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6 More Lesser Known Comics You Should Be Reading

Not to be outdone I feel I should throw my own picks into the ring here.  These are the comics that I highly recommend that most people may have passed up on first go, and these also are generally the comics I am most excited to read each week.

#6 – The Zombies That Ate The World

Let’s just start out by saying that this comic is just crazy psychotic fun.  Here we have a world where Zombies are everywhere.  The key difference here is that these aren’t Zombies as we know them.  They are treated as the “Living-Impaired.”  The main characteristic is that the Zombies of this world aren’t flesh-hungy monsters like yours truly.  These are just people who no longer have to worry about death or anything.  They are lazy pains in the butts who just don’t care about anything.  Here we have collections of short stories that often revolve around a group of characters who make their living as Zombie Catchers.  These stories are dark, twisted, and hilarious.  It covers the gambit from retired zombie actresses, to dealing with racism against zombies, to creepy fetishists who prefer a taste of the living dead (is that still necrophilia?). 

#5 – The Mighty

I can’t really say too much about this series without giving anything away.  This story takes place in a world where there is one Superhero named Alpha One.  He follows the standard framework of invulnerability, flight, super senses, super strength, and he works a company whose sole purpose is helping him save as many lives as possible while making some profit merchandising.  That’s just the overlying setting though.  We quickly get into the gut of the comic as it develops into a dark murder mystery and we slowly get subtle glimpses that there is much more to Alpha One than it appears.  What this comic does well is that you really love Alpha One, and yet the art and direction gives you the feeling that something’s off.  When things start to happen you’re left wondering why things are happening like they are.  Each issue we get a bit more about the character and it leaves you eager for more.

#4 – Locke & Key

If any one comic is bringing horror-mysteries back to the genre it’s this one.  This is a story of a family that inherits a small mansion with a dark past that they aren’t aware of.  Those in the family are survivors of a viscious attack by two psychopathic high school boys that even attended the same school as two of the kids in the family.  They try and rebuild their lives in this new town, and that’s where the basic premise falls.  Then things start to happen.  We find out that this house is full of special doors and special keys.  Each key does something unique whether it’s turning you into a ghost or opening up your head literally so that you can see hypothetical embodiments of your memories and emotions.  This world is incredibly fleshed out and highly creative and on top of it all you have this massive murder-mystery that’s taking place revolving around the house and the family.  The tension in the series is tense and you really worry about the characters who find themselves constantly surrounded by evil without even knowing it.

#3 – Irredeemable

Imagine a world where there are a number of superheroes, and there’s one Superman-like character named the Plutonian who truly stands out among them.  He’s the best of the best and is who the world turns to when they need help.  Now imagine what would happen if he snapped and turned against everyone.  This is the world of Irredeemable, and it’s amazing.  We see the story from the viewpoint of the world and a group of superheroes who are constantly hiding because the Plutonian is trying to kill them whenever he can, and often succeeding.  We watch the downfall of this former hero into a psychotic madman with each issue.  How do you stop what can’t be stopped? 

#2 – The Sword

Lemme just start by saying that this is probably one of the most stunning comics out at the moment.  The story behind the Sword revolves around a paraplegic college girl named Dara Brighton.  One day people attack her seemingly normal family and slaughter them with a number of elemental powers.  In the attack Dara gets knocked into a hidden chamber in her house where she finds a magic Sword that allows her to walk and gives her super strength, reflexes, and other abilities.  Thus starts a mission of vengeance upon her attackers who she finds out are children of an old god from long ago and have mastery over the elements.  Up till now they had been kept in check by her father who was an immortal warrior who wielded the sword.  The art in this series is colorful, bright, and feels very real.  It is because of this that it makes the visceral and realistic nature of the series all the more poignant.  The characters act and react very realisticly, and the violence in the comic relates that as well.  This is a very gory book.  I can’t stress that enough.  This book makes me cringe sometimes at the incredibly detailed and accurate violence that occurs to characters as a result of being attacked by someone with super strength. 

#1 – The Walking Dead

This is probably the comic that you have heard about or seen.  It’s probably the best written comic out there right now, but a lot of people pass it up thinking it’s just another zombie book or they don’t like the black and white art.  If there’s one thing this book is not it’s not “just another zombie book.”  This is a masterful tale of people attempting to survive in an apocalyptic world.  We focus on a small town Sheriff named Rick who wakes up from a coma to a world populated by zombies.  You can draw similarities and debate whether 28 Days Later or this had it first, but that’s missing the point.  The series quickly abandons the standard Zombie tale by focusing on the people that Rick meets and everything they do just to survive.  Here is where the story focuses less on Zombies, and more on the people trying to cope and deal with their new world.  Often times you’ll find the Zombies taking a backseat to the drama of the characters, but it is in those cases that the brutality of humanity comes to light.  This is a DARK book.  Anyone who has read anything by Robert Kirkman knows that he doesn’t pull punches.   This is expressed no better than in this comic.  No one, and I mean no one is safe in this book.  People are killed, maimed, beaten, and it’s shown in every disturbing detail.  This where I would actually say the black and white style really helps this aspect stand out.  I’ve never been so angry at a comic book as I get at this one.  You really get involved with the characters and the things that happen to them in the way they happen just make you react.  You can’t help but react somehow.  That’s something that not enough comics have these days.  There is no happy ending in this story and you must read it from the beginning.  With a TV series on the way the popularity of this series can only go up.  This comic makes me sad to be a member of the undead.  I’ll never eat you Rick!  Kirkman on the other hand….

  1. 5yphon
    October 7, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    I agree with all of these! I have sampled issues from these and give you kudos!

  2. jettwinlock
    October 7, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Great I want the Irredeemable and the Mighty and can’t find them anywhere as well as some that 5yphon said. Thanks you two like I don’t have enough comics to read your trying to get me hooked on even more. The —-.

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