When most people think of comic book companies they of course think of “Marvel” and “DC” since they’ve dominated the industry longer than any of us have been alive. That said there are other comic publishers out there doing their thing and perhaps the best of them is “Image Comics”.
Over the years “Image” has had its ups and downs and seen many creators and titles (and entire universes like Wildstorm) go. “Image” is currently best known for “The Walking Dead” by Robert Kirkman which started back in 2003 and I wanted to point out a few other of the best “Image” has to offer (although one has since moved to DC, the curse of all content being creator owned).
Rick Remender is well-known for his work with Marvel on “Uncanny Avengers” and “Uncanny X-Men” and while he has a a few ongoing comics at Image I think “Black Science” is his most ambitious and interesting. “Black Science” is about a group of scientists who have discovered a way to travel to different realities. They invent a teleport system (called a “pillar”) to transport themselves but of course someone on the team sabotages it and they’re unable to get back home! Forced to travel deeper and deeper into the multiverse things continue to get worse and worse for them.
The setup is a bit obvious but what is done with it is fun. the artwork by Matteo Scalero is gorgeous and really gets across the mind bending nature of traveling through a multiverse. The colour choice are great at getting across how alien things are and differentiate the comic while making it pop. The different species actually LOOK different which is something that doesn’t happen all the time in Sci-Fi.
It’s a fairly adult themed book (as nearly all Image comics are) and if you’re look for a Sci-Fi comic this is one that is worth giving a trying.
What starts with a simple classic premise of a master thief with the alias “Redmond” attempting to quit a life of crime quickly spirals into a much more interesting story in “Thief of Thieves”. The Paulson family dynamic is the the true heart of the comic as Redmond tries to repair the relationships he has destroyed over the years while still feeling the pull of his criminal past and matching wits with an obsessed FBI agent.
The series is by Robert Kirkman the writer of “The Walking Dead” and “Invincible” and he makes sure that “Thief of Thieves” brings plenty of twists and turns while the actual heists are well done and fun. The art style is as usual with Image well done. As you’d assume from the subject matter this comic has plenty of sex and violence so be forewarned. If you loved similiar crime comics like “100 Bullets” or “Criminal” than give this a read.
“Saga” has taken the comics world by storm over the last several years. Written by Brian K. Vaughn, the author of “Y: The Last Man”, “Ex Machina”, and “Runaways” the series has been described as “Star Wars meets Game of Thrones” and “Romeo and Juilet in space” although I don’t think any of it quite captures the spirit of “Saga”.
Alana and Marko are two soldiers from opposite sides on a galactic wide war who fall in love with each other and have a baby. Everyone in power wants them dead and the entire family is forced on the run. The comic does a wonderful job of mixing drama with a wicked sense of humor and despite its Sci-Fi subject matter the characters feel like real people reacting to real situations more often than not. I HIGHLY recommend this series to any comic lover.
Although “Powers” has since moved from Image to Marvel it ran in Image for slightly half the issues that have come out so far so I’m going to count it here (my article my rules!). “Brian Michael Bendis” is otherwise best known for being the main creator of the Ultimate Marvel Universe but I much prefer his work here (Please don’t mention “Ultimatum” to me.)
“Powers” is about a police department in a world superpowers have become common although not every day. The comic follows a pair of detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim who are assigned to cases that involve “powers”. Walker himself is a former “power” who lost them and has a mysterious past. The series has a ton of fun ideas and twists on super hero ideas and concepts and is my favorite of the various “super police” concepts.
Playstation Network made a not terribly faithful adaptation that managed 2 seasons. If you liked “Gotham PD” or “Top 10” you owe it to yourself to check it out.
Mark Grayson is the son of the world’s greatest super-hero and his own powers are only just starting to develop. Mark starts to enter his father’s world but what starts as a coming of age story is much much more complicated in “Invincible” as (not to spoil) almost everyone has secrets and there are twists and turns everywhere.
“Invincible” is my favourite comic by Robert Kirkman, more than ” The Walking Dead” or anything else. One of the big things about “Invincible” is that over what will be a #144 issue run by the time it ends in 2017 it will have delivered nearly every kind of thrill a super hero comic can while telling a compelling story a young man growing up. Mark Grayson is not perfect by any stretch. He tries to do the right thing but he makes mistakes and stumbles, his supporting cast is similar.
If you’re looking for a super hero comic with an edge (there is a lot of gory violence at times) and great story telling that builds its universe over the long haul then this is the one for you.
That’s it for now! You can check out these and other great Image titles on their website!