We are living in the greatest era in entertainment history, an era defined and dictated by our nerd community. Not only are there a ton of movies, television shows, video games, and books being produced for us directly, but the world of comics especially is an industry that listens to fans, wanting nothing more than to please us all.
Here are five things in comic books right now that are absolutely wonderful that I would like to see more of:
By this point, practically everyone has watched Daredevil on Netflix and soaked in all the glory that it is so far, but have you been reading Charles Soule‘s current run for Marvel Comics? This series is still young, only eight issues in at the moment, but in that short time has already become an instant classic. Soule has been able to walk the line between the classic wise-cracking, smiling Horn Head of old and the angry, dark devil of Hell’s Kitchen. The first arc of the series introduces an uncomfortable and creepy new villain in Ten Fingers, followed by a short but sweet arc involving Elektra. The latest issue (which I deem to be my new all-time favorite Daredevil issue) finds Matt Murdock in an international poker tournament.
Skeptics of the new Daredevil costume are severely mistaken; the black redesign is one of the coolest looking suits ever donned by DD, created and illustrated beautifully by the art teams – including Ron Garney, Matteo Buffagni, Goran Sudzuka, with colors by Matt Milla – which has been flawless so far. The costume isn’t the only new element to the series either, as Murdock finds himself with an understudy! His protege is named Blindspot and he is the Robin to Marvel’s red Batman; uncovering his past and how he fits into Hell’s Kitchen has only been another major highlight for this series.
Another series that’s only eight issues in so far, Ultimates is the most captivating team Marvel has right now. Led by Captain Marvel and Black Panther, they’re not the Avengers and don’t feature all the big guns, but that only adds to what makes these characters so interesting together. Al Ewing first took readers through a cosmic epic with the team reaching the end of space while also reversing the makeup and motivation of Galactus! Since then, he’s treated us all to magnificently heavy science fiction tales that fill the void left by the Fantastic Four.
Those of you that aren’t really into Civil War II but still want to consume Marvel heroics should go back and read this series. Even though the team features Carol Danvers, it hasn’t crammed any Ulysses drama down our throats (yet). Also, if you’ve always wanted to get into Jonathan Hickman books, but find his work is a bit too deep and tough to digest, then this series is perfect you.
3. Bat Books
Could you ever overload on your monthly Batman comic book consumption? I don’t think so, but DC Comics is really trying to put that to the test. Batman: Rebirth, Batman, Detective Comics, All-Star Batman, Dark Knight III, Batman Beyond, Batman 66′, team-up stories, and a slew of Bat-Family books are a lot to absorb each month. Not to mention that Detective Comics and Batman are both double shipping. Bring it on, I say! As long as the quality keeps up with the quantity we have an indefinite period of being spoiled in our trips to Gotham every week.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo churned out a legendary and iconic Batman run through the New 52 (do yourself a favor and revisit it if you haven’t), and Snyder will return for All-Star Batman in August. However, Tom King is poised to be the next in line of iconic Bat-scribes seeing as his Batman #1 was a very promising start. Full steam ahead, all aboard the Bat-Train!
4. Doctor Strange
Looking forward to Marvel’s Doctor Strange movie in November? Get to know the Sorcerer Supreme a little more intimately in the meantime with Jason Aaron‘s current run; it’s nine issues in at the moment and has been nothing but spectacular. Strange is a classic Marvel character and this is his first solo book in a while, despite being prominently featured in about every Marvel event. The world of magic may not tickle your fancy as much as caped crusaders and such, but Aaron puts a whole new spin on what exactly it is that Stephen Strange does. The series has focused a lot on what it takes to be the Sorcerer Supreme, the toll that Strange must pay to protect our would and the many worlds within.
This series also explores Stephen’s relationship with his sidekick and servant, Wong. The two of them have a wonderfully entertaining relationship; Wong does a lot to keep the good doctor on his feet and pushing forward. Readers should jump into this book now while it’s still young and be well-versed in the world of weird by the time the movie hits theaters.
5. DC Rebirth
It’s still early in the “not-reboot” refreshing of the DC Universe, but so far it’s been composed of way more pros than cons. Batman excluded (because he’s perfect) these characters all needed a makeover, and they got a massive overhaul with DC Rebirth. There is something special brewing in the belly of DC and it’s really exciting to be a part of it, whether you’re reading just a handful of titles or everything they throw at readers each week (like me). There are most definitely some unanswered questions and a few broken promises, but it’s still the very beginning. I am willing to believe that this new era of DC Comics doesn’t truly start until the Justice League is involved.
Right now, Rebirth is laying the groundwork for years to come, getting readers familiar with the “new” landscape, returning heroes, and characters in new roles. Now is the time for skeptics of DC Comics (like my former self) to dive in and find out what this world is all about before things get too involved. One would assume that once Justice League begins next week, there will be a massive event involving the Watchmen characters to establish that conflict going forward. Until then, enjoy the breath of fresh air that has been this first wave of Rebirth.
What are YOU most excited about in comics right now? Leave a note in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter, @griffunk.