Category Archives: Underrated

Underrated: The Incredible Hulk

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: Incredible Hulk.


The Marvel Cinematic Universe started off with Iron Man in 2008. You all know that, I’m sure. Just as you know that the second film was Incredible Hulk, released just over a month later. Unlike the other Marvel movies, Bruce Banner is play by Edward Norton in this film, the actor’s only appearance as the jolly green giant. This movie is also slightly harder to find than the rest of the MCU movies because it’s the only one that Disney doesn’t own the distribution rights to, as Universal own the distribution rights to the Incredible Hulk – as well as first refusal on any Hulk movie (which is why you haven’t seen a Hulk movie since this one).

When I first saw this movie I remember thoroughly enjoying the near two hours I sat in the theater, thinking that Marvel had gone two for two with their opening salvo.

Back to the bullet points!

  • Don’t expect to see the humour from Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk. This movie has odd lighter moments, but for the most part it’s much closer to a straight action film featuring a very reluctant hero.
  • Edward Norton plays a very good Bruce Banner. The years of running and hiding are etched into his face and body – do I prefer him to Ruffalo? I don’t know – each man takes a very different approach to the character, neither of which I dislike.
  • Emil Blonsky. I haven’t read a lot of comics featuring Emil Blonksy or the Abomination, but the former marine’s decsent into a power hungry, uh, abomination felt quite believable as the movie progressed. You knew it was coming, it was never a surprise to anybody – except Thunderbolt Ross. But watching a slightly powered up Blonksy thinking he can go toe to toe with the Hulk is…. pretty awesome.
  • The Hulk looks awesome. I enjoy the look of the Hulk in the later MCU movies, but there’s something savage and raw about how this Hulk looks on screen.
  • The CGI holds up. Ten years is a long time in the world of technology, and the advancements are often noticeable in the films of yesteryear verses today. Not so here.

The movie does have its moments where it doesn’t quite measure up, though. The inherent charm of the early (and most of) the MCU movies is missing, but given that this is only the second movie that’s to be expected. the MCU hadn’t found its identity just yet. The chemistry between Liv Tyler’s Betty Ross and Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner is spotty at times, but it’s far from being a reason to avoid the movie.

There’s been a lot said over the years about the MCU, and a lot of people have, and will continue to, overlook this film because, they’ve heard it’s not as good as the rest of the movies released around this Phase in the MCU. It is. But as I mentioned before, it’s also harder to find; it isn’t on Disney+ right now, and I haven’t seen it on Netflix in awhile (bear in mind I live in Canada so this may be different for you).

Thankfully, I still have the DVD I purchased when the film first came out – one of only two MCU DVDs I have since I started going for Bluray with Iron Man 2. If you can find it, then it’s well worth checking out one of the most underrated movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 100 For October ’19

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 October 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.


Battlepug #1 (Image)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 340/5,040
Why You Should Read It:
Mike Norton’s Battlepug is a glorious pastiche of high fantasy that features a fairly straight up barbarian with a giant pug. Think He-Man with a pug instead of Battle Cat and none of the Prince Adam and Cringer crap.

Black Terror #1 (Dynamite)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 300/6,117
Why You Should Read It: 
I’m always partial to pulp heroes, so this approach with the character having been alive since the 30’s without aging is an interesting take on the heroes of that era. That the comic also seems to touch on the addictive nature of super activity is an added layer that I can’t wait to see peeled away as the series progresses.

Bloodshot #2 (Valiant)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 282/6,891
Why You Should Read It: 
A popcorn action comic that does exactly what it needs to do. There’s nothing subversive about this book (yet), but it’s a great comic if you want to see a killing machine do his thing. Highly recommended.

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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.

Underrated: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

I may have spent far too much time over the last week watching Disney+. Because of that, I wanted to rerun an older column, and what better column than one focusing on the first chronological Star Wars movie?


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: Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace


Star_Wars_Phantom_Menace_poster.jpg

Released in 1999, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was written and directed by George Lucas, produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the first installment in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and stars Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Ahmed Best, Pernilla August, Brian Blessed, Ray Park, and Frank Oz. It  is also widely known for being a stonking pile of manure.

