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With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday coming this week there is no shortage of sales for all things nerdy. This is a great chance to visit your local comic book shops and pick up some major comic arcs you’ve never read but everyone says you should. Here’s a list of five you should seek out ASAP.
House of M
This is a story-line I’ve only just recently read and I’m still kicking myself for waiting so long. The Scarlet Witch has always been an immensely powerful being in the Marvel Universe and the House of M arc shows why. Wanda is put into a complex situation and is influenced by those around her and ends up using her powers to alter reality as we know it. Wolverine still retains memories of the old world and must find a way to try and put things back the way they were. This arc includes characters from all over the Marvel Universe and any fan of the publisher will love it.
Yes, I have a bit of a soft spot for Marvel, but Civil War was a defining moment for the Marvel Comic Universe. Like all of the great story arcs and plot lines in AAA comic publishing it brings the entire world of superheroes and villains together. Pitting heroes against heroes in a way that doesn’t seem forced Civil War was such an event that one of the final deaths in this arc was enough to catch the attention of my Grandma because she watched it on the evening news. It also served as one of the best films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but don’t let that stop you from picking it up because the movie followed a vastly different story-line than the comics themselves.
For me the Flashpoint Paradox may be the single greatest DC story-arc and that’s saying a lot with such classics as Crisis on Infinite Earths or Darkest Day. I rank Flashpoint Paradox at the top because it once again brings all the characters we know and love to the forefront, but does so in such unexpected ways. We see Heroes who stay true to themselves but still somehow become unrecognizable in the new timeline and delivers a story unlike anything else. Flashpoint is such a good book that when DC made the animated movie they changed very little of it, it’s nearly a panel by panel representation of an already perfect comic.
The Walking Dead
Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead is a break from what you expect out of comics in a post-MCU world. A lot of people don’t realize that comics aren’t all about superheroes and spandex. I also encourage people to pick up the Walking Dead because the series has officially ended and Kirkman was able to do something interesting with AMC series. If you’ve watched show, you haven’t really been spoiled on a whole lot. The Walking Dead comic and the TV series play like alternate ‘What If…?’ timelines. They vary wildly and like the show the comic will keep you guessing, gasping and crying over the loss and plot twists from issue to issue.
Every few comics defined the late 2010’s better than Saga. Illustrator Fiona Staples creates a world that is colorful, vibrant and unique. And Brian K. Vaughn penned on of the most inspiring yet tragic tales of modern comics. The story is steeped in the generations old trope of star-crossed romance, shines as we witness romance evolves into familial love. In Saga, we focus on the whirlwind coupling of Alana and Marko, people from two warring alien races that discovered (mistakenly) that they can have kids. The first few panels chronicle the birth of their daughter, Hazel, and their subsequent escape from both sides of a war that would have them all killed. The story, told from Hazel’s perspective highlights her parent’s struggle to give her some semblance of a normal life as they bounce from planet to planet. Complementing this tale of persecution is Saga’s massive tapestry of characters which can trigger hatred, revulsion, pity or more all at the same time. From the damaged, depraved Prince Robot to the brooding and dangerous freelancer The Will, every character feels purposeful and driven which is part of why Saga never feels stagnant. This is a book for more than just comic lovers, its a story as old as time thrown into one of the most bizarre and engaging universes out there. War, Sex, Slavery, Drug Abuse, Trans Rights and more have all be central themes to at least one if not more characters at any given time. Do your self a favor and read Saga. Now.