This blog is written in response to a post I recently read: 13 Comics To Read in 2013- Black Superhero Edition. I believe the blogs 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, and BARNES & NOBLE and digitally via COMIXOLOGY
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 and BARNES & NOBLE.
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 in paperback form AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE and digitally from COMIXOLOGY
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 in print from AMAZON, LULU, and INDYPLANET.COM, as well as one single issue available digitally from INDYPLANET/DIGITAL
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 awhile, 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 in print from LULU and INDYPLANET and digitally from INDYPLANET/DIGITAL
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 digitally from COMICSPLUS
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 digitally from COMICSPLUS, and in print from ANTARCTIC PRESS, and currently able to be pre-ordered on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE (who have listed as due in June 2013)
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 in print 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 in print from INDYPLANET and digitally from INDYPLANET/DIGITAL
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
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’s 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 digitally 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 know 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 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 seems to be out of stock there, at the moment, but the trade is available directly from the GESTALT COMICS WEBSITE, which also offers a follow-up trade which I haven’t gotten yet. It can be downloaded as 3 individual issues, $1.99 each, on COMICSPLUS
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 mus 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’s 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