Mark Waid turns 48 today. To celebrate Waid’s 48th birthday, here’s my list of my favorite 10 graphic novels by the successful comic-book writer.
I’ve followed Waid since his run on The Flash in the early 1990s, and could probably come up with 50 great stories – but for now, here’s a top 10 graphic novels that are worth searching out.
1. Captain America: Operation Rebirth – Captain America is my favorite character, and I really loved his and Ron Garney’s take on the character. This action-packed take on Cap features the character’s revival and the revival of his thought-dead girlfriend, Sharon Carter. Featuring SHIELD, the Red Skull, and the Third Reich, this is a Captain America run for the ages.
2. Flash: Return of Barry Allen – In the early 1990s, following the death of Superman and the broken back of Batman, it was possible DC would bring back Barry Allen. Waid took what could have been a gimmick storyline and infused it with depth and heart.
3. Fantastic Four: Waid’s entire run with Mike Wieringo was, simply put, fantastic. But if you have to choose only one, it can’t hurt to start with his Vol. 1 hardcover, collecting a year’s worth of stories, including one that explains why exactly Reed Richards formed the Fantastic Four.
4. Empire: A look at villainy; what happens if the bad guys won? Waid and Barry Kitson examine the cost of maintaining an empire.
5. Kingdom Come – Probably the graphic novel that Waid is best-known for, Waid and painter Alex Ross create a possible future of the DC Universe.
6. Irredeemable – What if the world’s greatest hero went bad? That’s the premise of this fascinating series by Waid and artist Peter Krause for Boom! Studios.
7. The Flash: Born to Run – Waid looks back at the origins of Wally West. Waid had a great feel for the voice of the former sidekick.
8. JLA: Tower of Babel – Batman’s contingency plans for taking out his fellow Justice Leaguers fall into the hands of Ra’s Al Ghul in possibly the strongest arc of Waid’s run on the Justice League. Waid gets underrated, I believe, for following Grant Morrison on the title, but his issues are extremely readable and well-crafted.
9. Captain America: Man Without A Country – Captain America finds himself kicked out of the United States in this arc by Waid and Ron Garney.
10. Impulse: Reckless Youth – Teaming the youthful speedster Bart “Impulse” Allen with the older and wiser Max Mercury as a mentor, Waid created a superhero series that was practically a sitcom on paper.
What’s your favorite Mark Waid series or graphic novel? Let me know in the comments.
- Matt Price