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Last Minute Gift Alert – DC Deeply Discounting Digital Copies of Their 25 Most Essential Graphic Novels

A couple of years ago, DC just scrapped everything and relaunched all of their comic book titles with new continuities, altered origin stories, re-designed costumes, etc.  ‘Twas called the New 52, and while it may have succeeded in attracting new readers previously intimidated by the often byzantine continuity of long-running comics it also seriously angered their core audience of faithful comic book readers.  However, we can all agree that DC is still the home of some of the most essential graphic novels of all time.  In fact, in another bid at appealing to the general audience DC laid out what it considered to be its 25 most essential graphic novels earlier this year, published in the free guide DC Entertainment Essential Graphic Novels and Chronology 2013.  Many of these titles are old enough you can rent them for free at your local library, and a handful of them have already received the movie treatment, be it live-action (Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) or animation (The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, All Star Superman).  Beyond that, one of them – Batman: The Long Halloween– was used for a huge junk of the plot of Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight, and another – The Sandman – was just announced as in development for a live-action movie.

However, for the most part you can’t go wrong with these unquestioned classics of the genre.  Now, just in time for Christmas, DC is deeply discounting the digital copies for all 25 graphic novels, pricing them at $5.99 until January 2, 2014.  They normally cost $11.99-$19.99.  If you’ve never read a digital comic before, you’re missing out.  You can read panel-by-panel instead of page-by-page, and the art is all the more gorgeous on the HD screen of your tablet.

So, if you are in need of a last minute holiday gift or just have always wanted to read The Watchmen, The Sandman, Batman: Year One or have been meaning to try to get into comics for a while now this is a fantastic place to start.

WHERE CAN I BUY THESE?

AmazonDC, and Comixology

Below are the 25 on-sale titles along with the descriptions provided by DC on their official website:

1. Watchmen

This Hugo Award-winning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin. One of the most influential graphic novels of all time and a perennial bestseller, WATCHMEN has been studied on college campuses across the nation and is considered a gateway title, leading readers to other graphic novels such as V FOR VENDETTA, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS and THE SANDMAN series.

2. The Dark Knight Returns

 Hailed as a comics masterpiece, THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS is Frank Miller’s (300 and SIN CITY) reinvention of the legend of Batman. It remains an undisputed classic, one of the most influential stories ever told in comics, and is a book cited by the filmmakers as an inspiration for the most recent Batman movies. It is ten years after an aging Batman has retired, and Gotham City has sunk deeper into decadence and lawlessness. Now, when his city needs him most, the Dark Knight returns in a blaze of glory. Joined by Carrie Kelly, a teenage female Robin, Batman takes to the streets to end the threat of the mutant gangs that have overrun the city. And after facing off against his two greatest enemies, the Joker and Two-Face, for the final time Batman finds himself in mortal combat with his former ally, Superman, in a battle that only one of them will survive.

3. The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision. In PRELUDES & NOCTURNES, an occultist attempting to capture Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his seventy-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power. On his arduous journey Morpheus encounters Lucifer, John Constantine, and an all-powerful madman. This book also includes the story “The Sound of Her Wings,” which introduces us to the pragmatic and perky goth girl Death.

4. Batman: Year One

One of the most important and critically acclaimed Batman adventures ever. Written by Frank Miller (BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS), with art by David Mazzucchelli (Daredevil), YEAR ONE tells the entire dramatic story of Batman’s first year fighting crime. This collection includes new introductions by Miller and Mazzucchelli, loads of reproductions of original pencils, promotional art, unseen Mazzucchelli Batman art, Richmond Lewis’s color samples, script pages and other surprises. 

5. V for Vendetta

“Alan Moore outdoes himself…. Extraordinary … a poetic celebration of the powers of the imagination.” – Kurt Loder, MTV A powerful story about loss of freedom and individuality, V FOR VENDETTA takes place in a totalitarian England following a devastating war that changed the face of the planet. In a world without political freedom, personal freedom and precious little faith in anything, comes a mysterious man in a white porcelain mask who fights political oppressors through terrorism and seemingly absurd acts in this gripping tale of the blurred lines between ideological good and evil.

