Now that we’ve got a few days of 2021 under our belt, it’s time for the third part of my list of some of my favorite DC Comics miniseries, answering a question from friend of the Geekery Kenny. 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 email@example.com! Or hit us up on Twitter, @Casual_Geekery!
Just like my picks in PART 1 and PART 2, our third installment goes all the way back to the 1990s and then up through today. We start with a Crisis and we’ll finish with some social satire.
Zero Hour: Crisis in Time (1994)
Written by Dan Jurgens
Pencils by Dan Jurgens
Inks by Jerry Ordway
Colors by Gregory Wright
After Crisis on Infinite Earths reworked the DC Comics universe, the publisher held off on a major “crisis” where things were changed for 8 years. That would be unheard of today, as we only make it about 5 years in between soft reboots. Zero Hour gave DC Comics the opportunity to fix some questionable continuity issues by threatening the fabric of the universe.
While the story was buoyed by tie-ins in every book the company published for a month or two, the major action happened in the five issue series, which started at issue 4 and counted down to 0. In the series, Hal Jordan, still reeling from the destruction of Coast City, takes on the name of Parallax and tries to remake the universe in order to bring his city back. Jordan’s interference with time brings the heroes together to try and set things right. It’s a great mid-1990s miniseries that sets the tone for the rest of the decade.
DC: The New Frontier (2004)
Written and Drawn by Darwyn Cooke
A love letter to a simpler time in comics, The New Frontier is one of the stories I bought as an Absolute edition, because Darwyn Cooke’s art is so amazing and looks even better on an oversized page. The six-issue miniseries introduces the company’s Golden Age heroes to the new generation of the Silver Age.
Cooke deftly weaves multiple story threads into one beautiful narrative that brings the various heroes together in one of the greatest stories of the still-young 21st Century. It was even adapted into an animated movie, which is also worth watching.
All-Star Superman (2005-2008)
Written by Grant Morrison
Pencils by Frank Quitely
Inks and colors by Jamie Grant
This 12-issue series may be the greatest Superman story ever told, a loose collection of stories detailing the best of the Man of Steel as he lives out his final year of life. Superman’s cells had been overloaded with solar energy, boosting his powers to levels he’d never experienced, but also killing him.
Morrison’s All-Star Superman takes aspects of all the different eras of the hero and seamlessly makes them work together. The story is weird and wild at times, with Morrison’s trademark crazy concepts taking center stage. But it also has a warmth that is all-too-often missing in modern comics.
Black Canary (2015-2016)
Written by Brendan Fletcher
Art by Annie Wu
This is a bit of a cheat, because I think this was meant to be an ongoing series under the new DC You branding that followed the New 52, but it only lasted 12 issues. The series was cancelled when the publisher announced Rebirth and the whole line was rebooted.
The 2015 series really cemented Black Canary as one of my favorite DC Comics characters, and it’s a real shame that she’s mostly fallen by the wayside in the last few years. Here, Dinah Lance is the lead singer of a band called Black Canary, but she’s also a world-class ass-kicker, as she’s forced to fight all manner of bad guys while trying to live the rock star life. It’s another one of a great grouping of stories that were released during the DC You period that didn’t get near-enough attention.
The Flintstones (22016-2017)
Written by Mark Russell
Pencils and Inks by Steve Pugh
Colors by Chris Chuckry
Another modern-era 12-issue series born out of an imprint, this time a revamped Hanna-Barbera line of comics. Writer Mark Russell took the classic cartoon series and used it to provide social commentary on modern issues.
THE FLINTSTONES was easily one of my favorite comic books of the last 5 years, as Russell made every issue poignant and pointed. Fred and Wilma, Barney and Betty and all the ancillary residents of Bedrock provided a welcome look at how inane the 21st Century could be.
That’s it for part 3. We’ve got one more batch to go, and the final collection of my favorite miniseries has some greatest hits and a rarity here and there.