Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Top Five: Comic Book Series

  • Astonishing X-Men: I'm already writing an article about AXM but I'll indulge in a few words here. If you like Joss Whedon, if you liked the X-Men in any prior form, or if you just like beautiful pictures, there is something for you here. If you fit all of the above, try not to drool on the pages of this series. This is the only costumed super-hero book I read anymore.

  • Criminal: I told myself that I wouldn't choose this series since Sleeper already appears in my top five. That was seven months ago when I first started writing this post. (Yes, I'm a winner.) Criminal is a pitch perfect crime drama with tough and evocative writing by Ed Brubaker and subtly expressive art from Sean Phillips. I can't recommend this book highly enough. Criminal is the one comic book that I absolutely have to pick up on New Comic Wednesday.

  • Mage: When I was young, comics were all about superheroes and toy licenses. I read my Spidey and my G.I. Joe. Then along came Mage. A retelling of the Arthurian legend in modern times, it captured my imagination like none before. This was the comic that taught me that comic books don't have to be for kids. Matt Wagner, if you're out there, isn't it time for you to get started on book three?

  • Queen & Country: If you told me that I would end up liking a comic book series about a British secret agent, the various politically charged missions she goes on, and the turmoil that brings to her life... actually that sounds really good. And it is. Greg Rucka even got a couple of great prose novels out of the deal. So if you want espionage without the movie cliches, this is the book for you.

  • Sleeper: Like all good things, I got into Sleeper late. But the old saying applies here: better late than never. Sleeper is the story of a deep-cover agent in a criminal organization. His problem is that his handler is in a coma, so no one knows he's undercover. He constantly has to balance maintaining his cover against sinking to low into the moral quagmire, knowing all the while that there may never be anyway for him to get out. And while the story is set in a superhero universe, this is a story about good and evil and the thin line between the two. Anyone who likes action and espionage will like Sleeper. A bold statement, but true nonetheless.

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