RECOMMENDED NERD PORN
After what was nearly a five-year break, I have returned to the world of comic books and these are the titles I am reading and REALLY enjoying.
SWAMP THING - I will admit, never EVER did I think I’d enjoy a Swamp Thing book - being I’ve never been a fan of campy horror and I usually stick to traditional superheroes (normal dude, special powers) - however this book is FANTASTIC. The art, the story, the presentation… it’s all phenomenal. The combination of writer Scott Snyder and artist Yanick Paquette is a match made in heaven. I guess what I’ve learned here is that sometimes great storytelling allows a book to transcend its genre and become universally inviting. If you haven’t given this one a try I recommended doing so immediately.
BATMAN - Scott Snyder IS comic books right now. I don’t read every series out there, nor do I come close, but out of everything that I do read no one appears as focused as Snyder. This is the best Batman book I’ve ever read and so far the series is only 8 issues deep. I dare you not to stir in your seat during the eerie twist and plot developments of issue #3. The tale of the Court of Owls is haunting and one of the most memorable comic book experiences of my life. No joke.
SCARLET SPIDER - Anyone who is a fan of Spider-Man should enjoy this book. Don’t let the stigma of the clone saga from the 90’s deter you from reading this one. The story and art are both high caliber and the subject matter is engaging because of the morally grey decisions made by Kaine - who is the definition of an antihero. I would say the content is somewhere between Amazing Spider-Man and the current Venom series. If you enjoy either of those books, you’ll surely dig this.
THE WALKING DEAD - When someone says, “The Walking Dead comics are much better than the television show”, they aren’t lying. And that’s coming from someone that discovered the show before the comics. This may be the first series ever to completely hold my attention through every issue released. At first it may seem that the book’s absence of color could compromise the integrity of the presentation but the story, character development, and attention-to-detail are entrancing enough that after a few issues I bet you won’t even notice it’s all black-and-white.
VENOM - I’ve been a fan of the symbiotes (mostly Venom and Carnage) since I was a tyke, so needless to say, I had to check this one out. Eddie Brock is no longer Venom, now, Flash Thompson is utilizing the suit to work for the military. This is an odd book that is sometimes the victim of unfocused story progression and off-the-wall scenarios. But regardless of those shortcomings, it’s a lot of fun, and sometimes that’s really all that matters.
THE FLASH - I really don’t have a ton to say about this book besides I’ve really been enjoying it thanks to some masterful artwork and coloring. The writing is also very strong but the visual presentation definitely overshadows it.
Other series I’m currently following are: Adventure Time, Amazing Spider-Man, Aquaman, Batman and Robin, Blue Beetle, Justice League, and Nightwing. I’ve also been reading Avengers vs. X-Men but so far it’s been sloppy and underwhelming. It’s not terrible but it definitely has yet to find its stride. If you’re looking to get back into comics or even get started I recommended looking to DC’s The New 52 reboots.
And don’t forget the most important rule of handling comic books: “Turn the page, wash your hands. Turn the page, wash your hands. Turn the page…”
— Filburt Shellbach