When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it's hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. Online and in print, from all around the world, artists and writers are telling stories with their own voices and styles, and there's so much to choose from that it's sometimes difficult to know what to read next. With Should I Be Reading... ?, ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today.
Wytches is a horror comic from writer Scott Snyder and artist Jock, with colors by Matt Hollingsworth, published by Image and debuting in October 2014. The series follows a family that relocates to escape the trauma of a troubling past, only to discover that there's something far more sinister lurking in the woods by their new home.
Wolf #1, written by Ales Kot with art by Matt Taylor and Lee Loughridge, opens with one of the most beautifully distinct images I've seen in a comic this year: a man on a hillside overlooking LA; the buzzy glow of the city's lights just visible in the distance; the man is singing a blues song, Robert Johnson's Hellhound on My Trail; also, he's on fire. It's a haunting image, all the more because of the complete lack of explanation. “How do you feel about myths?” reads the single caption, and there's something genuinely mythic about these opening pages. This image of a burning man, picked out in flames of unnaturally bright orange by colorist Loughridge, is eerie, primal and immediately iconic.
These pages set the tone for the rest of the issue, and most likely the series to follow --- and even if the rest of the issue's sixty-something pages never quite match the highs of these first few images, it's a promising start.
Brian K. Vaughan’s newest series, We Stand On Guard with artist Steve Skroce, returns the writer to the realm of political allegory in the blunt tradition of George Orwell’s greatest novels. Here Vaughan and Skroce are addressing the 2003 Invasion of Iraq through a science fiction narrative. We Stand On Guard takes place about 100 years in the future when the United States invades Canada after the White House is bombed in a drone strike from an unknown source. The story jumps from the initial invasion to 12 years in the future when the United States occupies Canada and only small bands of freedom fighters struggle against the American troops.
This week at Comixology, Dynamite has a big sale on their "Greatest Hits," and as you might expect from the title, there's a lot of really good stuff in there. So good, in fact, that you probably don't need me to tell you about it --- being able to grab twelve issues of American Flagg for nine bucks, for example, is probably something that you already know is a good idea.
But if you're on the hunt for a buried treasure and you've got a spare picture of Abraham Lincoln burning a hole in your pocket, then you need to do yourself a favor and pick up Jeff Parker and Marc Laming's Kings Watch, one of the best (and most underrated) crossovers of the past few years.
When you look at the sheer range and number of original stories being told in comics form today, it's hard to imagine a better time to be a comics reader. Online and in print, from all around the world, artists and writers are telling stories with their own voices and styles, and there's so much to choose from that it's sometimes difficult to know what to read next. With 'Should I Be Reading... ?', ComicsAlliance hopes to offer you a guide to some of the best original ongoing comics being published today.
Aquapunk: The First Law is a space-fantasy webcomic by writer/artist LoFrequency, currently on its first year online --- though it dates back further than that. It centers on magical constructs of solid stone, the war they fight in, the serially reincarnated overclass they serve, and the crimes that a small band of them are falsely accused of.
I give Hot Toys a lot of grief over the amount of Iron Man figures its released since the first movie arrived back in 2008. Over the course of the last seven years, there have been more than 40 different Iron Man sixth-scale figures (including Tony Starks) crafted by Hot Toys. New armors or variants seemingly get announced every week, and with Iron Man set to appear in at least a few more Marvel movies over the next four years, it's a trend that will likely continue, too. However, in all that time, I've only ever purchased one figure based on the license, and even that was a Tony Stark figure, not a true Iron Man suit of armor.
Given just how many armors have been released by Hot Toys, you'd think it would be hard to craft a piece that truly stands out among it peers. To an extent, that's true enough of the Avengers: Age of Ultron Iron Man MK XLIII sixth-scale figure. Just like its movie counterpart, the Hot Toys MK XLIII is a repainted MK XLII from Iron Man 3, which swaps the red and gold color arrangement. But that's just on the surface. Where this figure sets itself apart is in the little details, and sometimes that kind of attention to minutiae can make all the difference.
As much as I've been enjoying most of the new "DC You" titles, I'll admit that the first issue of Lee Bermejo, Jorge Corona and Khary Randolph's We Are... Robin didn't do a whole lot for me --- and not just because of that weirdly punctuated title. That first issue had a solid main character with a clear motivation, a couple of interesting set pieces, a sweeping threat to Gotham City and a genuinely great first page, but something about it just didn't land.
When the second issue hit shelves this week, though, I decided I'd give it another shot, and I'm glad I did, because this is where the hook finally lands, and where the story ramps up into something that's engaging, exciting, mysterious and, if you're the kind of person who obsesses over Batman's sidekicks, very rewarding to read.
I've never liked the Transformers. The franchise didn't get its hooks into me as a kid, and while I've tried to give it a shot as an adult, it never really clicked. But now, with a recommendation from almost everyone I know and a well-timed Humble Bundle sale that left me with three years worth (and counting) of IDW's More Than Meets The Eye and Robots In Disguise comics, I'm going on a quest to see if these comics can turn me from someone who has never cared at all about Optimus Prime into someone who uses words like "Cybertron" and "alt-mode" with alarming regularity. And Primus help me, it's working.
This week, "Dark Cybertron" comes to a thundering conclusion and Megatron makes a change!
Doing a police procedural in a fantasy setting isn't an entirely new idea in comics. Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood launched the genre into a fresh orbit last year with The Fuse. Before that, Top 10 and Powers mashed it up with superhero universes. Just last week, the first issue of Si Spurrier and Jeff Stokely's The Spire dragged it into a Jim Henson-esque fantasy world.
Now, with Mercury Heat, Kieron Gillen and Omar Francia have transported the murder mystery far enough into the future that Murder She Wrote is studied as one of the classics, and far enough from Earth to reach the solar system's smallest, hottest planet. This first issue doesn't quite reveal how Mercury Heat is going to stack up against the competition, but it does introduce a fascinating, dense setting.
When your comic is called Gunsuits, there's really only one way it can go. I mean, yes, it suppose that it could be about white-collar executives in the firearms industry, but unless those executives are supplying weapons to the forces of Cobra, I have to imagine that's going to be a pretty hard sell. No, it pretty much has to be a book about heavily armed giant mech suits, preferably with chainsaws for hands, and on that front, Gunsuits most certainly delivers.
But in the two issues currently out, as part of a push into comics by the publishers of Famous Monsters magazine, Paul Tobin and PJ Holden are going a little deeper, taking that same story of robot suits against interdimensional invaders story that we've seen time and time again, and building something new around one of the most fun and fresh twists that I've read in a good long while.
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