6. Saga of the Swamp Thing: Book One

Before WATCHMEN, Alan Moore made his debut in the U.S. comic book industry with the revitalization of the horror comic book THE SWAMP THING. His deconstruction of the classic monster stretched the creative boundaries of the medium and became one of the most spectacular series in comic book history. With modern-day issues explored against a backdrop of horror, SWAMP THING’s stories became commentaries on environmental, political and social issues, unflinching in their relevance.

SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING BOOK ONE collects issues #20-27 of this seminal series including the never-before-reprinted SAGA OF THE SWAMP THING #20, where Moore takes over as writer and concludes the previous storyline. Book One begins with the story “The Anatomy Lesson,” a haunting origin story that reshapes SWAMP THING mythology with terrifying revelations that begin a journey of discovery and adventure that will take him across the stars and beyond.

7. Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile

WINNER OF FOURTEEN EISNER AWARDS. When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile. Disguised among the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters have created their own peaceful and secret society within an exclusive luxury apartment building called Fabletown. But when Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Fabletown’s sheriff, a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf, to determine if the killer is Bluebeard, Rose’s ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

8. Batman: The Killing Joke

This is the unforgettable event that forever changed Batman’s world, adding a new element of darkness with its unflinching portrayal of The Joker’s twisted psyche. Writer Alan Moore, acclaimed author of WATCHMEN and V FOR VENDETTA, offers his take on the disturbing relationship between The Dark Knight and his greatest foe. The Clown Prince of Crime has never been more ruthless than in this brutal tale.

9. Y: The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned

Y: THE LAST MAN, winner of three Eisner Awards and one of the most critically acclaimed, best-selling comic books series of the last decade, is that rare example of a page-turner that is at once humorous, socially relevant and endlessly surprising. Written by Brian K. Vaughan (Lost, PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, EX MACHINA) and with art by Pia Guerra, this is the saga of Yorick Brown–the only human survivor of a planet-wide plague that instantly kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome. Accompanied by a mysterious government agent, a brilliant young geneticist and his pet monkey, Ampersand, Yorick travels the world in search of his lost love and the answer to why he’s the last man on earth.

10. All-Star Superman

Y: THE LAST MAN, winner of three Eisner Awards and one of the most critically acclaimed, best-selling comic books series of the last decade, is that rare example of a page-turner that is at once humorous, socially relevant and endlessly surprising. Written by Brian K. Vaughan (Lost, PRIDE OF BAGHDAD, EX MACHINA) and with art by Pia Guerra, this is the saga of Yorick Brown–the only human survivor of a planet-wide plague that instantly kills every mammal possessing a Y chromosome. Accompanied by a mysterious government agent, a brilliant young geneticist and his pet monkey, Ampersand, Yorick travels the world in search of his lost love and the answer to why he’s the last man on earth.

11. Kingdom Come

The unforgettable, best-selling miniseries by acclaimed writer Mark Waid and superstar painter Alex Ross returns, with a sketchbook section, annotations on the series, rare art and more! Set just after the dawn of the 21st Century in a world spinning inexorably out of control comes this grim tale of youth versus experience, tradition versus change and what defines a hero. KINGDOM COME is a riveting story pitting the old guard–Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and their peers–against a new uncompromising generation and ultimately in the final war against each other to determine nothing less than the future of the planet.

12. Batman: The Long Halloween

“THE LONG HALLOWEEN is more than a comic book. It’s an epic tragedy.”–Christopher Nolan (director THE DARK KNIGHT RISES) Taking place during Batman’s early days of crime fighting, this new edition of the classic mystery tells the story of a mysterious killer who murders his prey only on holidays. Working with District Attorney Harvey Dent and Lieutenant James Gordon, Batman races against the clock as he tries to discover who Holiday is before he claims his next victim each month. A mystery that has the reader continually guessing the identity of the killer, this story also ties into the events that transform Harvey Dent into Batman’s deadly enemy, Two-Face.

13. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol. 1

London, 1898. The Victorian Era draws to a close and the twentieth century approaches. It is a time of great change and an age of stagnation, a period of chaste order and ignoble chaos. It is an era in need of champions. In this amazingly imaginative tale, literary figures from throughout time and various bodies of work are brought together to face any and all threats to Britain. Allan Quatermain, Mina Murray, Captain Nemo, Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde and Hawley Griffin, the Invisible Man, form a remarkable legion of intellectual aptitude and physical prowess: The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

14. Batman: Earth One

In a Gotham City where friend and foe are indistinguishable, Bruce Wayne’s path toward becoming the Dark Knight is riddled with more obstacles than ever before. Focused on punishing his parents’ true killers, and the corrupt police that allowed them to go free, Bruce Wayne’s thirst for vengeance fuels his mad crusade and no one, not even Alfred, can stop him.

15. Green Lantern: Rebirth

The 6-issue miniseries event of 2004-2005–written by Geoff Johns (BLACKEST NIGHT, TEEN TITANS) with art by Ethan Van Sciver and Prentis Rollins–is available in this edition, complete with the preview story from Wizard Magazine as well as a number of extras previously only available in ABSOLUTE GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH! Hal Jordan was considered the greatest Green Lantern of them all. But Jordan lost control, allowed himself to be corrupted and transformed into the villainous Parallax. Later, Jordan reappeared and made the ultimate sacrifice–a sacrifice that allowed him to become the Spectre, the Wrath of God. After several years of activity on Earth, The Spectre became restless and sought a way to prove himself worthy of that noble reputation. See how a man born without fear and seeking to rebuild his life, puts cosmic forces into motion that will have repercussions not only on Earth but across the universe. This volume sets up the events of BLACKEST NIGHT and revitalized Green Lantern as one of the most important heroes of the DCU!

16. American Vampire Vol. 1

This volume follows two stories: one written by Scott Snyder and one written by legendary horror writer Stephen King. In Snyder’s story set in 1920s LA, we follow Pearl, a young woman who is turned into a vampire and sets out on a path of righteous revenge against the European vampires who tortured and abused her. This story is paired with King’s story, a western about Skinner Sweet, the original American Vampire–a stronger, faster creature than any vampire ever seen before.

17. Blackest Night

Geoff Johns (GREEN LANTERN: SINESTRO CORPS WAR, THE FLASH, ACTION COMICS, JSA) and superstar artist Ivan Reis raise the dead in a story that rocks the foundations of the DC Universe! Throughout the decades, death has plagued the DC Universe and taken the lives of heroes and villains alike. But to what end? As the war between the different colored Lantern Corps rages on, the prophecy of the Blackest Night descends and it’s up to Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps to lead DC’s greatest champions in a battle to save the Universe from an army of undead Black Lanterns made up of fallen Green Lanterns and DC’s deceased heroes and villains. This collection of the bestselling epic is the culmination of the events that Geoff Johns has been leading to since he relaunched the Green Lantern franchise in 2006!

18. Final Crisis

What happens when evil wins? That’s the devastating question Superman, Batman, the Justice League and every other super being in the DC Universe must face when Darkseid and his otherworldly legion of followers actually win the war between light and dark. Written by superstar creator Grant Morrison (JLA, BATMAN) with stellar art from J.G. Jones (52 covers), Carlos Pacheco (SUPERMAN) and Doug Mahnke (BLACK ADAM), this event defined the DCU and the New Gods for the 21st century and beyond!

19. JLA Vol. 1

Relive the legendary 1990s JLA series, written by comics mastermind Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS) with stunning art by Howard Porter and others, in this amazing oversized softcover collecting JLA #1-9 and SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS #1! The action begins as the JLA reunites to stop the Hyperclan, who have come to Earth posing as a new group of super heroes. But as their true nature comes to light, only the World’s Greatest Super Heroes can stop them! Standing side by side, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter take on alien posers and come to realize that Earth needs a protectorate made up of only the mightiest icons!

20. Identity Crisis

New York Times best-selling novelist Brad Meltzer (THE ZERO GAME; THE MILLIONAIRES) unleashes a murder mystery featuring some of the biggest pop icons in the world: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League. When the spouse of a JLA member is brutally murdered, the entire superhero community searches for the killer, fearing their own loved ones may be the next targets. Before the mystery is solved, a number of long-buried secrets will threaten to divide the heroes before they can bring the mysterious killer to justice. IDENTITY CRISIS is an all-too-human look into the lives of superheroes, and the terrible price they pay for doing good.

