Tag Archives: comic book

In “Bliss” #1, Redemption Is A Hard Sale

Bliss #1 title cover

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! IF YOU DO NOT LIKE SPOILERS, GO ELSEWHERE!

CONTENT WARNING: There is a lot of discussion of some heavy topics in this review, including suicide, mass murder, and abuse. You’ve been warned.

After being disowned by their families, Benton O’Hara and his pregnant wife Mable move to Feral City. The metropolis lives up to its name with rampant crime and corruption. The last place you would dream of raising a child, and yet the young couple make it work. That is until their son, Perry, falls ill. Unable to pay the exorbitant medical bill, Benton turns to working for three reptilian humanoids who control Feral City. They make him into a hitman, easing him of the guilt with a drug called Bliss that wipes away unpleasant memories. Years later, Benton’s crimes have caught up with him. The families of his victims want retribution, but Perry, now a young man, is desperately trying to change their mind. Lethe, Goddess of Oblivion, is coming, and only Benton can stop her.  

Okay, full disclosure, I was very excited that Sean and Caitlin were collabing again. Their last book, Coyotes (which is also from Image) is one of my favorite series of all time. It criss-crossed feminism, lycanthrope mythos, and body horror in a glorious grindhouse story full of action and gothic art. It’s like a hybrid of From Dusk ‘Til Dawn and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  So, I have to admit a little bit of fanboy bias on my part, but I’m still a professional critic. Out of respect for Sean and Caitlin, I’m going to be completely honest about their new baby, both the pros and cons. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on Bliss #1.

The first thing that drew me straight into Bliss #1 is the cover. I mean, look at it. That’s how you make a freaking comic book! More specifically, I love how everything is composed. Benton O’Hara dead center in the foreground, his eyes full of woe, back to the reader except for his head turned toward them. It’s almost kind of sensual in a way. I can easily see our boy here modeling for an Irish Spring ad.  

Then there is the title raised just slightly above his head. Big ups to Caitlin for creating such a bold and striking letter design. Also, there’s a myriad of interesting details around Benton. The lake of black liquid he’s submerged in (which I assume is Bliss); the red orbs floating around him that, honestly, are unsettling given human heads are in them. As for the background, well I honestly don’t know what’s happening there. It looks like a huge dust cloud, so I’m guessing something’s either crumbling or exploding. 

Looking at this cover overall, I get strong feelings of both sorrow and Armageddon. It’s like the cover is warning me that a cataclysm is coming. Don’t know why I feel that, except maybe the fact the main antagonist is the goddess of oblivion. Whatever the case, this cover does an excellent job of wowing me into reading the book. A-freaking-plus! 

The issue opens up to a scene of Benton, old and looking like Yosemite Sam, belly-flopping  into a large body of black liquid. It’s more than likely a suicide. Did I mention those content warnings? Anyway, I can’t praise this page enough. I love how the four white-bordered panels in the center create the illusion of movement in an otherwise static landscape. I also love the choice of a mauvish color palette. It’s calming yet strangely sinister, like beneath the placidity is a dark undercurrent. Makes sense for a suicide attempt. Everything in the scene ties back to Perry’s narrative captions, too. He feels relief knowing he’s an insignificant speck in the universe. However, Perry and his dad are anything but insignificant to the citizens of Feral City. 

The next scene is a two-page spread that gives us a panoramic view of a courtroom that looks like it’s built inside of a cathedral. Up in the balconies and down in the pews are people crowded together, and I have to give more applause to Caitlin here. She drew every individual in this large crowd distinctively instead of making them all featureless cut-outs. There’s yet another brilliant color palette, as well. The yellow is so garish and bright that it captures the intensity of the scene. Perry is all alone, glared down by countless accusing eyes. He’s the only one arguing for his father’s life. Everyone else wants his head on a stake. 

Bliss #1 image A

This is what I love about Caitlin Yarsky’s art. It always invokes a mood and emotional response. I think that’s largely because of her art; it’s Gothic, literally by the definition in arts and literature. You can see European Gothic in the elaborate ornamentation of architecture and intricate, sharply-shaped panel layouts.  You can also see Southern Gothic in her characters. They’re drawn with a heightened plainness: bulgy eyes, disproportionate limbs, and facial expressions so over the top they cross into caricature. It reminds me a bit of Flannery O’Connor’s cartooning.

