The Sandman, Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman, with illustrations by Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones III, lettering by Todd Klein, coloring by Robbie Busch, and cover by Dave McKean.
The Sandman tells the story of Dream, or Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams. Filled with allusions to myth, literature, and the DC Comics universe, its first volume involves a fictional Edwardian-era magician, steeped in esotericism, consciously based upon Aleister Crowley. Another series character of interest, Gilbert, is likewise based upon G.K. Chesterton.
From Hell by Alan Moore, with illustrations by Eddie Campbell and Pete Mullins
From Hell tells the story of Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel murders of 1888. Like Heaven’s War, the author supplements the story with well-researched endnotes. Filled with reflections on the nature of evil, esotericism, and the harsh realities of murder, prostitution, and the treatment of women and the poor in late Victorian England, From Hell is told with a high contrast, black-and-white visual style similar to that of Heaven’s War.
The Screwtape Letters (Marvel Comics Christian Classics) by C.S. Lewis, adapted by Charles Hall, with illustrations by Pat Redding and John Kalisz
If you are looking for another Inklings-related supernatural fantasy graphic novel, consider this comics adaptation of C.S. Lewis’s classic work. A demon named Screwtape writes a series of letters to his nephew, Wormwood, offering advice on how to condemn and anonymous British man to eternal damnation.
The Five Fists of Science by Matt Fraction and illustrations by Steven Sanders.
If you liked the historical fantasy of Heaven’s War, try this steampunk reimagining of 1899, with Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla and Baroness Bertha von Suttner join forces to oppose the evil forces and dark powers of Thomas Edison, J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and Guglielmo Marconi.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume III: Century by Alan Moore with illustrations by Kevin O’Neill
Another work of fantasy fiction, but with a more superhero bent than Heaven’s War, this epic third volume of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen follows the exploits of the League, a group of superheroes based upon characters from Victorian-era fiction, as they battle Oliver Haddo across a span of 100 years. Haddo is based upon the Aleister Crowley caricature at the center of W. Somerset Maugham’s 1908 novel, The Magician.
Aleister Crowley: Wandering the Waste by Martin Hayes, with illustrations by R.H. Stewart
Of interest for those looking for a further consideration of the enigmatic and controversial figure of Aleister Crowley, this biographical comic explores the life and legend by brilliantly interweaving the magic with the mundane in a sort of magical realism. The visual style is black and white, like Heaven’s War, but unlike that work’s highly contrasted visual style, R.H. Stewart favors more greyscale. The effect suits the work, which leaves the determination of Crowley’s status as either fraudulent or genuine occult spirtitualist in the hands of the reader.
War in Heaven by Charles Williams
This supernatural novel from Williams is referenced in Heaven’s War, detailing a search for the legendary Holy Grail. This work, like Heaven’s War and all of Williams’s supernatural fantasy, it features the supernatural breaking into the ordinary, everyday world, this time through the Holy Grail, the cup of Jesus Christ from the Last Supper and longstanding object of esoteric beliefs.
The Place of the Lion by Charles Williams
This novel begins much like Heaven’s War, with a magically powerful character lying on his deathbed, confronting the possibility of helplessness. Like Heaven’s War and all of Williams’s supernatural fantasy, it features a major character who, amidst a conflict of good against evil, is forced to make a difficult and important moral choice. C.S. Lewis’s favorite Williams novel, the plot revolves around an attempted astral projection gone wrong, leading to the invasion of Plato’s world of forms into our material world.
The Greater Trumps by Charles Williams
Trouble ensues when the first, original tarot deck surfaces. Like Heaven’s War, a diverse group of good characters must protect a sacred, powerful mystical object from falling into the hands of those who would use it for personal gain. Amidst the conflict and struggle, characters will at times sit and discuss the nature of esoteric and religious mysteries, a common trope in all of Williams’s novels, found too in Heaven’s War.
That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis
Many of Williams’s common tropes are at work in this sci-fi/ fantasy novel from Lewis: the supernatural breaking into the everyday, difficult moral decisions that factor into a conflict of good against evil, and a diverse group of protagonists struggling to resist supernatural evil through the power of their own insights, wisdom, and good timing. Yet Lewis’s distinctive vision is here too, for instance in the compelling character of Mr. Bultitude the bear, one of the more unique characters in sci-fi/fantasy. The conclusion of a trilogy, it is easily read in series or on its own.
All book covers taken from Goodreads.com except The Screwtape Letters, taken from ComicVine.com.