This blog is written in response to a post I recently read: 13 Comics To Read in 2013- Black Superhero Edition. I believe the blog’s intentions were good, trying to highlight some comics that feature prominent Black characters. However, I still found it rather glaring that, out of the 13 books, 9 of them were either Marvel or DC books, and neither of those companies has a great track record when it comes to portraying Black characters. I was particularly struck by a line in that post regarding New Avengers:
Ok so the return of the Black Panther to a monthly title finds him not flying it solo but we do have to take what we can get.
WRONG. We do NOT have to take what we can get from Marvel or DC. There are other quality books, from independent publishers, by Black creators, and/or featuring Black characters. Here are some of my picks:
1/THE MANY ADVENTURES OF MIRANDA MERCURY: TIME RUNS OUT
From writer Brandon Thomas and artist Lee Ferguson: Miranda Mercury, the greatest adventurer in this or any other galaxy, is dying, and there’s no possible cure. With only one year left to live, Miranda is forced to wage the greatest fight of her life, and secure the heroic legacy that has defined her since she was a young girl. Her morality will be tested, her values shaken, and the partnership that means everything to her will never be the same. For Miranda, victory is once again impossible – but that’s never stopped her before!
I got this, and I loved it! Great sci-fi action/adventure! I cannot recommend it enough. 5 STARS.
Available in hardcover on AMAZON,
2/PRODIGAL: EGG OF FIRST LIGHT
From writer Geoffrey Thorne and artist Todd Harris: Rough week for Jacinto & Lennox Retrievals. Monday: The Egg of First Light is stolen. Tuesday: J&L are hired to retrieve it. By Thursday alien magic, super assassins, and Armageddon stand between them and their payday. Friday: Ka-Boom?!
Think: Moonlighting meets Indiana Jones. This is a fun action book. 5 STARS
Available in paperback via AMAZON
From writer Brandon Easton and artists Scott Kester & Ryo Kawakami: Rictor Caesaro, a soldier in the New Earth Alliance elite corps, kills his commanding officer during a botched riot control mission. He is sentenced to life in the Sanctuary District – a special prison camp located deep in the swamplands of the South. In this dark domain, Rictor uncovers a secret that not only threatens his life, but the fate of the Earth.
Intriguing political science-fiction story. 4 STARS
Available from AMAZON
4/THE HORSEMEN: DIVINE INTERVENTION
From writer & artist Jiba Molei Anderson: The gods of ancient Africa have possessed seven people to protect humanity from itself…whether humanity wants them to or not. They have been chosen to combat those who control the fate of the planet. Who controls the eight immortals but the number seven? The world of The Horsemen is one of political intrigue, hip urban science fiction, and mythological fantasy where the actions of beings with immense power and extraordinary ability have reality-altering consequences.
This is some deep shit. 4 STARS
Available from AMAZON,
5/THE HORSEMEN: BOOK OF OLORUN
The follow-up: Time has passed since the arrival of the Horsemen. Others with extraordinary abilities have appeared. They are not Orisha, not Deitis, but something else. Which side will they choose? And who controls the Eight Immortals but the number Seven?
These two books have been out for a while, and are criminally slept-on. Reading these made me look up more info on African mythology, which I didn’t know much about before. 4 STARS
Available from AMAZON and INDYPLANET
6/ROUTE 3 #1
From writer Robert Jeffrey II and artist Sean Damien Hill: Sean Anderson’s greatest concern right now is surviving 10th grade. He has no idea that a series of events which began on a Virginia plantation in 1690, will lead him to gain the absolute power to set a fractured world on the right course. That is, if he can survive 1st period.
Just one issue but, so far, it’s off to a decent start. 3 1/2 STARS
Available from AMAZON
From writers Anthony Montgomery and Brandon Easton, and artists Jeff Stokely & Jey Odin: Miles Away is an epic action adventure about Maxwell Miles, a shy, teenage orphan with super-photographic reflexes. Max’s already odd life goes beyond Twilight Zone territory when he encounters alien refugees who involve him in an interstellar war connected to his family’s dark past! Aided by remarkable companions, young Max battles evil entities on two worlds: Future Earth and Ro-Twyla!
This book has a nice Saturday Morning Action Cartoon feel to it. 4 STARS
Available from AMAZON
From writer Daniel McNeal and artist Charlie “FAB” Goubile: Corsairs is a story about a crew of rebel space pirates from poverty stricken colonies, who are forced to rob and steal for their own survival!
Fantastic sci-fi action. 4 STARS
Available from INDYPLANET
9/URBAN SHOGUN: THE EVOLUTION OF COMBAT
From writer/artist James “MASE” Mason and artists Tariq Hassan and Stanley Weaver Jr.: Follow the exciting adventures of students of an inner-city martial arts school and their Kung Fu Style wars on the streets of Atlanta. Specializing in updated forms of Five Animal Kung Fu, Tiger, Crane, Phoenix, Mantis and Cheetah protect the streets from criminals and their dangerous martial arts rivals – the Venom Clan!