Illustration

 Even more impressive is that the characters aren’t ugly. These plain, lumpy people integrate with the beautiful architecture around them. Caitlin Yarsky’s art is a contradiction. That’s not a negative. Her style is such a fluid infusion of both European and Southern gothic that it creates worlds and characters that are both gorgeous and dark, enticing and foreboding. Even when she draws monsters, you can’t help but gaze in awe of them. 

Each page of Bliss #1 is executed flawlessly, aesthetically intoxicating while allowing the story to flow free of choppiness. Caitlin is the foundation of this book, essential and irreplaceable. If this series doesn’t recognize her to the industry as one of the great up-and-comers, we’ll be worse off for it.  

So, the art’s fantastic. Whoop Whoop! What about Sean Lewis’s writing? Well, that’s where things get uneven. As a playwright, Sean naturally uses dialogue for characterization. How characters speak to one another tells you the type of people they are, more so than exposition. A good example is Perry in the courtroom scene. He admits to being nervous, his body language only further confirming this fact. However, the love and loyalty he feels toward his father gives Perry the strength to try. That would be commendable if not for the kind of man Benton is, but we’ll get into that later.  

Sean’s dialogue, unique as it is, wouldn’t work without Caitlin’s character designs. Each person she draws is distinct, both in looks and body language. The best character is the one where you can recognize by name, voice, and looks all at once. I never confused a character for another, never forgot a single face. Considering how many comics I read, that’s a feat! 

With that said, there are some characters not as well-defined. Some are intentionally so. From reading Bliss #1, all I know about the three reptilian humanoids is that they run Feral City, serve Lethe, and want Benton to take care of “problem” people. After each job, they give him Bliss to wipe away the memories. I assume so the guilt doesn’t cause Benton to resist. I don’t know how they control Feral City, why they target certain people, or exactly how Bliss conveniently only gets rid of the memories they need gone.  Their ambiguity works though because it makes them scarier and powerful. It keeps the reader on their tones of just exactly what the trio is capable of. Also, it builds up anticipation for the next issues. 

However, there’s also Mabel, Benton’s wife and Perry’s mother. So far, she’s just a passive character, even the beautiful dance scene between her and Benton does more to characterize him. Bliss is obviously a father-son story, but I still can’t help feeling that Mabel is underwhelming, especially after Coyotes offered a superb cast of women and girls equal to the few male characters that appeared. I still think the O’Hara family are great characters. I hope Mabel gets to develop more in later issues. 

Another mixed bag is the world building. Feral City is introduced during Mabel and Benton’s backstory. We don’t see the full city, but are treated to a section of it. Both Caitlin and Sean establish the setting as a whole from this single splash page. Just look at the architecture with all its grit and decay. Combine that with the narrative caps personifying Feral City as a place that spies on you as much as the predators that live in it. 

Bliss #1 image B

We get to further learn just how messed up this place is in the next scene. As Benton walks by hospital rooms, we see. a woman slashed by her partner for trivial reasons, a man drained of his blood on the mere assumption of a crime, and a torturer waiting for his victim to heal so he can further torture him. Jesus in a Buick! This place makes Sin City look like 100-Acre Wood! 

That’s as much as we get to know about the world though. While I admire keeping the reptilian humanoids cryptic, I still feel like not enough was established about the world. I don’t even know how Lethe fits into all this. She’s not even mentioned by name. I only know she’s involved because of the solicitations. For a series compared to American Gods, I was hoping for just a little more of an established mythology. Coyotes #1 did so flawlessly, or at least from what I remember. I suppose it’s a matter of subjectivity.   

Bliss #1 image C

Speaking of subjectivity, it’s time to get serious. The main themes of Bliss are Forgiveness and Redemption. In spite of everything his father did, Perry’s trying to convince everyone to spare him. If they don’t, Lethe will destroy Feral City, and possibly the whole world too. It’s a very interesting twist. It’s also one that’s going to divide readers. 

