H&D's Top 10 Ongoing Series

Part One:  Honorable Mentions

Occasionally here at the Dragon, we get excited ó maybe even a little too excited ó about comics.  This leads to all sorts of strange fanatical behaviors (Super-Hero Twenty Questions; who can beat who; "if you were in charge of DC/Marvel, who would you have write what?").  Mostly, this is nothing of any significance, but last Wednesday when we all got excited about what our top ten current books were, I realized that this could actually be something useful to our customers as well as being a fun diversion.

Each of our employees made a list of their favorite titles, and from that list, we came up with the Heroes and Dragons Top Ten Comics!  These are titles that we all really enjoy, and we know you will, too!  I have included my own notes on each of these series, as well as tips on the best way to jump on these great books in case you arenít already reading them.  And, as always, if you donít see it on our shelves, be sure to ask one of our employees, and weíll hunt it down for you.

This week, we present the Honorable Mentions.  (O.K., so technically this makes it a Top Fifteen, but that doesnít sound nearly as snappy.)  While these books didnít make the Top Ten, they were darn close.  In fact, if this little exercise has done anything, itís proven that the current state of comics is good.

So, in no particular order, I give you ó The Herculean Heroes and Dragons Terrific Top Ten Honorable Mega-Mentions!


Click sample pages to view them at full-size.

Sleeper

A skeptical Holden meeting with Lynch from Sleeper Season Two # 5.

Holden Carver is a sleeper agent in the worldís most dangerous group of organized super-criminals.  Heís in deep cover ó so deep that only one man knows that he truly is on the side of the angels.

So what does it mean when that one man takes a bullet in the head?  Nothing good for Holden, thatís for sure.

Writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips knock it out of the park month after month with this one.  Itís got everything you crave (spies, super powers, sex, bad language, guns, explosions) as well as everything you need (nail-biting plot, well-developed characters, beautiful art).

How to Jump On:  Sleeper Season Two is coming out right now, but I wouldnít pick it up before checking out the two trades that collect Season One:

  • Sleeper, Vol. 1:  Out in the Cold

  • Sleeper, Vol. 2:  All False Moves


Ultimate X-Men

Ouch!  I guess the typical hair-pulling is out when the girls have mutant powers ... .

Hey, itís the X-Men ó I donít need to explain anything, right?

Well, maybe you need to know why this particular X-book has so many of our Dragon employees reading it every month.  The answer? Brian K. Vaughan.  Heís one of the few writers who pop up on this list more than once, so maybe there is something to him.  As those who read his great series Runaways will attest, olí BKV really knows teen angst, so sticking him on the teenage versions of everyoneís favorite mutants is really a no-brainer.

How to Jump On:  Thereís tons of Ultimate X-Men trades on our shelves (nine volumes in all) if you want to start at the beginning, but one of the great things about this book is that you can jump on just about any time and get up to speed pretty quickly.  BKVís run just started with issue # 50, so donít worry ó you havenít missed much.  And Iím sure there will be another volume added sooner than you think.


The Goon

The Goon and Franky in their younger, more innocent days.

Oh, wow.  I donít even know where to begin.  This book has made me laugh to the point of tears.  Many times.

Hmm ó how to describe the bookís plot.  Well, thereís The Goon and his buddy Franky, and together they go around town beating the crap out of monsters, ghosts, zombies, and other supernatural baddies.  Cue the hilarity.

Eric Powell writes and draws and generally is amazing throughout the book, like some strange love child of Mike Mignola, Boss Hogg, Jack Kirby, and H.P. Lovecraft.

How to Jump On:  Pick up any of these great trades:

  • The Goon, Vol. 0:  Rough Stuff

  • The Goon, Vol. 1:  Nothin' but Misery

  • The Goon, Vol. 2:  My Murderous Childhood


Ex Machina

Mayor Hundred handles the press in his own special way.

See?  I told you that olí BKV pops up on this list again.

This time heís teaming up with one of the Dragon staffís favorite artists, Tony Harris, and the good people at WildStorm to bring you a book about super-heroes and politics.  Yeah, you heard right.  The story follows a former super-hero as he begins his term as the mayor of New York City.

As you can expect, being mayor isnít easy, especially when you used to be a super-hero. You Dragon regulars out there will remember that I was more excited about the first issue of this comic than any other first issue in a while, and this book hasnít let me down one bit.

How to Jump On:  All the issues should still be available, but if monthlies arenít your deal, thereís a trade coming out in January ó Ex Machina: The First Hundred Years.  (Order it here.)


Spider-Man (Marvel Knights)

Mark Millar gives Terry Dodson an excuse to draw another hot super-heroine (Uncanny X-Men's Marvel Girl).  Thanks, Mark!

Mark Millar loves Spider-Man and has said so many, many times.

So what does he do when he is given a chance to write his favorite character?  Why, he kidnaps his Aunt May, puts a reward out for his identity, and beats the mess out of him every issue, of course.  While it may seem that Mark is being a bit harsh on Peter Parker, I think that itís because he knows that the character works best when you kick him while heís down.

Bring along some great art by Terry Dodson (and currently Frank Cho), and youíve got quite a book there (not to mention some really hot pictures of Mary Jane and the Black Cat).

How to Jump On:  The first trade is hot off the presses and waitin' for ya:

  • Marvel Knights Spider-Man, Vol. 1:  Down Among the Dead Men


Next Week:
Starting with our Number Ten Favorite Comic, we count down to Number Six!

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