Back in January of this year, I wrote an article encouraging people who don’t like the traditional superhero genre of comics to get into a series with a list of comic books that are anything but superhero related. And so again, with this in mind I’m going to do another run down of some series, predominately recent releases, that I think are worth your attention and money. There may be a slight review element to some of these, but these aren’t meant to be reviews, more recommendations.
So, without further ado… let’s get to it!
Godzilla in Hell #1
(IDW Publishing) by James Stokoe (Orc Stain & Sullivan’s Sluggers)
Who Would Like This: Godzilla/Kaiju fans (and possibly people who can’t read… just kidding)
Godzilla in Hell is a dialogue free tale of Godzilla in Hell. It’s a pretty simple concept. But without any words Stokoe is able to create a landscape and story told and exemplified with each line on the page. It is equally action packed and beautiful. Issue two picks up at the end of issue #1 with a brand new writer/artist creator Bob Eggleton who has a completely different but just as beautiful art style, and uses prose to create a complete different atmosphere for the story. Issue three should be out sometime at the end of September so this is the perfect time to jump on board, catch up, and fall in love with Godzilla all over again as he/she/it wreaks his/her/it’s particular havoc on Hades.
(Rosy Press) – Various Artists and Writers
Who Would Like This: Fans of romance stories and just say “your wife/girlfriend” if you’re embarrassed when buying it.
This series is an anthology of various romance stories told in short serial formats. The series starts with a straight forward high school romance story, then a Austin-esque period romance story, and the final story is a slight fantasy piece. Probably the best aspect of this series is the focus is not strictly on hetero-romance, so hopefully no one will feel too left out when reading it. Some of the art is simplistic or even cartoonish, but I don’t think it diminishes any from the stories which are well written. Personally, this isn’t one that I’ll keep on reading, but if you’re a fan of this genre, you should definitely pick it up.
(Image Comics) – Jason Shawn Alexander
Who Would Like This: Noir/Horror/Sci-Fi Genre Mash fans & people who thought Johnny Mnemonic wasn’t weird enough
Empty Zone is slightly hard to explain. It is the look at a dystopian future where reanimate cyber zombies and literal ghosts in the machine make life difficult for the heroine of this comic. The art is haunting, beautiful, and makes me think of Jon J Muth (Havok and Wolverine: Meltdown) or Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assassin). The writing at points is reminiscent of Warren Ellis (the highest possible compliment I could give) in that even when you’re unsure what is occurring or why you can’t help but continue to be drawn into the strange world being crafted. So, if I haven’t completely scared you off from this series yet, then you definitely need to give it a try. It is only up to issue three (possibly issue four by the time you read this) so it would be easy to get caught up, or you could wait a month or two and pick up the first trade.
(215 Ink) – Tim Daniel and Mehdi Cheggour
Who Would Like This: Fans of kaiju stories and anyone who hated the 1998 Godzilla movie
I’ll admit that of all the series on this list, this one may have some of the weakest writing. But I think if you’re into the giant monster genre of anything you may be willing to overlook that if the giant monsters are awesome. In this case, they are. The art and monster designs in this book are amazing. You feel the weight and you feel the danger. The violence is graphic but not unnecessarily gory. Simply put, I can’t recommend this book more to you if you have the slightest inclining towards this genre.
Star Trek/Green Lantern
(IDW Publishing) – Mike Johnson and Angel Hernandez
Who Would Like This: Fans of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, Fans of Green Lantern, and anyone who’s ever wondered what power ring color Chekov would wield.
The idea of this series is as straightforward as they come: a crossover between two popular science fiction universes. What works excellently though is the set up. It is established earlier on that these are two different universe, but somehow (one of the questions to be answered in a later issue) they crossover. One of the last Guardians is on Mogo running from what we can assume based on the word balloons to be a Black Lantern. He uses the last of his power along with a set of the various color rings to dimension shift, where years later it seems the Enterprise stumbles upon Mogo and finds the Guardian’s corpse and the set of rings. Klingons show up and it looks like they’re about to reenact the plot of The Undiscovered Country (a highly underrated Star Trek film) when the rings come to life and Hal Jordan shows up. So that’s issue one and if that doesn’t intrigue you just a bit then don’t bother. Issue three just came out at the beginning of September and this will be a six issue limited series, so you aren’t too far behind to jump on a catch up.
We Stand on Guard
(Image Comics) – Brian K Vaughan and Steve Skroce
Who Would Like This: Fans of giant robot battles, pro-America-invading-Canada individuals, and people who are generally sick of their hipster friends’ obsession with Saga
For the one or two people (excluding our dear Canadian readers, whom we love) who know that the Canadian Army’s motto is “Vigilamus pro te” (We Stand On Guard for Thee) you probably aren’t surprised that Canada has an army or that this series is told from the point of view of Canadian soldiers. This comic focuses on a group who are fighting still twelve years after America dropped bombs on Ontario. While it is a war story with great action and moments of intense violence, the real treat of the comic is the same treat in all of Vaughan’s work: characters. He is masterful at not only creating interesting and engaging characters, but distilling and presenting them in a comic in such a way that you are quickly drawn in and attached to them. On top of that Skroce’s art is unbelievably gorgeous and he’s such a fantastic storyteller in his own right, even if you can’t read you’ll immediately fall in love with this series. The third issue was just recently released, so whether you’re looking for a new band wagon to jump on, or you want something to fill your BKV fix between issues of Saga, this is for you.
Mad Max: Fury Road
(DC/Vertigo Comics) – George Miller, Nico Lathouris, Mark Sexton, and various artists.
Who Would Like This: Fans of the Mad Max movies and anyone who just likes the taste of chrome spray paint
This series of four over-sized comics is a must-read for any hardcore Fury Road fan. It is a prequel series with the first issue focusing on Immortan Joe and Nux, the second issue on Furiosa, and the final two issues on Mad Max himself. If you loved the world created in the movie, this only expands and explains in greater detail the events leading up to the opening scenes in the movie. And being that the stories themselves were written by George Miller, this is obviously something he considers cannon to the movie. The trade collection of the four issue series was just released at the beginning of September, so it is a perfect time to pick it up. And please, if you buy a physical copy of this at your local comic store, please yell, “WITENESS MEEEE” as you purchase it because I’m sure the clerk hasn’t already heard that with each previous issue sold.
So, there you have it! I hope maybe you saw something on this list that interested you and you’ll go pick something up. All of these are available on Comixology if you don’t have a LCS (Local Comic Store) you regularly patron (and we REALLY hope you do!). There is also Discount Comic Book Services and their sister site Instock Trades if you don’t have a LCS but you dislike reading digital copies. Tune in next month for yet another edition of “Comics Corner” right here at Nerd Nation!
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine