So about last year, I really started getting into comic books and graphic novels. Back then, I primarily stuck with graphic novels, stories that had distinct endings and were no longer in continuation. The primary reason I did this was because I wasn’t sure that I wanted to get into the monthly issue release that would warrant me spending money and money over time and again. So as the year progressed, I had successfully finished some of the greatest graphic novels out there: Watchmen, Wanted, The Dark Knight Returns, Black Hole, along with volumes and compendiums of the most popular story arcs such as The Long Halloween, The Walking Dead Compendium I + II, and Kick-Ass. Now that I’m nearing the point where there aren’t many graphic novels left that I haven’t heard of.
So I’ve begun getting into series that are now ongoing, finding that they’re even more exhilarating because it’s like I’m joining a number of fan-bases that are eagerly awaiting the release of the next issue. It’s a similar feeling as waiting for The Winds of Winter, or the next Superman vs. Batman movie. With anticipation, there is some form of unification of a fanbase that spawns theories, speculations, and the like.
So today we’re going to talk about some of the comic books that I’m reading and some that I plan on beginning to read. Minor spoils ahead!
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples
General Summary: Two lovers from opposite sides of a galaxy wide war have a baby that upsets the brass on both ends. A cast of colorful aliens, bounty hunters, and monsters are now on the hunt for the sassy Alana and the deadly Marko to claim their new born Hazel.
Where I Am: I have only read the first volume out of three.
My Impressions: In it’s short first volume, I’ve become completely involved with all of the characters introduced. The first volume is beautifully balanced between introducing to us our main players as well as setting up the harsh world the comic is set in. In addition, Vaughan has included an incredible narrative in the form of a post-event Hazel, who comments on the dramatic irony of the situation her parents are going through. Seriously, if you love comic books, this sexy, action packed, and entrancing book is for you.
P.S. I ❤ Alana.
Fables by Bill Willingham & Mark Buckingham
General Summary: After losing their homeland thousands of years ago to an entity known as The Adversary, the Fables of our most well known folk and children stories have made new lives in New York among us. Snow White and Bigby Wolf (Big Bad Wolf) now try to keep all of the rest of the Fables in line. A task that is much harder than it looks as not all Fables are happy where they are and are willing to kill to achieve their goals.
Where I Am: I’ve read only the first and second volumes of the story.
My Impressions: I had heard nothing but good things about this series. So when I took the leap of faith to begin reading it, I was fairly overwhelmed. You see, the book not only covers fan favorites like Goldilocks, Pinochio, Beauty and the Beast, but the sheer number of references to old stories I have never heard of was some-what off putting. As I read, it made me feel as though I was missing out on tiny references (and if you don’t know me, this kind of thing drives me insane). However, putting that aside, Fables have set up an incredible universe fully utilizing the open source characters it has to create interesting stories under the hypothetical theory of what if they got to meet each other. I’ve heard it only gets better as the series progresses on, so I can’t wait to get the next volume!
P.S. Bigby x Snow 4ever
The Goon by Eric Powell
General Summary: The Goon and Frankie take odd jobs in this superstictial and mythical universe that often involves punch a couple of zombies or monsters square in the face. When the Zombie Priest moves into town, The Goon and Frankie must fight for their lives to keep their lives.
Where I Am: I’ve read only the first volume.
My Impressions: I first heard about this series when it got buzz for a cult comic book finally becoming a movie. So when I checked out the David Fincher produced Kickstarter, I got hooked at it’s promise. I quickly ordered the first volume and found the series to be a dark comedy packed with action and wit. The story itself often breaks the fourth wall with advertisements for universe consistent products. Check out the live action trailer for the movie that will hopefully be released soon.
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard
General Summary: A Georgia sheriff wakes up from a coma after the zombie apocolypse. He goes on a mission to reunite with his family and survive the harsh world. Helping and impeding his mission are a cast of morally ambiguous badasses. This series recently reached the age of ten and has become a popular TV show on AMC. The comic book serves as a resource material for the plot lines on the television show and Telltale’s The Walking Dead.
Where I Am: I’ve finished Compendiums I + II (vol. 1-96)
My Impressions: I’m an incredibly huge fan of this series. I’ve rarely been so connected with the characters introduced and lost in this story. The series itself is so much more than just about zombies, it so carefully and sometimes painfully depicts the limitations of human spirit in such a dark and somber time. The main character Rick Grimes has more than lost his fair share of loved ones, but his unrelenting spirit (and badassery) make him so much fun to root for. Not to mention the incredible people who have been by his side, Michonne, Tyreese, and Andrea…
I’m incredibly excited to see how the AMC show continues to adapt the book. I know it hasn’t exactly been consistent with the comic book, but I’m kind of glad this is the case because that way I wouldn’t be reading and watching the same thing twice.
Batman (The New 52) by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo
General Summary: DC recently rebooted their entire line, and not really reading the original Batman story arc, I’m fairly thankful for the reboot. As you’ll see below, I haven’t exactly read any of the series, but I have ordered the first two volumes. All I know (from cosplayers and reddit) is that the Joker’s face is sliced off. WHAT!?!
Where I Am: NOTHING! But Batman Vol. 1 + 2 are on their way.
My Impressions: I’m a huge Batman fan, owning Death in the Family, The Long Halloween, Hush, Dark Victory, Knightfall, The Dark Knight Returns, Arkham Asylum, and The Killing Joke. DC’s reboot has allowed me to catch up once and for all with Batman’s story, so I’ve decided to pick up the volumes as they come. I’m incredibly excited as to what is in store for me!
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan & José Marzán
General Summary: In a post apocolyptic world where every mammal with a Y chromosome suddenly dropped dead, Yorick, the last human male, and his pet monkey must tries to make it across the world to be with his girlfriend. Extremists, scientists, and aroused females are all trying to get their hands on him with only the mysterious Agent 355 guarding him.
Where I Am: I have read the first three volumes.
My Impressions: The universe set up in Y: The Last Man is incredibly interesting. The faction of potential groups in the absence of males are thought provoking. The extremist factions include women who burn off half of the breasts and think the world is better off without men. It’s gleeful every time a new girl sees Yorick for the first time and believe that he’s just a girl in a really convincing man suit, that is until they check his junk. I can tell they’ve set up a number of story lines such as what they have in store for Yorick (he is the only baby maker left in the world…).
Hellboy by Mike Mignola & John Byrne
General Summary: Hellboy is a spawn of Hell sent to Earth. Having a tail and horns (which he files off), he fights demons and beasts for the defense of planet Earth. The irony of it is that he was sent to Earth initially to destroy it.
Where I Am: I have the first volume, but I haven’t started
My Impressions: I absolutely adore both of the Hellboy movies and I always wondered about the source material that produced such great movies. So I ordered the first volume, but like I stated above, I haven’t started. The main reason is that I have so many other books I need to read, and I’d like to finish them before I start another series.