This is some exciting stuff, despite being line art, it actually looked kinda animated! 5 STARS
Available from INDYPLANET
10/STREET TEAM #0
From a bunch of indy creators, Stanley Weaver Jr., Joseph Currie, James “MASE” Mason, Shawn Alleyne, Koran Curtis: After a LARGE-SCALE surprise attack has rendered the city of Bridgeport defenseless. GRANDMASTER OGUNN and his newly acquired alliances have moved in for TOTAL DOMINATION of Bridgeport and the other surrounding cities. Standing in their way are 5 street level heroes, from 5 independent comics who have joined forces to put a stop to Their master plan. Join Aaron, Blackbird, Dodger, Tiger, and Stalker as they have united to face an adversary so cunning and so dangerous, that only by working together do they stand a chance of stopping the “REIGN OF THE IRON DRAGON”.
This book is Intense! 4 STARS
Available in print from INDYPLANET, and digitally from BIG CARTEL
11/THE LEGEND OF WILL POWER
From creator Vince White: Find out How the legend begins! Issue one tells the tale of a young teen named WILLIAM POWER and his epic journey that will cast him at odds with everything he knows! See how this modest teen football captain has the universe turned upside-down and his fate sealed to become the legendary WILL POWER!
An interesting new take on superheroes. I’d rate it higher if it were in color, but the issues (4, so far) are only 99 cents each, so it’s still a great deal. I’m glad to get in on the ground floor. 3 STARS
The issues are available digitally from their website: WILL POWER COMIC
From writer Jon Goff and artist Travis Sengaus: Set in the 31st century, BIG HITTERS, is a Bladerunner-meets-Star Wars mixture of science-fiction, action, adventure, comedy, and violence, that follows two up-and-coming “Hitters” [or hitmen] as they struggle to make their way in an ever-expanding universe while doing their damnedest to maintain some level of moral integrity (despite their occupation of choice).
There are two issues, so far, which I just discovered. And I liked these books. Fun, sci-fi action, it reminds me in some ways of Miranda Mercury (that would be an interesting crossover…). 3 1/2 STARS
Available from COMICSPLUS
13/THE DEEP: HERE BE DRAGONS
From writer Tom Taylor and artist James Brouwer: “My family are explorers. We have been for generations. Some argue that there is nowhere left to explore, that everything on earth that can be discovered has already been found. They say that to truly explore we need to leave our planet. While others look up to the stars, my family knows that there are also stars beneath us, that there are an infinite number of things that shine brightly in the darkness below. Most of our world lies unexplored, unexplained. There are things lurking in the seas that have only ever been spoken about in myth. My family are explorers. We have been for generations.We explore…The Deep.”
A multicultural (Black & Asian) family of underwater explorers, on a mission underwater, you’d think they were in space, though. It’s really fun. I want to see more of this family. 5 STARS
I got the last affordable TPB on AMAZON. It can be downloaded as 3 individual issues
UPDATE: IT WOULD APPEAR THAT I TOUCHED A NERVE, AS THE ORIGINAL BLOGGER HAS MADE A NEW POST A FEW HOURS AFTER MINE HIT THE NET: So my original 13 comics to read in 2013 was a huge hit! So much so it galvanized both my fans and facebook friends. Now mind you that was created in January 2013 and everyone clearly just discovered it. They then further bitched and moaned about the amount of mainstream comics on said list. Newsflash people, if this were an indy only site we would have pushed up daisies because no one would give a damn. Now I was going to wait until summer to create a mid 2013 list which would have included more Independent brands and dropped quite a few of the mainstream books that didn’t live up to my lofty expectations. Alas I must silence the mob and those who are “piggy backing” on said list by shedding some light on 13 indy books that I’ve read and can recommend for you my thousands of loyal fans.
Hey, it’s all good to me. I’m not a “comic-book reviewer”, I have more fun reviewing softcore porn films, I just wanted to spread the word about quality indy comics, so ANYTHING that helps do that is a great thing! And there are some comics on that list that I didn’t know about, and will now plan to get. So go read the new list: 13 Comics to Read in 2013- Indy Edition
Categories: INDIE COMICS
Let me give an Honroable Mention to:
14/WILLIAM SATTERWHITE’S “STEALTH”
A dark city in need of a hero, a young man with the power to be that hero- a new hero for a new millennium! This double-sized, Prestige Format book collects the first two episodes of the hit online comic for the first time in print, along with a small gallery of behind the scenes artwork.
Not a bad little book. 3 STARS
Available in print via LULU
And you can also check out the webcomic on his website: http://stealthcomic.com/
Reblogged this on GEEK OUTSIDER and commented:
A fanTAStic selection, including the one and only Miranda Mercury!
These books look like good reads. I also created a book about black superheroes. You can read the first 40 pages for free here.
Cool! I’ll check it out, and spread the word.
I just wanted to add that the “Route 3” is 26 pages of story content for only $1.99 from ComicsPlus.
Also, if any of you guys are in the Atlanta area on May 4th. Free Comic Book Day. The creator will be signing copies this coming Saturday, from 12 noon to 3pm. at The Dragon’s Horde http://www.thedragonshorde.com
Yes, I consider ROUTE 3 a good deal, I thought there was some room for improvement, but I still enjoyed it and think it’s worth the money, hence, why I included it on the list, and I will definitely be back to purchase #2 and the rest of the series, as it progresses.
