Sure, comic books are an old art form, dating back to the 1930s in American culture. The four-color sequential art format has had some major success as well as several dips in its fortunes over the intervening eighty years, but the comic book is very much alive and well at this point in time, thanks to a resurgence of the comic book movies and television series currently in vogue.
There are so many new books out there as a result, that it’s hard to choose which ones to pick up and read when you head to your local comic book shop (still the way most of us get our comics). If you’re picking up two to three-dollar single issues, things can add up quickly. That’s why we’re here — to get you a sampling of the finest comics your money should buy, right now. Scroll through the images above to see what we’ve put together for you.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac
Trees - Warren Ellis, Jason Howard
Warren Ellis is one of the best comic writers out there right now. From his brilliant run on his own series, Transmetropolitan and Planetary to his time on the Astonishing X-Men, Ellis continually takes standard comic book tropes and turns them in on themselves while turning in characters that live, breathe, and speak like the rest of us do. No purple prose here. Trees plays out like an epic story already at seven issues, with no real sign of letting up. Giant alien artifacts named Trees appear in various places across the globe with no warning or explanation, and the mere presence of these massive enigmas is enough to change things for everyone. The various stories within these pages offer tantalizing glimpses at what it means to be human -- one of the best things about science fiction as a genre.
Photo: Image Comics
Thor - Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman
At only two issues, the new female Thor is the epitome of "just getting started." While the first issue waited to the final page for her reveal, the second issue just released gives us an inside look at an unnamed woman who can wield the power of Mjolnir, the God of Thunder's famous hammer. What's most intriguing to this reader, anyway, is the way this woman's thoughts and her speech are so very different. She speaks like a Norse god, but thinks like a modern woman. It's a great mystery, and much more important than the rest of the story, which drops us in media res to an attack on a multinational company with a minotaur for a CEO that's being attacked by frost giants. Very Thor, and very...not. Be sure to give this one some space on your pull list.
Photo: Marvel Comics
Roche Limit - Michael Moreci, Vic Malhotra
The Roche Limit describes the distance within which a planet will disintegrate due to a second planet's tidal forces exceeding the first body's own gravitational pull. This gorgeous hard science fiction comic of the same name focuses on one woman's search for her missing sister Bekkah Torin. Set on the Roche Limit Colony, a manmade space colony near the cusp of an energy anomaly in the Andromeda Galaxy, this comic pulls in some great themes, like violence against women, the drug trade, organized crime, and humankind's place in an uncaring universe. Uplifting stuff, for sure.
Photo: Image Comics
Brass Sun - Ian Edginton, I.N.H. Culbard
From the anthology comic company 2000 AD comes a fantastic new steampunk comic book called Brass Sun, which focuses on a teenage girl (Wren) and her quest to make it to the center of her world's clockwork solar system and restart the literal brass metal sun that lies at the heart of it all. There's a corrupt Church of the Cog with it's own hypocrites and true-believers, a crazy cult devoted to the secrets of the Brass Sun, and some fantastic sequential storytelling. It's a quality book with amazing art and a deliciously engaging storyline with characters you'll root for on every page.
Photo: 2000 AD Comics
Batgirl - Cameron Stewart, Brendan Fletcher, Babs Tarr
Coming off a brilliant Gail Simone run, Batgirl has a new writing team, a new costume, and a whole new sensibility. Her exploits are still superhero-centric, fighting off bad guys (and gals) across a variety of settings. What's new here is Barbara Gordon's life as a college student in current times. She's navigating social reality, dealing with dating apps and other bits of current technology that puts the action clearly in today's world. Babs Gordon is a young woman living in our world with the typical issues that plague all young women in our society. And then the whole crime-fighting thing. It's a fun read, and worth your comic dollars.
Photo: DC Comics