Starting last week, I have gotten back into the comic book swing of things.  As is the custom, I try to cast a wide net, reading as much as I can, moving forward with those titles that interest me, dropping those that don’t.

This week was a surprisingly strong week.

Here are my Top 10 Favorites – along with some honorable mentions…

The Honorable Mentions: Unearth #6, Marvel #1, Miles Morales: Spider-Man #16, Billionaire Island #1, Lois Lane #9, Marauders #9.

#10 – Billionaire Island #1 (Mark Russell, Steve Pugh, Chris Chuckry, Rob Steen)

Welcome to Billionaire Island, where anything goes…if you can afford it. But the island’s ultra-rich inhabitants are about to learn that their ill-gotten gains come at a very high price.

Love the premise. The first issue shows a lot of promise.

#9 – Mercy #1 (Mikra Andolfo)

When the placid mining village of Woodsburgh is disturbed by a series of brutal murders, the settlement is in turmoil. And as the first snow covers the chaos in a white blanket, a mysterious woman in black arrives, eliciting a totally different kind of unrest. But who is Lady Hellaine, really? And what’s her secret agenda?

An intriguing opener to this Victorian gothic horror series.

#8 – Savage Avengers #11 (Gerry Duggan, Butch Guice)

The horrific secret of Kulan Gath’s power is revealed. Steel yourself, True Believers, this one is a bummer for the ages. Plus, Dr. Strange & Elektra did what last night?

I love a good origin story, especially a good villain origin story.

#7 – Join the Future #1 (Zack Kaplan, Piotr Kowalski)

The Future. Ultra-modern megacities reward millions of their citizens with a completely funded life, with every need met, from food to housing and healthcare, in order to com-pete in an economic power struggle in which population is key.
But a few rural residents still cling to their independence in what last American small towns are left. When a nearby megacity pressures the people of a small town join up or else, a young teenage girl named Clem will learn how far she’ll go to defend her prin-ciples.

This one is the most straight sci-fi of this week’s offerings and it offers a very interesting world.

#6 – Vampironica #3 (Michael Moreci, Franki Tieri, Matt Herms, Audrey Mok, Jack Morelli)

Who is Sir Francis Lodge? And how did Vampironica’s ancestor play such a pivotal role in the emergence of vampirism in America? Join us for a journey through time as the one-time pirate leaves a trail of blood from the old world to the new— all the way up to the very creation of Riverdale itself!

Well, this was a pleasant surprise. Another great villain origin story.

#5 – Outer Darkness/Chew #1 (John Layman, Afu Chan, Rob Guillory)

Tony Chu is a modern-day cop who gets psychic impressions from what he eats. Joshua Rigg is a 28th-century starship captain who flies through an outer space filled with demons, monsters, and ghosts. Sounds like a perfect recipe for a comic book crossover, don’t it?

I’m not familiar with Outer Darkness but read the hell out of Chew.  This crossover gives the latter a sci-fi twist in a completely bonkers first issue.

#4 – King of Nowhere #1 (W. Maxwell Prince, Tyler Jenkins, Hilary Jenkins)

Lovable drunken lowlife Denis awakens on the outskirts of a mysterious village called Nowhere, home to a friendly populace of deformed, mutated, just-left-of-normal citizens — and he has no memory of how he got there. But just when Denis starts to regain his memories, his past catches up to him… literally. What at first seems like merely a bad trip quickly heightens into a drama of mistaken identities, small-town conspiracy, and high-stakes fantasy fulfillment.

I have no idea what is going on here, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

#3 – Daredevil #19 (Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto)

Hell’s Kitchen is hanging by a thread—and that thread is Daredevil! Owl makes his play while Mayor Fisk watches from the sidelines.

I’ve always loved the grittier arcs and this one reminds of my favorite Brubaker runs.

#2 – Pandemica #4 (Jonathan Maberry, Alex Sanchez)

Loverboy and his team of killers will stop at nothing to find and kill the mysterious infected child—and when the Pandemica team is betrayed, all of the evidence implicates De’Neesa. As the mutations spread out of control, a very real apocalypse looms over America.

The smart and suspenseful fourth issue of this near future conspiracy tale is sending me back to my local comic shop in search of issues #1-3.

#1 – Strange Adventures (Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Evan Shaner)

Adam Strange is the hero of Rann, a man famous throughout the galaxy for his bravery and honor. After leading his adopted home to victory in a great planetary war, Adam and his wife Alanna retire to Earth, where they are greeted by cheers, awards, and parades. But not all is as happy and nice as it seems, as the decisions Adam made during battles on Rann come back to haunt his family and threaten the entire DC Universe. And now a surprise DC hero will have to choose between saving Adam Strange and saving the world.

Tom King’s Vision, The Omega Men, and Mister Miracle are some of my favorite comic reads of all time.  King can seemingly do no wrong (outside of that whole Batman/Catwoman non-wedding thing), and he, Gerads, and Shaner are off to a cracking start here.

So, what have you been reading?

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