This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Comics not in Diamond’s top 100 sellers for December 2019
This week we’re going to be looking at a list of comics that are all pretty good, but don’t get the attention that they deserve. Now I’m not even going to pretend to have a definitively exhaustive list of underrated comics here, because we’re hoping that you decide to check at least one of these series out next time you’re looking for something new either online or at your LCS, and giving you a huge list to check out would be counter productive to that. Instead, you’ll find four to six comics that are worth your attention that failed to crack the top 100 in sales. The only hard stipulation for this week: not one of the comics made it into the top 400 (yeah, I went for books that hardly any of you have read for whatever reason) for this month’s comic sales, according to Comichron, which is why they’re Underrated.
Ether: Disappearance of Violet Bell #4 (Dark Horse)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 338/2,700
Why You Should Read It: I will never apologize for raving about Matt Kindt. The third volume of Ether, a story about a modern scientist in a fantasy world, has Boone Dias solving a magical mystery using science. It is a magical combination – poor pun intended.
Rai #2 (Valiant)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 267/5,823
Why You Should Read It: There’s something magical about a story that helps you to ask questions about your place in the world, what it means to be human, when you should resort to violent recourse and how easy it can be to touch the lives of those around you. This comic does all of that.
Middlewest #13 (Image)
Rank/Units Sold: 209/8,488
Why You Should Read It: A young adventurer, a carnival of magicians a destructive tornado and some utterly fantastic artwork. This isn’t your typical coming of age story, and that’s only one of the things that makes it special.
The Last God #2 (DC/Black Label)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 144/12,858
Why You Should Read It: A comic with two stories being told concurrently – the present and the past, with only 30 years in the difference. The book examines what happens when the legends you believe aren’t entirely true, whilst also dealing with how we came to believe in those same legends. Plus, violence, corruption and a lost innocence and naivety.
Folklords #2 (Boom)
Rank/Units Sold: 186/9,613
Why You Should Read It: A comic that rewards close attention; far from predictable, this is another Matt Kindt story that you’re going to wish you read.
Once and Future #5 (Boom)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 133/14,330
Why You Should Read It: Reimagining King Arthur as something other than the hero we’ve all come to know and love growing up is an interesting wrench to throw into the mix, but then when you add in the modern elements to the tale whilst centering on a main character who has no idea what’s happening… it’s fantastic stuff. Truly brilliant.
Unless the comics industry ceases any and all publication look for a future installment of Underrated to cover more comics that aren’t cracking the top 100.