I thought I’d post an update (from the February entry) on noteworthy comics I’ve been reading lately. While I’m still reading the same books from February, here’s a few others to add…
DC digital comics
While I bailed on the “New 52” a long time ago, I do still read DC’s non-canonical comics, including their digital line. Titles I’m reading include:
- Adventures of Superman: Stories featuring Superman in an anthology format with rotating writers. No “emo” Clark, Lois is present and a story focus, and Clark has his “real” costume, complete with shorts. While Orson Scott Card almost derailed this series, he ultimately was given the heave-ho before it began. If you’re dissatisfied with the “New 52” (or “Man of Steel“) and want the “real” Superman back, this is the current DC title you want. “Smallville: Season 11,” another digital title, fits too. However, since I’m not a “Smallville” fan, I haven’t read it. Others online have praised “Season 11,” though, so fans of the show might want to look at this comic.
- Batman: Li’l Gotham: All-ages stories featuring the adventures of various members of the Batman family, particularly Damian (still alive here). Other members appearing range from Nightwing to Barbara Gordon (as Oracle, complete with wheelchair). The stories tend toward being light-hearted—not quite “Tiny Titans,” but moreso than even the DC Animated Universe material, though the latter seems to influence this series’ cast (Roxy Rocket appeared in one story). Each issue also revolves around a specific holiday. The most recent issue focused on Father’s Day, where an attempt by Barbara and Commissioner Gordon to go out for dinner goes wrong…but not as wrong as the Bat-family trying to cook for Alfred.
- Astro City: Kurt Busiek’s “Astro City” is back in a new series, released under the Vertigo banner.
- Big Hero 6: Brave New Heroes: A trade paperback of a late 2000s miniseries featuring Big Hero 6, a Japanese superhero team. The story was fun, if somewhat weird.
Archie titles I’ve mostly been reading include:
- Jughead Double Digest
- Betty and Veronica Double Digest: Sabrina the Teenage Witch stories are usually reprinted here.
- Life With Archie
- Kevin Keller
- Sabrina, the Magic Within: A black-and-white manga paperback-sized compilation of the manga “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” run. Now up to volume two (of four). A fun read; the series also eventually puts Sabrina into more dramatic than usual storylines.
- New Crusaders: While the ongoing series was scaled back to a six-issue run, the revival of Archie’s “Red Circle” superheroes was enjoyable. A new follow-up series is due in 2014.
- Love and Capes: What to Expect: The trade paperback compiling the most recent “Love and Capes” miniseries, as Mark and Abby prepare for the birth of their first child. A fun storyline, as some of the aspects of superheroes having kids are dealt with (or parodied).
- Comic Book: History of Comics: A miniseries collected into a trade paperback, covering various aspects of the history of American comic books: “Seduction of the Innocent,” the rise of Marvel (and its treatment of Jack Kirby), the development of Superman by Siegel and Shuster, etc. There’s even a section on Japanese manga. An excellent book! My only nitpick is the final few pages on comics’ future options including the direct market. As far as print trade paperbacks are concerned, the book doesn’t seem to mention the options of merely ordering them from Amazon.com, or even buying them at a “real” bookstore (locally owned or Barnes and Noble). Said sources are much more convenient or easier to find (or even cheaper) for many than specialty comic book shops. No disregard meant toward the better-run comic book stores, of course. For single-issue paper comics, on the other hand, physical comic shops are the best place to buy them, of course.
- Atomic Robo: A series of comics about the “action science” adventures of Atomic Robo, a sentient robot built by Tesla in the 1920s. Robo tends to find himself dealing with all manner of bizarre threats, including some that make no sense scientifically (as Robo will often criticize). One such example is one recurring villain, the unscientific-sounding-but-hilarious “Dr. Dinosaur,” a sentient featherless velociraptor of some sort (yes, Robo rips into Dr. Dinosaur’s lack of plumage, etc. too).