In recent years we’ve witnessed a resurfacing of comic book culture, particularly in big Hollywood blockbusters. Think about it, The Avengers took over $200,000,000 its opening weekend, and is now the third highest earning movie in history, next to Titanic and Avatar…a movie about Smurfs. I’m not mad, Smurfs are pretty neat.
Still, it’s been really nice to witness a new horde of incoming comic geeks, and even nicer to read the new adventures of some of our old favourites. In fact, 8 of 10 of the highest selling March titles of this year are all recent series. Marvel dominated the sales with a 90% lead over DC, and the Spiderverse made up 30%.
10. Amazing Spider-Man #16.1
Starting at number 10, Amazing Spider-Man #16.1 launched the ‘Spiral’ storyline. Written by Gerry Conway, Spider-Man comes to discover that all six crime moguls are preparing for an underground war. Wraith joins Spider-Man in this fight to stop these lovable crime bosses from looting and pillaging. As crime bosses are known to do from time to time.
9. Batman: Arkham Knight #1
The prequel stories to the long-awaited penultimate game of the Rocksteady series, the Batman: Arkham games are, in my opinion, the best Batman games ever made. In fact, the Arkham Knight prequels begin where Arkham City ended.
We won’t spoil Arkham City for you (I mean, the game has been out since December, 2012, you should have played it already) but with the Joker no longer appearing in this installment, we have a new villain to fight off – Arkham Knight.
8. Darth Vader #3
Comic Book Resource gave it 4 out of 5 stars and named it the most entertaining installment thus far. Not much of a feat, being the third issue in the series. Still, it’s difficult to make our favourite villain so humorous without being morbid or accidentally funny – I mean, the thing that Lucas did with Jabba the Hutt’s party is an example of the latter – but Gillen and Larroca manage to do it just perfectly.
7. Howard the Duck #1
With a hint of its return in the post-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy – which you seriously can’t tell me you didn’t stay in the theatre for – the debut return of this1970’s character left us in stitches. He returned with his satirical and oftentimes sarcastic
6. Amazing Spider-Man #16
In #16, Peter Parker returns from saving the Web from the evil Doc Ock. He is then faced with The Iguana and Black Cat’s continued attempts to get at him. Half of this issue is focused on Black Cat’s continuing transformation. It helps to know her motivations behind her change after being treated so badly by the Superior Spider-Man and finally clears up the motivation that had been severely lacking.
5. Princess Leia #2
Marvel’s new series continues the story of Princess Leia after the destruction of the Death Star. Mark Waid and Terry Dodson created a great series that tells a story we needed to read. Despite her complicated character within the movies, willing to stand up to the bad guys including her own father (spoilers, but like watch the movie already?), the much-loved and adored Leia seems to lack the room to display emotion about the loss of her home planet. The series explores her personal reactions to the loss of her family and friends, after fighting with the rebels to destroy the Death Star. It allows us an insight into her less abrupt side.
4. Spider-Gwen #2
Some of the most successful recent Marvel titles feature young female protags. Ms. Marvel, Silk, and now Spider-Gwen. We add that to the new Captain Marvel and Thor and we have some of the most successful female protagonists in history. They are building a new universe with guest appearances by the likes of Matt Murdock and Kingpin. The debut issue sold over 200,000 issues, and Spider-Gwen looks to be one of the highest money-earners for Marvel in 2015.
3. Guardians Team Up #1
Bendis uses a brilliant storyline to bring the Guardians to Earth, where they meet up with the Avengers. Joining the characters of the two biggest films in the last three years was a good idea for Marvel in this issue. Despite the vast character roster, which is, at times, hard to display, Bendis doesn’t show all of the Avengers right off the bat.
2. Star Wars #3
The final issue for the opening story arc, filled with comedy, action and a bunch of great moments. We revisit some of our favourite (and not so favourite) characters, with the telling of a story that has been around for three decades. It is difficult to find a negative aspect of this series, but it’s hard to find a negative aspect of Star Wars – I mean, why would you try to? – except Episode I.
1. Princess Leia #1
Starting off in the last scene of Episode IV, with most of a human cast, but the Dodson’s are given the privilege of introducing Admiral Ackbar into the comic series. The only drawback of this great new series is the distinct minimal appearance of Chewie, our beloved Chewie. Definitely keep reading this series.