teen Titans: Who Is Donna Troy?

Poor Donna Troy. She’s had so many names — Wonder Girl, Troia, Darkstar — costumes, and origins over the years. Somehow, she’s still managed to develop a dedicated fanbase, and The New Teen Titans: Who Is Donna Troy? should have been the retrospective she deserved, leading to more fans discovering her. Unfortunately, the publisher instead decided to use it to plug their next big crossover, as though there weren’t enough comics already tied into that mess. The uncredited introduction begins […]

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Mr. Majestic

This collection of large-scale superhero adventures is powered by over-the-top ideas. Joe Casey and co-writer Brian Holguin set their stories across the cosmos, while Ed McGuinness draws a hugely muscled alien-to-look-up-to hero in Mr. Majestic. The first story features Majestic having to hide our solar system from aliens. Desmond, his super-smart boy inventor friend, is only one of the many scientists that help plan a solution to the problem. It’s refreshing to hear, early on, Majestic disavowing the idea that […]

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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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