‘Tis the season, y’all, for KEVIN’S 7!! Before I start, I should explain... wait, why should I bother to explain myself again when my disclaimer from last year says everything I need to say here.
With that in mind, let’s begin!
Actually, no, not just yet. I want to call out a title that just started this past Wednesday and that I’m expecting great things from through next year. That is Dynamite’s John Wick and is supposed to be his origin story. I’m very much looking forward to reading it.
It even looks like Keanu!!
Another one I’m looking forward to reading but haven’t been because NO NEW ISSUES HAVE DROPPED IN A FREAKIN’ YEAR AND A HALF is my EOY mainstay Afterlife with Archie. Seriously, WTF??
Now, let’s get on with the show!
7. Huck (Image)
[from my Goodreads review] Huck is a rather large, very quiet, and unassuming guy with a secret... he has superpowers. But, unlike most superheroes, he prefers to keep his on the down-low and his friends and neighbors in a small New England town are more than happy to assist in this endeavor because Huck helps them and many others. It may be something small like baking a pie for a friend or something larger like rescuing people from an inferno. He does it willingly, happily, and absolutely without fanfare. Until, that is, he gets outed by a local reporter. And his idyllic life gets turned upside down and his once-unknown past comes back into play. This is such an amazing story. I've read a lot of Mark Millar's comics and this is very easily my favorite of the bunch. I can't wait to read more. Bring it on.
6. Rust (Archaia)
[from my Goodreads review] When Jet Jones and his high tech jet pack came crashing down in Roman Taylor's farm, he was immediately given a place to recuperate despite a complete lack of knowledge of his past. Turns out he has quite a history as a warrior, one who battles giant robots in the ensuing war engulfing the planet. Could Jet and his knowledge be the key to turning around the Taylor family fortunes? In what can only be described as a WWII-era hybrid of The Rocketeer and The Iron Giant, I found a very well written although lightly touched narrative about trust and fear in wartime. Give it a shot. I've got volume 2 loaded up and ready to read.
5. Paper Girls (Image)
[from my Goodreads review of vol. 1] Remember the great times that were the 1980s? How about 1988 specifically? Let's revisit them through the eyes of four pre-teen paper girls. No, not paper dolls... paper girls. As in a girl who delivered newspapers to your house in the pre-dawn hours astride their bicycle of choice. Now add in an alien invasion and a weird Apollo-like shuttle and giant flying birds and a mysterious little box emblazoned with an apple that has a bite taken out of it. Welcome to Paper Girls. The first five issues of this series do quick work of introducing us to our four protagonists and also very rapidly set up the mystery at hand. I'd hate to even try to explain it for fear of revealing something I shouldn't.
[from my Goodreads review of vol. 2] People keep going on and on about Saga being Brian K. Vaughan' masterwork. Those folks clearly haven't read Paper Girls. In Volume 2, the girls have been transported from 1988 to 2016 where they first meet the older version of Erin. However, they still aren't quite sure what to do with the little palm-sized, apple-emblazoned box they found and how to not just get home but find their missing fourth. There is also the risk they run of discovering their future. It all just keeps compounding and it's so much fun to read.
4. Wolverine: Old Man Logan (Marvel)
[from my Goodreads review] 50 years in the future, after the super-villains of the world finally got their act together and defeated nearly all superheroes and mutants, Logan (nee Wolverine) finds himself a farmer with a wife and two children in the remains of California, land that now belongs to the Banner Gang. And not once in those 50 years has he popped his claws. He's a family man and a self-imposed pacifist. Since the fall of the heroes, Red Skull has divided up the United States into territories that are run by his lieutenants. Sure, there's some in-fighting and switching of hands, but not because of interference by "good guys," as there are too few left to truly matter. But with the threat of foreclosure on his farm looming over his head, Logan decides to help out an old friend, Clint Barton (nee Hawkeye) deliver a secret package out to the east coast and receive a payday that will get the Banner Gang off his back forever. You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men, right? Well... yeah. I've never read a Wolverine book or, for that matter, an X-Men book. I've seen half the movies and enjoyed most of what I've seen but, like most established superhero tales, there's just too much backstory for me to want to catch up. But this sounded like it would stand alone well enough that I could enjoy it. Millar's book is incredible in its own right and I can see myself reading this multiple times and enjoying it more and more each time. I was reading this book at a pace of one issue every day or two for the first handful of days. In a single day, I sat back and read the final five and it was the quickest I ever breezed through a collected volume and probably the most satisfied I've felt reading comics in a long time. Just a fantastic post-apocalyptic, old-west influenced tale.
3. Rai (Valiant)
[from my Goodreads review of vol. 1] The concept of Rai never appealed to me when I first heard of it. Sci-fi story set in a Blade Runner-esque New Japan with a cyborg killer as a "protector" and antihero? Yeah, just not my thing. But then I learned more about it via digital trading cards in the Quidd app and they and Valiant Comics gifted all users a copy of volume 1. I'm not saying my mind is changed because it was free but I was certainly more open to giving it a chance and I loved it.
[from my Goodreads review of vol. 2] War has come to New Japan as all divided factions find unity in the need to overthrow Father. Unexpected alliances are formed. And long “dead” allies make their triumphant returns. But how will it all play out? Still a wonderfully engaging story but there’s an extreme lack of Lulu in this volume. I hope Kindt makes up for it in volume 3.
2. The Walking Dead (Image)
[from my Goodreads review of vol. 22] An undisclosed number of years after the "defeat" of Negan by Rick Grimes and his merry band of zombie slayers, we return to the Kingdom to find that civilization has advanced quite a bit. Sure, zombies are still a concern but the survivors are, well, surviving. A village is rising, farms are thriving, industry is returning, and times are generally good. Rick is the de facto leader of the Kingdom and he vets newcomers as they are found outside the gates to make sure they are a good fit. Carl is old enough that he wants to take on a trade as a blacksmith's apprentice but this requires moving more than a day away to the Hilltop where Maggie is in charge and Rick reluctantly agrees. There was a point in time, when I was regularly reading The Walking Dead, that I would curse these stories for their lack of action. But this is an incredible build up to what is destined to be a very interesting battle. Y'see, the final six pages of this volume were something I never saw coming. Not in a million years. And I love where it promises to take me in the next couple volumes.
[from my Goodreads review of vol. 23] Taking three years off from reading The Walking Dead has been the best decision ever. I feel like I'm being re-introduced to old friends after a long absence and, yes, my heart has grown fonder. In this volume, which is basically dedicated to social justice warrior Carl Grimes, I even find myself liking a character I've hated since the beginning. Plus the Whisperers. Oh the Whisperers. They're gonna make life in the Kingdom and Hilltop so much fun! Yeah, it's a lot of empire building in this volume just like in the last bit when has that ever disappointed me?
1. Descender (Image)
The robots declare war.
I’m really not sure more needs to be said.
Oh, I should probably note that this is the third consecutive year that Descender has topped my comic list. Yes, that says s helluva lot.
What are you reading?