What Are We Reading? Hayden’s Comic Book Recommendations

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This year has been huge for comic book fans. We have seen the deaths of several beloved characters and a few huge events that changed the way we look at comics. As a heavy consumer of comic books, I have compiled a list of what I believe to be the best comics on the stands today. Enjoy!

10- RASL

Straight from the rich imagination of comic book writer/artist Jeff Smith comes RASL, a thrilling tale about a dimension-jumping art thief who finds himself pursued by ruthless government agents. Smith is best known as the creator of Bone, a popular comic that has garnered many awards since it first hit stands in the 1990s. While RASL contains darker elements and is intended for an older audience, Smith’s unique style of storytelling is still present. The protagonist, Robert Johnson, jumps right off the page and is instantly a character we can sympathize and identify with.

Considering the fact that Bone became so successful with critics and readers, it is strange that RASL has not received much attention. It has a sophisticated story and is accessible, so it is surprising that it has not struck a chord with readers. If you are a fan of Jeff Smith’s work or even if you just want an engaging read, check out RASL!

 

9- Civil War

Released by Marvel Comics back in 2007 to critical acclaim, Civil War remains one of the best and most important comic book events to date. Written by Mark Millar and drawn by Steve McNiven, this seven issue event is brimming with emotion, great characters, and intense action.

The world is thrown into turmoil when the planet’s greatest superheroes become split down the middle by a superhero registration act. One side, led by Iron Man, supports the act and imprisons those who oppose it. The other side, led by Captain America, opposes the act and fights tooth and nail to resist its control.

The writing and art here is phenomenal. Mark Millar’s writing always blows me away, and Civil War is no exception. Steve McNiven’s art compliments Millar’s writing beautifully, and the result is a comic you cannot put down. Don’t miss out on a fun comic that will always be known as one of Marvel’s best stories.

 

8- DC Universe Online Legends

Launched in February of 2011, this 26 issue limited series provides readers with a fun story that alternates between the present and the future. We see whole new sides to certain characters, especially Lex Luthor. Luthor is generally a hated and feared man in the DC Universe, but here we see that he is not pure evil. The best villains are the villains who we can pity and hate at the same time, because it adds complexity to the character and makes that character more believable.

DC Universe Online Legends has not been as big of a hit with readers as some expected, but that should not discourage anyone from reading a great comic.

 

 

7- FF

FF(which stands for Future Foundation) serves as a kind of relaunch of the Fantastic Four after Johnny Storm’s death. Jonathan Hickman writes the story and Steve Epting draws the first few issues. Fans of the Fantastic Four series finally get to see events only hinted at before, including the War of Four Cities, which is handled very well.

Hickman, who has been writing Fantastic Four comics for the last few years, does a fantastic job further developing the characters and even enhancing them in some ways. If you like Fantastic Four, FF is definitely worth picking up.

 

 

 6-Bone

Funny, beautifully drawn, and highly entertaining, Jeff Smith’s Bone remains one of the greatest comic books in history. Three strange creatures called Bones stumble into a mysterious valley after being chased out of their hometown, and soon they find themselves in more danger than they ever imagined.

Bone continues to amaze me. Even now, several years after I first read it, I occasional go back and read an issue or two, and I’m always entertained. It is one of those stories that never gets old or boring, and continues to captivate and enthrall readers everywhere.

 

 

 

5-Ultimate Spiderman

Ultimate Spiderman is in many ways the foundation of the entire Marvel Ultimate Universe, because everything that happens here affects every other Ultimate comic in some way. The series, which ended in June, is written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Mark Bagley and puts a modern spin on everyone’s favorite web-slinger.

Written with a contemporary flair that will please younger readers, the series remains one of Marvel’s greatest creations. I am sure you have read at least one issue. If not, what are you waiting for?

 

 

 

4-Batman Arkham City

Written by the legendary Paul Dini and penciled by Carlos D’Anda, Batman Arkham City follows the Caped Crusader as he tries to thwart the plans of the scheming Hugo Strange.

The comic looks great. Carlos D’Anda’s artwork is stunning and Paul Dini’s magnificent writing really adds to the overall experience. The five issue limited series works as a prequel to the highly anticipated game, which is slated for release this fall. Before you buy the game, read the comic!

 

 

 

3-Brightest Day

From superstar comic book writer Geoff Johns comes Brightest Day, the follow-up to the best-selling Blackest Night story.

While not as good as Blackest Night, this series still manages to entertain and captivate readers. Everything is tied together in a satisfying and appropriate fashion, so fans who have been following the series will not be disappointed. To understand the bigger overarching story, though, you need to read Blackest Night before Brightest Day.

 

 

 

 

 

2-Fear Itself

Marvel’s latest event, Fear Itself, pits Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, and other favorites against the Serpent, an evil being bent on ruling the planet. The series is everything one would expect from a Marvel comic: exciting, action-packed, and full of interesting and likable characters.

Each issue is written by Matt Fraction, one of the masterminds of the entire Marvel Universe, with art by Stuart  Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Laura Martin. The series focuses heavily on Captain America and Thor, with major Marvel names like Spiderman and Iron Man acting more as supporting characters. Well written, fast-paced, and suspenseful, Fear Itself is worth checking out.

 

 

 

 

 

1-Flashpoint                                                                                                                                                               

 If you are looking for a comic that will capture your attention and keep you hooked, look no further. Flashpoint, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Andy Kubert, thrills and entertains while  preparing fans for a huge change in the DC Universe. 

The Flash(a.ka. Barry Allen) wakes up and discovers that the world has undergone major changes. Batman is a completely different person,no one has ever heard of the Flash, and Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war with each other. With the help of Batman and others, the Flash must stop the war and set things right before it’s too late.

 With Flashpoint, Geoff Johns demonstrates that he is a capable storyteller and writer. His writing, along with Andy Kubert’s beautiful artwork, make this series impossible to put down. With only one more issue  to go before the long awaited relaunch of the DC Universe, Flashpoint is shaping up to be THE comic event of 2011. It will be interesting to see how everything ties together in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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