That Made the New York Times Best Seller List?

I stumbled upon the New York Times Graphic Books Best Seller list and was really puzzled. Two of the books are reader-unfriendly piles of garbage that sold well due to marketing.

I never paid much attention to the Best Seller list in the past, but I always assumed that the books had to be somewhat decent, and not just sell well.

I guess I was wrong.  The two books in question are impossible to appreciate without a deep knowledge of the Marvel & DC Universes, and you had to read a number of other books for context on the main story.

3 FINAL CRISIS, by Grant Morrison, J. G. Jones, Carlos Pacheco and Doug Mahnke (DC Comics, $29.99) – The heroes of the DC Universe have their backs against the wall in this event storyline which features a much-publicized “death” and a surprising rebirth.

10 CIVIL WAR, by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven (Marvel Entertainment, $39.99) – A government registration act pits the heroes of the Marvel heroes against each other.

Both of these books are written in the standard event comic tone:

Comics don’t need to make sense if they are bombastic, and a lot of important characters die, or are resurrected.

Final Crisis in particular made no sense, and the lasting impact of the book is barely felt except for the fact that they killed off Batman, and brought back Barry Allen, the Flash. Oops, guess that was a spoiler. That’s really all you need to know from this terrible story.

Civil War wasn’t as big a mess as Final Crisis, but it wasn’t really a standalone story, or a good representation of the power of the comic medium.

The rest of the list is much better. However, the presence of these two is strange, especially since I am presuming that if one is selecting their comic via the New York Times Graphic Books Best Seller list, they probably don’t have enough context to appreciate either of these stories.

The soft cover list included the horrid All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder among the mix of great and terrible books.

Don't read this book. I wish I hadn't.
Don't read this book. I wish I hadn't.

3 ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER, by Frank Miller and Jim Lee (DC Comics, $19.99) – Two comic book industry legends set their sights on re-examining the Batman and Robin team with over-the-top violence and characterization. Is it intentional parody or bad comics? The debate rages on.

Let me answer that question they pose. It sucks. It might intentionally be bad, but that doesn’t make it enjoyable.

Standards people! Standards.

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