The Comic Fanatic: Ten Comics to Start Your New Year Out Right
Happy New Year, everyone! So, as you may have noticed, pretty much all of our comic reviews are gone. Long story short, it was a tech error. We are trying to see if we can restore some of them, but right now it seem unlikely. Thus, new year, new start, new Comic Fanatic. Welcome to The Comic Fanatic 2.0.
In all actuality, not that much is going to be different. You’ll still heard me rant about comics, and I’m still always open to suggestions. Something you want me to talk about/discuss/review? Let me know! greg AT thegamefanatics.com or on Twitter @theindiegeek Let me know what you want to read. It’s a new year, so I figure we should start it off right. Here are ten comic series that are currently ongoing (no miniseries) that I really enjoy and feel are worth your time and attention. First up, let’s start with Marvel.
“We have to go bigger”, said the Inventor to the Patriot. “We have to go bigger.” And so they did. The Avengers‘ roster has been expanded to include 18 characters. This would seem like an incredible cast to juggle, and I would say it would be more of a detriment than anything. However, Jonathan Hickman’s in charge. There is no one more suited to writing Marvel’s flagship book. We’re two issues in, and so far the main Avengers except Captain America have been captured dealing with a threat on Mars. First issue, big battle on mars. Now, Captain’s recruiting and there’s some very interesting choices (Cannonball and Sunspot?) Needless to say, this is gonna be an epic series.
I’ve seen Hawkeye be referred to as the best comic Marvel publishes now, and since Uncanny X-Force is over, I might have to agree. Hawkeye focuses on the titular archer, not as an Avenger, but as a person. Rarely is his costume seen, but that doesn’t stop trouble from following Clint. The power of the series lies in the strength of charcter of the two leads, Clint Barton and Kate Bishop (the other Hawkeye). The writing is great, and Clint and Kate work very well together. All around, a very fun book.
Hey everybody! Jean Grey’s not dead anymore! Well, technically she still, it’s just her younger self time-traveled to the present. No wait, come back! It sounds weird, but it works. In All New X-Men, the origina five X-Men (Jean, Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, & Angel) are brought to the present from 1960. And it totally works. Five issues in, and it works really well. The writing’s good, the art and colors are good, it’s a good book. Anytime a gimmick like this is used, it has to be justified by the narrative, which it is. X-Men fans should not be missing this book.
Lastly from Marvel we have Superior Spider-man. This new series will deal with the fallout from Amazing Spider-man 700. Who is this new Spider-man, and what changes will he bring about to the name? The first issue debuted this week, and it’s definitely a very new and interesting story. Like the new guy or not, it’s a breath of fresh air, something we haven’t read before. Inevitably things will return to status quo eventually, but I think we should enjoy Superior while it lasts. It’s well done, both writing and art. I am curious to see where this one goes.
Next up we have DC, and who’d you think we would start with? Batman. Of course. We’re currently in the second half in the Death of the Family event, and it has been amazing. Joker has never been scarier or more thorough. If you’re not reading it yet, you should. Joker has set his sights on killing everyone in the Bat Family, then Batman himself. Nothing more, nothing less. Scott Snyder is one of the best writers in comics now, bar none. He consistently proves this. His Batman run is dark, clever, and uses the different facets of the Dark Knight well. Court of Owls was fantastic, and Death of the Family is even better so far. Stay tuned in the upcoming months of the resolution with Joker.
I love Batwoman. I really do. Great writing, and some of the best art that comics have to offer. I’ve said it before, but JH Williams III is my favorite artist working now. Kate Kane is a great protagonist, a good example of a strong female lead. Despite having Bat in her name, she’s doesn’t really interact with the Bat Family much, very much her own entity. While Batman’s dealing with the Joker, Batwoman and Wonder Woman have been dealing with Medusa and missing children. An interesting story with a strong supporting cast. One of my personal favorite series.
Batgirl. Recently it was announced that Gail Simone was no longer going to be writing it. The exact circumstances are unknown (fired?), but the fan uproar was significant enough that she was later put back on the book. Any comic with that vocal of a following deserves to be on this list. A very enjoyable book, Barbara Gordon is great as Batgirl now that’s she’s back on her feet. Another strong female character, but different enough from Batwoman that I can pick up both the same week and not feel like I’m reading the same book. Art’s usually quite solid, but it’s the fantastic writing that keeps people coming back. (That said, where’s Cassandra Cain? Seriously, where is she?)
Aquaman. New 52 Aquaman has been very strong. Before you laugh this one off, give is a shot. The writing’s very solid and the art is pretty cool. Soon Aquaman will cross over with Justice League for the Throne of Atlantis event. The teams on these books is really great (Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis) and it looks to be very exciting, with payoff from the very first issues. This is truly a great time for Aquaman fans.
Then from Image we have two, Saga and Mind the Gap. Both series you should be already reading, but let me try to convince you in case you aren’t. Saga is the brainchild between Brian K. Vaughn (Y: The Last Man) and Fiona Staples, and it is utterly brilliant. It tells the tale of two lovers, Marko and Alana, who have deserted their respective sides of a galactic war. The comic starts with the birth of their child, Hazel (who is narrating the story), and follows them as they try to raise her and keep her save from the bounty hunters that get sent after them. Great book, very unique. Honestly, if you read one comic, make it this one. No joke.
Mind the Gap is a mystery. At the beginning of the series, Elle is pushed from the ledge into a moving subway car. She falls into a coma and the whodunit begins. While in the coma, Elle goes to The Garden, where the spirits of other ‘vegetables’ reside. Meanwhile, her friends and family try to figure out who and why, but the proverbial ‘They’ also has his/her/their own agenda. There is a huge amount of detail and small clues scattered throughout the issues, so take your time reading it. A very cool book.
Bonus! Avengers Arena. Why would I recommend a book where the point is to kill characters? Am I heartless? Yes, but that’s beside the point. The point is, it’s well written, beautifully drawn and colored, and it’s interesting! On the condition that characters deaths are earned from the story, it could be a really interesting read. Worth it alone for the art. We’re only two issues in so it’s hard to tell, but I really think this will be a good one. My money’s still on X-23.
There we have it friends, ten (eleven) series that are worth your while. Give them a try, you might find something you like.