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You mean there's more to comics than capes and spandex tights?

You mean there's more to comics than capes and spandex tights?

by Greg DeVriesApril 24, 2012

No seriously, there is! I know! Shocking revelation, but it’s not entirely your fault. The most popular comics generally are icons like Batman, Superman and Spider-man. Your typical superhero comics. But my friends, there’s a whole world of comics out there! Beyond the spandex and underwear that is now outerwear. Beyond Marvel and DC. They’re great, but only one piece of the pie that is comics. You could stop there, but why would you? There’s so much more deeper in, if you take a look.

Now, I have nothing against superhero comics. Far from it. I love them. Wolverine, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Batman, and all the others. And I’m not saying that every non-superhero comic is going to be amazing. There is definitely junk out there. But if you look in the rough, you’re sure to find some pearls. However, with any unfamiliar territory, it can help to have a guide. Allow myself and some of the other Fanatics to point you in places to start.


The first publisher I’d like to mention is Icon Comics. I’ve already reviewed Scarlet, and it remains one of my favorite (short) books to date. Icon is a place for Marvel writers to publish their own books. I strongly recommend the Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips team ups – Sleeper, Criminal, Incognito, and most recently, Fatale. These are very noir tales with a little bit of super human thrown in. Sleeper is about a CIA agent in deep cover in a super human terrorist organization, Criminal is about a series of epic crime stories, Incognito is about a super human bad guy that gets caught and has to live as a normal civilian, and Fatale is just that, a femme fatale story. They’re dark, gritty, and very well written.


Next up is Vertigo. A lot of great ones. Also a lot of strange ones. We have American Vampire, Y: The Last Man, The Losers, and Fables. Read the review of American Vampire and Y: The Last Man for the full details, but they are must reads. The Losers is like the A-Team, if they were much more violent and crazy. Fables is one I just started reading and am in love with it. Very critically acclaimed, the premise is what would happen of fairy tale creatures like Snow White, the Big Bad Wolf, Jack and Jill had to live in the real world. All four of these are fantastic. And, of course, V for Vendetta.

A few very notable ones from Dark Horse:  the Firefly comics: Better Days, Those Left Behind, and Shepard’s Tale. Fans of Firefly should not miss these books. Also, we have Fray, an original comic book from the ever amazing Joss Whedon. It’s a very fun read, and is very true to Whedon’s style. Hellboy is also very fun. If you’ve wanted the movies, you know what to expect: big red hero with a big fist, lots of monsters, and Nazi’s. Good Stuff!

Any list like this would be remiss without mentioning Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. Perhaps a little over exposed now, but it is a great read. If you’ve only seen the show, READ THIS! Also by Kirkman, Invincible is an amazing read. Yes, it falls into the category of capes and spandex, but it is so well done, I couldn’t help but plug it. Jinx and Goldfish by Brian Michael Bendis are great stories of bounty hunters and grifters. Lastly, Irredeemable and Incorruptible by Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Daredevil) are recommended.

And if that’s not enough my fellow Fanatics have a few suggestions:

Luis: I absolutely love Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse. It’s written by Ben Templesmith and published by IDW. If you love snarky and sharp Englishmen then you’ll love it!

Angela: I really enjoyed V for Vendetta and Y: Last Man. also The Guild comics are a good addendum to the web series

Tavia: Empowered, Strain, Orchid, and Dollhouse by Dark Horse. In the key of z by Boom. Nancy in Hell by Image. 30 Days of Night by IDW. And, of course, Fables by Vertigo.

Will: XKCD

Y: The Last Man

There you have it, more than enough comics to get you started. Be sure to check some of these out, they may change what you think a comic can be. And be sure to let me know if you do! Leave a comment, or drop me a line on twitter, @theindiegeek!

About The Author
Greg DeVries
  • Dye61Axilmeus

    Great developers behind this

  • Christy

    Superheroes, or intense heroes, get boring.

    What are the greatest non-superhero comics out there?

    Please checklist as many as you can. Thanks.

  • Carrie Major

    When Darkseid assaults Earth he often goes to Metropolis wherever Superman is, and when Galactus assaults Earth he often goes to New York wherever the Wonderful 4 are. Did any individual else ever observe this? If they were genuinely significant about global conquest they’d spread their henchmen all in excess of the planet. Why get fixated on one particular place?

  • Opal Morrill

    I require to know examples and whichever data about fables anyone can give me!


  • Deborah Holliday

    By overpowered, I imply heroes like green lantern, the flash, Superman, spiderman, etc, etc.

    I know there is deadpool who appears instead interesting, I also discovered Moon knight, far more serious, but apparently really interesting.

    I saw watchmen so that’s out of the question.

    Batman appears like there would be many years of backstory to catch up with so I guess not.

    Hellblazer isn’t really my thing.

    Also, a reading purchase would be nice. The Two for your tips and for deadpool and moon knight.

