Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Today's Top 10 Tuesdays post covers the much request recommendations topic by spotlighting 10 Comics You Should Be Reading. If you happen to remember Justin Miousse's Comic Book Suitcase Test, I've basically applied that to my current pull list and distilled it down to the ten monthly (keyword monthly, so no Thor or other oft-delayed comics on this list) comics I think people should be reading.
Most of the list you can probably guess if you've read my reviews for a while, but there's also a few new comics and the odd surprise. I've also included the price of each issue, a brief description and my reasons for choosing it. Hit the jump for the full list!
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Nicola Scott
What's it about?: Six villains form a team and we follow them on their misadventures.
Why should I buy it?: It is currently the best book being published from any company. I think the thing I like the most about it is that it offers something unique with every issue, both in story and with the perspective of the villains. These are human beings, not mustachio twirling Saturday morning cartoon characters. Sure, they lack morals and Ragdoll is completely insane, but they're still human in the end and Simone captures that perfectly.
Where should I start?: The current series has multiple jumping on points, ranging from the first issue to several done-in-ones after the first arc to the most recent story, which began in issue ten and just wrapped up. Any are good starting points, but if it was up to me, I'd grab the first trade, Secret Six: Unhinged, or possibly the original miniseries that predate the ongoing, but are not essential to understanding it, Villains United and Six Degrees of Devastation.
Written by Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente
Art by Various
Price: $2.99, soon to be $3.99, but with Agents of Atlas backup
What's it about?: Hercules, the Greek demigod, and Amadeus Cho, the 7th smartest person on Earth (according to a soapbox contest), take a romp through the Marvel Universe.
Why should I buy it?: Like Secret Six, Incredible Hercules offers something unique to readers that other comics do not. In Hercules case, it's the comedy and a constant stream of moments that leave even the most disenheartened fanboy smiling with glee, from Hercules dressing up as Thor and battling a Thor dressed as Hercules to the best sound effects (yes, I'm mentioning sound effects, that's how good they are) in comics, Incredible Hercules is a book you should be reading.
Where should I start?: While there is an overarching story about Hera, the Olympus Group and their Continuum project, just about any issue or arc is a good jumping on point for Incredible Hercules.
You could pick up the first trade, Against The World, where Incredible Hulk became Incredible Hercules post-WWH or the excellent Secret Invasion tie-in, which does not require any knowledge of Secret Invasion to enjoy and deals with Hercules leading the Earth pantheon of gods to kill the Skrull gods (yes, it's as awesome as it sounds), or my former favourite storyarc from the series, Love And War, which is where the 'thumbs up' Hercules image that frequents my banner now and then comes from. Or, if you want to just get right in to the book, pick up the recently concluded, and my new favourite arc, The Mighty Thorcules from Incredible Hercules #136 and move straight on into the upcoming Assault on New Olympus.
In short, buy any Incredible Hercules comic and you'll enjoy it. Guaranteed.
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason
What's it about?: All the Green Lanterns that aren't Hal Jordan.
Why should I buy it?: Peter Tomasi has taken the sister title to Green Lantern and made it superior to the main book in every way, which is saying a lot considering how much hype and praise Green Lantern has gotten since Geoff Johns relaunched the title. Where Johns covered the "secret" origin of Hal Jordan for several months and then stumbled through a few arcs before resurging with the recent Blackest Night issues, Tomasi and Gleason have been knocking the ball out of the park with every issue of Green Lantern Corps since Tomasi took over the book over a year ago. It's basically been one non-stop continuation of the Sinestro Corps War with every issue. That's how good this book has been.
Where should I start?: Tough one. If you've been following Green Lantern or Blackest Night and not picking this title up, you should just jump right in as you'll be well versed in the story already. For others, you may want to start with the Sinestro Corps War, which is where all the Green Lantern love really started, and make your way through subsequent volumes of Tomasi's run on the book. Our Blackest Night primer actually has a lot of information about the current state of Green Lantern and GLC in it, so you could read up there and just start right in on the main books if you wished.
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by JH Williams III
Price: $3.99 with The Question backup
What's it about?: The new Batwoman takes center stage in Detective Comics with backups featuring the new Question.
Why should I buy it?: JH Williams's art. Seriously, I rarely, if ever, go on about an artist or tell people to buy a book based on the art alone (that's how Loeb got to where he is in the industry - on the backs of A-list artists propping up his otherwise unsavory "writing"), but this is simply incredible work and art like this comes along but once every 10 years or so. It doesn't hurt that Rucka is putting out some of his best writing here, though the Question backups are a bit lacking in comparison. I view them as "free" extras though.
Where should I start?: Rucka and Williams took over Detective Comics with issue #854. The first arc just concluded and Batwoman's origin arc began last week. Pick up #854 and get caught up as soon as you can.
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Rotating Teams
What's it about?: The Batman and Robin post-death of Bruce Wayne.
