I’ve been thinking recently about what series were the best overall reads. It was tough to narrow down some of my favorites so I decided to go by a few criteria. They had to be completed, concentrate on character development, have well-rounded stories, and of course be fun to read. So here are my personal favorites.
5) Batgirl (2000)
Starring Cassandra Cain as the second Batgirl this series brought a darker character into the Batfamily. Cass has arguably one of the most tragic backstories in DC Comics. Raised by her assassin father to only learn the language of violence, Cass flourished into the role of Batgirl under the watchful eye of previous Batgirl Barbara Gordon. The series follows her unique journey into a hero and discovering who she is.
4) Exiles (2001)
Exiles might be the most underrated X-book. It’s a series in which superheroes from various universes are displaced from time and sent on missions to fix other realities. All the characters start out with a connection to the X-Men, but that rule seems to disappear toward the end of the series. The hard choices the Exiles have to make in order to save worlds shapes their character and causes the reader to become attached. However, the death toll is fairly high so be warned.
3) Robin (1993)
Tim Drake’s third series as Robin allowed him to spread his wings even further. He comes into his own in the 185 issues and creates his own legacy. Tim solves many of his problems with his formidable detective and computer skills. This series is extremely important because it deals not only with typical superhero crime stories, but also with teen pregnancy, loss of loved ones, and suicide.
2) Astonishing X-Men (2004)
The team of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday created a brilliant series. In only 25 issues they weave a well-rounded story together. What makes this series so great is the thoughtfulness and planning that went into every arc. Astonishing X-Men is truly a must-read for any Marvel fan.
1) Spider-Girl (1998)
Spider-Girl branched out of an issue of What If?. The series followed May “Mayday” Parker, the future daughter of Peter Parker aka Spider-Man as she figured out “the hero biz” and spun some webs of her own. The first volume of Spider-Girl holds the record for being the longest running superhero comic with a female lead in Marvel’s publication history. A very vocal readership kept the series going when other MC2 titles got cancelled. It’s age appropriate and deals with issues like domestic abuse. It also happens to be the first comic I ever owned and is why I fell in love with them.