By Lvenger 0 Comments
I have some time to spare for a change so I decided to write another blog whilst I still can. Again, I do have ideas in mind for blog topics in the summer. Like Did The Cold War Influence the Comic Book Genre? or A Comparison between Atticus Finch (from To Kill A Mockingbird) and Superman so I'll work on those after my first year of university has finished. For now, I'll just write about some comics I'm looking forward to picking up in the future. My university constraints led me to restrict my pull list down to 4 comics (Superman Unchained, Thor: God of Thunder, Wonder Woman and Indestructible Hulk) but I already have in mind which comics I want to pick up in the future. So here's my rundown of 5 of my most anticipated choices in no particular order.
Fantastic Four by James Robinson and Leonard Kirk
It probably isn't common knowledge that I actually have a soft spot for Marvel's First Family. All of the Fantastic Four are in my top 20 favourite superheroes list and I watched a couple of their cartoons when I was younger. Both the 1990s one and the mid 2000s cartoon as well (the latter was overall better IMO.) Anyway I adored their family bond through both good and bad times in their history, the zany sci fi adventures the team went on and the uniqueness of each member of the team too. From Reed's brilliant but detached personality to Sue's maternal and protective instincts to Johnny's hilarious banter and relaxed attitude, my favourite was Ben Grimm's rock hard personality concealing a heart of gold. Although the FF have had some great runs in recent years, Matt Fraction's latest tenure on the FF has been utterly terrible for me. Retconning Ben into causing Doom's accident, taking them to the near breaking point unnecessarily all the while writing the team severely out of character with a convoluted plot to boot. When I heard Robinson's first arc was "The Fall of The Fantastic Four" I was initially put out by what seemed to be another repeat of history. But after listening to James on the podcast a few weeks ago, my tune changed for once. Robinson seemed genuinely enthusiastic and understanding of the FF's rich history and he promised to bring a positive and upbeat tone to the series. And that's what the FF is all about. It's not grim or gritty, the Fantastic Four are all about a family at the end of the day and they're a much more light hearted title. Like Superman or Spider-Man. And Robinson's promise of that has me truly appreciative of what Robinson is doing. Although this series has started, I'll be picking it up at issue 4 in May.
Justice League United by Jeff Lemire and Mark McKone
Although the New 52 has given us some absolutely duff and terrible creative teams, there have been diamonds in the rough. One of the most praised 'diamonds' DC currently have would be Jeff Lemire. Originally a writer for Vertigo, Lemire's mainstream work has earned great critical praise from DC fans. Animal Man has been widely applauded for its supernatural tone and exploration of family whilst his Green Arrow work has literally cleaned a turd into a shining bastion of comic book storytelling, resulting in its roaring critical success. Whilst it's too early to tell for certain how well this series will do, I have a very good gut feeling about Justice League United. Lemire is truly a quality writer and he plans to take a diverse roster of B lister characters including 3 of my favourites (Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow and Supergirl), set the team in the unique location of Canada allowing stories to be told away from the rest of the DCU and then give it a fast paced cosmic feel to the series. All these qualities are superb constituents for what should make a great series. If Lemire delivers strong characterisation, well oiled team mechanics, suitable sci fi plots and correct pacing then this could be the fresh new series the New 52 has been needing. For too long, fans have complained about the New 52 being recycled stories focusing mainly on Batman, Superman or Justice League titles without diversity or organic variation. And so if enough people get behind this unique title, this could be the gateway to opening up the New 52 DCU into something bigger and better. If not, it still looks like a quality title nonetheless.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz
"But Lvenger, aren't you already reading this fantastic, consistently well written and original series from IDW?" Well dear reader, I unfortunately made an error in judgement when I chose which comics to keep buying for uni. Indestructible Hulk has been a major disappointment and I'm only reading it till the series' end. I now see I should have stuck with what is easily one of my favourite comics currently out in the industry today. The recent Northampton arc was an emotionally charged cooldown to the epic City Fall saga and truly focused on the ramifications the last arc had on the characters. This is exactly what I want to see in my event stories; real consequences on the cast I care about. And Waltz' script is handled expertly with Eastman's gritty tone and lore to the TMNT franchise. This series delivers some of the best writing in comics today. Whether it's hilarious one liners, dark twists, in character dialogue or fast and frenetic action, TMNT can do almost no wrong on anything it tackles. I'll be jumping back on for issue 33 for the next arc and will most likely keep this comic on my pull list for next year. Unless another title steals the spotlight, TMNT is too good to go without again.
Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Another non DC or Marvel comic? Surprised aren't you? Well out of all the titles Image are putting out, only 3 have really captured my interest enough to consider buying. And this is one of them. The immensely popular Saga. A blend of sci-fi and fantasy on the Romeo and Juliet catapulted beyond any reader's wildest imaginations. I admit, even though I'm unfamiliar with Saga lore, this might serve as a footnote of what Saga is about. I have bought Saga Volume One in my London Comic Con trip last Sunday (shameless plug of my blog) but I'm reading Wonder Woman Volume 2: Guts and Kraven's Last Hunt first. Nonetheless, I imagine people will advise me to read more of Saga and maybe I will if I have time to spare. Admittedly, I do want to see what the fuss is all about for this title. Saga has blown away many people on here with its tight focus storytelling, uninhibited maturity on levels that would make Fredric Wertham incessantly enraged if he were still alive today and utterly unique characters like this Lying Cat I keep hearing so much about. This is as strange and yet enthralling as comics are supposed to get and the solicits, images and discussion about Saga have made me decide to pick up this series from issue 19 onwards.
C.O.W.L. by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel and Rod Reis
Yes another Image title on my pull list. Whatever is the world coming to? When I heard Image's January announcements, this was the title I was most interested in. Higgins delivered an intriguing premise based in 1960s Chicago where the focus of the story is on a superhero union which struck a contract to work for the city in exchange for payment for their services. I was fascinated by Higgins' pitch of a combination of the history of the rise of the union movements in the 60s, a noir flavoured story with crime fiction and the superhero genres thrown in as well. These influences pulled me into the appeal of Higgins' university project on which the series is based on. Plus it's a fresh new series with little lore behind it making it easier to dive right into this intriguing title. With its roots in America unionised history and a crime noir story with superheroes in it to boot, I'm really excited for what C.O.W.L. promises to bring to the table. Since Higgins has done an excellent job on a brilliant Nightwing series, I figure he's a writer who can definitely be trusted on an independent project where he can tell the stories he wants to tell.
So that makes for my most anticipated comics in the months to come. Hope you liked it. What are your comics you're looking forward to reading in the future? Feel free to comment below.