Issue #1 focuses on Perry’s perspective, and he paints his father in a sympathetic light. He recalls memories of Benton’s love for his family, like when he fought off a mugger to bring Perry oranges while sick in the hospital. He then danced with Mabel to comfort her after getting an exorbitant medical bill. As much as I criticized this scene, I can’t deny how beautiful it is.

Bliss has also been compared to Breaking Bad, and I can definitely see similarities between both Walter White and Benton O’Hara. The thing is Walter White gets steadily less sympathetic during the show’s run. It’s hard to justify his actions when the bodies start mounting up. It stops mattering that he only wanted to provide for his family. By the end, most of everyone, including the audience, has turned on him.  

We already know Benton’s crimes. His downfall has already happened. That’s driven home when we see the faces of all his victims’ loved ones. Their grief and anger is painfully clear. It can’t be blamed on brainwashing. Benton chose to be a killer. Bliss merely wiped away any guilt he might have felt, which he eventually does as evidenced by his suicide attempt. 

Bliss #1 image D

Perry’s perspective cannot erase his father’s crimes. In fact, the focus on one side of the story makes him suspicious at best, and manipulative at worst. Perry does have a reason beyond self-interest. If Benton isn’t forgiven, Lethe is going to annihilate Feral City, probably the rest of the world included. You would think “Forgive my dad or an ancient deity will burn us all to a crisp” is a good trump card to play, but Perry doesn’t. This whole song and dance in the courtroom makes no sense.

Now, I know Sean Lewis. He’s a writer that plays the long game. All the unanswered questions are purposefully left in the air, both to build anticipation for subsequent issues and give time for readers to reflect. He’s a writer that wants to encourage critical thinking as much as entertain. That’s what I love about all his comics. I’m not one of those readers that demands to know everything right away. Hell, I despise that kind of thinking. I’m definitely thinking a lot about Bliss #1, which is why I have concerns.  

Forgiveness and Redemption are clearly themes Sean is tackling here. It even came up in Coyotes, which took the latter half of the series into a wildly new direction from your typical revenge tale. Setting up these themes around a horrendous individual is a daring risk, one that could have a big payoff if done well. On the flip side, it’s potentially a disaster if the bad guy is unjustifiably let off the hook. So far, I’m not really convinced Benton deserves forgiveness because I can’t find justification yet, and I’m concerned the Lethe angle could be a manipulative plot device if nuance isn’t applied. 

I think the reason I’m worried is everything happening in real life right now. If you don’t know, a number of professionals in the comics industry have been outed as sexual predators. This isn’t the first time. It’s been an ongoing problem. Some perpetrators have been reprimanded, but usually only if they become too much of a PR problem. Two camps have come out of this discourse. Those who want justice but also healing and reform, and then those that want no second chances. 

I mostly agree with the former, but I can also see where the latter are coming from. Forgiveness means nothing if perpetrators don’t really change, not if all they’re given is a slap on the wrist. Hell, many times they don’t even get that. I was told once that forgiveness isn’t for the perpetrator, it’s also for the victim, a means to let go and be free of all the hurt. It’s a nice thought. Too bad that same person hurt me worse than anyone else ever has. They weaponized their own advice to get away with it. Since they show no remorse, I don’t feel compelled to forgive them. 

That doesn’t mean forgiveness is impossible, nor that it can’t heal both parties. However, it is a complicated issue, there are no easy answers, and no one case is the same. Also, personally speaking, there are crimes that are just unforgivable. Some villains just deserve to burn, end of story. 

With everything said, I applaud both Sean and Caitlin for tackling these themes. It frustrates me and I question its moral implications, and that’s a good thing. I’m so tired of stories that are unchallenging, that only want to assure an audience’s moral certainty. I want to fight with a story, argue with it, have it dissect me, and vice versa. For that alone, I recommend Bliss #1 on top of Caitlin’s amazing artwork. Whether or not the story succeeds depends on how it unfolds. At least for now, I’m compelled to keep reading. 

