Yes, I read comic books. Why? Because, as a law student, I spend every day reading 200 pages of legal cases that involve people doing horrible things to each other. And every once in a while I like to believe that not all bank robberies end in a triple homicide, but with the bad guys getting caught in a giant spider web.
Comic books are escapism at its best. They’re fun and quick to read and I recommend them to everyone. Then again, what do I know? As I write this I am watching the movie Made of Honour, which I PVR’d last night. Patrick Dempsey in HD, bitches.
Now, I know what you’re thinking; you haven’t read a comic book since your dad bought you one when you stayed home from school in grade six, how are you supposed to catch up on everything that’s happened to Batman since then? Well, you can go to your local library, which has a large collection of comic books, or you could go to your local comic book shop and spend hundreds of dollars to buy out their backlog. Either way works. What you shouldn’t do is realize that almost every comic ever written is available online and can be found at isohunt.com, and then download a program called CDisplay to read them. Because that’s immoral; don’t do it. You’re a bad person if you do.
Since everyone can name some comic books out there (Superman, Amazing Spiderman), here are some that exist outside the Marvel and DC worlds, and can be read on their own without following a series of other comics that they might make cameos in.
A clandestine government funded hit squad makes sure that company funded superheroes don’t get out of line. They keep them in check by kicking ass and occasionally punching holes through them. Think of the Stonecutters with superpowers. They also swear a lot in different accents.
What if Superman was a closet sociopath who one day snapped on the world? In this series, “the Plutonian” has mysteriously gone mad and is taking out his anger on the world. With about 15 issues out, this series is just over a year old and can be caught up with quick. Also see Incorruptible, which deals with his mortal enemy (“Max Damage”) who suddenly decides to turn good.
GI Joe: Cobra
A shitload grittier than the 1986 cartoon movie (which I once watched every single day at my neighbour’s house over the summer, and once again last week), the series is a re-imagining of the GI Joe universe that follows undercover agent “Chuckles” as he tries to infiltrate a shady new worldwide cult, “The Coil.” The first issue has him executing his fellow GI Joe girlfriend to prove his loyalty, and it gets darker and awesome-er from there.
The police department that deals with the superhero set. Very sarcastic, very good. Go and read it, like seriously.
The terrible-yet-hunky portrayal by Ryan Reynolds aside, Deadpool is a fourth-wall breaking anti-hero with two separate narrators, neither of which seem to like him. Or each other. The man has four series (Deadpool, Merc with a Mouth, Team-up and MAX), pick one and enjoy.
There are lots of other great ones out there (X-Factor, Fables, God Complex) Once again, please don’t just go online and download them. Even though in the next 10 minutes you could have literally hundreds of comics ready to be read, that’s wrong. Support your local comic book store.
image: Pete Yee