Sorry haven’t posted in a while, but life has been getting in the way, but I should be back in the regular mix here at Graphic Policy from now on. My first post back is pretty straightforward, I’m going to take a look at five series that have ended recently that I wish were still going on. Not limited series, but ongoing series that have been canceled.
Honorable Mention: The Order, all of Marvel’s cosmic titles
5. OMAC (8 issues, last in April 2012): OMAC wasn’t brilliant and it was, of course, little more than a tribute to Jack Kirby that hadn’t really been developed into anything of its own yet, but it had a lot of potential. Keith Giffen gave us art that was as true to Kirby as if Jack had done it himself. Dan DiDio was starting to establish an original character in Kevin Kho (the only Cambodian-American character in comics I know of) and there were a lot of Brother Eye stories to be told. Many crappier titles survived into the Second Wave of the New 52, hopefully we’ll see more from Kho, OMAC and Brother Eye again soon.
4. Heroes for Hire (12 issues, last in November 2011): Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning showed us with this series that there are no small characters, just small stories and small writers. Misty Knight and Paladin were turned into compelling and entertaining characters in a way they rarely have been in the past. The first issue of this series, with its shout-out to The Warriors, remains one of the best first issues of any series I’ve ever read. Luckily we got to see the story continued in Spider Island and Villains for Hire, but with the team having no current home, I worry that we won’t be seeing them as much.
3. 28 Days Later (24 issues, last in June 2011): In the days when zombie comics are rightfully dominated by The Walking Dead and wrongfully imitated by dozens of inferior titles, 28 Days Later was one of the few non-Robert Kirkman series that actually added something to the genre. Every issue started with a brilliant cover (most of the recent ones by Sean Phillips), continued with solid interior art by Alejandro Aragon and top-notch storytelling by Michael Alan Nelson. Following in the footsteps of the first movie, the series was always compelling and gave us a look at the aftermath of the British zombie outbreak that broke new ground in a well-worn genre. The comic did the same.
2. SWORD (5 issues, last in March 2010): SWORD is exactly what I’m looking for when I pick up comics. It was one of the smartest comics on the shelf, fast-paced, funny, filled with references and jokes that you don’t need to know, but if you do they add layers to the story, action-packed, and consistently awesome. It featured a strong female lead who could’ve developed into one of Marvel’s better characters and introduced us to one of the more intriguing characters to come along in years in the Unit. Luckily, we’re still seeing flashes of these characters and SWORD in X-Men comics, but it’s sad, that from what I understand, the comic was never really given a chance. Keiron Gillen gets most of the credit for how great this comic was.
1. Secret Warriors (28 issues, last in September 2011): Secret Warriors beats out SWORD, to me, because, while SWORD is exactly what I come to comics to find, Secret Warriors consistently surprised me. It was way better than I expected and it brought to my attention things I wouldn’t have otherwise read or thought about. It also had better art than SWORD. Another series with consistently brilliant covers and superior art by the likes of Allesandro Viti and Stefano Caselli (among others), the comic clearly had its own visual style and it was better than most of what was on the market. On top of that, the writing was even better. Originally a Brian Michael Bendis project and later taken over by Jonathan Hickman, the comic delved into the espionage side of the Marvel Universe, particularly the ongoing tale of Nick Fury, better than it has been done in decades. I’m not even that big a fan of Fury and the espionage stuff. Well, I wasn’t until this series. The only thing that still touches on this stuff in a good way are the ongoing Captain America and Secret Avengers titles, but neither of them is as consistently good (and shocking) as Secret Warriors was.