Story: Sean Lewis Art: Caitlin Yarsky
Story: 7.5 Art: 10 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


 Purchase: comiXology KindleZeus Comics

Spawn #301 Todd McFarlane and Greg Capullo Covers Revealed

Image Comics is pleased to reveal more covers for the upcoming record-breaking, history-making Spawn #301 issue by Todd McFarlane, President at Image Comics and creator of Spawn.

This record-breaking Spawn #301 hits stores on Wednesday, October 2.

  • SPAWN #301 CVR A MCFARLANE – JUL190084
  • SPAWN #301 CVR B CAPULLO – JUL190085
  • SPAWN #301 CVR C VIRGIN CAPULLO – JUL190086
  • SPAWN #301 CVR D ALEXANDER – JUL190087
  • SPAWN #301 CVR E CRAIN – JUL190088
  • SPAWN #301 CVR F OPENA – JUL190089
  • SPAWN #301 CVR G VIRGIN MATTINA – JUL190090
  • SPAWN #301 CVR H PARODY MCFARLANE – JUL190091
  • SPAWN #301 CVR I B&W MCFARLANE – JUL190092
  • SPAWN #301 CVR J 25 COPY INCV VIRGIN MCFARLANE – JUL190093
  • SPAWN #301 CVR K ROSS – JUL198671
  • SPAWN #301 CVR L VIRGIN ROSS – JUL198672
  • SPAWN #301 CVR M SIENKIEWICZ – JUL198673
  • SPAWN #301 CVR N VIRGIN SIENKIEWICZ – JUL198674
  • SPAWN #301 CVR O CAMPBELL – JUL198675
  • SPAWN #301 CVR P VIRGIN CAMPBELL – JUL198676
  • SPAWN #301 CVR Q BLANK SKETCH CVR – JUL198708

Momentum and frenzied buzz surrounding the classic antihero series continues to build leading into the record-breaking Spawn #301 when Spawn becomes the longest running creator-owned comic in the world.

Erik Larsen Shares His DC/Image Crossover Art

Word of a possible crossover between DC Comics and Image Comics broke earlier this year. While the project looks dead, Erik Larsen shared art he was doing for his part of the event.

Larsen shared the pencils to an image featuring a Fawcett inspired Captain Marvel and his own Savage Dragon. The two styles in characters stand out making this a company crossover comic fans are worse off for not seeing.

Larsen in a comment says the juxtaposition inn style and characters is on purpose as he’d “prefer contrasting characters to similar ones.”

While the event was sure to sell issues, probably dominate the top ten, and spur too many news articles to count, according to Larsen it was a combination of issues between the two publishers that ended the project.

As Larsen comments in his post:

DC soon found that there weren’t enough willing parties that could get the job done in their timeframe. There were folks at Image who thought it would help DC more than it would Image (since DC would be publishing it) and folks were talked out of participating. The only Image founder onboard was me. Others were creators from the second wave.

The project leaking to a rumor site didn’t help matters sucking the wind out of the room.

Erik Larsen Captain Marvel Savage Dragon

War Is Hell, But What If She Looked Like This? Valiant Releases a Lettered and Colored Preview of The Forgotten Queen #1

Valiant has revealed a stunning first look at the lettered and colored pages from The Forgotten Queen #1, the debut issue centered on the powerful immortal with the uncanny ability to cause conflict and violence wherever she goes!

Long ago, the mighty generals of the Mongol Empire rode from Siberia to Carpathia and conquered all who stood in their way. Legends tell of a witch who walked with them, who could infect the hearts of any warriors in her midst with an unquenchable thirst for battle and bloodshed…a War-Monger. And now she is walking again!On February 27th, 2019, superstar-in-the-making Tini Howard and powerhouse artist Amilcar Pinna unleash hell in a brand-new saga of honor, love, and savagery that’s centuries in the making, featuring covers by Kano, Viktor Kalvachev, and Veronica Fish!

Review: Britannia: Lost Eagles Of Rome #3

BRITANNIA3_003_COVER-A_MACKAntonius Axia has survived the wilds of Britain and witnessed the horrors of his own homeland…and now, the trail of Emperor Nero’s stolen eagles relics has led him and gladiatrix Achillia to the newly annexed province of Egypt! But, those who once held power in the Fertile Crescent might not be so quick to welcome them…or any other nosy Romans, for that matter!

