Hey there loyal readers. I wasn’t able to complete a new chapter this week so I decided to try something new. Well, new for this site anyway. A top 5 list! Specifically, my top 5 personal favorite comics coming out right now. I read a lot of comics, and as you may have guessed from Jolt’s genre, my preference is for super hero comics. If you enjoy reading this, let me know in the comments and I’ll continue to put them out whenever I can’t complete a chapter.
Before we begin, I have an honorable mention:
Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
Ms. Marvel, AKA Kamala Khan, is a character I only discovered recently, but I quickly fell in love with both her and her book. Kamala is a great character, equally heroic and quirky, and while her Muslim heritage is a part of her, she doesn’t let it define her. The threats she faces are street level and are often either humorous or serve as a form of social commentary. With its diverse cast, unique and stupendous artwork, optimistic tone, Ms. Marvel was, much like the original Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle series, everything I believe a super hero comic should be. Notice how I said that it “was” those things. Sadly, the recent issues have been tie-ins to Marvel’s current crossover event, “Civil War II.” In addition to the main series being awful, the tie-ins have been far from good, and in the case of Ms.Marvel, seem to be destroying everything I love about the book. Five volumes of the book have been released, and I highly recommend you track them down. As for the book in its current state, we’ll have to wait and see if the book can recover once Civil War II reaches its conclusion.
- Titans (DC)
A few months ago, DC “Rebirthed” its universe. As someone who, for the most part, wasn’t a fan of the New 52, I was looking forward to see what would come of this relaunch. And you know what? So far, most of the books I’ve been reading have been really good! Several of the titles will be appearing on this list, but I’ll tell you now that among the books I’ve checked out, the only one I don’t recommend is Deathstroke.
As for Titans, the title isn’t entirely accurate. Really, it should be called, “Flash and the Titans”, since the original Wally West that we all love has returned, and is clearly the main protagonist of this title. The book only has two issues out so far so I can’t comment much on the story, but there are clear pros and cons. On the negative side of things, Brett Booth’s artwork isn’t for everyone and I could easily see it being a turn off, even if it isn’t for me. The other con is also entirely a pro for me. That being that Titans is heavily built on nostalgia. If you’re a long time DC fan who’s missed seeing Nightwing, Arsenal, Donna Troy, Tempest, and Wally West hang out together, you’ll love the schmaltzy reunion between them in these early issues. However, if you’re new to comics, DC, or just the Titans, this book isn’t for you. Thankfully, the book has more going for it than just nostalgia. The writer, Dan Abnett, clearly gets all of these characters, and the dialogue between them is very well written.
The last thing to mention is that Titans seems to be the book with the largest connection to the ongoing storyline throughout the DC universe, so if you’re interested in following that, you may want to give it a read.
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Pink (BOOM Studios)
I have no shame in admitting that I love Power Rangers. And that’s not just nostalgia talking. I have watched all 800+ episodes of the show, for better or for worse, multiple times. With that in mind, I believe that in just two issues, MMPRP has proven to be of higher quality that most of the seasons of the show.
What’s so great about this book, aside from the surprisingly mature writing and appealing artwork, is just how unique it is. We’ve never really had an ongoing story about a single ranger before, or to be more specific, a former ranger. Yes, instead of just serving as random filler stories during the MMPR time period, this story focuses on the original pink ranger Kimberly Heart after she hung up her morpher.
As I said, the writing is much more mature than that of the original MMPR, but it still retains the same inherent cheesiness, and more importantly, heart. I know this book is just a spin off the main MMPR book BOOM is producing, but I’m really hoping it lasts a long time.
A must read for all ranger fans, this book is morphinominal.
Okay, maybe I do have a little shame for having watched Operation Overdrive more than once.
3. Aquaman (DC)
Aquaman and his wife Mera are two of my all time favorite super heroes, so it gives me great joy to say that Aquaman is one of the best titles DC has out currently. Like Titans, it’s written by Dan Abnett, and also like Titans, it has questionable artwork. In this case however, I’m on the side of the art’s detractors. Mainly when it comes to how Aquaman is drawn. He looks much too young, and his sleek scalemail armor has been replaced by what looks like a shirt made out of orange rocks.
Thankfully, the writing more than makes up for the art. The first storyline is close to wrapping up, and so far, I’m really happy with it. We’ve seen Arthur take on his nemesis Black Manta, political intrigue and commentary, and the thing I most like to see in Aquaman stories, Mera being awesome.
Arthur and Mera are both well characterized, and in addition to the main storyline going on, which BTW involves Arthur being arrested for being suspected of terrorism, there’s an ongoing storyline in building in the background. If you love Aquaman like I do, this book is a must read, and if you’re not a fan of him, well, start with Geoff Johns’ run. It’s the best thing to come out of the New 52.
- The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Marvel)
This glorious comic accomplished something no other comic has ever done: It had me hooked from the first page. When I saw Squirrel Girl, AKA Doreen Green, singing her self-written theme song as she beats up so crooks, I knew I was in for something special. Every issue that has come out, I’ve loved so much. The artwork is just meh, but unlike Aquaman and Titans, this should not deter you AT ALL. This book is a comedy through and through, and the sheer amount of laughs it provides on each page is unmatched by any other book on the market.
The main reason this book succeeds is because of its protagonist. Doreen is quite possibly the best role model for young girls I’ve ever seen in a comic. She’s kind to everyone, she always does her best to do the right thing, she shows that it’s okay to make a mistake once in awhile, she’s NEVER sexulaized but retains her femininity, and she’s, well, unbeatable.
From Kraven the Hunter to Galactus, eater of worlds, nothing can stop her, and the methods in which she achieves her victories, despite her simple, squirrel based powers, are just hilarious.
The book also has a great supporting cast in Doreen’s cat and knitting obsessed roommate Nancy, and her best friend, the wise cracking squirrel, Tippy Toe. What, you didn’t know Squirrel Girl could TALK to squirrels? Clearly you haven’t heard her theme song.
The stories, the characters, Doreen’s ongoing commentary at the bottom of each page, the twitter posts at the start of each issue…
This may sound weird, but The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has made Squirrel Girl my favorite Marvel character of all time.
- Detective Comics (DC)
The best book from DC’s Rebirth, and a book I’d recommend to just about anyone, the current iteration of Detective Comics is a book I’ve waited my entire life for. Namely, a book about the Bat Family as a real team.
Like Aquaman, this book is approaching the conclusion of its first storyline, and oh my, I am loving it. This book sees Batman and Batwoman build a team consisting of Red Robin, Spoiler, Clayface, and Cassandra Cain. I love all of these characters, especially Cassandra, and their rich histories. While the first storyline with this team has been primarily focused on Batwoman, each of the other team members have gotten plenty of time to shine. In addition, the storyline itself has had plenty of interesting twists, great fights, and memorable moments.
But what puts this above Unbeatable Squirrel Girl? Well, it’s not just that one’s a book which asks questions about national security and loyalty to family while the other is a book whose main character’s catchphrase is, “It’s time to eat nuts and kick buts!” No, what really separates these books is the artwork. Simply put, every panel is beautifully rendered, and a marvel to gaze upon.
If you enjoy Jolt, I think you’ll enjoy all of these picks, but if you only read one, let it be Detective Comics.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed this little experiment, and I’ll see you all next week with the continuation of arc 5.