Nova was my entry point into Marvel’s ongoing comics a few months ago, and I really loved that book. Now, Nova remains one of my favorites, but I’ve begun to read more of Marvel’s series. It’s mostly Marvel NOW stuff simply because I don’t know where I would start with some of Marvel’s other series, but I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised at the quality. And the amount of Marvel books I get increases every month as I catch up with some of their other NOW! series.
5. Wolverine – Paul Cornell and Alan Davis
I loved the first issue, wasn’t a huge fan of the second, but the third really blew my mind. Actually, pretty much all the comics I read last week blew my mind, but Wolverine was probably one of the best. Paul Cornell is really starting to find his footing at this point, and the first story arc has evolved into a multi-tiered, complex plot. Like many of Marvel’s other titles, this book is fun, but at the same time, can be pretty dark. What else would you expect from a Wolverine book, though? It’s also introduced an interesting cast of characters that will hopefully stick around for a while, because they’re great characters, and I feel that they have a lot to add to the lore surrounding Wolverine. Paul Cornell has really done such a good job with this book so far, and, as always, Alan Davis is a beast, so the art is stellar, and the book is great to look at.
4. Fearless Defenders – Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney
Until Brian Wood’s X-Men book comes out, Fearless Defenders is one of two female superhero books I’m currently reading, the other, of course, begin Wonder Woman. And while this isn’t as good as Wonder Woman, it certainly holds it’s own with a bunch of other books on the market. Actually, it has a lot in common with Wonder Woman, especially the whole mythology aspect of the book, which I am personally a huge fan of. Sure, it’s only in it’s fourth issue, and the first story arc isn’t even complete, but I doubt that the quality will change. I really love the plot so far, and the plot twists serve a bigger purpose than simple shock factor. The characters are also pretty great, and they’re a lot of fun to read. And, honestly, it’s good for me, because I have never heard of any of these characters before. I don’t know if that’s because they haven’t existed before or just because of my ignorance when it comes to Marvel, but the exposure is great.
3. Nova – Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness
Where it was once among my top 5 ongoing series, I see now that Nova is severely outdone by other Marvel titles. Is it bad? No, actually it’s an awesome book. I’m not always the biggest fan of cosmic superhero stories. Obviously, I love things like Infinite Crisis, but outside of events, they aren’t my favorite books. However, Jeph Loeb has done a great job with the re-imagining of Nova as Sam Alexander. This is actually Loeb’s best book in a long while, as his Marvel work isn’t always as great as his DC work. Nova, however, is a clear exception. The book is a lot of fun, and, above all, it’s a story about discovery, and coming of age. Sure, it feels like some of the Spider-Man origin stories, but really, it’s ground that hasn’t been tread in a while, so I’m not going to complain about that. Another reason I won’t complain is because I love the character, and the other characters in this book. Especially, of course, the one and only Rocket Raccoon.
2. Hawkeye – Matt Fraction and David Aja
Or, as I more commonly call it, Hawkguy. Hawkeye isn’t a superhero book. It doesn’t feel out of place at Marvel, but, for all intents and purposes, I should hate this book. But hating this book is completely impossible, because, month after month, Matt Fraction writes excellent issue after excellent issue. Sure, there have been some that aren’t as good as others, but a “bad” issue of Hawkeye is still better than the best issue of most other books on the market, with – maybe – five or six exceptions at the most. It’s just so good. First of all, it’s hilarious. Seriously. Anyone who’s read it will agree with me. The book just makes me laugh at how horrible Hawkeye’s life is, and how much he’s screwed it up. If that makes, me a bad person, I don’t care, because Matt Fraction makes me laugh. And the art. Francesco Francavilla’s guest appearance last issue was awesome, but even the normal art is great. It feels cartoony in a way that is really awesome, so just like the rest of the book.
1. Daredevil – Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
As much as I wish that Waid and Samnee would give Daredevil up and go write a Superman book for DC, I really, really enjoy Daredevil. This book has elevated Daredevil to my favorite Marvel hero, partially because it exposed me to other books taking place in Hell’s Kitchen, but mostly because this series is so very amazing. Samnee’s art is beautiful. It has a sort of less is more feel to it, because it’s such a minimalist style, but it’s still some really, really great work. But even better than Samnee’s art is Waid’s narrative. Yes, Daredevil is certainly one of Marvel’s darker books. And yet, it still has a very light tone to it, which very much embodies who Daredevil is, as the man without fear. He’s a very light hearted character – and that comes through very well in this series.In the book’s 25 issues, the story’s have all been excellent, and characters have all been handled very well, especially the villains, who go form Stilt Man all the way up to Dr. Doom.