  • Alejandra Fleishman

    I am attempting to use Meboy on my incognito(It is a jave gameboy emulator) and in order to use it i have to run a jar file (or a jad file) I place the information on a micro sd card and try out to run them from there and they dont work. I have also tried copying them to my mobile phone and operating them from there, but that won’t perform either. Can any 1 make sure you help?

  • Melissa Nason

    I am making an attempt to use Meboy on my incognito(It is a jave gameboy emulator) and in purchase to use it i have to run a jar file (or a jad file) I set the files on a micro sd card and try to operate them from there and they dont work. I have also tried copying them to my cellphone and running them from there, but that isn’t going to work either. Can any a single make sure you help?

  • Patsy Herring

    I have a superhero investigation venture for L.A.
    And 1 of my tasks, is to offer a graphic organizer for 3 comics.
    I require – Superman, Spiderman, and Batman comics.

    Please help? Thank you!

  • Elinor Tuten

    I needed my sister to get into comics but what are some very good graphic novels to commence with. Absolutely Nothing to challenging like Marvel Civil war or Infinite Crises. Just some very good tales for first time readers.

  • Kathleen Frias

    I want your opinion concerning this?
    Do you think superhero comics have a constructive or damaging influence on society? Would this be the situation some 40 a long time ago?

  • Lizzie Galatioto

    Superheroes, or extreme heroes, get boring.

    What are the greatest non-superhero comics out there?

    Please record as several as you can. Thanks.

  • Marcie Carew

    I Am a junior in high school, and I’ve had braces twice in the prior for an underbite. I suppose they have been place on much too early, simply because I’ve developed a minor underbite again. Also, my teeth are straight, but they flare out somewhat. I’m not precisely energized to get braces again, so I needed to appear into the Incognito braces, the ones that go on the back of your teeth. Would I probably be qualified for Incognito braces?

  • Ramblin Spirit

    I am trying to use Meboy on my incognito(It is a jave gameboy emulator) and in order to use it i have to run a jar file (or a jad file) I put the files on a micro sd card and try to run them from there and they dont work. I have also tried copying them to my phone and running them from there, but that doesn’t work either. Can any one please help?

  • Gundown64

    I just downloaded Google Chrome and I really like it, but how do I use inCognito mode? I heard about it but I have no idea how to use it. I heard it doesn’t save any history, and I hate having history on my computer. Please answer and thank you.

  • Mr SoLo DoLo

    Alex: Shout Out Louds are Swedish. I said American bands.
    gabriella: I can confirm that, nonewithstanding the name, of Montreal are definitely American.


    like a vampire it needs blood as a lubricant to oil its machine…
    peace time ? since when there´s peace time in the world?
    well, by the answers i got so far it seems i´m right. america´s war machine is a vampire: it sucks life in order to make money…

  • Kevin

    I have the print Incognito and I have about 40 songs on it. To listen to the songs, I have to go to the entertainment tool, then click music. It has no option on there to set a song to my ringtone.

    How do I set a song to ringtone then? I’m tired of the annoying ones it comes with.

  • evangldbrg

    i got a girl who is 23 into wonder women comics

  • lucasg615

    I wanna know if the incognito mode of the Google chrome allows the websites which trace the browsing data to trace the sites we go in th incognito mode. Please help me in this. What are the things that the incognito allows to trace and does not allow to trace? Please answer…

  • PillowMan1234

    I was thinking of picking up a vampire comic book. I am stuck between I, Vampire from the DCnU and American Vampire. I here they are both good, but I also hear I, Vampire makes you read Justice League Dark, which I hear is also good. Which is better and for what reasons in your opinion?

  • toast

    It’s for a story I’m writing, based off of Twilight. I guess some character background would be helpful in naming him…

    He’s approximately 140 years old. He feeds on humans. He exploits a girl named Isadore (who’s the main character) and uses her extremely strong fear of death to control her. He absuses her, finding it fascinating incrediably frail humans are, but never kills her. He uses her (in the story) to get inside a pack of werewolves that he wants to destroy. He’s really really violent, but he’s not scary in that sense. He’s also a living lie detector-that’s his “power”. You probably won’t get that unless you’ve read Twilight.

    Name ideas? I want something not really exotic but not really common. And not James. (Sorry, I’ve been suggested that waaay too many times)
    And believe me, the story is NOTHING like Twilight.

  • johnkaiser 22

    I was going to buy a Sanyo Incognito phone for boost mobile and all I could find were the Sanyo phones with silver keyboard and not black keyboard and I was wondering why there were only silver keyboard Sanya pictures for boost mobile and no pictures of the Sanyo phones with black keyboards? And can you only get the silver colored keyboard Sanyo if you’re buying the phone for boots mobile?

  • Wooooody

    I use google chrome and i want to use the new incognito window. I have nothing to hide but i am just wondering if parentals controls logs websites as you visit them or as they are saved in your history. In other words will any websites i visit in the incognito window be viewable in parental controls?

  • Random

    has anybody read the comic american vampire by scott snyder and stephen king because i just ordered volume one and i want to know is it any good