May 4, 2012

The Compost Pile

20 Years Later, Nothing’s Changed. Or Has It?

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Valiant Comics and Image Comics.

It’s become almost cliche to say, but it’s the 90s all over again.

Saga 1 and X-O Manowar 1 cover

Valiant and Image, making the best comics, just like in 1992

Except, it’s not.

Last weekend I went in to my Local Comic Shop (LCS), and opened up a pull box. For a long time, I’ve been buying my comics through DCBS, ever since my last LCS, the one right between where I live and where I work, closed down. I’m a good Valiant minion fan, so opening a pull box and signing up for the pull box variants seemed like the right thing to do.

It doesn’t hurt that the comic shop I now call home is one of the coolest comic shops in the country.

I opened my pull box, and added X-O Manowar, Harbinger, and Bloodshot to it, and I’ll add Archer & Armstrong when it is solicited. Those four aren’t really enough though, so I figured I should add a couple more titles to the list as well. I can’t open a pull box with just four comics!

The first thing that came to mind was, of course, Saga. When I read the first issue, I loved it. It was so weird and compelling. I knew this was something I wanted to read. That goes on the list.

I picked up the first issue of Danger Club a couple of weeks ago, and it was fantastic. It was exciting, full of action, and didn’t waste any time setting up a story that is far more interesting than I expected. This was a surprise.

What else? I’ve heard some good things about Mind The Gap, so I put that on the list. The preview seemed intriguing, and the cover is beautiful. I’ll check it out! Also, Epic Kill looks pretty interesting. What’s not to like about Samurai School-girl Assassins?

Last of all, I can’t pass on The Massive. The previews in Dark Horse Presents, and available digitally, were compelling hooks. Combine that with something about a boat trapped up in the arctic, and I’m sold. (I have a weird fascination with the arctic and antarctic)

I’ve got 4 Valiant Books, 4 Image books, and a Dark Horse book on my pull list. I’m telling you, it’s just like 1992.

In 1992, I was buying Solar, Man of the Atom, Archer & Armstrong, Eternal Warrior, Harbinger, and X-O Manowar, and I bought Spawn and W.I.L.D.Cats when they came out. Sometimes I bought an Aliens or Predator book too, and I stopped buying Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine, G.I. Joe, etc.

In 1992, I was buying Valiant, Image, and the occasional Dark Horse book. Now, in 2012, I’m buying Valiant, Image, and the occasional Dark Horse Book. 20 years later, the same buying habits.

Except, as I said before, it’s not the same.

Over the last couple years, I’ve noticed my interests change. I thought I wasn’t as excited about comics as I used to be, it turns out that I just wasn’t as excited about the same comics that I used to be.

Superheroes just don’t do it for me any more. I’ve read tons of Marvel and DC over the years, but these days, watching Captain America punch Cyclops doesn’t interest me like it once did.

I may go into it a bit more in a future Compost Pile, but for now, suffice to say that “big 2” superheroes don’t do it for me any more.

While I may not be into superheroes like I used to be, I am still interested in extraordinary characters with extraordinary abilities or circumstances. I do love fantasy and sci-fi, after all.

That’s what I feel like I’m getting with the new Valiant and Image books hitting the stands, really good stories with really good characters. Some of the characters are extraordinary, X-O, after all, a Visigoth with a futuristic alien battle armor, is pretty out there. Same with Saga, or Mind the Gap, and from what I have seen, I expect with Harbinger, Bloodshot, and Archer & Armstrong.

Marvel and DC haven’t evolved much. They are still the same characters, in similar circumstances. Image, Valiant, and several others have evolved as I have evolved as a reader. The names of the companies are the same, but the style and quality of the books has increased drastically.

It’s the same companies, but the comics are completely different. they’ve evolved, just like I have. And realizing this, it makes me excited about comics again.


  • MarrowMan comments:

    Thanks for sharing. I’m much like you, I bought and read all the same comics, and then Valiant was gone and Image become a bore (until 2003, when Walking Dead Came out) It was the best comic for nearly a decade. Now we finally have some heavy hitters back!

  • I feel like it is a pretty sweet time for Valiant and Image! Just like 20 years ago. Wait…
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  • Michael comments:

    As an old time GI Joe fan, do yourself a favor and grab IDW’s Cobra series. Imagine Tom Clancy writing GI Joe and making Cobra an serious threat. Even the weird stuff that has no business working (like Serpentor) actually makes sense here. He’s a leader of a religious snake cult…er….movement that’s very chic among rich Hollywood celebrities. The money gets funneled into Cobra’s other ventures, like running arms and starting wars in Asia and Africa to destabilize the region so that their legit corporate interests can swoop in. Imagine every tin-foil-hat conspiracy theory. They’re all true, and the Illuminatis and the Bulderbergs of the world all really answer to Cobra.

  • Oh yeah! I loved the first Cobra mini-series, and I think I picked up the first few issues or the first trade of the second Cobra series. I enjoyed them quite a bit, like all of the G.I. Joe stuff I’ve read from IDW, I’m just behind on my reading.
    Sean recently posted..“Sunrise” Mylar Sun PrintMy Profile

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