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  1. #1
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    Default Looking to go outside my comic book comfort zone...

    After trying out some of the New 52 DC stuff, I thought a bunch of the books were good, but I'm still bothered by the fact that it's such a huge universe, and I'll never get the complete story, and it seems they're just going to keep getting their continuity screwed up.

    So now I'm thinking of trying out some Dark Horse of Viz manga. Why those two publishers in particular? Because they have very reasonably priced digital options. 70 pages of "Dark Horse Presents" is $4. 120 pages of "One Piece" is $5.

    I'm also looking into Red Circle comics or maybe the new Transformers books.

    I'm open to other publishers too, but I do want to try to get three specific things:

    1. A lot of bang for my comic buck.

    2. A complete universe in one or two titles.

    3. Something that's not too graphic or mature. I'm burned out on dark and bloody stuff.

    I think the 3rd criteria may be the least important.

    I just really want a good comic book world to get into on the ground floor, for a reasonable digital price point.

    So, can anyone recommend me their favorite indy stuff, perhaps based on my criteria?
    Last edited by Trusty Mutsi; 07-30-2012 at 11:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Junior Member Sentinel Supreme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trusty Mutsi View Post
    After trying out some of the New 52 DC stuff, I thought a bunch of the books were good, but I'm still bothered by the fact that it's such a huge universe, and I'll never get the complete story, and it seems they're just going to keep getting their continuity screwed up.

    So now I'm thinking of trying out some Dark Horse of Viz manga. Why those two publishers in particular? Because they have very reasonably priced digital options. 70 pages of "Dark Horse Presents" is $4. 120 pages of "One Piece" is $5.

    I'm also looking into Red Circle comics or maybe the new Transformers books.

    I'm open to other publishers too, but I do want to try to get three specific things:

    1. A lot of bang for my comic buck.

    2. A complete universe in one or two titles.

    3. Something that's not too graphic or mature. I'm burned out on dark and bloody stuff.

    So, can anyone recommend me their favorite indy stuff, perhaps based on my criteria?
    I would recommend some of the lighter Image fare for you. Definitely read Invincible, as there are a few spin-offs in Kirkman's universe, but really you could just read Invincible and basically get the whole story.

    Valiant just relaunched their universe and as of August 8th you can read everything in their shared universe in 4 books. You did mention you didn't want anything dark and bloody so maybe it wouldn't be your thing, but I would give X-O Manowar a try at least and see if you like it. One of the best things about old and new Valiant though is the shared universe concept. As of Bloodshot #1 and Harbinger #2 there are definite connections between titles and this is likely to continue over the next year and beyond (I hope).
    X-O Manowar. Harbinger. Bloodshot. Archer & Armstrong. Swamp Thing. Dial H. Captain Marvel. Hit-Girl. Saga. Prophet. Read my reviews of these and more at The Comic Book Couple!

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    Ooo!! I forgot about Valiant!! I just looked, and there really isn't much there yet, so it could be a perfect jumping on point for me. My only problem is the digital price point. I don't WANT exclusive digital content. I'd rather get the same content as print, for less money ($1.99).

    As for Invincible, I have been reading it, and it's great, but it's gotten way to uber-violent for me. Just read the "Still Standing" trade, and that was one of the goriest books I've read in a long time.
    Last edited by Trusty Mutsi; 07-30-2012 at 10:47 AM.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Sentinel Supreme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trusty Mutsi View Post
    Ooo!! I forgot about Valiant!! I just looked, and there really isn't much there yet, so it could be a perfect jumping on point for me. My only problem is the digital price point. I don't WANT exclusive digital content. I'd rather get the same content as print, for less money ($1.99).

    As for Invincible, I have been reading it, and it's great, but it's gotten way to uber-violent for me. Just read the "Still Standing" trade, and that was one of the goriest books I've read in a long time.
    In that case, as much as it pains me to say it, if you find Invincible too much to handle then I would probably steer clear from Valiant. The only book that might fit your comfort zone would probably be X-O Manowar, but in your case I wouldn't recommend Bloodshot and Harbinger as they are pretty much mature readers titles and deal with a lot of subject matter you'd likely find uncomfortable.