Released sixteen years after Return Of The JediThe Phantom Menace was set 32 years before Star Wars, and follows Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi as they protect Queen Amidala, in hopes of securing a peaceful end to a large-scale interplanetary trade dispute. Joined by Anakin Skywalker—a young slave with unusually strong natural powers of the Force—they simultaneously contend with the mysterious return of the Sith.

Now that you’ve read (basically) the first two paragraphs of the Wikipedia entry, allow me to tell you why this movie is underrated.

Look, I’m not claiming it’s good, just that it isn’t (quite) as bad as you think it is. And it does have good moments. If I can’t convince you, maybe I’ll make you laugh…?

Anyway.

If you’re of a certain age, or your parents are, then you would have been beyond excited to see this movie when it hit the theaters in 1999. I remember watching the lines on the local news back in England being in awe that anybody would care about a movie that much, but nearly twenty years later I can begin understand the level of excitement people would feel surrounding the return of such a beloved franchise – indeed, as I type this I am already planning to line up for the latest Star Wars flick, The Last Jedi, two hours before the screen doors open. But that’s after having two good movies released in the last two years, so can you imagine the excite fans of the franchise would have had in the weeks and months (hell, years) leading up to May 19th, 1999 when the movie finally opened for the masses. It would have been incredible! In the years before the widespread usage of the Internet (in comparison to what we see now), there were conversations in schools, at the water cooler and frankly anywhere fans would gather. The excitement was palpable wherever nerds and fans gathered. It’s hard to overstate how much hype was in the air surrounding the first Star Wars movie in sixteen years.

And then the movie was released.

fanboys.jpg
If you’ve never seen this movie, then you should check it out. It’s a great send up of nerd culture circa 1998 with a touching heart. Rumour has it the movie is based on real events – whether that’s true or not I’m unsure.

Look, without beating around the bush, it’s safe to say that it didn’t live up to expectations. At all. The movie is widely regarded as the worst live action entry into the saga, and rightly so, and fans have often said that the movie is best left forgotten in the deep recesses of history. Which is a touch harsh, but I understand where they’re coming from. But here’s the thing; despite the movie’s obvious flaws, I still feel like it gets the short end of the stick quite a bit.

Why? Well let me break out the bullet points…

  • Firstly, it was the first Star Wars movie in a generation, and as such it was the first time that many of us were able to sit in a chair and experience that title sequence – next time you see a Star Wars movie in the theatre and those titles start to roll with that music… you tell me that isn’t an incredible moment. Almost makes what came after those titles worth watching.
  •  Secondly, you can’t tell me you weren’t grinning from ear to ear with the extensive lightsaber duels. Everything is better with lightsabers.
  •  Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, there were people for whom this was the first Star Wars movie they’d experienced and as such it served, for those folks at least, as a gateway into the franchise.
  •  How many of you who did see, and loath, this movie in the cinema rushed out to see Episode II – Attack Of The Clones opening night because it couldn’t have been as band as this one, right? It wasn’t, was it? If nothing else, that the first movie was the worst in the new trilogy should be seen as a bright spot.
  • Dual lightsaber! Darth Maul’s dual blades were the first time we had seen a break from the standard style lightsaber from the original trilogy, which opened up a breadth of on-screen options for the iconic weapon going forward.
    darth maul.jpeg

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was always doomed to fail. No movie with as much hype as this one will ever meet expectations. But eighteen years on, while the movie may not hold up visually any more with the advances in digital technology, and Jar Jar Binks is still an annoying fuckwit, I came to realize that the movie isn’t as bad as you would think. Aside from Jar Jar, and a little too much time spent on the pod racing subplot, the movie isn’t bad. Could it have been better? Absolutely – I won’t argue that. But it wasn’t as  bad as you’ve heard, certainly not as bad as its reputation would have you believe.



Next week we’ll return to a more comic themed Underrated. Until next time!

