Fans and readers of comics understand how comics as a medium can have a profound impact on its readers. With the right combination of art and narrative, even a simple story can change the status quo of the industry. While 2017 in comics do not have revolutionary tales, there are stories that may pose to reshape the way we view some popular franchises. Without further ado, here’s What’s A Geek! and our highlights for comics this 2017.
2017 in Comics
Comics this year remain to contain gripping tales with new and familiar faces. Big names and newcomers in the industry alike continue to tap into narrative hooks that keep their stories fresh and engaging. The highlights below are just some of the many titles that made 2017 in comics quite an intriguing year for readers. You may have heard some of these stories make quite a buzz in social media. Regardless, here are some titles you should definitely grab if you have the time.
The Old Guard (Image)
Fans of stories involving military history will appreciate the kind of detail put in The Old Guard. However, Greg Rucka, Daniela Miwa, and Leandro Fernandez show the title is more than “just” a military story.
It’s not all the time that we see gripping action and thriller stories in comic books, but Rucka and co. pulled it off. The title shows there’s so much more in war than what we see, and the storytelling makes the story all the more captivating.
The story talks of five immortal soldiers of “the Old Guard.” The team is a nickname for the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, which is the oldest active-duty regiment in the United States Army. Some of its members have been alive since the Crusades, and all the way up to Ancient Greece. Despite the difference in times, however, the title shows that eternal life has its own set of pains.
My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (Fantagraphics)
Emil Ferris makes her graphic novel debut in quite the interesting story, courtesy of My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. The 55-year-old cartoonist makes use of ballpoint pen on lined notebook paper, which is intriguing enough to be a stunner. Readers with a knack for details will appreciate the artistry of this title in first glance. However, what perhaps helped the story make a mark is its take on coming-of-age stories.
The title contains two intertwined stories, one set at the beginning of the Nazi regime in Germany, and the other in Chicago in the 60s. Ferris’ story explores how intolerance has a lasting effect on communities, and how it can fracture the bright light of the human spirit.
Darth Vader (Marvel)
The Star Wars line of comics have always stunned, especially if you’re into studying the lore of the science fiction franchise. However, if it’s Anakin Skywalker you need to discover, Darth Vader is the story to go.
It’s quite unique for a franchise to have comics that dwell outside its popular media’s current continuity. We often see stories associated with popular franchises that are set in conjunction or in the distant past of said franchise, but perhaps without the compelling storytelling that exist in tales such as Darth Vader. Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Jim Cheung helps bring Darth Vader into more familiar ground in this series.
Darth Vader in fact shares the first steps Anakin Skywalker took as a newly-“birthed” Dark Lord of the Sith. The story shows us a more intimate perspective towards Darth Vader as a character, and proves how he’s become such an iconic part of the franchise time and time again. This makes Darth Vader as the perfect companion to those who want to know just how much of an impact his presence had to the entirety of Star Wars.
Secret Empire (Marvel)
The entire Marvel community came to a halt when Captain America (Steve Rogers) revealed he wasn’t as American as he implied. With the Hydra revelation shaking the public’s perception of the First Avenger, both here in the real world and in the comics, it appears there’s more to Rogers than what he implies.
Secret Empire, much as it appears very un-Captain America, was an interesting take on Rogers beyond his usual public image. In a time where viewpoints hold great importance, it’s very important to have stories like Secret Empire that can have us rethink the way we view certain ideas. The story is by no means a gem, especially when it comes to giving a digestible commentary on political issues of the times. Either way, Nick Spencer (with dazzling art from Rod Reis and co.) does pose an interesting take on alternate realities.
It’s not by all means an ideal Captain America story, but it shows an alternate view of the Marvel universe that is entertaining and thought-provoking enough to be a tale worth picking up. After all, is a world run by Hydra really as bad as it seems?
Dark Nights: Metal (DC Comics)
DC Comics remains to stun viewers with quite a number of mysteries with DC Rebirth. However, Dark Nights: Metal is perhaps a head-turner in recent Batman stories. After all, what’s this talk about a “Dark Multiverse” and a “Dark Justice League?”
Turns out, Scott Snyder (with art from Greg Capullo, and co.) has a bigger story in mind for the Dark Knight. In fact, long-time readers may find a few bridges connecting Metal and the Snyder-Capullo The New 52 Batman run.
In the spirit of revelations, Snyder in fact adds a twist to one of DC Comics’ older mysteries: Nth Metal. This substance, commonly associated with Hawkman and Hawkgirl, is apparently pronounced Ninth Metal, and there are in fact eight more substances of mysterious properties that exist in the DC multiverse. What’s more interesting is how Batman himself have collected much of these artifacts in his career.
