Since I started one topic yesterday, I'll start up the flip side today. We've talked about books on-going that people are pointing out, but this is a discussion for the hidden gems, the books that slipped past us or just never ever got their just due when it comes to critical acclaim or fan awareness.
For me, the best example of this is the comic "Mars" by Marc Hempel and Mark Wheatley. It was overshadowed by First Publishing's other big successes like American Flagg, Nexus and Grimjack, but I thought it was JUST as good as those series, and had the potential to be better. It was a science fiction story that had strong characters, hard choices for the characters to make, and didn't become a space opera or super-heroes in a SF setting. I see that IDW recently did a collection of the series, but that didn't get much attention either, which is a damn shame.
Other examples are:
Marvel's late Silver Age horror books Tower of Shadows and Chamber of Darkness. They were an attempt to do the kind of horror stories DC was doing in House of Mystery and Warren was doing in Creepy and Eerie, and had art by all of their best Silver Age artists like Sternanko, Kirby, Buscema, Colon and some of the best Don Heck art of his career. The stories were a notch above the short horror stories being done elsewhere, and STILL read well.
Ms. Tree - The comic that got me hooked on hard boiled crime fiction. Max Allen Collins wove great mystery/detective stories and Terry Beatty drew them in a classic style. I dove into the book and quickly became a huge fan of the genre, reading Collin's novels and moving out from there. I STILL feel like there is a lot more to explore in the genre, and I don't think the current crime boomlet in comics would exist if not for this book showing the way and bringing the genre back into comics.
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