Underrated: Your Local Comics Scene

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:  Your Local Comics Scene


 

In a slightly different than normal entry to this column (read I forgot to write one and am instead repurposing something else) I wanted to take a look at something that most of us either ignore or are blissfully unaware of, and that’s the comics being published in your local area. Obviously your definition of “local area” will vary depending on where you live; New York City may have a much smaller local sphere than my hometown of Exmouth in the South of Devon, England. The local scene there could more reasonably stretch across the entirety of the county of Devon, much like how I’d consider Atlantic Canada to be my current local comics scene now rather than any specific city or province within the region simply due to the volume of independent comics that I come across. But regardless of the size of your local area, my question to you, dear reader, is how active is your local comics scene, and when was the last time you actively sought out local-to-you comics at your Local Comic Shop?

I’ve found a couple of really interesting stories that way (some are also available as webcomics – such as this one), and some… less interesting. But the thing is, because they’re created by people who visit the same shops as I do across the region, I wanted to give them a shot. And I don’t regret doing that with any of the comics I’ve picked up over the years, whether they are from my region or local to an area I have traveled to. 

There’s a chance that your local area may not have anybody actively creating comics for the mass market, but you can probably find a small pamphlet like comic produced locally in a small corner of the shop or a local convention. And if you do find one, then why not check it out? You’ll be supporting local talent, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find your next favourite series…



That’s all we have for this week, folks. Come back next time  when there’s something else Underrated to talk about.

Underrated: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 100 For September ’19

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 September 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.


Banjax #4 (Action Lab)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 522/876
Why You Should Read It:
I said it last month, and I’ll say it again; selling less than a thousand copies is a criminal shame for this comic. Telling the story of a disgraced hero on a last quest to clear up crime in his city before his body succumbs to the cancer that resulted from the use of his powers, Banjax isn’t a comic with a happy ending, and writer Rylend Grant always seems to have another twisted angle on what could be a straight forward story to keep you guessing.

If you’re not going to read this in floppy format, at least check out the trade (assuming it gets one).

Outpost #13 (Image)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 388/1,779
Why You Should Read It: 
It may be the penultimate issue, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading. Actually, what it means is that this is a great time for you to plan to pick up the collected editions in the near future.

Psi-Lords #4 (Valiant)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 292/4,460
Why You Should Read It: 
An epic space romp featuring some utterly fantastic art, and a story that should be read multiple times, this issue is the end of the first arc (or at least where the first trade will end), and it is also a pretty solid jumping on place for yet another strong book from Valiant. .

The Crow Hack Slash #3 (IDW)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 288/4,656
Why You Should Read It:
As a big fan of the Crow, I will always read anything Crow-related. Usually, I end up with a half decent read, but this crossover has been really enjoyable. I’ve never met Hack and Slash before, but after this story, I’m more than likely going to be reading more about them in the future.

Tommy Gun Wizards #2 (Dark Horse)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 278/5,240
Why You Should Read It:
An interesting mix of genres, it’s exactly what you think it’s going to be. Urban fantasy based around the era of Al Capone (re-imagined as a bootleg magic operator verses alcohol). It’s something different, but incredibly good – and well worth your time and money.

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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.

Underrated: Crecy

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: Crecy.


I’ve always been interested by the middle ages, and the English use of the longbow. In part because it’s the origin of one of my favourite hand gestures to use (especially in North America when so few actually know what I’m doing in pictures). Needless to say, when I saw that gesture over a bloody St. George’s cross, I grabbed the book off the shelf. And then noticed that it was a Warren Ellis book.

I am by no means an authority on the Battle of Crecy. I only really know of a few accounts through Wikipedia articles and their sources and the Bernard Cornwall novels surrounding an English Archer named Thomas of Hookton, with the book Harlequin telling the tale of the battle from his perspective. So I won’t claim to know that this book is 100% historically accurate, but it is as faithful a telling as you’re likely to find from the eyes of an archer – whether in a textbook or not.

Ellis utilizes a lead character who frequently addresses the audience when telling the battle’s story and events, showing knowledge of modern times without ever indicating that he knows he’s in a fictional story. It’s an effective story device, and one that I really enjoy for this type of story (but I hope we don’t see it over used, either). The black and white are hides some of the violence, but serves to highlight the mayhem and carnage of the day.

