Ryan Poirier’s top 10 go-to comic book and graphic novel list

True North Country Comics presents Ryan Poirer’s top 10 go-to comic books and graphic novels.

Ryan is an artist, illustrator, and writer with a lifelong passion for art. He graduated with a degree in multimedia design in 2002 and has produced work for major media companies. He has published two books in the past three years titled The Herd, with another book coming early next year. Today he lives with his wife and daughter in Ontario. While he pays his bills by working in the IT field, his passion continues in his art and writing with The Herd and other original stories under his independent media company, Accidental Creations. 

Here’s Ryan’s top 10 go-to comic books and graphics novels:

Batman: Armageddon 2001 by Alan Grant, Jim Fern, Steve Leialoha, Adriene Roy and Scott Hampton
“This is my first batman comic and one of my first comic books.  This was a ‘what-if’ kind of story that introduced me to a darker than usual version of Batman, before reading Dark Knight Returns.  Not to give any spoilers (on a 40 year old book) but the concept is, what if Batman killed off all of his Rogues.  The final showdown being an intense standoff with The Joker.  Definitely worth checking out and doesn’t get the credit I always felt deserved as a good Batman story.”

Batman: Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson, and Lynn Varley
“Self explanatory, really.  One of the greatest books ever written.  Everyone should read this as a literary right of passage.  It should be forced to be read in schools!  As a personal connection though, my best friend got me this book in hardcover as a birthday gift years ago.  I hadn’t read it yet and that was a crime being such a huge Batman fan.  I’ve read it countless times, and if you’re not up for the long read, then watch the really well done animated movie!”

Batman: Hush (Vol1 and 2) by Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee and Scott Williams
“One of my favorite Batman stories with incredible artwork by the one and only Jim Lee.  I got these books signed by Jim Lee at the first Toronto Fan Expo I went to in 2010.”

The Life Story of The Flash by Iris Allen by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, Gil Kane, Joe Staton, Tom Palmer and Lovern Kindzierski
“Next to Batman, The Flash is my second most favorite superhero.  This book is written from the journalist perspective of Iris Allen as a biography about the flash, his past and future.  It’s kind of a story within a story, as the biography Iris is writing, that the reader is reading, the events catch up to her present, which then takes you as the reader out of the biography of the Flash and into a story that goes forward from there.  It’s also a great introductory book to The Flash and his history for anyone who wants to learn everything about him in one read.”

Batman vs Predator by Dave Gibbons, Andy Kubert and Adam Kubert
“What’s not to like?  The title explains itself!  Batman fan aside, I’m also a big fan of The Predator and Alien movies. This book is like taking the second Predator movie and placing it in Gotham and having Batman instead of Danny Glover. The final showdown between the two is just awesome!”

Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore, Brian Bolland and John Higgins
“Some comics are a must read if you’re a Batman Fan, and this is one of them!  For me, The Joker is not only my favorite villain (same with many others), but he is my most favorite literary character of all time!  The Killing Joke is such an important story in Batman and Joker’s constant rival.  So much of the many versions of Joker we’ve had in books and on screen has been inspired/influenced by this book.  A must read for any fan of The Joker or comics in general.”

Green Arrow Year One by Andy Diggle and Jock
“Green Arrow has always been a favorite comic hero of mine.  The survivor and MacGyver (in many ways) of the Justice League.  Year One does a great job of retelling Oliver Queen’s origin to becoming Green Arrow.  There was already rumors during the time I’d read this that a Green Arrow movie was in the works called, “Escape from Super Max”.  Which never happen.  However, shortly after the Arrow series started and did his story proper; and eventually told the Escape from Super Max story within the series.”

The Huntress Year One by Ivory Sophia Madison, Cliff Richards and Art Thibiert
“I read this great Origin retelling at the same time as I read Green Arrow’s.  I like grittier revenge stories, which is why I’ve always liked The Punisher and The Huntress.  She’s like the Punisher version of Batgirl.  Always going against the grain, and treading on the line that Batman won’t.  I wasn’t crazy about the Birds of Prey movie, but she was the best part of it (end costume aside) and she was also represented well in the first couple seasons of Arrow.  We’re forgetting the Birds of Prey series (single season) though!  THAT was not Huntress!”

Batman and Spiderman: Disturbed Minds by J.M. DeMatteis, Mark Bagley, Scott Hanna
“A great crossover story!  Spiderman follows a caravan escorting Carnage to Arkham.  Batman doesn’t take lightly to Spiderman being in his City.  Joker helps Carnage escape and we see what happens when Spiderman chases after the Joker and Batman chases after Carnage.  Need there be anymore explanation as to why this is a top favorite?  On a more personal level, Spiderman rounds up my tops 3 favorite heroes next to Batman and Flash.  So having Batman AND Spiderman team up is a no brainer for me.”

Joker by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo
“There’s a few reasons why I have this book in my top 10 list.  It’s not just a GREAT story about The Joker, but it came out a little while after ‘The Dark Knight’ movie, while there were talks about the third installment.  Everyone at the time assumed Heath Ledger’s joker would return, but after his tragic passing, we knew that the next movie would be different.  However, at the time, Johnny Depp was rumored to play The Riddler and Philip Seymore Hoffman was rumoured to be The Pengiun and Harley Quinn was rumored to be introduced.  This book is written as the Dark Knight 2.5 we never got.  We see a new (but similar) version of Harley Quinn, and Joker, Riddler and Penguin all look like their said rumored actors respectfully.  I also got to meet the writer of this book, Brian Azzarello at a past Toronto Fan Expo, and while he was signing the book I asked if this look and story was intended to be the Dark Knight sequel we never got. He said he’d been asked that before and it was really all coincidental in the end and was never intended to be.  Either way, it’s a must read for any Dark Knight (movie) or Joker fan.”

You can discover more about Ryan on Twitter at @RPoirier_Author and online http://accidentalcreations.ca/

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