Today we examine the beauty of the single issue, but for DC comics. If you enjoyed my last article exploring some of Marvel’s best one shots, then I hope you stick around for this entry. DC has no shortage of excellent one shots as well.

Much like Marvel, I’m sure I forgot to add, or simply haven’t read many other great single issues that are out there, so don’t be mad if I miss a few of your favorites.

This list will be focusing on stories that do not require a vast amount of background to be ale to enjoy. That’s what makes the one shot so easy and accessible to read. Let’s proceed.


Sandman Mystery Theatre: by Matt Wagner, Stephen T. Seagle & various artists

Many fans, and perhaps non fans, are aware of Neil Gaiman’s critically  lauded series, Sandman. Too many people are not as aware of the other Sandman series that was going on for much of the same time, Sandman Mystery Theatre. It ran for 70 issues and had a small, but devoted fan base.

The series is a period piece set mainly during the depression era . It follows the exploits of Wesley Dodds, the golden age Sandman. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman had nothing to do with this version. Gaiman touched on the golden age Sandman briefly, but that’s about it. Wesley Dodds was just a mild mannered detective with a costume and a gas gun, very pulpy. The stories were always praised for its historical accuracy, mature tone and compelling characters. It’s exploration of relationships was rather interesting and unique as well.

This annual is a perfect mix of everything that made this series so good, and it’s all done on one issue. It’s about a mysterious central park attacker that is on the loose and terrorizing the citizens of New York. The other problem is that this mugger bares a striking resemblance to Sandman. Sandman is forced to try and stop this attacker while evading capture from the police himself.

It’s a great mystery story that really knows how to keep the audience engaged. It’s also notable for having a few recognizable guest artists for this issue, like Alex Ross! If you want to sink your teeth into a really good noir styled mystery, check this out. You just might crave more and jump into the actual series.



Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special: by Geoff Johns, Brett Booth & Art Baltazar

If you want something that’s a little lighter in tone than try this out. It’s one of the funniest comics I’ve ever read. It centers mostly around the Orange Lantern, Larfleeze. ( Orange Lantern’s are powered by avarice.) Larfleeze is essentially a powerful alien hoarder. He wants anything and everything, so when Christmas comes rolling around, he’s intrigued. Naturally, Larfleeze attempts to take Christmas for himself no matter what. Green Lantern must intervene and hilarity ensues thereafter. The art is dynamic and matches the chaotic tone of the comic. Not only is it funny, but it’s also endearing at times. Geoff Johns makes you care about this selfish pain in the ass of an alien. You just want to see more of him and that’s a credit to the writing.

It even comes with a recipe to bake Larfleeze cookies! My girlfriend was kind enough to try the recipe out, which put a smile on my nerdy face. Yum yum, nothing like frosty orange colored cookies.



Gotham Knights # 32- by Devin Grayson & Roger Robinson

Honestly Batman could have his own one shots list but for now, here we are. Gotham Knights # 32 is a less well known issue that really deserves more attention. This issue happens to be Devin Grayson’s last issue on the series, and it’s quite a nice send off. It really encapsulates what makes Batman who he is. Not a flashy issue, the aptly titled ” 24/7″ is just a day in the life for Bruce Wayne and Batman. In the morning Bruce Wayne takes meetings, attends dedication ceremonies, visits a friend in the hospital and has dinner with the Foxes. Bruce manages to squeeze every minute of time from these endeavors to do some good, however small it may be.

When night falls, Batman takes part in a more direct approach. He stops crimes, saves lives, keeps an eye on Robin and visits Barbara. There’s more, but you get the idea.

For me, this issue shines a light on two very important aspects of Batman/Bruce Wayne, which are his obsessively dogged determination and his unyielding desire to help people. In many ways these are the things that make Batman so special. It’s that, coupled with the fact that he’s only a man, not Superman or Green Lantern or even Spider-man. He has to work twice as hard as them and still have enough juice left in the tank to get it all done and make it to the next day and do it all again. But the Batman will never quit or complain will he?

Look out for this wonderfully character driven issue of our favorite Dark Knight.



Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year 4 Annual #1- by Tom Taylor & Bruno Redondo

Injustice takes place in an alternate reality where Superman has snapped and become a tyrant. Batman, and a small group of resistance fighters attempt to fight his tyranny and take back the world. During Superman’s quest for power he creates a super-max prison where he has imprisoned every super villain you can name. Superman has also imprisoned anybody who stands against him, like the Green Lantern Corps.