    If you have any love for classic or pulp era comics, maybe try Dynamite? They have a miniseries called Prophecy that's currently ongoing which is basically a company-wide crossover that will introduce you to their characters (Vampirella, Red Sonja). There's also the Kirby: Genesis miniseries and the books that have come from that, which are similar to the Project Superpowers comics from a few years ago, and there's another upcoming crossover called Masks that'll feature The Shadow, The Spider, and Green Hornet (I think).
    Last edited by Sentinel Supreme; 07-30-2012 at 11:43 AM.
    X-O Manowar. Harbinger. Bloodshot. Archer & Armstrong. Swamp Thing. Dial H. Captain Marvel. Hit-Girl. Saga. Prophet. Read my reviews of these and more at The Comic Book Couple!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sentinel Supreme View Post
    In that case, as much as it pains me to say it, if you find Invincible too much to handle then I would probably steer clear from Valiant. The only book that might fit your comfort zone would probably be X-O Manowar, but in your case I wouldn't recommend Bloodshot and Harbinger as they are pretty much mature readers titles and deal with a lot of subject matter you'd likely find uncomfortable.
    Well, are we talking Garth Ennis level mature, or more like a PG-13?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trusty Mutsi View Post
    Well, are we talking Garth Ennis level mature, or more like a PG-13?
    Haha Garth Ennis being "mature," good one.

    I kid. I kid.

    Well, Harbinger deals with a lot of contemporary socio-political issues ie: class & generational conficts, poverty, the U.S. housing crisis, rape, and drug abuse- so far.

    Bloodshot deals with terrorism, corporate espionage and modern warfare, which doesn't sound as mature as Harby, however given your aversion to graphic violence, let me spoil the first issue for you by saying that the main character is killed *if I remember correctly* at least 3 times in spectacularly gory fashion before being revived. The basic concept of Bloodshot as basically being some blank slate who Project Rising Spirit sends in as a kamikaze fighter and whose own body won't let him die is a very gruesome concept imho.

    You're not going to get the crass humour or the shock value tactics of Ennis and Millar in these books, but they definitely aren't for kids. X-O Manowar has been the tamest so far, but there's still a fair bit of violence in that book (nothing on an Invincible level yet).
    X-O Manowar. Harbinger. Bloodshot. Archer & Armstrong. Swamp Thing. Dial H. Captain Marvel. Hit-Girl. Saga. Prophet. Read my reviews of these and more at The Comic Book Couple!

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    Well, I think the 3rd criteria may be the least important.

    I just really want a good comic book world to get into on the ground floor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sentinel Supreme View Post
    Haha Garth Ennis being "mature," good one.

    I kid. I kid.

    Well, Harbinger deals with a lot of contemporary socio-political issues ie: class & generational conficts, poverty, the U.S. housing crisis, rape, and drug abuse- so far.

    Bloodshot deals with terrorism, corporate espionage and modern warfare, which doesn't sound as mature as Harby, however given your aversion to graphic violence, let me spoil the first issue for you by saying that the main character is killed *if I remember correctly* at least 3 times in spectacularly gory fashion before being revived. The basic concept of Bloodshot as basically being some blank slate who Project Rising Spirit sends in as a kamikaze fighter and whose own body won't let him die is a very gruesome concept imho.

    You're not going to get the crass humour or the shock value tactics of Ennis and Millar in these books, but they definitely aren't for kids. X-O Manowar has been the tamest so far, but there's still a fair bit of violence in that book (nothing on an Invincible level yet).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sentinel Supreme View Post
    Haha Garth Ennis being "mature," good one.

    I kid. I kid.

    Well, Harbinger deals with a lot of contemporary socio-political issues ie: class & generational conficts, poverty, the U.S. housing crisis, rape, and drug abuse- so far.

    Bloodshot deals with terrorism, corporate espionage and modern warfare, which doesn't sound as mature as Harby, however given your aversion to graphic violence, let me spoil the first issue for you by saying that the main character is killed *if I remember correctly* at least 3 times in spectacularly gory fashion before being revived. The basic concept of Bloodshot as basically being some blank slate who Project Rising Spirit sends in as a kamikaze fighter and whose own body won't let him die is a very gruesome concept imho.

    You're not going to get the crass humour or the shock value tactics of Ennis and Millar in these books, but they definitely aren't for kids. X-O Manowar has been the tamest so far, but there's still a fair bit of violence in that book (nothing on an Invincible level yet).
    I will concur with everything SS has said. I will add, however, to give Archer & Armstrong a try when it comes out next week. That is likely to be the most fun loving and adventuresome book of the Valiant launch.

    As far as price point, while I would love to see these and other books such as Dynamite at a lower price point, it just isn't going to happen. You mentioned a few exceptions in your first post, but in general only the Big 2 and some Image books can afford to price at $2.99 or drop below cover (and even then only after the first month like these other publishers do). Unfortunately that is just a reality of the business right now until publishers realize dropping books from cover will not undermine the retail shops.

    However, as a bonus should you decide to pick up the Valiant titles, they have started making their back catalogue from the 90s available digitally. They are $1.99, but have a lot more pages and story than you typically get today. Harbinger and Archer & Armstrong are both excellent, even 20 years later, and XO Manowar isn't half bad either.
    VALIANT, Saga, Chew, Manhattan Projects, Revival, East of West, Locke & Key, Hawkeye, Young Avengers.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Sentinel Supreme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trusty Mutsi View Post
    Well, I think the 3rd criteria may be the least important.

