As claustrophobic and fast moving as you would imagine being trapped in the back of truck would be, Die Trying moves toward it's catastrophic climax as surely Jack (None) Reacher himself.
Die Trying also marks the beginning of Jack Reacher's evolution from Sherlock Holmes in the Terminator's body to a crazy hobo who smells of burning. Compared to the human wrecking machine and master detective of The Killing Floor, the Reacher of Die Trying is (relatively) vulnerable and shown to take increasing risks.
For all it's mutilation, unsavoury language and even more unsavoury characters, The Black Dahlia is hypnotic. Drawing the reader in as surely as the case of Elizabeth Short compels Detectives Bleichart and Lee, James Ellroy strips back the genteel noir of Chandler and Hammett for a tauter tone.
Like Maus and the works of Harvey Pekar and Robert Crumb, Watchmen was one of the "comics" that suggested there was more to the medium than four colour heroes.
Taking the conflicted misfits of the X-men to their logical extreme, Watchmen nevertheless presents a realistic group of costumed 'heroes' who are as divided by their way of life as much as they are united by it.
Exploring the origin of the masked adventurer from the pulp age of the 30s through the atomic wonderland of the 60s, Watchmen foresaw the Dark Age of Comicbooks that came in the 80s.
Although the Gothic tradition preceded him, it was Lovecraft who brought "weird fiction" into modernity. In his strangely faithless stories of alien gods and antique relics, Howard Philips Lovecraft casts a shadow over all who follow him, a 20th century Ozymandias of horror.
Like Wagner, Lovecraft was a dubious human being (to be generous) but a master of his craft.