Tag Archives: The Question

Tuesday Top Ten: The Best Detectives in Comics

Celebrating those whose analytic minds never fail to astound with astute observations, who track down clues, and give their all against the criminal underworld…
The Shadow #25 Alex Ross
 10. The Shadow:
 “Howard Chaykin, Bill Sienkiewicz, Garth Ennis, Denny O’Neil, Kyle Baker, Matt Wagner; these are just a handful of names that have taken on evergreen crusader in modern comics. A fixture in the pulp magazines of the early 20th century and an influence of Batman, The Shadow has found a second life in ongoing comics within it’s modern age. Sometimes elegant, sometimes brutal and often both, comics creators continue to create new and intriguing mysteries for the Shadow to take on in exploring the depths of evil that lurks in the hearts of men.”

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The Question Legacy

the question #4Sometimes it is odd what gets honored and what slips through the cracks. For example, The Question, a series by Dennis O’Neil which debuted in 1987. The late 80s was a period where DC was allowing creators to shake up a decades’ old status quo. Much of this was necessitated by Crisis on Infinite Earths sweeping away the pre-existing DC Universe. It was in this spirit, John Byrne rewrote Superman’s origins in Man of Steel. Meanwhile, Frank Miller did the same for Batman, fashioning landmark takes on both the beginning and ending of The Caped Crusader’s career. In addition, DC was rolling the dice on lesser known writers reworking second-tier (or even third-tier) characters. This trend had already gotten off the ground with Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. Over the next couple years, it would keep expanding with the likes of Grant Morrison’s Animal Man (followed by his Doom Patrol), Peter Milligan’s Shade, the Changing Man and Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman (an original character, yet, one who still possessed multiple ties to pre-existing DC entities). These characters, along with John Constantine (originally created by Moore for his Swamp Thing series), would form the core of DC’s “Mature Readers” line, which in 1993 would become the Vertigo imprint. Twenty years later, the Vertigo label remains an indicator of non-traditional comics for “Mature Readers.”
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