So today on Happy Longbox, Angry Wallet, I was thinking I’d do something a little different. Rather than do the usual topical commentary of what’s happening in the comics I buy, instead I figured I’d give my suggestions on what to buy in the vast realm of graphic novels! Since there are simply too many out there for one mere blog post, I figured I’d just point out a few which have recently come out within the last year or so. These are in no particular order, other than that which I happened to remember to write them down, but if I were to put them in order of good to best bestest, please rest assured that my opinion is fact and if you disagree with me, you are wrong in the worst possible way and the Van People will be arriving shortly to take you to your new home.
Captain Marvel Vol. 1
I’ve been following this title since it was revamped under the tutelage of the awesome writer Kelly Sue DeConnick. Rather than having the old (Marvel’s) Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell (clever), who has since been stricken with a case of the deads, we see Carol Danvers take up the title. No longer is Danvers Ms. Marvel, but she’s actually a non-mutant superhero that doesn’t have a gender title in her name! Gone are the days where she fights crime with more thigh than a bikini model holding a KFC bucket of dark meat, as she gets a cool new suit which seems practical and fits the theme of her being a former fighter pilot.
This first of the series arc deals with some oddball time travel (shocking for a recent Marvel title, I know) which plants Captain Marvel in the middle of the Pacific front of World War II, where Danvers enlists the help of a sorta-off-the-books all female squad of elite commando types; think Howling Commandos, but with less mustache and more kick-ass pinup style. Anyway, they take on a force of Japanese augmented by alien tech, and among the machine guns and laser explosion awesomeness, the timey-wimey part of the story gets tied up with someone important in Carol’s life. Overall, it’s a good super-hero book, particularly if you like the idea of female super heroes that aren’t written like “Boobs” is a super power or a major character point, and are treated like a normal bad-ass like the guys tend to be.
Chew Vol. 6
So this is more of an excuse to tell you to read Chew. Volume six is awesome and if you’ve been following Chew, it has a major milestone for the series. So yeah. Don’t read this one first; start at the beginning like an awesome person. Chew follows the adventures of Tony Chu, a cibopath and FDA agent, set in the near future. In this future, the bird flu epidemic returns and kills millions Stateside, and millions more globally, leading to a near universal ban of all poultry. This makes the FDA and the USDA two of the most powerful government agencies, and makes chicken a highly sought after black market item, with chicken speakeasies popping up, much like the more boozy ones during the Prohibition. Oh, and cibopaths are individuals who gain a sort of psychic imprint from what they eat. This means they can eat some bacon and know how the pig was raised and slaughtered, or chomp on a murder victim and see their past moments.
As oddball as the premise is, it really works, thanks to the phenomenal writing and art showcased in this series by John Layman and Rob Guillory. It’s a hilarious read, but the humor doesn’t detract from the more serious parts of the story, but rather enhances them.
Hawkeye Vol. 1
Written by Matt Fraction, this series is an amazing glimpse into the life of Hawkeye when he’s not arrowing things for the Avengers. The writing is really humorous, and lends itself really well to a day-in-the-life-of storylines this title has, especially when the title character is known to be a bit of a smart-ass. The art also really lends itself well to the overall feel of the comic, and it just comes off as cool. I almost get like a 70’s-esque James Bond-ish vibe from the art, and I can see it as showing a glimpse of how Hawkeye sees himself.
Saga Vol. 1
Wow. Just wow. This title simply blew me the fuck away. Like, everything about it kicked my ass and left me craving more! If you’re a fan of science fiction or fantasy, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. It’s like $6 over at Amazon (click the banner at the top and help us out if you do so!) and well worth every damn cent. I don’t even know where to start in describing this title, let alone in a way that would do it justice. It’s simply significantly more than the sum of its parts. It’s part love story, part refugee story, part runaway story, part Star Wars, part horror, and magic, and all awesome. Please, check this one out, I can see this being a title others will measure themselves against for years to come.
Avengers vs. X-Men
So yeah, it’s Marvel’s last crossover event. It has the action and fightin’ you’d expect, and it’s the catalyst of the latest “Marvel Now!” stuff we’ve been seeing this past few months. Some big stuff happened in this book, so if you’re interested in what’s been happening over in the Marvel universe, this one is a must have.
So there ya have it! These are my suggestions of what the hell to spend your ill-gotten gains on. Remember to support your local comic shop if possible. But, if you can’t for don’t want to for some reason, you can always do us a solid and click through that Amazon banner at the top of the page and buy some of these from there. It doesn’t cost you any more (and they have some killer deals on graphic novels) and they kick a few cents our way which keep the lights on over here at The Nerd Filter HQ. Thanks for reading!