Superheroes are more popular than ever. Ask anyone, and they’ll probably be able to tell you their favorite superhero movie. But what about comic books? Without comics there’d be no “Captain America: Civil War” or “Batman v. Superman” after all. It’s an incredibly heated topic, but I’m willing to take a crack at it. Here are my top five comic book series.
5) “Batgirl” (2000)
Starring Cassandra Cain as the second Batgirl, this series brought a darker character into the Bat-family. She has arguably one of the most tragic backstories in DC Comics. Raised by her assassin father to learn only the language of violence, Cass flourished in the role of Batgirl under the watchful eye of her predecessor, Barbara Gordon. The series follows her unique journey to becoming 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 their 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 shape their characters and cause 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 not only the perfect introduction to the world of mutants, but also truly a must-read for any Marvel fan.
1) “Spider-Girl” (1998)
“Spider-Girl” branched out of an issue of “What If?” The series follows May “Mayday” Parker, the future daughter of Peter Parker aka Spider-Man, as she figures out “the hero biz” and spins 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 keeps the series going when other MC2 titles got cancelled. It is age appropriate and deals with issues like racism and domestic abuse. It also happens to be the first comic I ever owned and is the reason why I fell in love with them, so maybe I’m just a teensy bit biased.