By Strider92 25 Comments
Thought i'd make a list with what is in my opinion the best yet largely unknown/under-appreciated titles out there at the moment. In no particular order:
Lazarus (Image Comics):
This is one of the newest series to hit Image comics (its only 2 issues in thus far) and by far one of the best the label has under its belt. After the end of Luther Strode's second volume (also an awesome series if you haven't read that yet go read it!) I was looking for an ongoing to fill my Image void. Lazarus does everything I hoped it would and more.
To sum Lazarus up its like someone sat down and suddenly thought "I like the Fallout games, Game Of Thrones and the Godfather movies........screw it lets throw everyone of them into one scenario and see what happens!" What happens is Lazarus and the idea is every bit as awesome and bizarre as it sounds.
After an apocalyptic event the world is thrown into turmoil with different families ruling different areas. None of the families seem to like each other and at best they tolerate each other and at worst out-right slaughter each other! Each family has a member known as the Lazarus. the Lazarus is the single-member of the family that is dedicated to protecting them. Undergoing genetic enhancements, high-tech upgrades and other such bad-assery. The on-going follows the Lazarus of the Carlyle family Forever (yep fricking weird name i'll give it that) as she tries to protect and keep her family from unraveling.
There are so many reasons that you should be reading this. The story is brilliant for one, the art is gorgeous, its only 2 issues in so catching up is not a problem and at 1.99$ its one of the cheaper comics on the market. I cannot condone anyone not at least trying this title out!
Quantum And Woody (Valiant):
Now its no secret that i'm a big fan of Valiant comics so when Quantum And Woody started I bought the first issue without hesitation and as usual Valiant have churned out yet another brilliant title. So much so that Quantum And Woody is now my favorite Valiant title surpassing even my love for Harbinger (that i'll get to later).
Quantum And Woody is basically the story of two half-brothers who obtain superhuman abilities via an accident.
As odd is it sounds the story is in fact very entertaining. The whole sibling rivalry thing that this ongoing puts across is perfect in every sense of the word and down right funny. Which brings us to the books strongest quality. This book is hilarious. I'm not talking funny i'm talking about the only book that has made me laugh out-loud since Kelly's Deadpool. It is that damn fun. The art that accompanies it fits the theme of the series really well. Granted humor is subjective but in my opinion this is the most fun you will have reading any ongoing series from any company right now. How many heroes first outing ends with them holding a disabled villain out a window and fighting mutant clowns well this series gives you the answer.
I have nothing negative to say about this book apart from the fact you cannot take this seriously. If you open this book with any other intent than to relax and read something light and funny then this isn't for you.
Aphrodite IX (Top Cow):
Having read the original run by Wohl and Finch I was stoked when I heard they were kicking off an on-going based on the character and when I heard Sejic was on the pencils I was jumping up and down with joy (you'll see why soon!).
This series takes place a loooooooooooong time after the original run of Aphrodite IX. To sum it up as briefly as possible Aphrodite is a synthetic human created to be the perfect killer. After every assassination her mind is wiped so she doesn't remember anything she did. Thus creating someone who cannot be interrogated or broken. Years after the first run Aphrodite's mind has yet again been wiped and she remembers nothing of the events that transpired. She is kept in cryo-stasis while the world goes to hell around her. When she is mistakable awakened during a fight between the Cyborgs and the Bio-augments (the two warring factions) she has to pick a side although this might not be easy as her "handler" from the original series is still alive and kicking in the stasis pod next to her. Poised to take control of her when he feels it beneficial for some to die.
Now the art in this is spectacularificlystupedulous I had to make up my own word to describe it as its just that good. Sejic is probably the best artist around at the moment and if you don't believe me just check the scans. The guy is incredible and makes this series the most visually stunning around at the moment. The story is great, the art is a word I made-up to do it justice and its only 4 issues in. Ontop of that the 1st issue is FREE! FREE!? You can download it from Comixology free of charge here:
YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES! ITS FREE NOW GIVE IT A SHOT!
Scarlet Spider (Marvel):
This is currently the only title from the big 2 (Marvel and DC) I am reading as the other titles failed to grab me.
Scarlet Spider follows Kaine the hot-blooded and until recently villainous clone of Peter Parker. Having got a new lease on life Kaine is seeking to become a better person and leave his murderous past behind him in favor of a heroic one although he still has trouble with that due to his volatile and violent nature. This basically the classic story of a villain trying to better himself and yet failing spectacularly in certain aspects while he battles his inner daemons. In this case quite literally as poor Kaine is the host of a being called the "Other" that slips into control every now and then causing him to pretty much flip his sh*t. Think Bleach with the whole Hollow Ichigo deal and that's pretty much whats going on here with Kaine.
This series has had quite few artists on it and most of them have been above average the current one is Carlo Barberi. The story is great thanks to Yost and it is the best title Marvel is currently producing. One of the best features about this series are the fight sequences. They are some of the best to feature in any comic as of late (aside from Luther Strode) and given how many times they have appeared in the "Best Battles" threads made by k4tzm4n just proves it (coincidentally the battle from Scarlet Spider 21 appeared in it this week: Best Battles 08/30/13). I heard someone describe it as Marvel's "popcorn flick" which I think pretty much sums it up.
This is the title that introduced me to Valiant and as such pretty much holds a prized spot in my pull-list. Harbinger is quite hard to liken to any other title currently going however if I was really forced to i'd probably call it X-men on meth. Due to the nature of independent titles they can have far more excessive content and Harbinger has taken advantage of this showing what telekinetic's and other such power individuals are capable of without the whole "PG-13" hanging over their heads and thats fun to see (albeit gory too).
Harbinger's main character is a young man by the name of Peter Stanchek who is a powerful Harbinger who's vast psionic abilities allow him to do some pretty scary stuff. As the series progress's it becomes more of a team-book as others join Peter in an attempt to stop the main villains.
There is so much depth to this story that I cannot and will not go into it here. Suffice to say that it is worth reading for both the story and the art. This is one of Valiant's top tier titles and with good reason.