When I was in highschool, I worked at a tutoring center during the summers. Right across the street was a small Mom n’ Pop comicbook shop and Wednesdays meant 1) paycheck and 2) new releases. It used to be the highlight of my week. College made it a little more difficult to keep up with new releases so I fell behind on my series and eventually fell out of reading comic books altogether. But the dark ages are over! Here’s what I’ve been reading lately.
1. All-New Hawkeye
Jeff Lemire is a stellar writer. Stellar. This take on Hawkeye follows Clint and Kate as they fumble their way through a S.H.I.E.L.D mission. Along the way, we get gorgeous flashbacks of Clint’s childhood and backstory, which keeps the story equal parts dark and endearing. Lemire’s dialogue and storytelling is so natural and fluid especially when combined with art from Ramon Perez and Ian Herring.
Fables is a pretty popular series at this point and is far into its run with around 150 issues currently. It’s Once Upon a Time but with a much more imaginative interpretation of characters and overlap of stories. Not to mention, darker and more violent. It’s always satisfying to see old fairy tales brought to new life. But even without that, Buckingham creates a killer story. All the amazing covers by James Jean are an added bonus.
I fell in love with Fiona Staples’ characters and art before I ever realized it was a comic book. Brian K. Vaughan’s writing is no disappointment either. Saga is so loved at this point, it doesn’t need much advertising on my part. Two soldiers accidentally fall in love and have a baby in a world that is equal parts fantasy and western. Star Wars-esque environments but with scenes and characters that are far from PG.
4. Rat Queens
This one I didn’t love so much. I picked up the first volume and while quirky and funny, it didn’t really suck me in. The characters and their relationships weren’t that interesting. Maybe I just can’t handle the sass. It wasn’t a bad book by any means though. I’m just still on the fence as to whether I’ll be going back for more.
Like I said Jeff Lemire = A+. Descender is a sci-fi pinocchio in a universe that is reminiscent of the Guardians of the Galaxy world, but distinct in its own ways. TIM-21 is the last robot of his kind and may hold the key to solving the mystery of the Harvesters (giant robots that attacked the universe then disappeared). The storyline, characters and writing are already worth picking up the book. But add that to Dustin Nguyen’s beautiful watercolor pages and you’ve got a winning recipe.
Overall, I feel like image has really been turning out great works recently. Not being tied to the superhero genre or a single comprehensive universe allows them to experiment with different kinds of stories. I’m a fan. Though I have heard great things about Ms.Marvel, Thor and the new Hawkeye series. They’re somewhere on my hitlist. So many comics, so little time…and money. (Insert quiet sobbing here).