This annual marks the return of fan favorite writer, Tom Taylor’s to the series he started, and boy does he deliver. It’s a story about escaping the super-max prison, while also serving as an excellent character piece. The character on full display in this issue is Plastic Man. That’s right, Plastic Man. Usually considered the butt end of many jokes and mostly forgotten over the years, Plastic Man has not had many “great” or defining stories. He’s always been thrown in for laughs, not much else. That all changes in this thrilling tale about a father trying to save his son.  Plastic Man surfaces so that he can help bust his son out the super-max prison and start a new life away from the madness around him.

The story moves so fast, simply because you can’t wait to see what happens next. The emotional component proved to be the most surprising thing throughout this issue. I really felt for Plastic Man and actually rooted for him more than ever. How many times can you say that about Plastic Man?

it’s an awesome comic that is definitely the highlight of a rather mediocre for Injustice: Year 4 . Seek it out.



Action Comics # 775 – by Joe Kelly & various artists


This issue gives us the Superman we all know and love, for better or for worse. There was a DC animated movie that was based on this issue titled “Superman vs The Elite”, which I’ve always said is the perfect movie for any Superman hater to watch. The same goes for this issue. It’s won a few awards and has been loved by many fans over the years that it was first published.

One of the best things about the comic is that it touches on many of the things Superman haters gripe most about, Superman’s unwillingness to kill. In the issue, a new superhero team called The Elite show up to Metropolis very much willing to kill bad guys and clean up the world. At first they try to get Superman on board but eventually they give him an ultimatum. ” Do it our way or be destroyed.” The funny thing is that most of the public like The Elite and even agree with their harsher stance on criminals.

This leads to many more questions like, is Superman relevant? Does the world need heroes like this? It packs a punch and does not shy away from the hard truth. Superman is faced with the decision of succumbing to public pressure and opinion or doing the right thing and staying true to himself. I love this comic because it paints the picture as to why Superman exists and what he really represents, not only in the world of the DC universe, but what he represents to the society we live in today. A society that is maybe, a bit to eager for bloodshed. A bit too quick to anger and ultimately, too quick to hate.

Superman is meant to embody an ideal and NOT succumb to the anger and fear many of us could have. This is what this comic illustrates so eloquently. Superman fans and non-fans, I urge you to read this. Just trying out this one issue may give you a respect and understanding  of the character, and above all, the importance of having a Superman in a world full of antiheroes.



Nightwing (vol 2) # 25 – by Chuck Dixon & Scott McDaniel

This comic has the distinction of being ranked #67 in Wizard Magazine’s list of “100 Best Single Issue Comics Since You Were Born”. It’s a thoughtful and touching issue about legacy and brotherhood. The simple premise of this story finds Nightwing and Robin( Tim Drake) on a night out training. They go through this self made gauntlet evading obstacles, fighting crime and bonding together.

Sharing a few personal stories ends up leading to several nice moments and one big revelation. They are able to trust each other and open up in a way that they can’t with Batman. Nightwing certainly takes a big brother role in this story. He gives Robin advice and listens to Robin without needing to judge him. It’s really a treat to read these two characters just being human and dare I say, normal but without being boring, that’s the beauty of this issue. It marries text and visual well enough to really showcase what the comic medium can do when it’s at it’s best. It’s a bit of a search to find this issue but well worth it.



Final Crisis: Requiem #1 – by Peter Tomasi & Doug Mahnke

There’s two things here that are important to note. I love Martian Manhunter and he loves Oreo cookies. For those unaware, Martian Manhunter was killed off rather unceremoniously in the pages of the major event series,” Final Crisis”.

This comic book acts as a eulogy for one of the most beloved members of the Justice League. it’s really a heartfelt sendoff that really makes you feel the grief that all the characters feel for their fallen friend. Far too many times the superheroes of these stories never get to deal with death. Not really anyway. They don’t have time to mourn, reminisce or have a ceremonies for their fallen brothers and sisters in arms. Sometimes they don’t even have a body to bury at all. That’s why it’s so refreshing to read an entire issue of superheroes going through the grieving process because, let’s not forget that superheroes are ultimately people too. And we as people, will encounter death and we’ll need to deal with it too. I’m not saying that the magnitude of loss will be the same in the real world… No, not at all. I’m just saying that seeing these characters go through these complex emotions humanizes them and allows them to relate to us just a bit more. It may even help some readers cope with things, even just a bit, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone deals with loss differently, which the comic touches on too. It’s a nice script with some solid and emotive art to boot.

