I had an actual essay planned this week. I really did. I was going to write about a series I just read that I really, really like and that I want you to like too. But, here’s the thing: Comic-Con. This was my first year covering it as a full-time writer (I’m not there, but because I’m not there my editor realized that I could be chained to a keyboard.), and I wrote a lot, a whole lot. That means I’m tired, so that in-depth essay about that one series will need to wait a week. In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about something that’s not really a rewind, but more of a look at where we are now. See, I read a lot of comics, and in between all the back issues I look at to write this column, I read the stuff hitting the shelves every single week. And I’ve found some stuff that you people need to know about.
Just so we’re clear, this isn’t necessarily an attempt to rescue some obscure book that no one’s buying so I can read more of it. That might happen, but what I’m really interested in is just pointing out some stuff that ISN’T Batman or Avengers vs. X-Men or The Walking Dead. Not that you shouldn’t buy those (I buy them all), but I’ve got this little soapbox in my little corner of the internet, so I’m using it to tell you to read other comics too. Here are five books you’ll find at the rack every month that deserve a little of your time and cash.
The Defenders by Matt Fraction and Jamie McKelvie (Marvel): Based on the classic ’70s adventures (and with a style that pays tribute to them), this revival series sends Doctor Strange, Iron Fist, She-Hulk, Silver Surfer and Namor on a series of impossible adventures that are honestly too weird to explain here. This is Fraction off the leash. There’s no other Marvel comic like it, and it deserves more attention.
The Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra (Image): What if the scientists tasked with The Manhattan Project by the U. S. government (Einstein, Oppenheimer, Feynman, etc.) were actually working on more than just a bomb? What if the bomb was just a cover story for all manner of fringe science mayhem, and what if all the scientists were in some way completely insane? Trust me, you need to read this.
Supurbia by Grace Randolph and Russell Dauterman (BOOM!): Superheroes and supervillains getting saucy in the suburbs. It’s even more fun than it sounds.
Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire (Vertigo): I’ve written about this one before, but I’ll keep pushing it on you. There’s nothing else like it on the rack.
Any BPRD book (Dark Horse): I always thought the supporting cast of Hellboy deserved their own comic. These books still kick ass.
And hey, if you feel like it, let me know in the comments if there’s anything else I should be reading.