HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BRIAN K VAUGHAN (AND HIS TOP 10 COMICS!)

Brian K Vaughan was born on July 17, 1976. He’s one of the GOATS. Here’s ten recommendations for your future reader.

Actually, this list goes to eleven.

11. The Hood (Marvel MAX 2002). Maybe one of my more controversial picks, but I though this series, which introduced and focused on a new villain possessed by a demon, was terrific.

10. Doctor Strange: The Oath (Marvel 2007). An early entry in Vaughan’s frequent partnerships with Marcos Martin, Doctor Strange tries to cure Wong of cancer as he takes on a fellow disciple of The Ancient One.

9. Batman #588-590 (DC 2001). Scott McDaniel illustrates this exploration into Batman’s frequent underground, undercover persona, Matches Malone.

8. The Private Eye (Panel Syndicate 2013). Vaughan and Marcos Martín’s digital online only comic was elaborate and beautiful.

7. We Stand on Guard (Image 2015). The U.S. launches an invasion of Canada, and a rebel freedom fighter fights it off. Vaughan has many of this atypical alternative future/dystopian future books. He’s very good at it.

6. Ex Machina (Wildstorm 2004-2010). A former superhero uses his powers to stop 9/11, and goes on to become the Mayor of New York. A fascinating, bizarre mix of politics and superheroics.

5. Y: The Last Man (Image 2002-2008). Don’t judge this based on the TV series, which sucked. It’s a great comic that mixes a full and balanced examination of gender roles with good old fun, sex, and action. The art is mostly by Pia Guerra, with a few fill-ins.

4. Paper Girls (Image 2015-2019). Similar to Y: The Last Man, don’t judge whether to read this based on the TV show. The TV show was actually pretty good, but Cliff Chiang’s art gave this comic a lot more depth and beauty.

3. Runaways (Marvel 2003-2007). Vaughan’s best works are usally creator owned, and this series–about a group of kids who find out that their parents are all supervillains–reads like a creator-owned book taking place inside Marvel’s 616 Universe. It’s beloved for a reason: It’s great.

2. Pride of Baghdad (Vertigo 2006). Four lions are freed from the Baghdad zoo when the city is destroyed during the fall of Saddam. As they explore the devastated city, each comes to terms with the new reality of living free in a war-torn country.

I named this the best animal comic of all time.

1. Saga (Image 2012-present). Duh. No brainer. This is probably the best comic book ever created. The art, by Fiona Staples, is astounding.

Runaways #1-6 (2003)

At last, I get to re-read some of the best comics of the mid 2000s. Runaways had a simple concept: What do the children of super-villains think of their parents?…

FANTASTIC FOUR #503-508 (2003)

Doom has been missing in action ever since he got stuck in Hell, so neighboring Hungary invades Latveria(?!?) and the Fantastic Four intervene to stop them and save the Latverians…