21. Batman: the Complete Hush

BATMAN: HUSH is a thrilling mystery of action, intrigue, and deception penned by Jeph Loeb (BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN) and illustrated by comics superstar Jim Lee (ALL STAR BATMAN & ROBIN, THE BOY WONDER) in which Batman sets out to discover the identity of a mysterious mastermind using the Joker, Riddler, Ra’s al Ghul and the Dark Knight’s other enemies–and allies–as pawns in a plan to wreak havoc.

22. The Joker

Brian Azzarello brings to THE JOKER all the visceral intensity and criminal insight that has made his Vertigo graphic novel series 100 BULLETS one of the most critically acclaimed and award-winning series of all time. This original graphic novel tells the story of one very dark night in Gotham City. The Joker has been mysteriously released from Arkham Asylum, and he’s none too happy about what’s happened to his Gotham City rackets while he’s been “away.” What follows is a harrowing night of revenge, murder and manic crime as only The Joker can deliver it, as he brutally takes back his stolen assets from The Penguin, The Riddler, Two-Face, Killer Croc and, of course, The Batman, and heaven help them all. Told through the eyes of his loyal (but naive) henchman Jonny Frost, JOKER is a true noir crime novel: a harrowing journey into a city of rain-soaked streets, dirty sheets and nothing but bad choices.

23. The Flash: Rebirth

Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, the writer/artist team behind the blockbuster GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH and THE SINESTRO CORPS WAR, create an explosive, jaw-dropping epic that reintroduces Barry Allen as The Flash in this volume collecting the fast-paced 6-issue miniseries. But how will this greatest of all Flashes find his place in the twenty-first century?

24. Superman: Earth One

Forget everything you know about The Man of Steel and brace yourself for a staggering new take on the world’s most popular Super Hero. Best-selling, Hugo Award-winning writer J. Michael Straczynski (BRAVE AND THE BOLD, THOR, BABYLON 5) and red-hot rising star artist Shane Davis (GREEN LANTERN, SUPERMAN/BATMAN) team up for this exciting launch of the EARTH ONE graphic novel series. Set in an all-new continuity re-imagining DC’s top heroes, EARTH ONE is a new wave of original, stand-alone graphic novels produced by the top writers and artists in the industry. The groundbreaking new line rockets into effect right here with the Super Hero who started it all–Superman! What would happen if the origin of The Man of Tomorrow were introduced today for the very first time? Return to Smallville and experience the journey of Earth’s favorite adopted son as he grows from boy to Superman like you’ve never seen before!

25. Planetary Vol. 1: All Over the World and Other Stories

The creator of the acclaimed series TRANSMETROPOLITAN, Warren Ellis delivers PLANETARY, hailed as a timeless story that turned modern superhero conventions on their heads.  This collection features the adventures of Elijah Snow, a hundred-year-old man, Jakita Wagner, an extremely powerful woman, and The Drummer, a man with the ability to communicate with machines. Tasked with tracking down evidence of super-human activity, these mystery archaeologists uncover unknown paranormal secrets and histories, such as a World War II supercomputer that can access other universes, a ghostly spirit of vengeance, and a lost island of dying monsters.

HOW DO I GIVE THESE AS GIFTS ON THE KINDLE?

From GeeksOfDoom: “You can gift Amazon Kindle eBooks and set your gift to be delivered whenever you want to anyone with an email address. On the Product Page (on the top right side), click the button that reads “Give as a Gift.” From there you enter the recipient’s email address and note the date you’d like your gift to be delivered via email, and also include a personalized message. There’s also the option to have the gift emailed right to you that you can forward the gift email to the recipient yourself or print it out and personally deliver it to the recipient.  You don’t actually need a Kindle device to read these ebooks. Books can be read on a Kindle or one of Amazon’s free reading apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7.”

Personally, I plan on finally checking out Batman: Earth One, Batman: The Killing Joke, and Batman: The Long Halloween.

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