I really love my comics. And I read quite a few series. Some, I will admit, are simply guilty pleasures, and aren’t all that good. However, there are some series that I really love, series that have a lot of quality. And, of those, there are a few that stand above the rest. A year ago, all of those would have been DC series for me. But I have broadened my horizons quite a bit, and this list contains comics from multiple publishers, and of varying lengths.
Creative Team: Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness
Yes, there are only two issues of this series so far. But that shouldn’t be held against the book. Both of Nova’s two issues have stunned me, and, honestly, I’m pumped for the next issue. Why? Because the book is just so much fun. Yes, it does have a great story, though we haven’t really gotten into that much yet. But, for the time being, it’s about Sam Alexander coming to terms with his new powers, and learning how to use them. Plus, the fact that he’s a fifteen year old makes him, as well as some of the book’s other characters, a lot more relatable. Since Sam is also the sun of the first Nova, a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, I can see his story really evolving over the course of the series. But so far, I’ve loved it. It’s a perfect example of Marvel’s willingness to have books that aren’t always serious, and can be lighthearted, yet still have great plots backing them up. And that’s essentially what Nova is.
4. Star Wars
Publisher: Dark Horse
Creative Team: Brian Wood and Carlos D’Anda
I’ve always been a huge fan of Star Wars. However, I’ve also always felt that they’ve never filled their potential in the realm of comics. I mean, I enjoyed Knights of the Old Republic (So sue me) and Legacy, but “Star Wars” is easily the franchise’s best outing into the world of comics to date. Entitling it simply “Star Wars” says a lot about the book. It’s only been three issues, but this book is Star Wars. It’s not Expanded Universe or anything, it’s just Star Wars. It’s about the main cast of the original trilogy, and takes place seemingly right after A New Hope. That’s a great thing, because, to my knowledge, that is seemingly an empty space in the Star Wars Universe. And there’s a lot great stories to tell here, about the main cast, but about the Rebellion as a whole. This is when the Rebellion is vulnerable, remember, and that’s an awesome dynamic. Plus, issue # 2 introduced a host of new characters, none of whom we’ve seen before, and each is sure to take the spotlight in their own right, which is an exciting thing.
3. Wonder Woman
Publisher: DC Comics
Creative Team: Brian Azzarello and Various Artists
Ever since I’ve been reading this book, it’s shocked me how it’s not really a superhero story. Sure, you’ve got Wonder Woman who is, undeniably, a superhero. But when you put her on a level playing field, where her enemies are gods, and weave a tale of mythology rather than one of superheroics, the dynamic is drastically altered. Azzarello has created a story that is less about the DC Universe, and more about mythology. It’s a mix of the two, and it has resulted in one oft he best mythological stories I’ve read since the last Percy Jackson book. In addition to this, I love the characters. Initially, the story was very much centered around Wonder Woman. But in recent issues, she has taken somewhat of a backseat to the rest of the book’s cast. Since I’ve come to love that cast, especially since many of the characters have really been fleshed out, I don’t really mind that at all. Plus, Orion is a pretty great character.
Publisher: Image Comics
Creative Team: Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga is an odd book, to say the least. It’s a trippy mix of science fiction and fantasy – complete with wooden starships – and it somehow works, and works well. The story, at least on the surface, is a story of star crossed lovers. But it’s in noway a romantic book, in fact, the actions scenes easily outnumber the romance scenes. The backdrop to the story makes this the case. You see, the entire galaxy is a t war because of a war between the inhabitants of a planet and it’s moon. The two main characters – Alana and Marko – are from the planet (Landfall) and it’s moon (Wreath). Marko, from Wreath, is humanoid, but with goat horns. Alana, on the other hand, is from Landfall, and sports a pair of demon-like wings. Odd, right? What’s even odder is that the whole thing is narrated by their daughter, Hazel, who is born in the first issue. It’s certainly a weird, complex story, but it’s one that’s worth investing your time into.
Publisher: DC Comics
Creative Team: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
No surprise here, really. Some will disagree with me, but I personally think that Snyder and Capullo’s Batman is the best comic series on the market right now. Ever since Issue #1, the series has been a delight to read, and I always find Batman to be the book I’m most excited for month after month. So, far, it’s only had two storylines, Court of the Owls and Death of the Family. However, both have been extraordinarily well done. But Death of the Family is easily the better of the two. I must say that Scott Snyder’s take on the Joker is the best since Heath Ledger’s performance on 2008’s the Dark Knight. He seems to get the character, and wrote him extremely well. It isn’t only the Joker that Snyder writes extremely well though. He seems to be able to get into the heads of the characters, even characters like Nightwing, who shows up quite a bit. In fact, I like Nightwing in Batman better than I like him in his own book. Coupled with Capullo’s stellar artwork, Batman is easily the best comic book on the market right now.