Someone made a neat request on my Formspring: “I was wondering if you would be willing to post your comic recommendations (weekly, monthly, annually). Comics Worth Reading (CRW) is my main alt source, but you are a different generation and I like to know the general pulse.”
So in that vein, here are my recommendations, based on what I pick up week-to-week:
The Authority: I’ll admit it, I loved Watchmen. I read it before the movie came out and adored it. The Authority is a little like Watchmen, turning the classic superhero comic on its head and trying to give it a realistic spin. The team has a wonderfully bossy, no-joke, female lead, which is lovely to see, as well as the incredible duo of Apollo and Midnighter, one of the strongest gay couples I’ve seen in comics. I would highly suggest picking up at least the first two trades, because they will blow your mind.
Avengers Academy: A fun take on a new team of younger heroes (with each individual actually being very interesting) that’s trying to discover themselves in the process of being trained. Reminds me a lot of Avengers: Initiative. Alternates between fun and serious, with fantastic writing throughout.
Booster Gold: If you don’t know who Booster is, shame on you! He’s a former Justice League International member that was often labeled as selfish because of his media sellout/merchandising tendencies. In his self-titled run, his current occupation has him repairing/maintaining the time stream with time-traveler Rip Hunter while hiding behind his playboy/sellout image. He travels back and forth between different time periods (and even different worlds) on mostly zany adventures. The art is by Chris Batista, who is fantastically gifted with a pencil!
Justice League: Generation Lost: Booster reappears in this title, as well, as he tries to hunt down Maxwell Lord, former ally of the Justice League International turned narcissistic rogue. Max was responsible for killing Booster’s best friend, the second Blue Beetle, several years ago; now, Max has used his mind-control abilities to wipe any trace of him from the world’s memory. The only few who remember of his existence are Booster and his companions (including Blue Beetle III, one of my favorite characters!), which form a new, makeshift JLI and are fighting to stop Max and return everyone’s memory. Lots of action and a great storyline, though if you haven’t read any of JLI or aren’t a fan of the main characters, you might have a little difficulty following what’s happening or becoming involved.
Invincible: I’ve only read the first two trades, but I’m already in love. What happens to the teenage son of a famous superhero when he has to go through the trials and tribulations of high school, girls, and home life with emerging super powers? You’ve got the superhero-to-be, Invincible. But this isn’t the classic Superman tale – this kid is way more laid back and doesn’t take things as seriously (and neither does his mom, as her husband disappears for months at a time fighting extra-terrestrial forces bent on destroying the fabric of reality). Still, there’s a fair amount of blood and gore as the series progresses, and a murder mystery comes to enshroud the heroic father figure and the Justice-League-type team that he was once on. Great stuff!
Morning Glories: Everyone and their mother has been talking about this new series by Image comics. It centers around a group of a new students entering a prestigious school – except there’s something very wrong and sinister about this school, and the students have no idea until it’s too late. Some unknown element has brought them all there, and the administrators are after whatever it is that makes these kids special, but we as readers don’t yet know what those variables are. The students themselves are each unique and wonderfully crafted characters, from a pervy aristocrat to a budding leader to a suicidal emo farm girl. There’s only been three issues out so far, but it has fans desperate for more and has had me on the edge of my seat.
Taskmaster: This short series is by one of my favorite writers, Fred Van Lente. Taskmaster is mostly known as a minor anti-hero in the Marvel Universe, a mercenary that was forced to become a teacher in the Avengers: Initiative. He has what have been labeled as “photographic reflexes,” which allow him to subconsciously memorize movements/fighting styles in a short amount of time. Van Lente fleshes out the character in a way that’s never been explored before, incorporating Tasky’s characteristically dry humor and complex associations with underground societies. The main focus is Tasky’s struggle to recover important memories that have been “overriden” because of his abilities, so we as readers see the blanks in his history filled in. This run is full of dynamic action but, more importantly, delicious, delicious plot twists.
Other stuff I’m also reading: Carnage (only one issue out now, but the art by Crain is fierce and it’s so good to see Carnage back in the comics), Batman Beyond (oldschool throwback – do you guys remember “schway” from the show? – with plenty of nostalgia, though I’m finding that the plot gets progressively lackluster as it goes along), Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors (there’s not enough Guy Gardner in this world), Chaos War (more Fred Van Lente, plus Greg Pak, make for the most dynamic writing duo in comics, with a bonus of Hercules and Amadeus Cho, another great dynamic duo!), Wolverine (getting a little tired of Logan, but him going to Hell means I get to see Sabretooth at one point, which is always cool), True Blood (the plot moves so painfully slowly and isn’t anywhere near as good as the show, but at least it’ll take the edge off between seasons), Soldier Zero (reminds me a little too much of Blue Beetle III’s origins, but it’s great to see the superhero mold pulled apart a bit – the main character is wheelchair-bound), and X-Men (vampires + the X-Men isn’t my ideal read, but I pick it up occasionally out of curiosity).
Stuff I’m looking forward to: Spider-Man Big Time (Nov. 10)
I’m also starting to look into non-superhero indie titles, since I want to branch out. :) And, of course, this list doesn’t include webcomics, which is a whole ‘nother can of worms!