I have been reading a lot of comics in 2014 and I thought it might be fun to take a look at my current pull list. I read comics though Comixology and though the Marvel Unlimited app. I do mostly read Marvel comics but some image and DC ones sneaks in as well.
Rachel and Miles Xplain the x-men have gotten me into reading X-men comics so right now I am following quite a few X-titles:
I have been reading Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron over the last few months and once that run ran to an end I started to read Jason Latour‘s run. I am not quite as happy with that as the first run, but it is interesting enough to keep my going and to keep me reading. The series is about Wolverine’s school for young mutans and it is all about the students, so it is great boarding school drama, action packed, emotional, with great characters and freaking awesome. This series has been my jumping on point for X-men – I finally get the attraction. It had me crying over Toad.
All-New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis This is the story of the younger versions of the X-men who were brought forward in time by Hank (yes that is such an X-men story). I don’t love all of it, some of it is rather convoluted, but the newer issues (#32+) where the original X-men has been sent to the Ultimate’s universe are really good. And they got Mike Morals as Spiderman in them so that is a huge plus in my book. In general the original X-men’s reactions to the 616 universe as of current continuity is what makes this story work. Iceman is so adorable in this series. Bendis’ voice for the characters is what makes this work, because it might as well have been the stupidest idea ever.
Cyclops by Greg Rucka & later John Layman. Rucka’s part of the run is just freaking amazing. Cyclops is not a character I have ever had any real connection with or interest in, but with this run I have come to really like him. Both writers write him very much as a teenager. His interactions with his father (who is a freaking space pirate!) feel so real and are ripe with emotions. The series is a space opera with Cyclops in space with his dad flying around the galaxy having adventures. The art and the colors are amazing and the story is genuinely funny and heartwarming. Even with a new writer on the series this is one of the series that I look forward to it showing up on my tablet.
Uncanny X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis. This is a series where I have not read every single issues. I have read the first 8 and when I have read the issue 22 to 29 which is the story arc of Charles Xavier’s last will and testament. I have to say that in general this story do not interest me all that much, but this newest story arc actually have me quite interested. I really like the mix of art styles throughout the arc. And it has She Hulk in it which is one of the characters that I am currently very interested in. I don’t think it will stay on my pull list once this arc is over, but they might be able to convince me.
I am reading a lot of other Marvel titles, so lets take a look at those:
Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick. This is the second series of Carol Danvers’ run as Captain Marvel. The first run, also by DeConnick, was fantastic (my review) and very much focused on Carol superheroing on Earth. This second run has been all about the cosmic part of the Marvel universe. Carol has been flying around in her little spaceship with her maybe-cat and helping people out. She has teamed up with Guardian of the Galaxy for a while as well as had her own adventures. The stories are always really entertaining and fun. This is not the series where I get my angsty dark fix, but rather the kind of comic where you put up your feet, lean back and enjoy. The art is also consistently wonderful. I am looking forward to her returning to her friends back on Earth though, which should happen within the next few issues.
Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson continues to be freaking amazing. My sister gave me the first trade for Christmas and I re-read it. It is still one of the most potent comics out there. It is light and funny as well as really meaningful and packed with thoughtfulness. Read my review of the first issue here. The story is about Kamala Khan who is a muslim american teenage girl who gets superpowers. She is a shapeshifter and quite strong with a healing factor. She is also still very much a teenage girl with all the problems of an immigrant teenager who has to navigate her parents’ culture as well as the culture of her peers while trying to figure out her own identity. The story continues to be stellar and the art has been rocking every single issue.
Continuing in the vain of awesome female superheros: She-Hulk by Charles Soule has been really great all year. The second arc is coming to an end now and I am looking forward to seeing where it goes. It will also be interesting to see who will take over the series when they restart the numbering again soon. I really like that most of the stories are really lawyer stories rather than pure superhero stories. Of course things get punched and smashed in most issues but it is not where the important story moments are. The series got a great sense of humor and is always entertaining. I really liked the Captain America story arc as well as the great issue where She-Hulk and friends were strunken.
Another new series that I have jumped on is Thor by Jason Aaron. I was quite septical when this story was announced because it seemed so much like a publicity stunt, which is a darn shame because the story is really good and so entertaining. There are huge frost giants fighting sharks with lasers on their heads for crying out loud. But the story do not only have 8-year-old-appeal it actually got some depth and I am dying to find out who the new Thor is because she is awesome – at the same time I hope they don’t reveal it any time soon because I like to guess at it. The artwork by Russell Dauterman is really great and is perfect for the story. And once again the colors are perfect.
