by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
Published by DC Comics
You knew this one was coming. And here it is. But NOT in the top five, and you may or may not find that surprising.
This is the one that deconstructed the new mythology and melted the feet of clay wearing the tights. This is the one that's taught in colleges across the country, and used by geeks the world over as Exhibit A in the case entitled "Comics Books Can Be Meaningful."
You're probably wondering (a) if I should turn in my geek ID card for placing Watchmen here on the list and/or (b) what could possibly be better than such a penultimate volume.
My only beef with Watchmen is the same one I level against Dark Knight Returns -- it's easy to deconstruct something by reshaping it and doing it from a position outside. It's much, much more difficult to tell a strong story within the confines of the genre and/or medium while addressing both those inside it and outside it. And I reserve my top five spots for stories I believe did just that. Stay tuned.
On a side note, I think I'm one of the few (the proud) who feel the ending of the movie was superior to the ending of the book. But that's a flame war for another day.