What Comics I’m Currently Reading

Working full-time has its disadvantages. In my case, surprisingly, reading comics less isn’t one of them. My current job offers me the two circumstances most conducive to reading: large amounts of free time, and no wi-fi connection (you’d be surprised by how easy it is to become lost in a good book when you’re not incessantly checking your emails or googling every few minutes). The drawback though is, as you may have noticed, output on this site has gone down dramatically. Rest assured, while I may be blogging less, I’m just as hooked on comics as ever. Here’s the ones that have been keeping me the most entertained at work.

Saga: Five issues in, and I am absolutely loving Saga, the newest from Brian K. Vaughan. There’s no doubt Star Wars influenced this smart, fast-paced space opera, but there’s relentless suspense and dizzying cliffhangers as well–just what I expect from Brian K. Vaughan. Throw in the undeniably cool artwork of Fiona Staples and you have a comic worth scouting around the shelves for. Recent issues have introduced a spunky ghost I can’t wait to learn more about.

Batgirl: Here’s a comic that just keeps getting better. I thought the opening storyline would be hard to beat, but issue 9 was phenomenal, containing more action than anyone would expect from a “girl” comic. It’s written by Gail Simone–keep up the good work!

Avengers Vs. X-Men: Early on, even before I read the first issue, I knew this would be a corny cross-over event. 10 issues in, I haven’t been proven wrong. That being said, I can’t help enjoying this story of cosmic forces and petty squabbles, despite how predictable much of it is. There’s only two issues left. Avengers Vs X-Men is the only book I’m currently reading from Marvel.

Batman Year One: The Dark Knight Rises convinced me to revisit this classic Bat-book, believed by some to be the very best Batman story out there. I wouldn’t go that far, however it is definitely good. What makes this read-through especially exciting is that I recently read Asterios Polyp, a graphic novel written and drawn by David Mazzuchelli, who penciled Batman Year One more than 2 decades ago! Also, this was written long before Frank Miller became a walking self-parody of himself. It’s worth reading for the shady history of Selina Kyle alone.

Adventure Time: Seeing as how so many of the comics I’m reading now are bleak, gritty, and generally humorless, it’s refreshing to relax a bit with the colorful adventures of Jake and Flinn.

Spaceman: Like so many Brian Azzarello comics, Spaceman is hard to follow, and requires revisiting old issues to remember what in the world is going on. The penciling by Eduardo Risso (who collaborated with Brian Azzarello on 100 Bullets) is the most stylized and inventive artwork I’ve seen from Vertigo since Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon gave us Daytripper. I need to collect all 9 and read them in one sitting, otherwise I may never get it.

Flex Mentallo: Flex Mentallo is a bizarre project from the 90s written by Grant Morrison and penciled by Frank Quitely, who have since teamed up to create the noteworthy comics All Star Superman, We3, New X-Men, and others. Flex Mentallo is actually twistier than those books. Where I’m at, two stories are going on simultaneously. In one, Flex Mentallo, a burly muscle-man based on Charles Atlas, is solving a mystery involving terrorist attacks committed using cartoon style bombs (basically bowling balls with fuses). In the other, a junkie lies dying, od’ing from various hallucinogens, and using what are potentially his last moments on earth to wax nostalgic about superhero comics. How the two stories connect is a mystery to me, but I can’t wait to find out.

If you’re looking for books to read, check out A Rapturous Occasion and The Madness of Art: Short Stories–both by me, and both are available as paperbacks or ebooks.

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So these are what comics I’m currently reading. What comics are you into right now?

One thought on “What Comics I’m Currently Reading

  1. The comics I’m into right now are:
    Animal Man: The detail I enjoy more of this comic is the homelike atmosphere: I can’t tell you why, but it reminds me of Daria, an MTV cartoon I was deeply in love with when I was younger. And the decision of setting this series in a small town, instead of choosing a metropolis, is another detail that pushes Animal Man near to Daria (and to indie comics as well, since this is their typical setting – I bet this is not a coincidence).
    Blue Beetle: The New 52 version of this character is a Spider Man clone. His grandmother is undeniably inspired from Aunt May, and the dualism between the protagonist and his living costume really reminds of the dualism between Peter Parker and his living black costume, which subsequently became Venom. Anyway, I remember those 90s stories with fondness, so I don’t care if Blue Beetle is a Spider Man clone, and I love it anyway.
    Daredevil: This title did need a radical change. Bendis and Brubaker did a wonderful job, but the character had become too depressed and depressive, so a renewal was strictly necessary. Mark Waid was the right man at the right time, and the awards he recently got confirm my statement.
    Grifter: Do you remember the action movies in the 90s? There was a Rambo – like leading character (usually played by Stallone himself, or by Schwarzenegger) forced to fight against innumerous enemies: any other man would have been doomed, but our hero, with his guns, muscles, fight techniques and (last but not least) brain, was always able to find a way out. Grifter is exactly like this: no matter how many enemies he has to face and how complicated their plans are, you can be sure he will find a solution to all his problems. Like Batman, a big part of Grifter’s charm is his talent in getting out of troubles despite being a normal person. Grifter has a regular series published by DC Comics, but it will probably end soon: its writer tweeted he will leave after the 16th issue, and probably this means the closure of the series. At least, Grifter will be a member of Team 7, a superhero group whose regular series will start next month: I do suggest you to pick it up.
    Hawkeye: Marvel has always offered smiling superheroes, sunny settings and stories filled with irony, while DC has always published serious superheroes, dark settings and thoughtful stories: think about the unforgettable “Seduction of the Gun”, or the arc about the Green Arrow sidekick become drug addicted. Yes, of course each publisher made some exceptions (Superman has a sunny setting, while Daredevil is a dark superhero, and so on), but their trend has always been the one I just described. Well, when Marvel decides to make an exception and publishes a dark series, it’s usually a masterpiece. That’s why I suggest you to read this series.

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