The ending is my favorite part. Read it and you’ll find out why.


Batman Adventures ( vol 2) # 17 – by Ty Templeton & Rick Burchett

Batman Adventures #17 is a comic that has had plenty of accolades and awards thrown it’s way. It’s a fantastic issue that addresses something that hasn’t been explored too often in the Batman mythos. What happened to Joe Chill?

Joe Chill is responsible for the death of Bruce Wayne’s parents, the defining moment of Batman. This makes Joe Chill almost as important a villain as The Joker or Two Face, now just imagine a reunion between he and Batman? It’s an issue done by the creative team of Templeton & Burchett, who had been putting out quality work on Batman Adventures for a number of years already. Many fans and critics have said it’s one of the best Batman comic series of all time, and it’s hard to argue with that once you see the quality of this issue. It’s got a hell of a story and it doesn’t skimp out characterization either. It gives us a rare look at things from the view point of Joe Chill.

The story begins with Chill in the present day. He’s worn down and constantly lives in fear and regret. Fear of ever being discovered as the murderer of billionaire Bruce Wayne’s parents, and in regret of not having finished the job on Wayne himself. He can’t sleep, and it’s even gotten so bad that Chill sees Bruce Wayne’s face everywhere, on everyone. Things get worse when a detective from the GCPD, decides to reopen the Wayne’s unsolved murder case.  The story only gets better from there. If that’s not enough to hook you in I don’t know what is.

It’s a masterclass in storytelling, short form or otherwise. The story is tight tight tight. Every page has a purpose and every moment ties into the next moment. It’s truly a great issue with a great payoff. There are times where you might find yourself turning pages and gasping, and then smiling quickly afterwards. We all know how Bruce Wayne dealt with his parents murder, so it was intriguing to see what life has been like for the man who actually committed the crime. Complex themes of guilt, remorse and trauma are explored in a comic that was supposed to be dismissed as a kiddie comic. That’s perspective for you.



Nightwing ( vol 2.)  Annual #2 – by Marc Andreyko & Joe Bennett

Nightwing makes another appearance on my list, this time with Batgirl by his side. To be honest it’s a story about her as much as it is about him. This annual tells that tale of Nightwing and Batgirl’s rather complicated romantic relationship over the years.

The comic starts with Nightwing injured and lying in bed with Barbara Gordon at his bedside. She tends to his wounds and lets him know that he’s been in a coma for weeks. The comic then jumps from the past to the present.

We see Dick and Barbara’s rather embarrassing first encounter.( A rather awkward and hilarious way to meet) We see their first date, the reason they broke up and even the moment in time where Dick finds out that Barbara has been paralyzed. It’s equal parts sad, funny and charming. It’s even fairly romantic, but not in a sappy way. Marc Andreyko really writes the hell out of these two characters. He manages to give them a chemistry that practically leaps off the page. He also does such a masterful job of weaving the convoluted comics history of these two characters. Joe Bennett is no slouch. His artwork keeps right up with the quality of the writing.

I remember I picked this up on a whim and started reading it on the subway ride home. Before I knew it, I was completely focused in on the story and was hoping I wouldn’t get home before finishing it.

Everyone has either been, or knows someone who has been in a complicated relationship like Dick and Barbara’s. Again, moments and themes like these manage to humanize the characters and make us care and relate to them more. I found the ending surprisingly mature and realistic, for a comic especially. It’s certainly my favorite Nightwing issue of all time. Track it down.



Brave & The Bold ( vol 2.) #33 – by J. Michael Straczynski & Cliff Chiang

We end the list with, probably my favorite issue out of the bunch. It’s a story titled ” Ladies Night” and it tells the story of Wonder Woman and Zatanna deciding to take Batgirl out for one night of pure fun.

