Comics: Where Do I Start? Forget The Superheroes

Getting into comics can be a daunting task.  If you’re like me and didn’t care for anything “The Big Two” offer, here’s four titles you owe yourself to look in to:

Revival (Image Comics)


This is my personal favorite ongoing comic book right now.  The story is a rural noir; a small town in Wisconsin has experienced “Revival Day.”  Basically, a bunch of people who died recently come back to life.  They’re not undead, they’re not zombies…they just resume their normal lives.  However, they can take an extreme amount of damage and heal right away.  For example, an old lady pulls out her teeth with pliers so she can fit her retainer back in.  To her dismay, her teeth grow right back in.  These people are called “Revivers.”  The only way we’ve seen a Reviver die is burn inside-out.

We follow Dana Cypress, a young single mother who is also a police officer.  She’s assigned to investigate cases that involve these Revivers.  We find out that her sister Martha (aka Em) is also a Reviver-meaning she was murdered.  So now Dana not only has to try and work cases on these Revivers, she’s trying to solve her sister’s murder as well.  There’s so much depth and layers to the many characters (they are ALL connected in some way which is pretty mind-blowing) and events that I won’t try to sum it up and spoil it for you.  It’s a book that makes you think, but it’s enjoyable even if you don’t look too much into it.  I choose to, and I have pages and pages of notes and questions in my iPod because of it.  Issue #14 comes out this Wednesday, but there are two trade paperbacks that will get you up to #11.  Check it out if you think it sounds interesting.

The Walking Dead (Skybound Entertainment)


Okay so this one is a pretty big no-brainer; for anyone looking to get into comics and is a fan of the show or genre, there’s no other better place to start.  It may look a little intimidating walking into a comic store and seeing the two mountainous compilations of issues called compendiums that will get you through issue #98 (which leaves you 16 issues short of where they’re at now).  However, if you end up liking it believe me, you’ll fly through it.  They’re gearing up for “All Out War” with issue #115 which comes out October 9th.  It’s potentially one of the most intense and interesting story arcs of the series, so now’s a good time to catch up.  The story is easy to follow, so much more intense, unforgiving, and just overall way better than the TV show.  P.S. I watched the TV show before the comic, so I’m not just a dumb hipster saying that the comic is better.

Sheltered (Image Comics)


Sheltered is another one of my favorite newer series.  It’s made by two pretty unknown names in the industry that are sure to make a splash with this book.  It follows a group of people who are prepping for the end of the world (think of the people in the show “Doomsday Preppers,” but less weird).  How the world is going to end or if the people are just telling themselves the world is going to end is a mystery.  We’re not sure what they’re so afraid of.  One of the youth of New Haven (the name of their trailer park) named Lucas appoints himself as leader and organizes a coup to overthrow their parents.  In doing this, they kill all of the adults; Lucas even shoots his own father in the head (hence the chillingly beautiful cover to issue #1).  Much more happens after that and I won’t give anything else away, but it’s about to be on issue #4 in a few weeks, so be sure to pick up the back issues if that sounds interesting.

Hit (Boom Studios)


This is an awesome dark crime/pulp noir book from BOOM! Studios.  I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the first issue of this book a few weeks ago for the site, so I’ll use a brief synopsis I used then: The story follows homicide detective Harvey Slater in Los Angeles during 1955.  We find out very quickly that once the sun goes down, he’s something very different-a hitman.  Along with a few other LAPD members, they secretly form a “hit squad.”  In the back of the book, writer Bryce Carlson sheds some light about these hit squads: “Cops. Honest-to-goodness officers of the law track-ing gangsters to mundane everyday locations where nothing criminal was going on and simply eliminating the problem…”  Vigilante justice has always intrigued me, and this book serves it up in a chillingly realistic and gruesome way.  That first issue just sold out of its 10,000 print run and for good reason, but luckily enough there’s a reprint coming the same day as #2, so be sure to pick up both. --- Hopefully these suggestions will help some people get into comics, or maybe you haven’t heard of these titles and will check them out now.  We have coverage of all these series on the site, so make sure to head over to the Comic Reviews section to see other Bastards’ opinions on these books.