Recommend me some new comics to read?
December 7, 2017 8:16 AM   Subscribe

I started reading and enjoyed some comics about 10 years back before wandering away, and am looking for recommendations now that I'm thinking of starting again.

Back then what appealed to me most was the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle (first go-round) and Palmiotti/Conner Power Girl -- China MiƩville's Dial H for Hero was interesting too -- which I think helps define what I'm looking for.

- Superhero comics
- Relatively light in tone, if not Bwahaha Justice League-era.
- Consistent writing/artist pair for a year at least, and longer is better.
- Self-contained and not beholden to cross-title events

I see that Palmiotti and Connor collaborated on a short-lived Starfire comic, and I've heard the Fraction/Aja Hawkeye is maybe in my neighborhood. Are there any others you'd recommend?
posted by Quindar Beep to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Squirrel Girl.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:33 AM on December 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Seconding Squirrel Girl, and I'll recommend Marvel Girl and Gwenpool as well. Fraction's Hawkeye was indeed great.
posted by Ipsifendus at 8:36 AM on December 7, 2017

posted by Jungo at 8:40 AM on December 7, 2017

I think it's law now that someone has to recommend Saga in every comic book thread. Parts of it are funny, parts of it are heavy. I don't know if it totally fits your request but someone is gonna suggest it so it might as well be me.

Personally I think one of the most fun things I've read in the past few years was the 4-issue Longshot Saves the Marvel Universe, though if you're more of a DC person then maybe not all the jokes would land. Also, I can second that the initial Fraction/Aja Hawkeye was fantastic.
posted by komara at 9:29 AM on December 7, 2017

It doesn't tick all your boxes (in that it's more mystery house fantasy/light horror than superhero) but Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez is fun and self-contained and great.

Seconding Saga and Marvel Girl. Every single trade paperback of both of these series has had at least one moment that makes me verklempt (in a good way.)
posted by gauche at 9:45 AM on December 7, 2017

Response by poster: I was well up on the minutiae of both DC and Marvel to the end of the 80s, anyway, and many valuable brain cells will probably prove to be involved in remembering them still.

The Dinosaur Comics guy is writing Squirrel Girl? I think I broke my brain.
posted by Quindar Beep at 9:45 AM on December 7, 2017

I loved Locke & Key but it didn't even occur to me to recommend it here because it's not really about superheroes, and it is by no means light in tone. It's certainly great, written by "Joe Hill" (Stephen King's talented son), and might be worth stepping out of your comfort zone. It meets your 3rd and 4th criteria in spades. But it's scary and creepy and, since it's stand-alone, there's no assurance at all that key players won't die tragically or horrifically.
posted by ubiquity at 10:28 AM on December 7, 2017

Best answer: Squirrel Girl is phenomenal, clever, and hilarious. Be aware that it had two #1s in its first year, so it can be kind of confusing if you are trying to buy back issues as opposed to trades, but it specifically stays out of crossover territory. (My favorite description of Thanos is from this book: "he's kind of goth because he's obsessed with death, but kind of a hipster because he makes his own gloves.")

The Fraction/Aja run of Hawkeye single-handedly got me into comics; it really is THAT GOOD.

Ms Marvel (the G Willow Wilson one) is an all-ages book and is really good.

I very much enjoyed the all-too-short-lived Chelsea Cain run of Mockingbird - lots of fun and absurd missions and the art has a lot of hilarious detail if you look closely. Plus, corgis!

I'm not completely caught up on it, but the recent Silver Surfer run (the Allred one) at least starts out as a relatively light, Doctor-Who-esque space adventure/love story and I really liked it.

Saga is everything that people say - not necessarily LIGHT but it's really great.

I've liked the "Burnside" run of Batgirl - the one with the new costume, it starts toward the tail end of the New 52 and picks up with the... whatever the DC reboot after New 52 was called.

I am a big fan of the Kieron Gillen / Jamie McKelvie run on Young Avengers. (The same team did Phonogram and are currently doing The Wicked And The Divine, which are both GREAT but not really LIGHT.)

The Kelly Sue DeConnick run on Captain Marvel is really good and Carol punches a dinosaur, which is always quality.
posted by oblique red at 12:09 PM on December 7, 2017

The comics critics from AVClub have some recommendations, a lot of which don't fit your requirements but some do (including Squirrel Girl and a review of all the current flavors of Batman).

It must be noted that after the success of Ryan North's Squirrel Girl, Marvel hired Dr. McNinja's Christopher Hastings to do "Gwenpool", which does massive damage to the 'fourth wall'. There are certain comics authors I avoid, and others I gravitate toward, Matt Fraction for one. But my first love is webcomics and there's lots of good stuff on the web (and in paper published collections from the web). "Spinnerette" which started as a 'spider-man take-off' then went in a dozen directions, most good; "Scapula", a mostly satirical supervillian-centric comic; "Strong Female Protagonist", a more serious look at the travails of a superpowered college student; "Amanda Green, Superhero Insurance Agent", not yet fully in print but the best from the common 'superhero-adjacent' trope; and of course the collected "Dr. McNinja". Don't get me started on non-superhero-based scifi and fantasy comics or I'll be here for a week...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:18 PM on December 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Coming back in to say I meant Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, not Marvel Girl, above. Whoops.
posted by gauche at 1:58 PM on December 7, 2017

> Don't get me started on non-superhero-based scifi and fantasy comics or I'll be here for a week...

Go on....
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 12:39 AM on December 8, 2017

Dial H for Hero made me think of Superboy and the Ravers, which had a character who finds a hero dial - though i see from Wikipedia it's a different guy. SatR might be too goofy, but it's a really fun read. Also with Superboy, I'm surprised nobody's said the Young Justice comics. (I also liked Teen Titans volume 3, where the same characters get more serious arcs about finding their places in their superhero "families.")
posted by gaybobbie at 9:52 AM on December 8, 2017

Dan Slott and Mike Allred have turned the Silver Surfer into something of a super heroic romantic comedy over the past few years.
posted by Eikonaut at 11:26 PM on December 8, 2017

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