Crecy is a great book – worth every penny of the cover price, and far more Underrated than it should be.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: Scarlet Spider (2012)

I recently, finally, found the Scarlet Spider Marvel Legends action figure after more than a year of searching. In honour of that personal triumph, I decided to reread the 24 issue Scarlet Spider series from 2012… and because of that, I wanted to revisit the series here.

It more than holds up.


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: The 2012 Scarlet Spider run.



Scarlet_Spider_Vol_2_1

I have always enjoyed stories about villains becoming heroes. With 2012’s Scarlet Spider we get exactly that. When I originally aded this to my pull list, I had assumed that the Scarlet Spider in question was Ben Reilly in a new costume, and not Kaine. I’m sure had I been reading the Spider-Man comics at the time I’d have known better, but I figured this was a good place to jump on board – and I wasn’t wrong.

But not for the reasons I expected. Instead of a heroic story featuring Ben Reilly, Scarlet Spiderdelivered something I wasn’t expecting – and ended up loving more than I thought I would.

The story starts with Kaine trying to get to Mexico, having recently been cured of the cellular degeneration he was suffering as a clone (it’s a whole thing that’s explained in multiple stories and other resources), he’s seeking a chance to finally live his life free of the constant agony he used to suffer. But, as with any good story featuring a Spider, things inevitably get in the way of that and Kaine gets stuck in Houston, quickly becoming the city’s own resident super hero. The series was written by Chistopher Yost, who was joined by a variety of hugely talented pencillers, inkers and colourists throughout the series 25 issue run (there were also  couple of specials and tie-in issues that bulk up the issue count if you want the whole story).

The full run remains one of my favourite Spider stories, in part because of the redemptive nature, but also because it’s just really good. But like all series that features a lesser known character it was cancelled because of low sales. Scarlet Spider is a brilliant alternate to Spider-Man as we see a hero with, as the tag line so eloquently puts it, “all of the power, and none of the responsibility.” But Kaine is still a Parker, and as he begrudgingly accepts the responsibility of being the Scarlet Spider, we get to see a villain slowly change into (well, almost) a hero.

This is a fantastic run, easily one of my favourite parts of my collection, but it’s one I don’t see getting the love it deserves – that’s why the book is Underrated.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: Batman And Robin. Yes, The Movie. No, I Am Not Joking

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: Batman And Robin.


You all know the general reputation of this movie. So bad that it ended the original run of Batman films. Nipples on the Batsuit and enough ice puns to chill a bottle of whiskey.

And let us not forget the Bat-credit card.

The last of the movie series that began with Tim Burton’s Batman is not thought of fondly, but I want you to think about a couple of points regarding the movie next time you want to hate on the only George Clooney Batman appearance.

  • It paved the way for Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy
    Alright, so this isn’t necessarily a good thing about the movie, but at least the follow up Batman flick led to one of the strongest movies featuring the Dark Knight we’ve had yet.
  • It’s the only film in which Batman does purposefully or accidentally kill somebody.
    When I say accidentally kill somebody, I mean those moments where he doesn’t seem to care what happens to criminals after he’s run them off a bridge. Or shot their vehicle with missiles. Or left a man on a train.
  • Think of it as a continuation of the Adam West Batman.
    All of a sudden the movie takes on an entirely new look when you see it as being an homage to the biffing and powing of the 60’s.
  • Once you accept it’s not a great movie, it’s surprisingly fun.
    This will never place highly on any comic fans order of Batman movies – at best it might be in the bottom two or three – but it’s always going to place high on the silly and goofy list. Sometimes, after imbibing some mind altering substances, that’s exactly what you want. Don’t take this movie seriously, and you’ll find it a very ice film.
  • Arnold’s ice puns are awful.
    Seriously, they’re very uncool. And yet… you can’t help but laugh at the sheer delight Arnold has in delivering them.
  • It really is so bad it’s great.
    There’s only a few movies that are so shit that you enjoy them, and this is the best of the ones featuring Batman.

