A couple of weeks ago, I talked about a few comic book titles that I’ve been reading. That seemed to go over well. So, here I’m doing it again. This time, I”m going to talk about the titles whose trades I’ve acquired. By trades, of course, I mean I’m talking about the trade paperback compilations of a few issues. While there are titles for which I’ll buy every issue, there are others that I’m comfortable waiting for the books to come out. I know I’m not alone in that practice and this could go into a discussion about the state of the comic book business, but let’s go to talking about some comic books instead!
Saga (2012 – Present)
As I am a resident of the Internet, Saga became a big blip on my radar after it was talked about on sites like io9. It seemed like such a fascinating concept and the art looked amazing. In a nutshell, two people on the opposing side of an intergalactic war that has been raging for decades fall in love, get married, and have a baby. While that would normally seem like the end of a story, it was only the beginning. Both sides of the war want them dead and there are all kinds of people chasing after them. All of the main characters in this comic are fantastic, three-dimensional individuals.
Saga tackles a lot of different issues like war, PTSD, abuse, and recovery. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are such a phenomenal team. They really work so well together to create such a fantastic story. I don’t want to spoil any bit of this comic for you, but there’s this beautiful poignant interaction between this little girl that had been rescued by a bounty hunter and the bounty hunter’s companion, Lying Cat. Pick up the books just to get to that point. If you haven’t been sold on the title by then, you might just be missing an integral part of your humanity. Just a thought.
Rat Queens (2013 – Present)
Continuing with that Internet trend, I found out about Rat Queens on Tumblr. After seeing a few panels of it pop up repeatedly on my Tumblr dashboard, I decided to spring for the first trade. I devoured it. Basically, you’re looking at your stereotypical Fantasy adventuring group, but they’re all females. They have the same lusts for life and treasure that you’d expect out of any adventuring group. That’s just kind of remarkable. It shouldn’t be and that’s another issue on its own, but the book itself is fantastic.
I’ve only read the first trade and I’m eager to read the second as soon as Amazon delivers it to my house. I want to see what shenanigans the gaggle of gals gets into next. I want to see them continue to kick ass and take names. I want to learn more about their backgrounds and their lives. I just want more. So much more. I’m sure they will deliver.
New 52 Aquaman (2011 -Present)
I get an e-mail every day from Amazon that let’s me know what book deals are available on Kindle. That’s why I ended up picking up the first book of DC’s New 52 Aquaman run. Now, the New 52 has been home to some great and terrible things in DC comic books. I’ll let someone more well-versed in DC handle all of that, but I’m going to come out and say that I loved the first trade. I loved seeing the fact that they played with the idea of how Aquaman gets no respect from people on the surface. The lack of respect that Aquaman gets in general from fandom is a well-documented fact. As you are aware, I am an Aquaman fan.
So, the acknowledgement of the respect issue was what initially made me like the comic. It was self-aware and I appreciate that. What fully sold me on it was seeing the way Mera reacted to a sexist jerk in a grocery store. Those panels alone were well worth the price I paid for the book and then some. While I’m not up-to-date, I’m looking forward to acquiring more of that run of Aquaman just to see where everything goes. They were taking that story some interesting places.
Hawkeye (2012 – Present)
I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like what Matt Fraction has done with Hawkeye in the currently running and apparently soon-to-be ending series. Again, thanks to Tumblr, I decided to toss some money at the first book. Now, I’m waiting to toss more money at the subsequent books. I think what struck me most was seeing Clint Barton and the dog. Yeah, you guys know the story about how Clint saved a dog and how meaningful that was for Matt Fraction.
Furthermore, Fraction has done some great things with the character that have earned him some well-earned praise, including bringing Barton’s hearing issues back into the foreground and having the use of sign language be a big part of the way the material is presented. This is a huge thing in Issue #19, or so I saw on Tumblr. I haven’t read it. Yet. Still, I love the wonderfully snarky Clint Barton from this series and I love seeing the misadventures he has. I also love how he and Kate Bishop, also a Hawkeye, interact. Let’s just say that I love this run of Hawkeye and will be so sad when it ends.
The Movement (2013 – 2014)
Speaking of endings, let’s talk about The Movement. When DC announced that they were canceling The Movement, there was a great hue and cry all over the internet. Twitter and Tumblr gnashed their teeth and wept for the loss of the book. I decided to pick up the trade to see what everyone was talking about it. Gail Simone was the writer on this so the next few sentences should make a lot of sense. The characters and story were so well-crafted and engaging. I was immediately drawn into the action and their struggles. I couldn’t put the book down until I’d finished it. Then, I had to tweet about it. Gail Simone tweeted me back. It was a magic moment.
The next and last trade of the book comes out next month. When I finish reading it, I know I will be sad. There may even be tears. I’ll be sad for the loss of potential. I’ll be sad because this was such a great project and Gail Simone was doing some phenomenal work. I’ll just be bummed that there won’t be any more of The Movement to read.