Yesterday I decided to do a top 5 Image titles to show that there was more out there than just Marvel or DC. Today I show you that Marvel can also produce a good comic book by bringing you my Top Five Current Marvel Titles. This one was a lot harder to do than the Image one, as I read a lot of Marvel titles and coming up with my Top 5 was difficult. However I was able to pull through and come up with something for your reading pleasure. So now it is the list you have all been waiting for…
Honorable Mention: Astonishing X-Men, Ultimates II, Daredevil, New Thunderbolts
Written by: Fabian Nicieza
Art by: Patrick Zircher
Who would have thought that two creations of Rob Liefeld could be one of my favorite titles. Well it happened and it is thanks to the very good writing of Fabian Nicieza, who collaborated with Liefeld way back in the early days of X-Force and had a hand in helping form these two characters. What makes this book top five material is that it is funny. To be more specific, Deadpool is funny and seeing him do all in his power to annoy the piss out of Cable (his straight man) makes this book an excellent read every month and usually finds itself situated near the top of my reading pile.
4) Fantastic Four
Written by: J. Michael Stracynski
Art by: Mike McKone
The Fantastic Four is my favorite comic book of all time. It was the first comic I started collecting seriously way back when I was a wee lad of only 11 years old. The current story finds Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) under the employ of the US Government who are eager to try and re-create the exact same event that gave the Fantastic Four their powers in an effort to create their own army of super powered individuals. While this is going on, Sue Richards (Invisible Woman) is dealing with Child Services who believe that their children, Franklin and Valeria, are constantly put into harm’s way. (Which is impossible since whenever the shit hits the fan they are whisked away to the moon to be babysat by the Inhumans, except for that one time when Franklin spent a nice vacation in Hell courtesy of Dr. Doom.) Finally Ben Grimm (The Thing)has also found his way into a vast amount of money and is enjoying his new found wealth by not only mailing a photocopy of his ass to Bill Gates, but rubbing it into Johnny Storm’s (The Human Torch, whom my girlfriend has an unhealthy fixation on) face. So far I’m enjoying the direction that Stracynski is going in and look forward to where he is heading. As a side note, had I done this list 6 months ago it would have been much higher as Mark Waid recently finished off an awesome run on the comic, which contains one of the best Doom stories I have ever read.
3) New Avengers
Written by: Brian Michael Bendis
Art by: David Finch/Steve McNiven
You are probably wondering what makes these Avengers so “New”. The answer: Wolverine. Ok, maybe not. Truth is I hate Wolverine, and the fact that this comic ranks so high on the list in spite of that is a testament to how good the comic is. Last fall, the Scarlet Witch went bat-shit crazy and messed up the Avengers something fierce. Killing Hawkeye, Vision, and Ant-Man and leaving the Avengers a broken tattered mess Iron Man decides to call it a day and packs the Avengers into his top drawer. Six months later however, there is a breakout at the local Super Villain prison “The Raft” and former Avengers Captain America and Iron Man are joined by Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman and mystery man The Sentry and take it upon themselves to stop the mass exodus of super villains. Deciding that this was a sign that the Avengers need to return, Captain America offers an invite to most involved in stopping the event to join the “New” Avengers who now congregate at Avengers Tower (the mansion having been destroyed). Force Wolverine onto the team a few issues later (apparently he’s the missing ingredient) and Cap finally has his team. Three things that make this book good are Spider-Man and his comic relief role on the team. The scene where he webs Luke Cage’s hands is classic. The second is Spider Woman, who Bendis dusted off and turned into one of Marvel’s hottest properties in mere months. If anything, Marvel needs more ass kicking women and this is a good start. Finally, the Sentry, who I always assumed was to be forgotten about after his excellent mini series a few years ago (which would appear on my Top 5 mini series of all time) has been put on the team much to my delight. If only Wolverine wasn’t on the team…
Written by: Brian K. Vaughn
Art by: Adrian Alphona
Brian K. Vaughn, the mastermind behind the fantastic comic “Y The Last Man” brings us one of the most creative comics to come out of Marvel in a long time. Remember when you were a kid and you thought your parents were the most evil force on the planet? Well for the six teens of this book that turns out to be true as they find out that their parents are part of the evil criminal organization called “The Pride”. After finding this out, our heroes “runaway” and spend the comic hiding from their parents and also trying to make sense of this curveball life has thrown them. They decide to stand up to their parents and fight back which leads to the dramatic conclusion of Volume 1 of the series. Right now, Volume 2 is being released, with new obstacles and new members and new villains getting in their way. Couple that with Vaughn’s mastery of the cliffhanger and you will go insane waiting for the next issue just to have it all happen to you again. It’s hard to say anymore than that without spoiling a lot of the twists that appear throughout the series. There are three cheap digest sized trades available for about 10 bucks each that collects all of Volume 1 and the first trade collecting the first storyline of Volume 2 is on the way soon.
1) Young Avengers
Written by: Allen Heinberg
Art by: Jim Cheung
Number one on the list is also the most recently released of the comics on this list as well. How can a comic only 5 issues in be number one on the list? Easy, be as kick ass as Young Avengers is. One thing Marvel never really had was sidekicks for its main heroes. With DC you had Robin, Kid Flash, Wonder Girl etc. Marvel had Bucky, and well we all know what happened to him (recent storylines in other comics not withstanding). With this comic Allen Heinberg (writer of The O.C.) brings us what Marvel has been lacking for decades, an answer to the Teen Titans. The team starts off with members Iron Lad, Patriot, Hulkling and Asgardian, and while the names may seem silly, the comic is anything but. Within the pages of the first issue Heinberg was able to get me hooked on the story of these new heroes and sealed my love for the comic with the final page reveal of issue #1 and the true identity of Iron Lad. From there he has had a few new members join the fray as they battle one of the biggest Avengers villains in a fight for their very existence. Toss in Iron Man and Captain America threatening to call their parents and month after month of intriguing plot twists and you have the best Marvel comic on the stands right now. Go out and try and get your hands on this story. Get in on the ground floor before it’s too late. Young Avengers needs to be read. Buy it or I’ll cry. Please?