Underrated has been conspicuously absent recently, in part because I didn’t want to post one just for the sake of posting one, and in part because I kept forgetting to write them. Clearly this isn’t a weekly feature any more, although that may change once I get back in the flow of things. But, as I sit here looking at my pull list, and some of the comics I’m enjoying the most these days I realized that it was time for another part on this particular Underrated, because there are some very good comic books out there that aren’t quite getting the attention they deserve. So I asked myself, I said “self, are there any comics out there that you feel are, for whatever reason, somewhat underrated?”
And seeing as it had been awhile since I last asked myself that question, I knew there’d be some new faces on the list.
A few things before we start; firstly, these comics are all currently being published in an ongoing series. Secondly, I’ve got eclectic taste so these may not be for everybody so be prepared for some potentially foolish claims. Thirdly, this isn’t a complete, or inclusive, list and it is completely subjective.
Look it’s no secret that I’m a fan of comics published by Valiant, as evidenced by there being twoValiant comics within this Underrated, but A&A is a fantastically entertaining series that is only a couple of issues in, but has me hooked already. The hedonistic immortal Armstrong is a character that is vastly different to his brother the Eternal Warrior, and yet no less compelling to read about. Add in the dialogue between Armstrong and his sheltered partner Archer and there’s some gold on every page. A effortlessly funny comic that I’m a huge fan of.
Will Eisner’s The Spirit
This series has been a consistently entertaining read. While I do have an affinity for the pulp heroes, I was never a huge fan of The Spirit until I started this series. It’s a fantastic series that exemplifies the reasons we read comics; the story is good, the art work is stylized yet detailed and there’s a level of fun here that you don’t often see in today’s comic book climate.
A recurring entry from the last time Underrated: Ongoing Comics was posted, this series is written by one of my favourite writers around today in Chip Zdarsky. While I’ve never read Steve Gerber‘s original run on Howard the Duck (and I’ve been advised not too while this series remains one of my favourites), Zdarsky‘s Howard is always one of my favourite issues month to month.
I picked this up because I had the opportunity to interview the creative team of David Baillie and Meghan Hetrick before issue #1 dropped, and after those interviews I was curious to see what the first issue would be like, but I honestly had no intention of reading beyond that. While it’s not what I would have normally picked up, I’m really enjoying the Scottish mythological aspects of the series, and coupled with the stunning visuals, this is a series that should be on your radar.
Another recurring entry from the last time Underrated: Ongoing Comics was posted, the Eternal Warrior has become one of my favourite characters in comics today. This solo series follows him after the events of Valiant’s Book Of Death event story line from last summer (which was, frankly, the best event story I’ve read in years). Published by Valiant, who are pound for pound the best publisher around right now, and this is one of the most entertaining series I’ve read in a long time. The fifth and sixth issues were phenomenal, serving both as a two part story and a prelude into the next multi part arc that starts up in issue #7.
There we have it – a handful of underrated comic books currently being published. This is a list that can, honestly, be twice as long so expect another entry to this list in the near future. Are there other comic books out there that are, for whatever reason, underrated and under-appreciated?
Because of that, Underrated will return to highlight more comic book related stuff that either gets ignored despite it’s high quality, or maybe isn’t quite as bad as we tend to think it is.
Until next time, which hopefully won’t be as long of a wait!