Hello, Faithful Spoilerites!

The month of December holds many holidays and end of the year celebrations. Religious or secular, it’s a blast to celebrate with geekery and we are here to offer a series of helpful suggestions on GRAPHIC NOVEL options:

  • For Him
  • For Her
  • For Kids

These are in no ranked order, but they come recommended from years working in comic book retail, what was popular in the last year, and what will set you apart from every other gift giver in a person’s life who knows they like Batman and thinks a pencil case with the Dark Knight on it counts as a thoughtful present.

Please consume this list knowing that comic books are for everyone and can be appreciated across age and gender lines. My suggestions have been tailored based on current trends and what my experience has taught me works for a specific audience.

SHAZAM! vol 1: FROM THE PAGES OF JUSTICE LEAGUE


SHAZAM! vol 1: FROM THE PAGES OF JUSTICE LEAGUE
Price: $16.99
Get it on Amazon

The Shazam! movie made a pretty big impact at the beginning of this year and it’s going to feature pretty heavily across the 2019 gift guides. Shazam! by: Geoff Johns is just about the closest thing you can get to what we saw Zachary Levi & co. get up to on the Silver Screen. The story was originally laid out as back ups in the New 52-era Justice League comic book series, but a potential reader does not need to be familiar with it in order to understand what Billy Batson and his alter ego are getting up to. This is going to be the most reflective of what most people already know about Shazam!, the art is slick, and it’s very funny!

CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS

SHAZAM! vol 1: FROM THE PAGES OF JUSTICE LEAGUE
Price: $29.99
Get it on Amazon


A warning up front: toughest barrier to entry on this list. Crisis on Infinite Earths is currently crushing it as this year’s crossover event on the CW’s DCTV Arrowverse. However, the original Crisis on Infinite Earths event is deeply – DEEPLY! – steeped in the DC Multiverse continuity of the 1980s. On the other hand, it is one of the most important and incredible pieces of comic book literature that has ever been created. This recommendation is for people who are very into the Arrowverse or very into DC Comics. I don’t mean “in to” to imply that they have read everything that’s ever been published. I mean willing to deep dive and sit with a piece of art and absorb everything that it has to say. There are layers and layers to be gleaned about superheroes and DC Comics, specifically, wrapped up in one of the biggest, baddest, best fight scenes that goes on for pages at a time!

WATCHMEN

WATCHMEN
Price: $24.99
Get it on Amazon


Probably the second hardest barrier to entry after Crisis on Infinite Earths. The show has swept fans and critics away and I’m a big proponent of engaging with the original source material, so I immediately knew the OG Watchmen was going to be on this list. A reader doesn’t have to know anything about anything going into Watchmen because it is self-contained. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Watchmen is self-contained. The show is not a direct adaptation of the original comic book series, so even a casual fan of the show will find things they recognize in these pages. What is so difficult about it then, Ashley? Welp, let me tell you, faithful Spoilerite, Watchmen is a meta-analysis of what it means to be a superhero. What is means to tell superhero stories. AND what it means to be a human being. The ideas found in these pages are the headiest in the genre, plus they are wrapped in the trapping of the 1980s. There are words employed on the page we don’t use in our contemporary lexicon. One must approach reading Watchmen like an classic piece of literature, or a Shakespeare play, however, it is a transformative experience if you put it in the right hands!

SPIDER-MAN VS. MYSTERIO

SPIDER-MAN VS. MYSTERIO
Price: $39.99
Get it on Amazon


Easy and fun! This collection was specifically contrived and created by Marvel Comics to coincide with the release of Spider-Man: Far From Home and it does exactly what a fan of the movie would want it to do. Daredevil actually has one of the all-time best Mysterio stories, but most people are going to want to see him interacting with Spidey and this collection does that well! This is a highlight reel of Spidey and Mysterio’s biggest moments and largest cut-ups! Plus, since it came out this year, it’s very accessible. Very fun! Very easy!

BLACK HAMMER

BLACK HAMMER
Price: $14.99
Get it on Amazon


This one actually debuted in 2017 and it does a lot of the same things I think the original Watchmen did. It present superheroes and their almost century-long tropes in all their glory and lets the reader explore what we like and don’t like as much about capes-and-tights. In fact, Black Hammer is so good they crossover over with The Justice League. The event is not as good as the regular Black Hammer series and I would only recommend those for fans who are already Black Hammer-literate. For the uninitiated who want something beautiful and smart with familiar broad strokes I think Black Hammer more than rises to the occasion. Plus, there’s no barrier to entry. No one needs to know anything in order to enjoy this volume! Great for a stocking!

Header: Photo by Giftpundits.com from Pexels

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About Author

Ashley Victoria Robinson is a Canadian girl by day and Robin by night. She lives in Los Angeles now and stars as Ensign Williams in THE RED SHIRT DIARIES, co-hosts the GEEK HISTORY LESSON podcast and writes for Top Cow.

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