My top comics/graphic novels

Here is my list of highly recommended comics. If there's a link I may have reviewed or commented on it on my blog before, so do click the link for more info.

Not to be missed:
V For Vendetta
Batman: Year One
and Batman: The Long Halloween
Daredevil: Wake Up
(from the glorious and brilliantly character-driven Daredevil Omnibus 1)
52 volumes 1-4
Fables (volumes 3-8 are exceptional) - discussed here and on this rambling post
The Sandman series by Neil Gaiman and various artists (my 1st post on this series was here, and I look at hell in Sandman here)
All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
Astonishing X-men #1-25 plus Giant-size special by Joss Whedon and John Cassady (early post here)
The Ballad of Halo Jones by Alan Moore
Marvels by Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross
The Spectacular Spiderman: The Death of Jean DeWolff, and following this the origin of Venom
Thunderbolts: Faith in Monsters and Caged Angels by Warren Ellis and Mike Deadato Jr

Older superhero comics 
Uncanny Xmen: The Phoenix Saga (and the previous stories, right from Second Genesis are classic)
Batman: A Death in the Family
Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars by Jim Shooter
The first 2-3 years of Fantastic Four from 1960s – I particularly liked the family’s first encounters with the negative zone, the Inhumans, the Silver Surfer – and villains like proud Namor of Atlantis, Galactus – and, of course, Doctor Doom.
Spiderman: Kraven’s Last Hunt
Spiderman vs Wolverine (from 1987)
Avengers: the Kree-Skrull War, the marriage of the Wasp and Yellowjacket, the early appearances of the Vision, and the “Michael” saga

Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: A Gunslinger Born by Peter David and Jae Lee

Samurai series
Usagi Yojimbo (volume 1: Ronin reviewed here)


Science Fiction Epic 
Planet Hulk
Marvel’s Annihilation books 1-3 and Nova volume 1: Annihilation - Conquest

Batman: Face the Face by James Robinson – a brilliant whodunit involving some classic characters and an interesting look at the dynamic between Batman and Robin
Selina’s Big Score by Darwyn Cooke (see the second part of this post on this hard-boiled caper)
Silverfish - a Hitchcockian yet odd take on being a psycho
Gotham Central – a great noir/cop series about the situations of normal officers in a world of crime and super-villains

Crime mixed with philosophy, environmentalism and 1980/90s pulp martial arts
The Question by Dennis O'Neil

Modern superhero comics 
Amazing Spiderman vol 2: issue 30 up till The Book of Ezekiel or beyond that Skin Deep – Ezekiel is an intriguing character, and there’s heroic and funny and sad moments a-plenty
The Sentry - with great mysterious art by Jae Lee
Starman by James Robinson et al - thoughtful and full of the fantastic, this is how to do comics
Avengers Disassembled, Breakout! House of M, and New Avengers  is good from #1 up almost till Secret Invasion (which was silly)
Deadpool – especially the defining Joe Kelly-written stuff
Spiderman: Reign miniseries
Iron Man: Extremis
Green Lantern: Rebirth and the following series (eg Secret Origin)
Superman: For All Seasons - poetic and inspiring
Young Avengers: Sidekicks
Batman and Son, Batman: The Black Casebook, Batman RIP and the following Grant Morrison-written stuff
DCU Infinite Crisis (see my feature part 1 and part 2)
Hulk: The End by Peter David
Fantastic Four: The End by Alan Davis
Green Lantern Corps
JLA: Tower of Babel and also the JLA run by Grant Morrison – see this fan’s rundown for more on that.
Fantastic Four: Unthinkable, a surprisingly dark and brutal showdown with Doom -the following stories are brilliantly executed as well, such as Authoritative Action. We don’t even notice how much we are being asked to suspend our disbelief as we go into even weirder territory beyond these!
Marvel Civil War (and Spiderman’s Civil War tie-in is good)
Wolverine: Enemy of the State and also check out this 2-parter
Re-launched Thor series by J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel - discussed here
Marvel Knights Spiderman volumes 1-3 (insane trials for our hero!)
Justice by Alex Ross (insane art!)
JLA/Avengers - brilliant crossover catering for all the fans, pictured on this post
Batman: Hush - with Jim Lee art and a fun, over-the-top story
Batman: Death and the Maidens - makes me want to read the earlier Ra’s Al Ghul stories
Avengers: The Initiative volumes 1 and 2 (don't bother with 3 and 4)
DCU Final Crisis (you must include the fascinating Superman Beyond and Batman parts!)
Avengers: the Kang War
Grant Morrison’s run from around 2000 on New X-men
Spin-offs from 52Countdown to Adventure and Infinity Inc.
Lex Luthor: Man of Steel
The mythic Neil Gaiman's Eternals

Collections of short stories
The DC Universe Stories of Alan Moore - mostly genius
The Definitive Iron Man (you’ve got to love the Doctor Doom/Iron Man story in Camelot)
Batman: Black and White (some of the comic industry’s best creators write/draw short black and white stories)
Astro City - an imaginative world with superheroes everywhere
Star Wars Tales

Medical Drama (and classic Manga)
Black Jack volume 1

Supernatural gory fantasy/horror set in the DCU
Seven Soldiers of Victory by Grant Morrison and various artists

Normal Life
American Splendour

The Other Side

Supernatural horror/fantasy about growing up set in Japan
Crossing Midnight

Might be worth a look: 
The Authority – hard to recommend: as sometimes this DC/Wildstorm series can be impressive cinematic action, full of crazy concepts, shocking twists, snappy dialogue and cool (if dark) characters. Other times it can be full of grandstanding, destructive super-morons who constantly mouth off at each other in obscene ways. 
Birds of Prey – varies in quality but often provides interesting set-ups for the strong female characters to deal with. A bit feminist, but in a good way: providing female heroes who have to deal with insane battles and more subtle personal attacks.