You didn’t really think I’d claim this as a good movie, did you? It’s awful. But it’s so awful that it’s really enjoyable (unlike the theatrical cut of Batman V Superman which is considerably worse than the extended version). So enjoyable that it’s almost an underrated gem – which makes it the perfect movie to rewatch when you’ve got a spare moment and want a laugh.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: Thrud the Barbarian

This column is a rerun from late 2018. Enjoy!

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:  Thrud the Barbarian


Another week, and yet another case of “Alex bought something for Underrated without knowing anything about it beforehand,” or it would be had Alex not received Carl Critchlow‘s Thrud the Barbarian  a few years  ago from the now defunct Comic Bento. Published by Titan Comics, the trade paperback collects the original Thrud the Barbarian five issue miniseries, as well as a couple of single page shorts from White Dwarf magazine, and was originally published in 2013. If you missed this when it first came out, don’t be surprised – I’m not sure it was ever released on a large scale outside Britain.

Thrud the Barbarian is what I’d consider a quintessentially British comic; it blends in equal parts the violence , chaos and destruction that one would expect from a Conan parody with the silliness and tongue in cheek humour that wouldn’t feel out of place in a Monty Python skit. But with a lot more smashed heads and limbs flying free of bodies. The Titan Comics collection consists of five stories that can be read independently of each other (seven if you’re counting the bonus strips), or in one go – which is what I did when rereading it recently.

Honestly, I reread it because I was reorganizing my bookcase and saw the cover again and wanted something fun, easy and not too deep or involved to read. Thrud was certainly that, and I loved every irreverent thought, every stunningly painted cover, and the computer coloured artwork. It was exactly the kind of book that I needed to read after a busy week, a book that I am glad I own, and one I am even happier that I noticed on the shelf.

Thrud2

As a fan of heroic fantasy books, I loved Critchlow’s send up of the genre; the visualization and sight gags and some brilliant punchlines across all the stories in in the collection. I loved every aspect of this book; the sound effects, the dumb-as-a-post hero just wants his beer and the cartoon-like hyper violence that ties it all together in such a lovely package.

Without a doubt this is one of my favourite books I’ve ever written about for this column, even if I did forget I owned it for a little while.

And yet, had it not been for the Bento box, I would never have heard of this book. Which is easily one of the best aspects of the online blind box subscription thingies – the introduction to new and exciting books and comics you otherwise would never have been exposed to. Consequently, this is a book I don’t see getting the love it deserves – that’s why the book is Underrated.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

Underrated: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 100 For August ’19

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 August 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.


Banjax #3 (Action Lab)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 426/996
Why You Should Read It:
Selling less than a thousand copies is a criminal shame for this comic. Telling the story of a disgraced hero on a last quest to clear up crime in his city before his body succumbs to the cancer that resulted from the use of his powers, Banjax isn’t a comic with a happy ending, and writer Rylend Grant always seems to have another twisted angle on what could be a straight forward story to keep you guessing.

Grumble #9 (Albatross)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 396/1,285
Why You Should Read It: 
I feel like I’ve talked about this series quite a bit over the last few months… but it still remains (to my mind) one of the most underrated books out there. The mix of magic, dark humour and the underdog story just ticks every box for me.

Livewire #9 (Valiant)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 289/3,843
Why You Should Read It: 
Although we’re nine issues in, this comic kicks off a new arc that finds the titular hero address her PR problems (I mean accidentally killing hundred and thousands of people is more than a PR problem, but go with me here) in much the same way those running for public office tend to do. Making this a topical, and very interesting book.

The Life And Death Of Toyo Harada #6 (Valiant)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 271/4,558
Why You Should Read It:
I usually try and avoid two series from the same publisher in the same column of sales numbers, but The Life and Death of Toyo Harada was the culmination of Joshua Dysart’s work with the character across multiple series and around 50(ish) issues of story. It’s a phenomenal miniseries, and while you don’t need to read the build up, it certainly helps (especially with how good those books are). .

Image Firsts: Oblivion Song #1 (Image)
Sales Rank/Units Sold: 240/5,949
Why You Should Read It:
Oblivion Song‘s setting is brilliant, a post apocalyptic world mixed with a near future’s reaction to such an event. If you were ever curious about the series, this $1 comic is an ideal place to sate your curiosity.

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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.

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