Comic book fans may be some of the most fortunate followers on the planet. What was once an extremely niche market has now exploded into full-on multimedia empires. The days of being judged because you’re a comic fan is gone…now you’re judged by what you’re reading. Which can be very intimidating and frustrating! Someone who just caught a Spider-Man flick may look online and be overwhelmed by just how deep the rabbit hole goes. At the same time, a longtime fan of that “wall-crawling vermin” may want to whip over to something completely different. So how can you handle these situations? “Elementary, my dear Watson!” Cast your steely gaze to these five series and behold options for both the practiced and the piqued:
Arguably the easiest way to ease an aspirant into the asylum is to just throw them in the deep end and explain the questions as they arise. Though this series is meant to bridge the two Injustice video games (which are also well worth your time), this clash of DC’s titans has been deftly helmed by Tom Taylor and showcases nearly everyone under the DC umbrella. If you only know the heroes you’ve seen on your television screen, pick up this series and see how far the history goes.
More experienced comic fans may see the name Greg Rucka and immediately assume how the book is going to be. Even though “Guard” does feature a few of his strengths, the introduction of immortality allows Rucka and company to pay homage to a fascinating cross-section of pop culture. Fans of Wonder Woman’s strong female leads, The Walking Dead’s bleaker art style, or the concepts introduced by the Highlander series should pull this one as soon as they can.
Now, hear me out. What was widely ridiculed as a by-the-numbers, westernized Voltron has since become a vibrant comic series, finding its mechanized legs thanks to the excellent artistry of Jonas Scharf and Jamal Campbell. Older beginners may remember the television show and it’s hokey-ness, but show them this as a case study for how comics can revitalize any franchise.
Some of the best storytelling comes when you can’t always tell who is ultimately right or wrong. Cullen Bunn & Juan Doe excellently manipulate your perception of motivations as vampires, monsters, humans, and several other factions battle for control of the coveted Ark. Given Bunn’s X-Men pedigree and Doe’s artwork on American Monster, this is one series where the names alone should be enough to pique your interest.
“Old superheroes don’t just fade away. They grow old, useless — and very, very bitter!”
-The Blue Diamond
Thanks to the ground-breaking X-Men movies (as well as the excellent ‘90s animated series), the character of Wolverine has become something a gateway for more mature comic fans. The concepts of what aging can mean to even superpowered mutants evokes themes similar to countless vampire-centric series, however Wolvy’s quick wit and sardonic humor can also allow him to mesh well with a certain Merc With A Mouth.
Though these five span a wide swath of themes or styles, always remember that the best way to enjoy this remarkable medium is to approach it with a sense of curiosity and wonderment. Though if trying to find your next (or first!) series is leaving you riddled, Epikos can help you find friends in super unexpected places.