After months of experimenting, I’ve finally refined my pull-list of monthly comic titles to something manageable. Collecting is an expensive habit!
Mostly I’ve been getting the Marvel super hero books; for ongoing indie series, I tend to buy omnibuses. (Yeah, I should probably do it the other way around.) Right now my A-list consists of three solo character titles, which have remained consistently superb throughout their runs. Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye continues to be my ultimate favorite, but Mark Waid’s Daredevil and Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel are right on its heels. All three have omnibus editions available and are well worth checking out.
There are just way too damn many Avengers books right now, but I can’t seem to stay away: the nostalgia factor keeps pulling me back. I’ve finally settled on two: Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers, a biweekly that really has too damn many characters, but is also just too beautiful to pass up. (The art in this series, from various pencilers and inkers, is consistently polished.) And, unsurprisingly, Secret Avengers is really working for me, since it serves up heavy doses of Black Widow, Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and S.H.I.E.L.D.
Some other experiments: I tried Fearless Defenders and Uncanny X-Force but just kind of bounced off of them. The new X-Men book looks promising so far (the all-female lineup, that is — could they be any more confusing with how they handle all these team books?). Anyway I might hang around on this one for a few more issues to see how it develops. I also gave Fraction’s Fantastic Four a look, and while it’s generally well written and nicely illustrated, I just can’t bring myself to care about this group. Never a favorite, for some reason.
One independent title I’ve committed to following whole-heartedly, issue-by-issue, is Image Comics’ Lazarus. Written by Greg Rucka, Lazarus is politically charged, dystopian near-future SF. Forever Carlyle is a fixer for a powerful family in a world where nations have been replaced by wealth-based fiefdoms. This is a promising series of dark, but forward-looking SF tackling climate change, wealth inequality, life-extending biotechnology, and more. Rucka’s scripts are smart and the artwork from Michael Lark is just gorgeous. This is planned as a long, but contained story with an ending, so I’m excited to follow it through.