    I just really want a good comic book world to get into on the ground floor.
    In that case then I'd say you should at least give the first issues of Harbinger, X-O, Bloodshot (and as of August 8th) Archer and Armstrong a try, because those 4 books are all in the same universe and everything that Warren or Dinesh have said regarding the direction of Valiant suggests that continuity and the fact that Valiant is a universe of characters is something that matters a lot to them.

    The connections between the titles don't become immediately apparent until Bloodshot #1 and Harbinger #2 but at least you'll know what you're getting into with each of the #1's. If you need any further convincing I've reviewed X-O #3, Harbinger #2 and Bloodshot #1 on my blog here.
    X-O Manowar. Harbinger. Bloodshot. Archer & Armstrong. Swamp Thing. Dial H. Captain Marvel. Hit-Girl. Saga. Prophet. Read my reviews of these and more at The Comic Book Couple!

  10. #10
    Junior Member Sentinel Supreme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugsySig View Post
    I will concur with everything SS has said. I will add, however, to give Archer & Armstrong a try when it comes out next week. That is likely to be the most fun loving and adventuresome book of the Valiant launch.

    As far as price point, while I would love to see these and other books such as Dynamite at a lower price point, it just isn't going to happen. You mentioned a few exceptions in your first post, but in general only the Big 2 and some Image books can afford to price at $2.99 or drop below cover (and even then only after the first month like these other publishers do). Unfortunately that is just a reality of the business right now until publishers realize dropping books from cover will not undermine the retail shops.

    However, as a bonus should you decide to pick up the Valiant titles, they have started making their back catalogue from the 90s available digitally. They are $1.99, but have a lot more pages and story than you typically get today. Harbinger and Archer & Armstrong are both excellent, even 20 years later, and XO Manowar isn't half bad either.
    Really good points made here. Much as it sucks, 2.99 is just not feasible for companies like Valiant, IDW, Boom!, Dynamite et al.

    And BugsySig is totally right, classic Valiant is well-worth your time and money.
    X-O Manowar. Harbinger. Bloodshot. Archer & Armstrong. Swamp Thing. Dial H. Captain Marvel. Hit-Girl. Saga. Prophet. Read my reviews of these and more at The Comic Book Couple!

  11. #11
    Senior Member jsf's Avatar
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    I've enjoyed the pulp revival going on with Dynamite as regards the Shadow and the Spider. Both have been good, imo.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsf View Post
    I've enjoyed the pulp revival going on with Dynamite as regards the Shadow and the Spider. Both have been good, imo.
    I haven't gotten into these books myself, although I might start picking up Prophecy since I just dropped Justice League Dark from my pull list and now have room for another title.
    X-O Manowar. Harbinger. Bloodshot. Archer & Armstrong. Swamp Thing. Dial H. Captain Marvel. Hit-Girl. Saga. Prophet. Read my reviews of these and more at The Comic Book Couple!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsf View Post
    I've enjoyed the pulp revival going on with Dynamite as regards the Shadow and the Spider. Both have been good, imo.
    Both books are solid if unspectacular, and I have heard good things about Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist.

    Also, though they are not a shared universe, there are some excellent new series at Image. Saga, Mind the Gap, Manhattan Projects and Strange Talent of Luther Strode top a lot of reviewers lists and are all in their first or second arcs. Also, for a fun book try DnA's Hypernaturals at Boom!
    VALIANT, Saga, Chew, Manhattan Projects, Revival, East of West, Locke & Key, Hawkeye, Young Avengers.

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    Junior Member Sentinel Supreme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugsySig View Post
    Both books are solid if unspectacular, and I have heard good things about Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist.

    Also, though they are not a shared universe, there are some excellent new series at Image. Saga, Mind the Gap, Manhattan Projects and Strange Talent of Luther Strode top a lot of reviewers lists and are all in their first or second arcs. Also, for a fun book try DnA's Hypernaturals at Boom!
    Much as I loved it, if the OP thinks Invincible is getting too hardcore I don't think Luther Strode would be up his alley. I mean, that book is about a teenager who gets the power to murder people, basically. Saga is my favorite ongoing series though, and I would also recommend Hypernaturals especially if you're a fan of Marvel cosmic and Legion of Superheroes type-stuff.
    X-O Manowar. Harbinger. Bloodshot. Archer & Armstrong. Swamp Thing. Dial H. Captain Marvel. Hit-Girl. Saga. Prophet. Read my reviews of these and more at The Comic Book Couple!

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