From the beginning of the story we see that doing this for Batgirl is important to both Wonder Woman and Zatanna, we find out why later. Batgirl takes some convincing, but ultimately gives in. The result is a carefree night on the town for 3 women that don’t often get that luxury. It’s really great to see these three iconic superheroes just kickback and have fun like regular women. On the surface it’s just a fun story but by the end it’s so much more than that. It’s a tale of sorrow, trauma, acceptance, consequences and most importantly friendship. Saying anything more about the story directly is a disservice to it. The art is just as good as the script. I’ve never seen Cliff Chiang eclipse the work he did on this issue. His run on Wonder Woman comes close, but this issue still reigns supreme for me.

Much like a suggestion I made on the Marvel list of one shots, if you read just one issue of all the issues on this list, make it this one. Tracking it down for a decent price will be a task, let me tell you, so I would suggest to pick up the trade.( Team-Ups of the Brave & the Bold) It’s totally worth it, plus you get a lot of other quality stories in there as well.

That does it for my DC one shot recommendations. Stay tuned for more in the future!





















The single issue comic book is almost a lost art. These days, it’s far more common to have long story arcs and often times this can allow for several crossovers between other books. While I love long form storytelling, I appreciate the art of telling a succinct and compelling story with just one issue. Sometimes I think it’s harder to tell a story in this way, even harder to find a really good one. Often times, creators only have 22-30 pages to tell such stories. Managing to tell a compelling and memorable story under theses parameters is something that every writer and artist strives to be able to do.

It’s no surprise that comic companies push the long form story. After all, it’s far more lucrative if the reader buys 5 of 5 of a particular story arc as opposed to one comic. Many times publishers simply allowed single issue stories to be told in their series simply to be fillers until the next major story arcs, and often times they were merely that. But every so often a gem would appear. This list focuses on some of Marvels best one shot issues ( in my humble opinion.)



Edge Of Spider-Verse #2: Gwen Stacy Spider-Woman – by Jason Latour & Robbie Rodriguez

we start things off with a wonderfully crafted tale about Gwen Stacy in an alternate universe. You remember Gwen Stacy? Peter Parker’s girlfriend that died at the hands of the Green Goblin? Well not here. In this universe, it was Gwen Stacy that was bitten by the radioactive spider that gave her super powers, and it was Peter who died. It certainly turns the tables on Spider-man lore.

It also is able to build a fresh character, almost from the ground up. In this world Gwen is in a punk rock and she’s a kickass drummer. Her father is still a Police Chief, and Gwen chooses to follow in his footsteps, just not as a cop. Meeting Spider-Woman, or Spider-Gwen as she is affectionately referred to y fans turns out to e loads of fun. The script is imaginative and fun. The art is energetic and colorful, like her costume. Don’t let the fun tagline fool you, there are some excellent deeper moments in this issue too. Above all the thing this issue does best is introduce a new character that fans like AND telling a fully realized story, while leaving fans thirsting for more. So much so that Marvel decided to give Spider Gwen her own ongoing series thanks to the buzz from this one shot.




Winter Soldier: Winter Kills – by Ed Brubaker, Lee Weeks & Stepfano Gaudiano

This comic was created as a Casualties Of War one shot, and written by Ed Brubaker, (the man who brought Bucky back from the dead) so you know it’s going to be something special even before you crack it open. “Winter Kills” turns out to be a surprisingly melancholic and nostalgic look back to the early days of Bucky’s life. He recalls both, better days and sins past. After all, Bucky is celebrating his first Christmas since the 40’s at the beginning of the story.

But there’s never too much time to go down memory lane for an agent of Nick Fury’s. Sure enough, Winter Solider gets called up on an emergency mission to ” assist” a team of Young Avengers. The young team gets to see a legend at work as chaos ensues. This story balances action, drama, and emotion excellently, even providing moments of levity. The artwork is stellar throughout thanks to pencils by the underrated Lee Weeks. His work really fits in nicely with Brubaker’s noir storytelling style. The last few pages of the story features Namor and it’s my favorite part of the story. Together they trade war stories and even touch on the present and future. A touching issue that allows readers to feel the struggle of repentance and acceptance for yet another man, out of time.



