I love comics, but, I hate the costumed superheroes that (mostly) dominate the DC and Marvel universes. I prefer strong but sexy heroines (super or otherwise), anti-heroines and villainesses in (mostly) independent comics. I’ve made this clear in several posts on this blog. However, lately I’ve found myself embracing the Batman universe more and more. So, with that said, let me share my top 10 favorite comic series …
10. Suicide Squad (DC Comics). This new version of DC’s Suicide Squad was launched in September 2011 as part of The New 52 reboot. Harley Quinn (aka Dr. Harleen Quinzel) is the reason I love this comic. She’s sexier and crazier in this universe. My favorite story arcs are “The Hunt For Harley Quinn” (#6-7) in which Harley goes AWOL after being told that The Joker is dead, and “Running With the Devil” (#14-15) in which The Joker kicks Harley‘s ass. The former details Harley’s new origin story, while the latter is part of DC’s Death of the Family event. Suicide Squad has been collected, to date, as follows: Vol. 1: Kicked in the Teeth (2012), Vol. 2: Basilisk Rising (2013), Vol. 3: Death is for Suckers (2013), and Vol. 4: Discipline and Punish (2014). Currently, Harley Quinn is also featured in her own series, with a much lighter tone, written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. However, the comic hasn’t been collected in trade yet.
9. Catwoman (DC Comics). “She’s a thief who steals for the thrill and a lover who lives for the chase.” This new version of DC’s Catwoman was, like #10 above, launched in September 2011 as part of The New 52 reboot. I have always appreciated the outright sexiness of Catwoman (aka Selina Kyle), but, I never truly embraced that character as anything more until I started reading this new series. Now, I love Catwoman! My favorite story arcs are issues #4-6 in which Catwoman tangles with sexy metahuman Reach, and issues #13-14 [also part of DC’s Death of the Family event] in which the The Joker plays head games with Catwoman to force her to turn on Batman. His games involve different ways to “skin a cat” such as centrifugal force, strip poker and piranhas! Catwoman has been collected, to date, as follows: Vol. 1: The Game (2012), Vol. 2: Dollhouse (2013), Vol. 3: Death of the Family (2013), and Vol. 4: Gotham Underground (2014). By the way, if actress Ashley Scott still looked like this, she could play The New 52 version of Catwoman in a film.
OK, my first two selections are from DC Comics. I don’t dislike DC or Marvel – I dislike superheroes. I should mention that Marvel is at #11 on this list with Avengers Arena (written by Dennis Hopeless) in which Wolverine’s female clone X-23 is featured in a Battle Royale-esque kill-or-die scenario. The 18-issue series is collected in 3 trades: Vol. 1: Kill or Die (May 2013), Vol. 2: Game On (September 2013) and Vol. 3: Boss Level (January 2014). Anyway, let’s continue with my top 10 …
8. Executive Assistant: Iris (Aspen Comics). “She’s a secretary, bodyguard, and assassin all rolled into one!” This sexy, action-driven series about trained female assassins with flower code names was created by David Wohl, Michael Turner and Brad Foxhaven. The basic premise reminds me of the 2002 Hong Kong action thriller Naked Weapon starring Maggie Q [which is a sequel of sorts to the 1992 Hong Kong classic Naked Weapon]. The series has been collected, to date, as follows: Vol. 1 (2011), Vol. 2 [The Hitlist Agenda featuring Iris] (2012), The Hitlist Agenda [featuring Lotus, Orchid and Violet] (2012), and Vol. 3 [Executive Extinction] (digitally 2013). In July 2012, the ongoing series Executive Assistant: Assassins was initiated. My favorite story arc, so far, is “Daisy” (#12-15) in which a possessive father’s abuse creates a psychotic assassin driven by bloodlust and revenge. I love this series, in all its incarnations, but, I would kill for a single volume collecting every cover ever published. It would be a massive tome, I’m sure, since most issues have many alternate covers.
