On Monday, March 23, the largest comics distributor in the U.S., Diamond Comic Distributors, announced that they will no longer be shipping weekly comics “until further notice”.
Comic shops are only a few of many local shops being affected by COVID-19, and with comic shops already being at risk of closing before the crisis, they need even more help from the local community to stay alive. Many are offering pull lists, roadside pickup and mail-order to accommodate your comic needs in this time of uncertainty.
The world has been put on pause and with everyone quarantined, the long hours may be causing boredom and you may be trying to find a new solution. It’s times like this that show how important businesses like comic book shops are to communities. Many comic readers already go to their local shops every Wednesday for weekly issues, but there’s always room for new comic readers.
I’ve often heard by those who get nervous looking at that large wall of comics, “I don’t know where to begin.” So to make it a bit easier, I will present five current/recent books to start your journey into comics and so you can help your local comic shop.
Note: Even though there won’t be weekly issues for the foreseeable future, there’s still access to back-issues and trade paperbacks of current and old comics. All titles below are available in some form when you walk into your local comic shop.
Batman (2016) | By James Tynion
With the end of Tom King’s 85 issue run, now is the time to hop on as writer James Tynion gives his take on the Dark Knight. We are now heading into DC’s next event, Joker War, the Batman, and his Bat-family will be quintessential reading this coming Summer Season-or when weekly comics begin once again. Overall, I don’t think I need to say much as for reasons why you should be reading Batman. It’s Batman!
Immortal Hulk (2018) | By Al Ewing
The first comic book I ever owned was Peter David’s Hulk: Tempest Fugit (1999) #80. Ever since then, I’ve been searching for a Hulk series to really grab me and present something new with the big green guy. Al Ewing’s Immortal Hulk is the book all Hulk fans have been waiting for. With every issue having a cover painted by comic book legend, Alex Ross, every bi-weekly issue keeps you guessing of what monster will comeback next or what new gory surprise Al Ewing has in store for us. If there’s one comic running right now that I must recommend, it would by Al Ewing’s Immortal Hulk.
Hill House Comics
Joe Hill has shown himself more than just Stephen King’s son. With books like NOS4A2 (2013) and Locke & Key (2008), Hill has proven himself a top tier writer of horror. With Basketful of Heads as a launching title, Joe Hill has begun his own lineup of comics under the title Hill House Comics at DC. Having six titles to choose from with Hill’s Plunge(2020) and Laura Mark’s Daphne Burne (2020), there’s an option for all horror fans and now is the time to jump on.
House of X/Powers of X (2019) | By Jonathan Hickman
Since his run on Fantastic Four (2010), Jonathan Hickman has become a major name in my lineup of writers with the likes of East of West (2013), The Black Monday Murders (2016) and now the X-Men Universe. It has been a while since we’ve gotten a worthy X-Men title and with Hickman rebooting the entire X-men universe, the future looks bright. Starting with two intermingled stories and branching into even more stories like Fallen Angels (2019) and X-Force (2019), the new X-Men Universe is necessary reading material and is continually growing with even more titles on the way.
Strange Adventures (2020) | By Tom King
I mentioned Tom King earlier as the now-former writer of Batman (2016). Although his run with Batman was disappointing to many, a lot of King’s work is widely acclaimed and loved with the likes of comics, Vision (2018) and Mister Miracle (2019). When King is focused on a singular character, he’s at his best as he often takes characters and puts them in intimate settings to create an investing book that you won’t want to put down. Much like Mister Miracle, King has taken a long-ignored hero in Adam Strange of Strange Adventures and creates a gripping and intimate story with jaw-dropping art by Mitch Gerads. To make it better, Strange Adventures is only one issue into this monthly run, so now’s the perfect time to start!
These are just recommendations and a starting point, there’s something for everyone to read. If you are interested in some of the above titles, please contact your local comic shop to ask about pull lists, roadside pickups, mail orders or any other services they may offer at this time.
If you are an avid comic book reader, what are some of your recommendations?