Spider-man’s Tangled Web # 4 – by Greg Rucka & Eduardo Risso

This particular issue comes with a few accolades from the industry. Wizard magazine ranked this issue #31 on their list of”100 Best Single Issue Comics Since You Were Born”. I actually stumbled upon it because of my fandom of Greg Rucka, Eduardo Risso and Spider-man himself. It’s a simple but intriguing premise… What happens when someone who works for the Kingpin screws up? Like you might expect, the margin for error is next to none, and the poor schmuck working for Kingpin knows it too. One of the best things this issue manages to do is make you care about a character that is completely made up in the 22 pages you are reading. Spider-man is barely even in it, and it doesn’t matter. A masterclass in writing while being awfully cool to look at too.



Ghost Rider Annual #2 – by Warren Ellis & Javier Saltares

Interestingly enough, this issue happens to be Warren Ellis’s first ever published work, and what a way to start. Ghost Rider has always been a cool character, but he lacked a roster of villains to match his appeal. Annual #2 gives us one frighting villain that makes you take notice… The Scarecrow. I know, I know… Sounds like a Batman ripoff. That’s what I thought until I started reading and then quickly discovered a character that was a lot more demented and messed up than even Batman’s fearsome foe.

In essence, the issue serves as a character study for this new villain. Ellis manages to make Scarecrow fascinating. It’s impossible not to be intrigued by him despite his morbidly evil nature. Eventually Scarecrow’s thirst for fear and power leads him to a standoff with Ghost Rider. It’s a wonderfully tense climax which ends with a brutal finale. Think, a Tales From The Crypt type ending. This issue is a tough find but it’s worth the hunt.



Marvel Fanfare # 15 – by Barry Windsor-Smith

If you’re looking for a change of pace and tone, look no further than this issue. For those that are unaware, Marvel Fanfare was a series that ran in the eighties that was meant to tell short stories by various acclaimed comic creators. In this issue the main story is featuring the Fantastic Four’s The Thing.Written, penciled and inking the whole story is the legendary Barry Windsor-Smith. What an icing on the cake.

It’s a charming tale that explores the tumultuous, and often humorous relationship between The Thing and The Human Torch. It’s a masterclass in storytelling, particularly on the visual side of things, and funny! There are a few laugh out loud moments for sure. The important thing that this issue hammers home is that behind every prank and annoyance, there’s love.



Star Wars- C-3po – by James Robinson & Tony Harris

This is a, sort of tie-in with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it’s minimal at best. It’s meant to tell the story of how C-3po ended up with that red arm that he has in The Force Awakens, but it’s so much more than just that. I’d hazard to say that this one shot is better than the movie it’s meant to tie-in with. It’s surprisingly philosophical, exploring themes like freewill, war and the nature of good and evil. It’s brilliantly written by James Robinson, who made his name writing Starman for DC a number of years ago. Tony Harris ( also from the Starman alumni) provides the art that is surprisingly dark for such a bright character like C-3po. Honestly, it feels more like a really good episode of Star Trek rather than Star Wars. That may turn off some but if you like a little more brain than brawn in your science fiction than this one is for you. At the very least it manages to tell a story that doesn’t portray C-3po as an annoying robot and the butt of many a joke. I can honestly say that I see the character with a new respect thanks to this comic.I urge you to seek out this gem.



Daredevil #7  (Vol 3) y Mark Waid & Paolo Rivera

Winner of the Eisner award for” best single issue”, Daredevil#7 tells a tale about survival, trust and redemption. Matt Murdock( Daredevil), decides to volunteer to take a group of blind students on a field trip when disaster strikes and their school bus gets in a heavy accident. The bus driver is fatally wounded, which leaves Daredevil to guide these kids to safety in the middle of a deadly snowstorm.

One of the best things about Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil was his focus on character, particularly what makes Matt Murdock/Daredevil tick. It’s noted for it’s drastic change in tone, as Waid’s run was considerably lighter than previous iterations of the character. At it’s heart, this story is a very human one. How would we react in a life threatening situation? Especially when there are other lives at stake who depend on you. Matt/Dardevil goes through what we all might go through. Fear, self doubt and regret, but through it all he carries on. It’s not his super powers that make him do that, it’s his sheer will. Something that we all aspire to tap into in moments of crisis. Matt’s determination and will ends up rubbing off on his students which leads to a wonderful climax. No good vs evil here, just an inspiring story. Check this one out.