Why should I buy it?: Grant Morrison is channelling his All Star Superman work, but set in post-Batman RIP continuity with Nightwing and Damian Wayne taking on the mantles of Batman and Robin. Believe everything you've heard about this book and add it to your pull list ASAP.
Where should I start?: Only a handful of issues have been released, so start with Batman and Robin #1 and work your way up.
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Paul Pelletier & Various
What's it about?: Nova, the Marvel Green Lantern knock off with a bucket on his head.
Why should I buy it?: This image is the only reason you need. Yes, I realize it's from Annihilation, but that image sums up every possible reason I could give for why Nova is a book you should be reading. If that much awesome in one image can't get you to buy a book, nothing will. Now multiply that by a monthly, sometimes bi-weekly 22-page comic and I can't think of any reason you aren't reading this book already.
Where should I start?: Nova's resurgence began with the Annihilation: Nova miniseries and continued directly through Annihilation and the subsequent relaunch of the ongoing for Nova. He's bounced between events, but the current storyline in Nova #29-30 slowed things down a bit so that you could easily jump in before the Realm of Kings aftermath to War of Kings begins.
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Various
What's it about?: Ragtag band of cosmic adventurers that came together during Annihilation: Conquest and have been policing/fixing the universe since.
Why should I buy it?: Talking Russian dog? I AM GROOT? Drax? Gamora? Adam Warlock/Magus? Rocket Raccoon? Any of this not sound awesome? How about it's by the team of Abnett and Lanning, who also do chores on Nova and have been spearheading the entire Marvel cosmic universe resurgence since Annihilation? Don't like cosmic books? Read it anyways. You'll like it.
Where should I start?: The team first came together, at least partially, back during Annihilation: Conquest, so the Starlord miniseries might be a good start. Otherwise, you could just stick to the first trade of this new series, which deals with the team's formation post-Conquest. For a recent jumping on point, there's not a great spot, to be honest, as the book has just finished up a rather confusing, for new readers, time travel storyline and half the team was killed off fixing it. With the roster thinned out, it may be a good time to jump in with next issue.
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Dale Eaglesham
What's it about?: Marvel's first family.
Why should I buy it?: Hickman and Eaglesham are putting the Fantastic back in the Fantastic Four. We've got a Multiverse policing council made up of Reed Richards, many with their own Infinity Gauntlets, fighting Celestials, taking down Dr Dooms (yes, plural), SCIENCE! and pretty much taking what had become a rather set routine for the Fantastic Four and gotten it back to the basics, capturing magic not seen since Waid and Ringo were last on the book.
Where should I start?: The first three part storyline just finished, so run out and grab that, starting with Fantastic Four #570, #571 and the recently released #572. You can also grab Hickman's Dark Reign: Fantastic Four miniseries, which introduced some of the plots used on his current run, but it is not necessary to enjoying it either. Just found out you can read the first two issues for FREE with Marvel's Digital Comics Unlimited service. Now you have no excuse not to read it.
Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Charlie Adlard
What's it about?: Post-zombie apocalypse world and the daily lives of the people that live there, their struggles to survive and how they deal with this world gone mad.
Why should I buy it?: The people. No, really, it's not a zombie book. It's just set in a post-zombie apocalypse setting. The people, their lives and how they go about in this world is the real draw of the book. And zombies. There are zombies, too. But mostly the people.
Where should I start?: Grab the first trade and work your way up through this series.
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Rotating Teams
What's it about?: It's Wolverine's new ongoing that, currently, follows a series of stand alone stories. It reflects current continuity, but you do not need to follow other X-titles or Dark Reign or the numerous other books Wolverine stars in to follow it.
Why should I buy it?: Jason Aaron just plain gets Wolverine and you'll see exactly why he's become one of, if not the most popular character in comics. I actually haven't enjoyed Wolverine or any stories from his titles in years, probably since the older Claremont/Byrne days. If you're disenfranchised over yet another Wolverine comic or appearance and sick of seeing him everywhere, do yourself a favour and grab the first arc of this title and I believe Aaron will make you a believer in Wolverine again (or for the first time).
Where should I start?: Just pick up issue one of this relatively new series or grab the upcoming trade, The Adamantium Men, and find out why Wolverine is the best he is at what he does - selling comics. You could also grab Aaron's and Ron Garney's Get Mystique! arc, which was one of the best stories from last year, that led to his getting handed the reins to Logan's new book.
There you have, the 10 Comics You Should Be Reading. Or, at least, the ten comics on my pull list I think you should be reading. What I want to know is if you agree or not. What comics did I miss that you think others should be reading and why? Of note, I limited it mostly to Marvel and DC as I do the majority of my indie reading through trades. I made an exception and put The Walking Dead on there since I keep up with it rather religiously in trade format, but can't really say for sure how well other indie books keep up as I'm usually two or three trades behind on them.