There’s something strangely refreshing about reading a comic that is effectively a police drama set in the first century AD. Unlike the previous two issues, there’s no hint of the supernatural elements that featured in the previous two minieries (nor the titular island), but I find the lack of these things add an interesting element to the story – Antonius is waiting for, or at least aware of the possibility that these things exist in the world, but hasn’t yet come to the conclusion these things are the only solution.

Peter Milligan is joined by a host of talented artists this issue (full credits below), and once again delivers a comic that maintains the consistent quality established from the outet of this miniseries and avoids any of the pacing issues that can plague four issue story arcs. Contrary to what you’d expect, there is a definite feeling at the end of this issue that the story can be wrapped up in the following 22 odd pages; most four issue miniseries I’ve read lately seem to spend two and a half issues setting up the story only to rush it’s conclusion in the following issue. No, instead we get a well paced comic that balances the proceedural aspects of a detective show with the swordplay you’d hope given the timeframe of the story.

Artistically, the comic is another win as Robert Gill (with Juan Castro and Brian Theis)’s line work is clean, concise and oh-so-easy to read. The choreography during the fight scenes highlights our heroes’ skills without diminishing the threat of those they’re facing, and the scenary has a beautifully ominous feel about it. Surely the sense of forboding within these pages comes from Jose Villarrubia (with Andrew Dalhouse)’s colouring work.

Britannia: Lost Eagles Of Rome #3  has this miniseries on pace to be the best yet of the three in Peter Milligan’s story – and was the first in which I wasn’t waiting for the cameo of another Valiant character. Ultimately, if you’re already reading this series then you’re going to be happy with this issue. If you’re not partaking in Britannia, why not?

Story: Peter Milligan
Art: Robert Gill with Juan Castro
and Brian Theis
Colours: Jose Villarrubia
with Andrew Dalhouse Letters: Dave Sharpe
Story: 8.8 Art: 8.9 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Dark Souls: Age of Fire #2

DARK SOULS: AGE OF FIRE #2

Writer: Ryan O’Sullivan
Artist: Anton Kokarev
Cover A: Pablo Fernandez Angulo
Cover B: Anton Kokarev
Publisher: Titan Comics
FC, 32pp, $3.99, On sale: June 20, 2018

Direct tie-in to Dark Souls One, debuting on Nintendo Switch and being rereleased on PS4, Xbox One and PC in 2018!

Written by superstar writer Ryan O’Sullivan!

Return to the very beginning of the Dark Souls story with a dramatic retelling of the legends of Gwyn – Lord of Cinder and Knight Artorias!

Underrated: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 300 For February

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 February.


This week we’re going to be looking at a list of comics that are all fantastic, 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 300 in sales.

Where possible, I’ve also avoided comics that have appeared on the last version of this list, but the only hard stipulation for this week: not one of the comics made it into the top 300 for January’s comic sales, according to Comichron, which is why they’re Underrated.

ARM_001_COVER-B_RYPTMNT Universe #19 (IDW)
February Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 213 / 7,429
A new story that feels freshly familiar to fans of the Turtles that acts as a showcase to some newer characters. This series has been consistently thoroughly enjoyable for some time, and this issue is no exception.

Bloodborne #1 (Titan Comics)
February Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 227 / 6,766
A series based on a video game that doesn’t suck? Believe it or not, yes. I read this before playing the game, and the comic was more than capable of standing alone as a creepy and intense setting, but after playing the game a little I can honestly say this comic is a brilliant adaptation.

Armstrong And The Vault Of Spirits #1 (Valiant) 
February Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 271  / 5,038
A one shot story about family, immortality, and bad luck. Armstrong brings his friends to his gargantuan vault of various wines and spirits to reminisce about days gone by, only to be attacked by an evil alliance of all of his enemies. Blending comedy and emotional impact seamlessly into an brilliantly fun comic, this should have been read by more people than it was.