I’ve previously written posts about most of the rest, so just click on the titles in blue to read more about them …
7. iZOMBIE (Vertigo). Gwen Dylan is a zombie who can live as a normal girl if she eats a human brain once a month. However, when she eats brains, she absorbs the dead person’s memories, and usually ends up solving a mystery involving that person. Gwen‘s quirky friends include ghost Ellie and were-terrier Scott (aka Spot). The comic, written by Chris Roberson & Michael Allred, ran for 28 issues which are collected in 4 trades: Dead to the World (2011), uVAMPIRE (2011), Six Feet Under and Rising (2011), and Repossession (2012).
6. Chaos Campus: Sorority Girls vs. Zombies (Approbation Comics). Paige, Jamie and Brittany are three buxom Ε.Α.Ζ.Υ. sorority girls who are faced with surviving the zombie apocalypse. This ongoing comic, written by B. Alex Thompson, has been collected in trade, to date, as follows: Vol. 1: Hell Week (2010), Vol. 2: Hazed & Confused (2012), Vol. 3: The Learning Curve (2012), and Vol. 4: School Dazed (2012).
5. Fanboys vs. Zombies (Boom Entertainment). “San Diego, we have a problem!” Forget The Walking Dead. I did. Read this comic instead. It sends up both geek culture and zombie horror with great characters, witty dialogue, gore, fast-paced action, and lots of laugh-out-loud humor. A group of friends who call themselves the Wrecking Crew attends San Diego’s iconic Comic-Con only to find themselves in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. They fight their way out amidst bickering and, eventually, end up in space! The original Wrecking Crew is Rob, Burger, Jenna, Kyle, J-Mac, and Kyle‘s zombie ass-kickin’ little sister Amanda. I love her! “Can you buy us two minutes down here doing… all that Amanda stuff you do?” Jenna asks. “Doing me is what I do best!” Amanda replies, and she’s off kicking zombie ass! The series, written (mostly) by Sam Humphries, has been collected in trade, to date, as follows: Vol. 1: Wrecking Crew 4 Lyfe (December 2012), Vol. 2: Appetite For Destruction (April 2013), Vol. 3: Escape From San Diego (September 2013), Vol. 4: Apollo Z (March 2014), and Vol. 5: 4 Stories of the Apocalypse (July 2014). Rest assured – a separate post on this awesomely funny comic is inevitable!
4. Dogwitch (Sirius Entertainment). Violet Grimm is an exiled witch and snuff movie star who often uses magick to raise the dead to satisfy her sexual urges. Violet is joined by an animated stuffed animal named Ralph and a scarred talking doll named Dolores. This B&W comic, written and illustrated by Daniel Schaffer, ran for 18 issues which are collected in 3 trades: Season One: Direct to Video (2004), Season Two: Twisted (2004), and Season Three: Mood Swings (2008). The final volume was published by Image Comics.
3. Mercy Sparx (Devil’s Due Publishing). This wonderful series, created and written by Josh Blaylock and drawn by Matt Merhoff, follows the adventures of a devil girl who is recruited by Heaven to hunt down rogue angels on Earth. Mercy is aided in her task by her human friend Hank. The original series was published in trade as Vol. 1: Heaven’s Dirty Work (2009; reprinted January 2014). The new ongoing series has been collected in trade, to date, as Vol. 2: Under New Management (March 2014). I need to do a post on the latest volume. Oh, and Hack/Slash & Mercy Sparx: A Slice of Hell (October 2010) is an awesome crossover one-shot.
2. Dead@17 (Viper Comics/Image Comics). This series was created, written and drawn by Josh Howard. It follows the adventures of 17-year-old Nara Kilday who was killed then resurrected to fight demons. Josh Howard is my favorite comic artist. He draws the cutest, most adorably sexy girls in sequential art. The original Dead@17 series was collected in trade, by Viper Comics, as follows: Dead@17 (May 2004), Dead@17: Blood of Saints (September 2004), Dead@17: Revolution (May 2005), and Dead@17: The 13th Brother (June 2008). The first 4 volumes were collected, by Image Comics, as Dead@17: Ultimate Edition (2009), which was then followed by: Dead@17: Afterbirth (2009) and Dead@17: The Witch Queen (2011). Dead@17: The Blasphemy Throne, the 7th and final installment, is set to begin in August 2014.
1. [To be continued in a forthcoming post … click here]