Markley’s Fevered Brain: Please, Please Read These Books

Wayne Markley

Wayne Markley


by Wayne Markley

As any comic book fan knows there are always new books coming out and books coming to an end. While this has always been part of the world of publishing, where supply and demand control the market, if a book sells it continues; if sales do not justify it, it is cancelled. In the modern era, say the last 20 years or less, in the world of comic books it has almost become absurd at the pace books are cancelled, relaunched or even entire universes (line of books) are cancelled, relaunched, or often forgotten about. The comic industry is littered with failed publishers going back to its beginnings. Starting and keeping a publishing company alive is a tremendous task, but an even bigger challenge is finding an audience. Yet, month after month, books and publishers come and go and no doubt, somewhere someone is disappointed. No matter how odd a book is, or how bad it may be (in my perception), there are always fans of that book. Not enough to make it cost effective to keep it going, but there are some fans of it. I am not even going to go into the whole concept of rebooting your universe of books and the comic centric obsession of starting over with #1 with the hopes of a spike in sales. So with this blog I want to spotlight some recent books that I have really enjoyed. They are not the best sellers, or the darlings of the speculators, but are well told comics, that with a few issues, or as a standalone story, really have impressed me. I want to spotlight these books because within the current marketplace these titles will likely not be here in a year without wider support, and I really would like to see these books succeed. I am sure it is no surprise I would highly recommend all of these books and I would strongly encourage you to seek them out.

Invisible Kingdom #3

Invisible Kingdom #3


Invisible Kingdom is a new book from Dark Horse comics that is the creation of G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward. Only after two issues this book has me totally enthralled as it is a vast story that pulls from many inspirations, including science fiction, fantasy, religion, politics, and many more. The story revolves around two women in a faraway solar system where they are on two very different paths (one has joined a religious order and the other is a fighter pilot), but their paths are destined to cross as both have discovered a vast conspiracy. This is a mix of complex storytelling with beautiful art. Unlike the other two books in this blog, this book is dark and does not have any humor and is a very serious story. I have enjoyed G. Willow Wilson’s writing for a number of years, going back to her Vertigo series, Air, and I loved her run on Ms. Marvel and I think she is currently doing the best Wonder Woman in years. So it is no surprise I enjoyed this story. I have not been a huge fan of Christian Ward’s art. I did not care for ODY-C and I liked his art more on Black Bolt, but here I really love it. It is like the pairing of Willow and Ward were meant for each other and bring out the best in each creator. I have no idea how long they plan to do this book but I hope it is for a long time. It is hard to compare it to another book out there but the closest would be Saga. I think anyone who really enjoys Saga would enjoy this book. Check it out!

Marvel Team-Up #1

Marvel Team-Up #1


Marvel Team-Up is a title that has a history going back to the early 1970s. It has been started and restarted a number of times over the years and has found mixed success. The first series had a long run with a number of memorable stories by a wide variety of creators, including a great run by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. There was also a very entertaining short run by Robert (Walking Dead) Kirkman. Recently, like in the last couple of months, Marvel has once again relaunched this title, this time the star is Ms. Marvel and she teams with different Marvel characters. The first three issue arc featured Spider-Man, appropriately. These stories were a riot. The premise is Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man keep switching bodies at random which leads to some very funny moments about a teen girl in an adult male body and vice versa. Writer Eve Ewing and artist Joey Vasquez are a perfect team. I think this book has so much potential as I really like the character of Ms. Marvel and her being a teen female makes for all sorts of interesting stories down the road from a point of view you do not see in most of the Marvel books. It is also a book that is fun to read. While there are your typical villains and lots of fights, it is peppered with humor and great characterization. I love how the characters interact and the dialogue is pitch perfect. The art is also beautiful. It is a style that perfectly captures the style of Ms. Marvel and still represents the traditional Marvel Universe. I look forward to this book almost more than any other book Marvel publishes. A great read that deserves your attention.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6


Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6 just came out and it is a standalone story. Yes, a story that starts, continues and wraps up in 22 pages. Amazing. On top of that, it is a warm and charming story about Spider-Man and his new partner, Spider-Bite. I cannot say a lot more about this book without giving away the surprise at the end of this story but I will say Spidey and Spider-Bite have to confront the Sinister Sixty! Yes, sixty! An instant classic! This series is written by one of my favorite current writers, Tom Taylor, and beautifully drawn by Juan Cabal who has a John Romita vibe with a modern take. Together these two have crafted a tale that is a wee bit predictable, but leaves you with a smile as big as the sun. I have no doubt this book will win awards when the time comics and I hope other creators and publishers take note that you can tell good, really good, stories in a single comic. I cannot recommend highly enough that you seek out this book and read it over and over.

This wraps up my blog for this time. I so enjoyed these books, alas for different reasons. Some because of the sense of fun and the light hearted storytelling, one because of the vastness and the potential of the story, one just because it warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face. Have you read any of these books? What do you think? Do you enjoy them as much as me? Why not? I would love to hear from you, I can be reached at MFBWAY@AOL.COM or on Facebook at Wayne Markley. All of the words and thoughts here are mine and do not reflect what anyone at Westfield Comics or their employees might think. As always…

Thank you.

 

USER COMMENTS

We'd love to hear from you, feel free to add to the discussion!