So thanks for the info about the FCBD signing, and sorry your post got held-up in my SPAM folder, that just happens sometimes, I don’t know why.
Great list. I just read Dusu: Path of the Ancients, and it was good too. First issue, free.
Cool! I’m gonna check that out. I’ve been getting a lot of recommendations about other indy comics that are out there, and have already ordered a few, and plan to get some others (my disposable income budget is shot, for the moment, so I may need to wait a couple of weeks), so it looks like I’ll be posting a 2nd list in the future.
And sorry your comment got held-up in my SPAM folder, too. I hate when that happens.
It’s all good. I’m going to shout this post out on my own blog, if’n you don’t mind. Again, great list. My wallet is about to feel the burn as well, lol
Is there a reason why just about all (I would just say ALL but wish to leave some wiggle room) comics and graphic novels seem to have a sci-fi, fantasy or superhero theme? I’ve never understood it, coming from the old Archie/Betty/Veronica school of comics, not to mention the dailies in the newspaper. What’s the story behind this tradition? Can it be broken?
Hey, I loved those Archie comics, back in the day, too! In fact, if I had the option of moving to any Comic-book Universe, I’d definitely pick Riverdale. That’s much saver than the worlds of Marvel and DC, y’know?
Superheroes definitely dominate the comic-book industry, for better or worse. The very concept of original stories being published in comic-book form, as opposed to newspaper strips, pretty much began with Action Comics #1, introducing Superman, so they are intricately linked. I do think there is room for more diversity in content but, to be honest, I personally am predominately a superhero/sci-fi fan, so that is the type of comics I tend to gravitate to.
I’m working on a project and while I feel it’s fresh and unique, I’m also wondering if it’s too diverse to really fly. Is there a place for illustrated series that aren’t sci-fi or superhero based? And could you point me in the direction of where I might find them? Thanks!
Yes, I believe there’s a place for non-superhero/sci-fi comics. And with the advances in self-publishing techniques, like Print on Demand via Amazon, Lulu, and IndyPlanet, as well as digital downloads. I believe you’re in the perfect era to attempt to make some. I am an increasing fan of digital reading, with my iPad, and even on my PC, I can get instant access to many new comics and read them wherever I go. With digital I believe you can reach a much bigger audience than previously possible, when your only option was to print a book and then try to get Diamond to list it, and then get retailers to order it, but retailers don’t like to take risks on new comics from unknown creators, they’re rather just buy a couple of extra comics of the X-Men. But now you can bypass the retailers, and market your products directly to the audience.
The downside is, that it extra work. Even with traditional superhero and sci-fi comics, it’s harder to get the comics press to pay attention to anything outside of Marvel, DC, and other major publishers (hence, why I saw the need to create this list, and shine a light on some worthy comics), which means you are going to have to do all you can to build your audience, and make people aware of your product. The internet is a big place, so promote yourself whenever you can, via Social networks, Twitter, message boards and such. I’m not expert on self-publishing, because I havent done it yet, but I know it’s not easy. But don’t let that discourage. The advice I always hear the most from established authors is “Write the books YOU want to read.” And if you want to read them, chances are there are others out there who do, too.
So GOOD LUCK!
Thank you for the info and the encouragement. And welcome to WINONA, INC.
Glad I could inspire you Chace. LOL
In all seriousness though I’ll need to check
out quite a few of these I’m unfamiliar with.
It’s cool. I’ve seen a few comments elsewhere trying to make this look we got some kinda competition, but that’s not my intent, other than it being all in good fun. I’ve been checking out your blog for years (although I did miss that original post, until someone posted it on Facebook last Friday, hence why I responded now), lots of good info there, so keep up the good work!
And, thanks to your list, I’ve already ordered VASION, and have bookmarked the DREAD AND ALIVE site, and will be ordering that as soon as I can.
I don’t get why some have us as “competitive/hateful” either. Guess two black men can’t have differing tastes without having “beef” (shrugs) what’s are we Biggie and Tupac? SMH
I’m thankful for your list because I honesty missed quite a few of these like Big hitters and Deep Six and I’ll def be checking out the others when I can, unless someone wants to shoot me some freebies so I can review em 🙂
Miranda mercury sounds cool, I dig Lee Ferguson artworks, he’s line art are clean and crisp. We still doing an ongoing project that will be published by Viz, can’t tell the title right now, it still classified. Anyway thanks for reviewing this so many great books.
Well, be sure to let me know when your project is unclassified, so I can check it out!
You forgot “Watson And Holmes” coming out in JULY! Written by Karl Bollers with Art by Rick Leonardi. We have Larry Stroman on the variant cover of 1 and art for issue 5. Please check our Kickstarter http://kck.st/11LNGoh Backers now have a chance to WIN ART!
Well, I was only listing stuff that I’ve actually read, and therefor can personally recommend, but the idea of an urban talk on Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson sounds pretty neat, so thanks for posting that link, and good luck!