It’s Christmas week, and the latest installment of the mailbag could be a great way to find some presents for the comic fan in your life! Or, maybe it’s just a good look into some of the things that personally like! Could go either way. Do you have a question that anyone can answer but you, for reasons passing understanding, want to hear what I have to say? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org! Or hit us up on Twitter, @Casual_Geekery!
The latest question comes from Kenny, who is no doubt trying to make up for the fact that’s sent me down the spiral that is JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE.
What is your favorite DC Comics miniseries?
A much better question, but man is it tough to narrow it down to a particular favorite. There have been some really great ones since I started reading comic books regularly back in 1994. So, instead of picking just one, I made a list of 20 really great DC Comics miniseries over the years that I really enjoyed, and we’ll take a look at them 5 at a time over the next couple of weeks.
For the record, I define a miniseries as a story told outside of a regularly-published monthly comic book that wraps up in 12 issues or less. Something like 52, while technically a miniseries, just went on for way too long to count.
Let’s jump in to the first collection of five of my favorite miniseries with one that’s an all-time classic:
Kingdom Come (1996)
Written by Mark Waid and Alex Ross
Art by Alex Ross
OK, so if I was forced to pick just one favorite, it would probably be this one. Maybe the best of DC Comics’ ELSEWORLDS stories, Kingdom Come takes place in a future where Superman retired after the world started showing support for heroes who had no problem killing the villains. But with society on the verge of a severe breakdown, the Man of Steel returns and tries to bring everyone back from the brink. But an aged Superman who suffered through the deaths of all of his friends may not be the best person to make decisions about what’s good for the world.
Kingdom Come is a thoughtful story about the nature of being a hero and what it means to change with the times. Alex Ross is at his best with his photo-realistic artwork here, and he also helped plot out the story with writer Mark Waid. I have the oversized Absolute edition of Kingdom Come, and I really think that’s the best way to enjoy Ross’ beautiful art in the story.
Superman & Bugs Bunny (2000)
Written by Mark Evanier
Pencils by Joe Staton
Inks by Mike DeCarlo and Tom Palmer
Colors by Patricia Mulvihill
I love a good Mister Mxyzptlk story! In this 4-issue miniseries, The Imp from the 5th Dimension teams up with Yo-Yo the DoDo to cause some havoc when the worlds of the DC Comics heroes and the Loony Toons characters collide.
Back when I was writing for PTBN, I WROTE about this miniseries in greater detail. That column is worth a read, and so is this, featuring some great moments, like Green Arrow Connor Hawke getting flustered by Michigan J. Frog and The Flash racing around with the Road Runner.
The OMAC Project (2005)
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Jesus Saiz, Cliff Richards and Bob Wiacek
One of the four six-issue miniseries that led into the Infinite Crisis mega-event (more on that in part 2!), I think OMAC Project is probably the best of them. Rucka’s story focuses on the DC Universe spy community and how MAX LORD – one of my favorite villains – came to take control of it. The miniseries also introduces the concept of Brother Eye, an artificial intelligence satellite created by Batman to spy on his fellow Justice League members.
Shocker. Batman is a dick.
The OMAC Project probably had the biggest effect on Infinite Crisis and the post-Infinite Crisis DC Universe. It definitely returned Max Lord to prominence, at least until Wonder Woman later snapped his neck…
Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds (2008)
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by George Perez
Inks by Scott Koblish
Colors by Hi-Fi
Another miniseries that was part of a larger story engulfing the DC Univers, Legion of 3 Worlds took Superman out of the main Final Crisis event for a moment to go off to the future and team up with the Legion of Superheroes against the Time Trapper, the Legion of Super-Villains and Superboy Prime. If that weren’t enough, three different versions of the Legion of Superheroes appeared, all forced to work together for the greater good.
Most importantly, the 5-issue miniseries managed to bring back Conner Kent, the Superboy who died during Infinite Crisis, and Bart Allen – Kid Flash – who was murdered by the Rogues shortly after he was aged to an adult and took on the mantle of The Flash after Wally West retired. Sure, they were shunted to the sidelines again shortly thereafter, but it was nice to see them come back.
Superman: American Alien (2015-2016)
Written by Max Landis
With Various Artists
I’m a sucker for a Superman story, even when it’s a tale about Clark Kent working on becoming a hero. This 7-issue series from Landis explored some parts of Clark’s youth that haven’t previously been seen (like going to a party on a pre-Batman Bruce Wayne’s yacht, meeting a young Oliver Queen and hooking up with a pre-Cheetah Barbara Minerva was definitely not something I saw coming).
Landis even tried to give each issue a unique feel by teaming up with a different artist for each chapter. The changes in design highlight how we all change as we get older and we’re put in different situations. It’s a really great read and one of the best Superman tales told in the last decade.
And that’s all for the first part of a look at my favorite DC Comics miniseries. As I was writing this out, I thought of a few more that might have to make the cut, so I may have to turn this into a 5-part series instead of 4.