I decided to ditch my regular Comics Spotlight this week and instead wrap-up the year by recommending some of the comics I’ve reviewed this past year in case anyone out there is looking for last minute gifts.
You can’t buy this particular comic but you can point your friends toward the holiday cheer in the most recent strips.
I tried to keep this list to what might be in your local comic shop or available in trade in at your local bookstore. But I’ve included Amazon or store links when possible just in case you’re willing to pay for last minute shipping.
1. The Road to God Knows by Von Allen. It’s the story of a teenage girl dealing with her mother’s serious mental illness but it’s not at all bleak. It’s filled with humor and hope. Allen also has a new series, Stargazer, an action adventure comic in which three girls are transported by an alien artifact to a strange new world.
2. Hotwire from Radical Publishing. Alice Hotwire, Detective Exorcist. As Stan Lee used to say, ’nuff said.
3. Incorruptible and Irredeemable by Boom! Studios. The greatest hero of this world goes insane and becomes its greatest villain. The greatest villain sees the threat now posed by the former hero and vows to become a hero himself to even the odds. These two titles compliment each other perfectly.
1. The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke. This is my favorite superhero story of all time. It’s an alternate DC universe tale that shows the rise of superheroes in the 1950s, leading up to the hopeful New Frontier of the 1960s.
2. Batman: Year One & Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. Classics by Frank Miller, these stories tell the beginning and then the end of Batman’s career. Year One has the added bonus of superb art by David Mazzucchelli.
3. Trinity: Kurt Busiek sprawling series that features every DC superhero you’ve ever heard of and some that you probably haven’t. At the core is Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Collected in three volumes.
4. Birds of Prey. My favorite series that features my favorite heroine, Black Canary, who’s gotten some exposure recently on Cartoon Network’s Batman: The Brave & the Bold. The first series has a number of trades. Look for either trades of original series by Chuck Dixon or Gail Simone’s run beginning with “Of Like Minds.”
1. A subscription to Shonen Jump would be a great present for pre-teen and teen boys.
2. Hyde & Closer. As my review earlier this year stated, it was hard for my eldest son to resist a manga starring a young boy and his cigar-chomping teddy bear. Not for very young children but great fun for older ones.
3. Library Wars. Books are now under the control of a stringent and secretive government agency. Librarians create a secret underground force to combat this tyranny. An action book with a female heroine, this would definitely appeal to geek girls.
1. Agents of Atlas. Marvel revived a once-forgotten title with great flair. Who doesn’t want a title with a mysterious robot, a potential goddess, an Atlantean, a very strange mutated man, a fighting gorilla and the world’s greatest spy on the run from the government and hidden villains?
2. Spider-Girl. My eldest daughter’s favorite title as a pre-teen, it follows the adventures of MayDay Parker both in navigating high school and her work as a young superhero, not always with her father’s consent.
3. Guardians Of the Galaxy. Many of Marvel’s galactic heroes gather together to combat cosmic threats that can destroy the universe. And yet, there are some very human moments, even with a (hero?) named Drax the Destroyer.