Must-read comics are futuristic classics that shouldn't be missed. Of course, not every must-read is perfect. That's why we've rated them 1-5 on the patented "crunchy goodness" scale.

Title: Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus

Date: 2007-2008 (Four volumes reprinting material from 1971-1983)

Vitals: The great unfinished epic of superhero comics, Kirby (co-creator of the Fantastic Four, Hulk, Captain America, the X-Men and countless other characters) started the 1970s by trying to tell one massive storyline (about fathers, sons, war, life, death, individual freedoms and hippies all wrapped up in science-fiction disguise) across four different comics and many years. Disappointing sales and an unsympathetic corporate parent killed the project, but these are some of the greatest comics ever made.

Famous names: Jack Kirby and George Lucas. The former wrote and drew the series, the latter ripped it off and made a fortune.

Crunchy goodness: 5

Spinoffs/Sequels/Copycats: Never mind the countless revivals of the characters by lesser talents across the years, this is pretty much source material for a lot of Star Wars. The main character who wields the Astro-Force, which is an almost religious experience, is revealed to be the son of the main bad guy Darkseid. Which is pronounced "dark side." Darkseid's home planet, by the way? Looks like the Death Star.


Stunt casting: Real-life comedian Don Rickles finds himself not only guest-starring midway through the series, but he also gains a fictional bizarro twin, "Goody" Rickles. Who manages to explode after being too nice to people.
Most painfully dated moment: Far too many to mention, but the Hairies - square sidekick Jimmy Olsen's introduction to hippie counterculture - must be pretty far up the list.

The New Gods Library