I know, you’re super busy. You also like comic books. What’s a super-busy comic book aficionado like yourself to do when it comes to wading through the sea of independent comic titles? Well, take my hand and let me lead you, my friend. Today we shall wander through the dense, dark forest that is Image Comics.
What it is – Post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi/Theology western.
Synopsis – The things that divide us are stronger than the things that unite us. Set in a dystopian America where all hope for the future rests in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse…Death could be our savior. This is an epic Sci-fi/Eschaton tale of revenge that if filmed, would require Cinerama. There is an issue with a map in it and info that isn’t in the main series so it’s a MUST HAVE. The characters are all unique and the art is simply AMAZING. Every issue has these little quotes on blank white pages that give you goosebumps. There is NO other comic I am happier to see in my pull box. Just pick it up already.
For fans of – Spaghetti westerns, the Apocalypse, The Dark Tower, Westworld, anything good (guh, pretentious)
What it is – Outer space who-done-it
Synopsis – When an astronaut on HADRIAN’S WALL is murdered, pill-popping detective Simon Moore is dispatched to investigate the ship’s crew… including his own ex-wife. But if Simon’s not careful, what he finds could make the interstellar Cold War go red hot. From the creative team behind the critically-acclaimed series C.O.W.L. comes a gripping, locked room murder mystery where the secrets of everyone involved are as dark as the space that surrounds them. This one has a real crime thriller feel to it, with an emphasis on the detective and his emotional problems/self destructive tendencies. Think L.A. Confidential in space.
For fans of – L.A. Confidential, The Maltese Falcon, Vertigo, “Murder Mysteries” by Neil Gaiman
What it is: Deep Space journey of discovery and what it means to be human.
Synopsis – One young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. A rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey that pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling space opera from the creators of Trillium, Sweet Tooth, and Little Gotham. I’ve always been a fan of Jeff Lemire’s writing, he has a way of making things feel really heartbreaking and then bringing you back up. He can do the emotional highs and lows well. I could never get into his art style, but Dustin Nguyen just demolishes on this series. (The greatest cover ever is his Tokyo Ghost #10)This title has characters that are easy to empathize with, a robot dog, and a REALLY cool watercolor art style. Bonus points for watercolor.
For fans of – Philip K. Dick, Ender’s Game, Dune, A.I.
What it is – Cold War action-thriller.
Synopsis – It’s 1971, and two young Soviet operatives are sent to California to kill a defector and recover top-secret information. As the mission falls apart into a mess of good sex, bad drugs, and ugly violence, the young Russians are faced with a dilemma: they need to rely on each other to escape America, but they must betray each other to survive Russia. By critically-acclaimed thriller writer ALEX DE CAMPI (No Mercy) with art by TONY PARKER and BLOND. I enjoyed the action scenes in this series quite a bit. They have a Reservoir Dogs Mexican standoff feel, like nobody is really going to win. Mayday has a dark cloud hanging over it, The Cold War. All the characters seem to feel the tension and the whole thing feels very taut. I don’t normally go for espionage stories but this one is the best I’ve read in quite a while.
For fans of – 007, Borne series, Tom Clancy, Munich, Ronin
What it is – Insane fantasy with wizards set in NYC.
Synopsis – A wizard has appeared in New York City, and he’s casting wonderful spells, getting famous, getting rich—it’s great! But it’s not. This wizard has everyone fooled. He is actually an EVIL WIZARD, and EVIL THINGS are on the way. CURSE WORDS is a gonzo modern fantasy, full of darkness, light…and MAGIC. It’s probably the funniest comic I am reading right now! Here’s an incomplete list of things you can expect: Wizards (?!), rats, a koala, references to a ceremonial county in England, cauldrons, platinum men, and MUCH MORE! Heck, I already wrote a seriously long review on it.
For fans of – Guy Ritchie (pre-2010), God Hates Astronauts, people who think From Dusk Til Dawn could be improved by the addition of wizards, Birthright, Reborn.
What it is – Supernatural crime thriller/deconstruction of vigilantism.
Synopsis – From the bestselling team of ED BRUBAKER and SEAN PHILLIPS (The Fade Out, Criminal, Fatale): KILL OR BE KILLED, the twisted story of a young man who is forced to kill bad people, and how he struggles to keep his secret as it slowly ruins his life and the lives of his friends and loved ones. The protagonist is as weak and frail as the rest of us, but he slowly begins to embrace his dark side. There may or may not be demons. It’s my favorite comic that gave me a new light in which to see Batman. A really lame, financially broke, insecure Batman who murders people in cold blood in order to keep on living.
For fans of – Batman, Criminal, The Departed, Death Wish, The Punisher (amateur edition)
What it is – Epic space fantasy about life, love, fear, loss, family, laughing, hoping, growth, moving on, etc, blah blah blah…
Synopsis – From New York Times bestselling writer BRIAN K.VAUGHAN (Y: THE LAST MAN, EX MACHINA) and critically acclaimed artist FIONA STAPLES (MYSTERY SOCIETY, NORTH 40), SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in a sexy, subversive drama for adults. (Space Romeo & Juliet except they don’t just die at the end, and, ummmm…probably better)
For fans of – Space operas, Stand By Me, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Solaris
What it is – Occult horror.
Synopsis – ALL HAIL GOD MONEY! From JONATHAN HICKMAN (East of West, Secret Wars, Avengers) and TOMM COKER (Undying Love) comes a new crypto-noir series about the power of dirty, filthy money… and exactly what kind of people you can buy with it. THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS is classic occultism where the various schools of magic are actually clandestine banking cartels who control all of society: a secret world where vampire Russian oligarchs, Black popes, enchanted American aristocrats, and hitmen from the International Monetary Fund work together to keep ALL OF US in our proper place. This book is quite deep and has cryptic symbols EVERYWHERE.
For fans of: Witchcraft, spells, demons, the Illuminati, conspiracies
From the creators of The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, comes a story of the crooked cops, scheming mobsters, and corrupt politicians that run things—and the sex toy that can bring them all down. Oh, and the hero is a drug-sniffing beagle named Pretzels. Bad people do bad things to each other in this frenetic, outrageous, sometimes off-putting new caper! If you liked classic crime comics like CRIMINAL and 100 Bullets we apologize in advance for letting you down! It’s crazy-fun, over the top, and hella crude.
For fans of – The Departed, The Hangover, oh oh imagine the BOONDOCK SAINTS as corrupt cops!!!
Alrighty, that wraps up this edition of “Image comics you should be reading in 2017”. I will get back with you all to expand and add to this list in the coming weeks!