Fence #4 (Boom!)
February Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 374 / 2,601
Innocent, entertaining and a perfect break from some of the more universe spanning multi-part epics from other publishers. A not so guilty pleasure of mine that reminds me of when I used to stab other people in white coats (though not nearly as well).

Fu Jitsu #1 (Aftershock)
February Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 442 / 1,204
An utterly crazy concept where the villain is Robert Wadlow (who didn’t die). I have no words for this series, other than it’s a blast.


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.

Preview: Despicable Deadpool #295

Despicable Deadpool #295

(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Matteo Lolli (CA) Mike Hawthorne
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Feb 28, 2018
SRP: $3.99

BUCKET LIST Part 4
Wade continues checking off his BUCKET LIST! Deadpool continues to wrap up his remaining business, you know, just in case. This time…Madcap is back to ruin his life! Then – is Deadpool really going to kill Apocalypse? That’s his next target…sort of…

Underrated: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 300 For January

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 Diamonds top 100 sellers for October.


This week we’re going to be looking at a list of comics that are all fantastic, 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 300 in sales.

Where possible, I’ve also avoided comics that have appeared on the last version of this list, but the only hard stipulation for this week: not one of the comics made it into the top 300 for January’s comic sales, according to Comichron, which is why they’re Underrated.

fighting american 4Fighting American #4 (Titan Comics)
January Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 410 /1,838
A continuation of Kirby and Simon’s original series that finds the 50’s heroes (and villains) in the modern day, this series has been an off beat hero-out-of-time style romp that fans of Kirby and/or Simon should be checking out.

Comic Book History Of Comics: Comics For All #2 (IDW) 
January Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 401 /1,999
What better way to explore the history of  comics than via comics? This well researched and engaging series is a fantastic window into the history of comics; there is a lack of focus on some artist and creators, but as a stepping stone into comic book history then this is as good a place as any to start.

Walt Disney Comics And Stories #741 (IDW)
January Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 361 /2,863
Innocent, entertaining and a perfect break from some of the more universe spanning multi-part epics from other publishers. A not so guilty pleasure of mine.

Will Eisner’s The Spirit: Corpsemakers #5 (Dynamite)
January Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 314 /3,829
The conclusion to the miniseries that will pull you away from traditional capes and tights and back into the Spirit’s noirish world. It’d be a much better idea for you to pick up the full series, or the eventual trade, than starting with this issue – but then whatever floats your boat, right?


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: Comics Not In Diamond’s Top 100 For December

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 Diamonds top 100 sellers for October.


This week we’re going to be looking at a list of comics that are all fantastic, 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. You’ll notice that there’s only one comic from a publisher featured – this was done to try and spread the love around, rather than focus exclusively on one publisher.

Where possible, I’ve also avoided comics that have appeared on the last version of this list, but the only hard stipulation for this week: not one of the comics made it into the top 100 for November’s comic sales, according to Comichron, which is why they’re Underrated.

cp noble 7Catalyst Prime Noble #7 (Lion Forge)
December Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 442 /925
Obviously this isn’t a first issue, but it’s still a criminally unread series that is part of a fantastic and exciting superhero universe. Honestly, you can’t go wrong with anything under the Catalyst Prime banner.

Skin and Earth #6 (Dynamite)
December Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 263 /4,689
A comic written and drawn by the musician Lights as a companion to her recent album, the comic may not be on your radar, but it’s one that you should take your time with; allow the music and art to permeate your brain and circle around the grey matter before digesting the story. It’s ambitious, but it works.

Judas #1 (Boom!)
December Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 224 /6,671
A very interesting look at Judas after his betrayal of Jesus. It’s a surprisingly ambitious comic that deserves your attention, not necessarily for the subject matter, but rather the unique way the comic is constructed.

Ninja-K #2 (Valiant)
December Sales Rank/Comics Sold: 167 /10,396
A new look at Valiant’s purple clad spy, and the history of MI6’s Ninja Programme is explored in this series. It doesn’t hurt that it’s some of the best writing Ninjak has seen in some time, and the comic looks fantastic; plus, it’s still early enough for you to hop right into the series without having to play significant catch up.


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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