King Rorster’s Court: Top DC Comics Stories

In this week’s edition of King Rorster’s Court, I figured I’d shine a spotlight on some of my favourite DC Comics stories and their media counterparts (if any). Here we go:

JLA: earth 2

Yes, that is the correct punctuation. JLA: earth 2 is a fantastic tale from writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely. The story kicks off with Alexander Luthor – regular DCU’s Lex Luthor’s earth 2 counterpart – travelling to the regular DCU to enlist the Justice League’s help in stopping their earth 2 counterparts, the Crime Sindicate, and their reign of terror on earth 2.

In Other Media: JLA: earth 2 was adapted into an animated feature entitled “Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths” and borrowed heavily from Grant Morrison’s earth 2 while adding in a few fresh twists.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is viewed as one of the best – if not THE best – Batman stories of all time. Written by Frank Miller (Sin City, 300, Batman: Year One, Ronin), The Dark Knight Returns is set in an alternative future where Bruce Wayne retired from being Batman following the death of Jason Todd (something that has only been explained in the one-shot Batman: The Last Crusade) and is well into his retirement years here. One night, something ignites a spark in him and Batman is back. This is also significant for the first all-out battle between Batman and Superman in a DC Comic.

In Other Media: Elements of this were felt in the movie Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (namely the armour Batman uses to fight Superman) but a true adaption of this fantastic series is available as a two animated features (released as Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2)

Green Lantern: Secret Origin

Green Lantern: Secret Origin was one of the first storyarc’s following the Green Lantern: Rebirth event (which I’d also recommend) and does a very good job of improving Hal Jordan’s original origin without taking anything away from the source material. This came as part of Geoff Johns‘ phenominal run on Green Lantern that saw Hal Jordan become one of the DCU’s most prominent characters.

In Other Media: This story was directly adapted (and expanded) in the DC Animated feature Green Lantern: First Flight as well as having elements influence the Ryan Reynolds-led Green Lantern live action movie.

Batman and Son

Batman and Son is another fantastic offering from Grant Morrison (JLA: earth 2, Batman: R.I.P, New X-Men) and introduces he world to Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul. Damian has been such a hit as a character that even when Grant Morrison killed him off a few years later as part of his run on Batman: Incorporated DC had to revive him and he currently features as a main character in TWO ongoing titles (Teen Titans and Super  Sons) as well as being a support character in the Batman books.

In Other Media: Batman and Son is another fantastic DC animated feature that has kicked off a slew of animated Batman films (Batman vs Robin, Batman: Bad Blood) and I would highly recommend it and it’s subsequent sequels for any comic fan’s collection.

Batman: Under The Red Hood

Batman: Under The Red Hood is the spiritual follow up to Batman: A Death in the Family and is written by the superb Judd Winick. A Death in the Family was the 80s Batman story that saw The Joker brutally killed the second Robin, Jason Todd, with a crowbar. Jason was sort-of revived two decades later during the Hush storyline from Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee but this was revealed to be Clayface in disguise. This brief appearance proved popular enough that DC charged Judd Winnick with bringing back the fallen Robin and he did so in spectacular fasion.

In Other media: Under the Red Hood was released as a highly accurate animated adaption that also saw A Death in the Family adapted for the opening scene and flashback sequences.

Watchmen

For a lot of people, myself included, Watchmen is viewed as one of the very best graphic novels of all-time. Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, Watchmen offers a unique take on the superhero genre and gives a nice, grounded, realistic feel to the genre (despire Dr. Manhatten being anything but).

In Other Media: A few years ago, DC tasked Zack Snyder (the same man responsible for Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and the upcoming Justice League movie) which saw a fairly accurate adaption up until the film’s climax which completely deviated from the source material. Still worth a watch though. There was also two companion pieces, Under the Hood and Tales of the Black Freighter (which were both stories within the source material) that add to the cinematic experiance and can be purchased in a US-only supercut edition.

Honorable Mentions: Green Arrow: Quiver, Green Lanter: Rebirth, The Flash: Rebirth, Batman: The Court of Owls, Justice League: The Obsidian Age, Identity Crisis, Infinite Crisis, Batman: Year One, Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night

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