QUOTE(Clint M @ Mar 17 2006, 01:48 AM)
What are some other non-mainstream titles I should check out? I'd appreciate the help.
Great thread, Clint! The Comic Book sub-forum would be cool; I hope such an addition wouldn't in fact be restricted to graphic novels. Not many super-hero GNs come out, and super-heroes are the heart of comicdom, no matter how lowbrow that may seem to some.
Anyhow, I've been following "Infinite Crisis", but find it equally frustrating and entertaining. The frustration comes rom the apparent need to be reading just about EVERYTHING DC has put out in the past few years in order to really get the big picture. I don't consider myself to be totally out of the loop with DC right now, but the business of the two Lex Luthors in IC#3 (I think that it), for example, had me totally lost. Also, not being a "Flash" reader, I didn't get the business about the Speed Force in #4. The individual issues I liked were #2 (for the revelation of what Earth-2 Superman really wanted - Wow!) and #5. I appreciate the way #4 layed everything out in one or two pages, though. But on the whole, I find my beef to be with Geoff Johns' writing style. He tends to be so inside of his own little world that he regularly operates in, that's it's hard to just jump in cold. A major event book like "Infinite Crisis" should be more accesssable.
Just a few months ago, I reread the original "Crisis on Infinite Earths". Now THERE'S a story! Twelve solid issues, a self-contained. In contrast to that, I doubt someone could pull a TPB of "Infinite Crisis" off a shelf 20 years from now, and make nearly as much sense of it. Not without prior knowledge of our current DC universe dating back two or three years prior to the IC series.
That said, I'm probably in for the long haul on "52". I work in comic shop, so I like to have some knowledge of what's what.
Switching gears, I am really a Marvel guy at heart, and love "The New Avengers". The last one, #16, was so cinemtic in its presentation, it was easy to forgive the complete absence of any actual Avengers. I have a theory of what this new villian is, but it's probably the same theory most everyone has, so I'll hold onto it for now.
I've gotten bit hard by the Bendis bug (the self-proclaimed anti-Geoff Johns
), and have been going after his vast backlog of work. In upcoming weeks, I'll be getting the HUGE "Alias" Omnibus. Getting caught up on "Powers" and "Ultimate Spidey" are going to be tough, though.
As far as "House of M" went, I only bothered with the actual series itself, and had a great time. Those who did the crossovers tend to have a bad taste left in their mouths from the whole experience, so I'm glad I avoided those. Actually, I did do the "Pulse" issue and the "Captain America" issue. Both were solid one-offs.
Just today, I finished my "Captain America: Winter Soldier" HC, which collects the new Cap series issues #1 - #7. Holy crap, is that a great read! I was skeptical at first - I didn't know Brubaker's work, and had enjoyed the old school fun style of the previous series, which had just wound down, and this new darker tone was big shift - but after hearing all the acclaim this story has recived ("Best Comic of 2005" awards, and whatnot), I had to give it a look. Bendis named it as his all-time favorite Cap story, which seemed weird to me before I read it, since it's still pretty new. But after reading it, I may have to agree. And how big of a statement is that, really? Just what are the really great Captain America masterpieces, anyway? Outside of "The Avengers" not much comes to mind, really. This is certainly up there. By all means, get this, and read it! Now I gotta find the subsequent issues...
I'm just getting into "Walking Dead" via TPBs as well. I've read only the first collection, but it blew me away. As a fan of the zombie film sub-genre, Romero's stuff inparticular, I can honestly say that this easily ranks right up there with the best of those films. I'd be shocked if some Hollywood studio hasn't already paid handsomely to option this into a series of films. It's ready to go.
I'm about to read the "Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD" TPB that collects the Steranko stuff. Haven't read it before, but since SHIELD is so omnipresent in Marvel these days (post 9/11 world!), I felt like this would be a good history lesson. Plus, it's Steranko's classic!
I've got more "Walking Dead", the big "Jinx" TPB, "Angel: The Curse", and "Heaven's War" all waiting in the wings. Also, a huge stack of unread comics like "Son of M", "The Sentry", and "Spider-Woman". I'll probably be getting the "Ultimate Iron Man" HC by Orson Scott Card and Andy Kubert this week, also. This is what happens when you run up some major trade credit while working shifts in a comic shop!