Top 3 Independent Comics I’m Currently Reading

It’s been a while since I wrote an actual content article for this site as I’ve been focusing on my original work and frankly, shirking my schedule for writing to watch SWAT on Netflix. If you like action and Shemar Moore (because frankly, who doesn’t) definitely recommend the show. That being said, the topic of today’s article is new comics I’ve found that I really enjoy. These three comics are not published by either of the big two (Marvel & DC) but come from smaller more independent publishers. So without further ado, here are my top three new comics that I’ve found:

Once and Future

I spied this one while perusing Comixology looking for interesting titles that aren’t from either of the big companies. This series is put out by Boom! Studios and is continuing their unstoppable advance with terrific content. Boom has taken a big step to the forefront with other great titles like their Power Rangers run, BRZRKR, and Basilisk just to name a few. As a fan of the power rangers growing up, their stories and event that connect all eras of the rangers is something that makes the inner child in me (and many others) very happy. Enough about the Rangers, let’s dive into Once and Future!

Once and Future is a fantasy story about The Legend of King Arthur and the order of knights who were sworn to defend the land against all sorts of dark magic and nightmare creatures. A group of terrorists/nationalists have discovered an ancient artifact and want to use it to bring back a powerful villain from Arthurian legend. They want to destroy the world and reign as the ruling party over the planet. An elderly monster hunter, Bridgette McGuire, sees the signs of the coming war and breaks out of her nursing home to combat the threat. She enlists her grandson, Duncan McGuire, to help her to stop the threat and bring peace to the land once more.

As of writing this article I am only on issue #3 of the run but I am loving it so far. Bridgette is a badass old lady who isn’t scared of anything. Not to mention, she has a HUGE weapon cache in the middle of the woods that would make The Punisher, Deadpool or Rick O’Connell himself blush in awe. Seriously, check it out…

Her grandson is thrown into the world of monster hunters and magic as he tries to help his aging grandmother who largely raised him from childhood to current with her mission. Seeing him take to the monster hunting life is actually something quite spectacular. It definitely has a feel of Harry Potter/Star Wars where the main character (or one of them) has natural abilities. They do make a point of saying that he is a former rugby star so that it doesn’t seem completely out of place when he is able to outrun some of the slower creatures and tackle beings/animals nearly twice his size.

The comic is written by Kieron Gillen, illustrated Dan Mora and as I said before, printed by Boom Studios!. If you enjoy dark fantasy with a modern feel to it, I definitely recommend that you check this comic out!

Overall I give it a solid 8/10 for what I’ve read so far!

Hailstone

This one is a Comixology original production much like Astonishing Times. The original studio that makes it is called Stout Club, but the distribution is handled by Comixology. This comic is set during the tail end of the Civil War in the small town in Montana, Hailstone. The comic opens with a young girl and her mother looking for food in the vast forest outside of town. As her child spies a ripe fruit hanging on a tree, she is abducted by an unseen force. Sheriff Denton Ross and his deputy, Tobias, open an investigation into the disappearance of the young girl but are met with resistance from the forest itself, as it is the dead of winter and the weather makes any sort of search difficult. Denton journeys to the local military camp to request aide in the search and some food for the town. The camp, which houses a large factory “essential to the war effort” refuses to help the town and warns Denton to stop looking into the disappearance.

First thing first, if you love Hell on Wheels, Red Dead Redemption or just cowboys and the entire time period, this is a comic for you. I sent a few screenshots of the first issue to my friend Ben who spent well over 60 hours in Red Dead Redemption 2 and his first comment is “This reminds me of Red Dead and Hell on Wheels”. The artwork is very crisp and uses a lot of shadow to help convey the horror theme of the overall story. The art is drawn by Rafael De Latorre and their style fits well with the whole motif of the piece.

I’ve just purchased issue #3 and am very excited to see where the writer, Rafael Scavone, takes us. From the cover art there definitely seems to be some sort of creature or creatures that are going to play a large part in the story. Exactly what that part is though, I couldn’t guess. It definitely gives me the vibes of Cowboys vs. Aliens and the factory has a foreboding Resident Evil 8 – Village quality to it. If I had to take a guess at what the story was going to be about, it’s this: The Factory has awakened some sort of nest of creatures that laid dormant for years. The factory itself, and those who run it, are able to keep the creatures at bay and think the only way out of the nest is into the factory. The creatures had dug a new exit and are using this new exit to feast on the wandering folks from the town. But again that’s just a guess.

There isn’t a whole lot of colour in this one, lots of white, black and grey but the style works for the story they’re telling.

Overall I give it a 7.8/10 and definitely recommend this comic to anyone a fan of Red Dead and cowboy culture in general.

King Spawn

This is the newest one that I’ve purchased. The first issue only just came out recently and one of my favourite YouTube channels, Variant comics, did a video on it. Spawn has always been a character I was very fascinated with. But since there is no local comic book store in my City, I have to drive at minimum 30 minutes to find the closest one. Thankfully, now with my use of Comixology (I swear this isn’t a paid promotion)

The comic open with a teacher in his classroom full of young children, maybe Kindergarten to grade 2 in age. He gathers them around on the carpet and begins asking them if they know about God and heaven. As one of the kids begins to answer he reaches into his back and taps a few keys on his phone. He then begins telling the kids some catholic mythology as a bomb explodes in the classroom killing the teacher and all the children. Al is understandably very upset with the events and has his former protégé look into the teacher and his past to see if this was an isolated incident or just the beginning of something more.

Spawn has always dealt with a more mature content than most of the other big name comics; since he was first created by Todd McFarlane in 1992. The first major arc that Spawn dealt with was a notorious child rapist/murderer Billy Kincaid. The content of Spawn has always been what sets his story apart from the rest of mainstream comics. Some big titles do have more mature stories and deal with more adult themes, but for the most part they want to keep their content accessible to everyone. Spawn does not do that. Spawn deals with the dirty and gritty realistic approach (within reason) to modern society. He helps the poor who live on the streets and while he does combat demons, devils, angels and even God, at his core Spawn is a champion of the downtrodden. He becomes king of rat city for God’s sake, and that’s literally just a collection of alleys where the poor and sick hide from everyone else.

I’m excited to see where this story goes and what exactly they’re going to bring in. I’m not as familiar with Spawn as I am with the likes of Spider-Man, Batman or Moon Knight; but I am very excited to learn. The story is written by Sean Lewis and Todd McFarlane himself, with Todd doing most of the artwork as well. This new book, along with another that is launching in the coming months ‘Gunslinger Spawn’ are going to keep my gritty anti-hero craving satisfied until we can get the new movie starring Jamie Foxx that’s been in the works for years.

Overall I’d give this book a solid 9/10. It’s dark, gritty and violent; exactly what you would expect a Spawn comic to be!

There you have it! My top 3 independent comics that I’m currently obsessed with. When I say “independent” I literally mean just not published by the big two companies. I highly recommend you check out all three of these titles and let me know if you enjoy them as much as I do! See you next week!

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