Unfortunately for the Dark Knight, Batman’s search for answers had him discovering a “dark” version of the multiverse hidden beneath the DC multiverse. To add a horrifying twist, Batman has released seven “evil” versions of himself that are all bent to invade the planet Earth.
Black Panther: World of Wakanda (Marvel)
February’s Black Panther will be the one film left before May 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. Fans will have to endure another film before the Marvel Cinematic Universe finds itself in a climactic story.
It only makes sense for Marvel comics to launch stories that seek to expand our understanding of the Black Panther mythos. Enter Black Panther: World of Wakanda.
The series talks of the Dora Mijae, or the Midnight Angels. Those familiar with Black Panther will recognize the name as the elite group of women tasked to protect the Wakandan Crown at all costs. The story talks of politics and intrigue in Wakanda that has never been discussed in-depth. The closest we’ve got to getting to know Wakanda up close and personal was perhaps during the time when Namor tried to invade the country back in Avengers vs. X-Men, and when Doctor Doom tried to steal all the vibranium from Wakanda in Doomwar.
It’s not all the time we get to encounter stories that focus more on the people that work in the sidelines, all to make sure our heroes get the job done as swift as possible.
The title itself presents a historical part of Marvel’s publication history. Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey will author the title, and will have them as the first two black women to ever author a Marvel series.
The Button, Doomsday Clock (DC Comics)
It’s not all the time do we see crossover events in DC Comics be related with one another. Usually, it’s just one crossover event after the next, or crossover events inside the “bubbles” of the respective superheroes involved in these stories.
The Button and Doomsday Clock perhaps answer the most important question plaguing DC Comics right now: just what on earth happened during DC Rebirth?
Inquisitive fans may have already figured out that The Button does in fact talk of the button from the Comedian. Yes, the Comedian from the Watchmen series. The recent reveal that Watchmen characters will be crossing over into the DC Comics landscape sparked various theories about their involvement, and the aforementioned stories will finally answer these questions.
Perhaps most interesting is the fact that Watchmen character Doctor Manhattan has taken ten years from everyone during DC Rebirth. It’s up to the Justice League to find out why. Unfortunately, no one knows if they will survive their journey to the truth.
Joshua Williamson and Tom King (with art from Jason Fabok and Howard Porter) are the minds behind The Button. Meanwhile, Geoff Johns himself (with Gary Frank and Brad Anderson) are in charge of Doomsday Clock.
Phoenix Resurrection (Marvel)
A story like Phoenix Resurrection is a good example of treading dangerous waters. This is especially for the future of a franchise like the X-Men. For fans and non-fans, Phoenix Resurrection is budding to herald many things for mutants.
It’s hard to tell whether or not Phoenix Resurrection presents a bright future for the X-Men. After all, there’s the entire debacle on Fox’s intellectual properties after the Disney-Fox merger. Interesting enough, the Phoenix is not the only thing to have influenced the future of the X-Men in recent times. Fans may even remember the entire Inhumans vs. X-Men showdown and ResurrXion, which left the X-Men’s already-questionable future on a standstill. So why is the Phoenix back?
Matthew Rosenberg (accompanied by artists such as Leinil Yu) team up for a fiery blast in the past. Rosenberg sets up the atmosphere for the first issue with quite a welcoming Grant Morrison vibe. Newcomers to the franchise will be just as lost as the X-Men, however. After all, recent mysteries add a dash of Jean Grey – the real, supposedly-dead one in 2005 – into the mix. One thing is for sure: Phoenix Resurrection may help bring mutants back into the Marvel limelight.
God Country (Image Comics)
Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Jason Wordie, and John Hill took its readers for a wild ride with God Country.
The story begins with a premise as wild as its plot. Emmet Quinlan has been quietly living in Texas after his wife’s death. However, his dementia has been causing quite a bit of problems not only with his family, but with the local authorities as well. Everything changes when a tornado levels his home, and Quinlan mysteriously finds himself a survivor. Along with him is an enchanted sword that will change his life forever.
Despite the wild premise, the title itself proves much wilder than expected. The art captivates and forces itself to the reader, the way the story forces Quinlan to make decisions he’s never made before. The story highlights how losing one’s mind is such a terrifying thing, and all the more when the world is at stake.
The title is an extremely high-octane take on the action-fantasy genre, and it can prove itself to be quite the head-turner for readers this year.
2018 and Great Things Ahead
If there’s anything 2017 in comics presented us thus far, it’s that stories can remain fresh regardless of the franchise. However, these titles prove that authors still create captivating tales with new and familiar faces.
Stories next year may shape up to change the status quo of a lot of popular franchises. Interestingly enough, these tales start to show how profound an impact current issues have to our society.