Wolverine: Debt Of Death – by David Lapham & David Aja

Wolverine makes an appearance on the list with a tale about honor, loyalty and paying your debts, no matter what. Almost sounds like Wolverine is a Lanniser from Game Of Thrones… Except for the parts about honor and loyalty.

To be honest, Wolverine is one of the characters whom has had TOO many one shots over the years but this one is a real keeper. The creative team of David Lapham and Aja really craft a wonderfully prototypical Wolverine story that every fan of the character should read. It’s as plot driven as it is character driven, but it’s Wolverine’s character that is at the heart of this story. Set in an ambiguous time period, Nick Fury also features in this war tale. I thought it was around the world war II days due to the appearance of giant robots and battlerobo suits but it’s never mentioned as far as I can tell. Regardless of the time period it’s an excellent story. It’s very grounded and not flashy in the typical ” superheroey” way you might expect. The script and story are great but it’s David Aja’s art that really steals the show. His fantastic panel work is a sight to behold. A simple story with various nuggets of complexity peppered throughout. it’s entertaining and engaging and most importantly, it’s Wolverine done right.



The Incredible Hulk # 420 – by Peter David & Gary Frank

Who would’ve thought that an issue of the Hulk could have such emotional heft to it. The issue covers a very taboo, yet important topic… Aids. Sometimes it can be a bit strange when comics that were created, essentially for escapism cover such heavy themes but this one did an exceptional job with the subject matter. I imagine that it probably hit harder when it actually came out ( 90’s) but in many ways the message is a timeless one and that sadly still affects too many lives.

Hulk’s friend, Jim Wilson has Aids, and he’s running out of time. Of course, the Hulk desperately wants to save his friend and is willing to try experimental measures to do so, but when Jim asks for a transfusion of Hulk’s blood, things get tricky. It’s a moral dilemma for him because giving Jim his blood would mean damning him and others around him, to a life as a monster. The alternative isn’t pretty and Hulk knows it. Meanwhile, Betty Banner( Hulk’s wife) tries to help a man with Aids who randomly called her office. This man has told Betty that he intends to kill himself due to his condition. Heavy stuff.

What this comics does is shine a light on the horror of Aids, homophobia, suicide & depression. It has hopeful moments but it doesn’t shy away from many of the realities of dealing with such an illness. It doesn’t cheapen the problem or trivialize it, which the story could’ve done so easily. It respects the nature of the problem and recognizes that even someone as strong as the Hulk can’t stop Aids. Hulk isn’t real, He could never stop aids in the real world. In a way, the story knows it too . It’s a sad read but it’s also a touching story about friendship and acceptance. Hats off to Peter David and Co. for this one.



Peter Parker: Spider-man # 35 – by Paul Jenkins & Mark Buckingham

Since we’re on the subject of sad stories, I present issue 35 of Paul Jenkins and Mark Buckingham’s fantastic run on Spidey. While it is sad, it’s also touching and so very important, at least to me. It tells the tale of a young inner city boy named Jamal and his day to day life. Suffice it to say, the kid has it pretty rough. Some days Jamal shows up to his filthy apartment and finds his mother passed out on the couch from booze. Other days Jamal comes home to find his Mothers drug dealer beating on her. Jamal doesn’t seem to have a father but he does have his hero…Spider-man. He imagines him always being there, watching over him, guiding him, talking to him.

Eventually Jamal’s aunt and teacher desperately try to work with social services to get him out of Jamal’s horrible situation, but it turns out to be an uphill climb. Much like the issue of Incredible Hulk, the story doesn’t trivialize or diminish the real problem at hand. What it does do a bit differently is show the importancethat  these comic book heroes can make in the comic world and in the real world. Spider-man is more than just a well needed escape for this boy. Spider-man is a friend, an example, an inspiration, and even a moral compass. Sometimes we diminish what these heroes really mean to people, especially kids. They’re meant to give hope and point us all in the right direction. Sure, we might outgrow them but we should never forget or diminish their importance.

The reason this issue can be heart breaking is because it understands that while looking at the reality of the world we live in. I’m not sure if i can call the ending of this comic a happy one, but it is a beautiful one. I will admit that even I teared up a bit reading it. If you only check out one comic on this list, it has to be this one. I would especially recommend it to non comic fans. It’s certainly one of my favorite comic book issues of all time.