Moving away from Earth 616 over to 1610 we find Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Michael Bendis I am not sure why but I really enjoy the teen-super heroes and my favourite male one is Miles Morales (though he do have the most stupid name). He is brave, sweet, a good friend and very much a teenager – just like I like my spiderman. Peter Parker is a grown man both in 616 and 1610, so for me it really works that Miles Morales has taken up the mantle. I adore his geeky friend Ganke Lee who is the best friend any superhero could want. Miles has a rough life but he is still ever the optimist and just adorable. Read my reivew of the first series here
Back in 616 I am reading the rather silly Hawkeye vs. Deadpool mini-series by Gerry Duggan. This is just plain stilly old fun. The title should really be Hawkeyes vs Deadpool because Katherine Bishop is as big a part of this as Clinton Barton. After they are done kicking each other’s butts in the first issue they team put to prevent bad guys from getting their hands on Agents of SHIElD’s agent list of home addresses. The story started at Halloween but really it is a summer blockbuster cross over even. It doesn’t really tie into everything else in the Marvel universe – just like the current run of Hawkeye. So if you just want to get some light entertainment with the crazy heroes of Marvel then join me in reading this.
Loki: Agent of Asgard by Al Ewing is still so good. I really like this Loki! He is clever and sweet and full of tricks. They are playing with some meta-fictional elements about his backstory, which plays a strong role in the plot of the series. I like Garbett’s art better than I like the cover art – especially when it is set in modern day New York rather than Asgaard. The dialog is clever and there is some nice interplay between Loki and the other characters. The gallery of characters is really great. I would recommend checking it out if you like Loki in the Thor movies. The last few issues has been tied into events and while that has been interesting I find my self enjoying them less than I have in the bast.
Superior Iron Man by Tom Taylor. While I have not been following the Axis story, I have to say that I enjoy this tiein series. I am a sucker for the Iron Man movies and Tony being a douchebag playboy is kind of part of the fun. Here Tony’s dark side has been dialed up to 11. One of the charateristics of Tony Stark is always that he is a capitalist, so of course when he gets turned evil, when his master plan is to get everyone hooked on a product and then raise the price for it. And of course it has to be an app. The first arc should really be called Ironman vs Daredevil as he is the main adversery for most of the comic. The story isn’t really told from Tony’s point of view either. I am staying for this arc – I am not sure I will keep going after that though… because take a look at my pull list it is huge!
When I want something really lighthearted and fun I go read Rocket Raccoon by Skottie Young because that is just what it is. But suprisingly it also gives me the feels every now and then. This is one of those all ages comics that you can put in the hands of your 8 year old niece or your 45 year old uncle and they will both thing it is fun. Issue 5 was especially fantastic. All of the issue is Groot telling a campfire story to a bunch of kids, and you know Groot, so all of the dialog is of course just “I am Groot”. That sounds dumb doesn’t it? But it isn’t it really works. The story arcs are short and to the point which I think is part of it’s all ages appeal. Try telling a 9 year old that she needs to real the next 15 issues to get all of the story… But 1-3 issues, that’s much better.
Moving out of the Marvel universe, believe it or not I actually do read other things as well.
Speaking of all ages books: Gotham Academy by Becky Cloonan & Brenden Fletcher. When I was a kid I loved the Famous Five books from the 50s. This comic really minds me of those books – they have the same kind of kids having adventures with a bit of boarding school drama mixed in. But unlike the old Famous Five that seems very dated reading them today, this comic feels like it is populated with real current day kids with cell phones and snark. The two protagonists are two pre-teen/teen girls really feel like actual kids. They get scared, are brave, they do not feel like tiny adults, they have a great sense of adventure and are good friends, but they are fare from perfect – it is awesome. Go read it!
And last but not least Batgirl by by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart & Babs Tarr. Now I am not much of a DC fan because the stories tend to be quite dark and broody. In other words everything the new Batgirl series is not. Being a Marvel reader I find it a bit confusing that the issue numbering isn’t reset but I am sure everyone else find it weird when it is the other way around. The new series start with issue 35 and the three issues we have gotten so far have been awesome. Like Gotham Academy where the kids feels like kids, Batgirl and her friends feel like young adults! They are in college and are just silly, serious, frivolous, kind and amazing as people that age actually are.
So this is everything that I am subscribing to. I am also reading a stack of other series but I don’t need them first thing Wednesday afternoon so I pick them up on more of an ad hoc basis.