I am still woefully behind on comics. I haven’t read Death of the Family. I haven’t even read Night of the Owls. I don’t know what’s going on in pretty much any major mainstream comic besides Spider-Man. Nevertheless, thanks to the digital landscape of comics, I’ve managed to read a few of 2012’s series. Here’s my favorites.
5. Revival: Revival’s zombie-comic-without-zombies got me hooked by concept alone, but it’s the execution that makes it work. It’s thoughtful and character-focused, as much about how the event affects the people of the town as it is about the event itself. But it still has several central mysteries that I am excited to find out more about in the coming volumes.
4. Ame-Comi Girls: The digital-first Ame-Comi Girls is meant to sell collectible figures. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, Ame-Comi Girls is also absolutely awesome. It’s a version of the DC Universe where both heroes and villains are all female. Getting to see the new takes on the characters (Duella Dent is particularly great) is fun, it doesn’t indulge in too much cheesecake, and it still has a great plot that is as good as its print cousins. Considering how under-represented female heroes are in comics, getting a series that’s nothing but is worth the price of admission.
3. Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison: I already raved about Ghost Prison fairly recently, but here it is again. Great art. Interesting characters. A plot that peels back new layers on the state of the Empire before A New Hope. And a great use of Darth Vader that reveals pieces, but still leaves him as the imposing mystery that we loved from the original trilogy. If you’re a Star Wars fan, this has to be part of your collection.
2. X-O Manowar: Apparently Valiant Comics were a big deal back in the day. Honestly, before their reboot this year, all I knew was that they had Turok and they went out of business after an awful crossover with Image. After reading this reboot, I get the excitement. A Visigoth soldier gets captured by aliens, ends up in the possession of a super-suit that the aliens worship, and then returns to Earth…only it’s modern day. It’s interesting, exciting, has plenty of super-heroic action, and well worth your time. Valiant seems to constantly be making their series on sale on Comixology.com, so keep an eye for when their next sale is and pick this one up.
1. Batman: Li’l Gotham: I thought the cancellation of Batman: The Brave and the Bold was DC’s sign that the fun side of Batman was over. Indeed, with the comics featuring Joker wearing his own face, the movies showing one of the most realistic images of Batman, and the new animated series featuring a gun-toting Alfred, is there really a place for the Batman the whole family can enjoy? Yes. That place is in the digital series Li’l Gotham. Adorable art welcomes you in to a version of Gotham that’s distilled fun. Reading it just makes me smile at its fun portrayals of characters while still keeping them in-character. The stories are equal combinations of funny and sweet, along with keeping a good deal of action. Its one crime is that it’s only releasing on holidays. February’s got two issues coming up. Put $2 aside now for something that will just make you feel good.