Still not reading comics? Don’t care. You won’t stop me from recommending some to you — fighting the good fight and all that. 2013 was a great year for comics (though 2014 is shaping up to be even better), so I want to share some of my personal favorites with you:
This book is glorious sci-fi pulp, recalling genre classics like Quantum Leap, Stargate and Flash Gordon. The book follows scientist Grant McKay and his team, who find themselves being thrown from one alien dimension to another when an experiment goes horribly wrong. While the action is relentless from the word go, the heart of the book are McKay and his team, who I’m starting to love after just two short issues.
This is basically Bonnie & Clyde — that is, if Bonnie and Clyde could stop time by having sex and used that power to rob banks in order to keep their beloved library funded. If it sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. It’s also a fantastic read. The book deals with the topic of sex in a frank, real way that is usually not seen in comic books, while also pushing the medium in new creative directions.
In all fairness, both of these books are still a little too fresh to claim a spot on a ‚Best of 2013‘-list, but they are just too good to go unmentioned. However, there are other books that have kept me entertained for the better part of the year:
When it comes to picking favorites and making recommendations, longstanding titles like Batman tend to get passed over in favor of newer books. Never has that tendency been more wrong than here. At the moment, writer Scott Snyder is in the process of redefining Batman’s early days, providing a fresh look at young Bruce Wayne and his world in the epic Zero Year. He’s writing a human, practical and complex Batman — a Batman for the 21 century that is both new and familiar. Greg Capullo’s stellar artwork doesn’t exactly hurth the book either. In my opinion, anyone who’s ever had a so much as a passing interest in the character should be reading this.
When The Bounce was first announced and writer Joe Casey claimed to have cracked the „Spider-Man Code“, I was skeptical. Turns out he was right. The Bounce is a fun, energetic superhero comic that recaptures the vibe of classic Spider-Man tales without ever seeming derivative or outdated. Jasper Jenkins, a.k.a. The Bounce, comes across as a real twenty-something with real feelings and real problems, making him the most believable „everyday hero“ in a long time. An engaging supporting cast, cool villains and a vast conspiracy further add to the appeal of the book and have earned it a permanent spot on my pull list.
Superior Foes of Spider-Man
Books about villains tend to crash and burn sooner rather than later. This one works because author Nick Spencer doesn’t write the titular foes as bad guys; he just writes them as guys. They are people with histories, problems and dreams. That and they happen to be super villains — bumbling, overbearing, laugh-out-loud funny super villains. To me, this was one of the surprise hits of 2013.
Told ya so. When Dan Slott had Dr. Octopus swap bodies with Peter Parker, half the internet wanted to kill the guy. A year later, Slott’s Superior Spider-Man remains the most fun, fresh and unpredictable Spidey book I’ve read in years. Watching a major super villain work to be a hero and build a better life for himself remains fascinating month after month. Don’t hesiate to jump on the bandwagon, it’s a great ride!
Avenges and X-Men coming together to take on the Red Skull, who has stolen Professor Xavier’s brain and powes — what’s not to love? Both the Avengers and the X-Men have lots and lots of monthly books, which I have neither the patience nor the funds to follow. Uncanny Avengers is the best of both worlds, showcasing a unique team comprised of members from both factions. Rick Remender is once again at his best here, pitting his „Unity Squad“ against ever increasing odds and opponents from across the Mavel Universe on a monthly basis. This is shaping up to be a love letter to Marvel Comics that no fan should do without.
Now that you know what to look for, go and check some of those books out for yourselves. You won’t regret it!