I read the classic material of course. Xmen was always a classic. Back in the Clairmont days of writing the stories were solid and compelling to anyone who knew what it was like to be a little alienated. Batman was always compelling due to his intensity and the notion that a man without powers, but possessed of singular discipline and intellect could deal with the evil in the world. I also loved spiderman as he was the underdog hero. He was a guy who struggled to make the rent and keep his girl while he also fought crime. The really interesting stories were when Spiderman was in over his head. He was the everyman in a lot of ways, despite his powers.
As grew older and the comic form began expanding in interesting directions I began reading the so called independent titles. Companies like first comics and eclipse comics began publishing things a little off the beaten path. I read Maus and found it compelling and strange. I read a couple of issues the Crow in first run. I especially loved Scout and Scout the war shaman by Tim Truman. All of these comics stretched the form somewhat into stories that would not make it into mainstream Marvel or DC comics which still concentrated on traditional superhero in spandex tales.
Round about that time I read a comic called Captain Confederacy. It was black and white title and strangely that was appropriate given the subject matter. The premise of the comic was the South had won the civil war and the confederacy was concidered a world power. During this strange alternate history a captain america like supersoldier program was come up with and initially tested on blacks then on a white guy who became a Captain Conferacy. On the initial look it would strike you as a racist comic. It shows a hero from a racist south fighting for a racist system. It takes the nationalistic superhero and turns it on its ear. The system the confederacy has in the comic has become aparthied like. As you read it however you get that it was a solid bit of writing. It was showing people from that kind of system trying to change. Trying to change it and themselves. It is not a comfortable read but not a bad one. It had some ham handed parts. The dialog needed work, but the over all story is actually pretty good. Anyways the guy who published it got a whole hell of a lot of flack over it. Most people never got past it's initial premise. They saw it as a racist endoursement of this confederacy rather than a tale about people fighting that kind of world in the ways they think they can. Anyways the guy who wrote it put up a blogspot blog and is putting up the pages of his first comic on this. I saw this talked about on Neil Gaimans blog and decided I would also post my thoughts on it and a link. I would suggest if you are a comic geek you may want to go check it out.