Movies & TV / Columns

The Best Feel-Good Comic Book Reads: Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Bone, Sex Criminals

May 27, 2020 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Superior Foes of Spider-Man

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last week we discussed our Thoughts on Peter David and Dale Keown’s Return to the Hulk. Here’s what some of you had to say:

mcdropkick: “Anyone who considers themselves a Hulk fan should check out the current run, Immortal Hulk. Phenomenal book with some real body horror-esque art at times.”

Gil: “I practically got my start into comics with the team of David and Keown on Hulk. I’m definitely checking this out. It will be interesting how they handle Maestro’s origin now. Back then the Hulk running around was the Merged Hulk. Banner, Green and Grey in one package. Maestro was an older version on the Merged Hulk getting powered up by Nuclear bomb radiation The world was dropping. He got stronger and meaner. Today, Merged Hulk is actually just another personality called the Professor. So is the Maestro an older version of the Professor Hulk? Another personality that didn’t show up yet in the current timeline? Maybe he’s an actual Merged Hulk combining everyone including Devil Hulk.

On another note, my first Wrestling news site was 411Wrestling. RIP Mr Csonka.”

Excollector: “I was a huge fan of Peter David’s run on The Hulk and this could be a great nostalgia/return to form story.”

Chip McFetters: “I’ve always gotten a kick out of Dale’s work. It’s good to see him back, but who will the penciller be?”

Double J: “Sure, I’m interested. A good origin story is always welcomed, and I’ve alway thought that a villain’s origins, really explored, is a great read.

It’s easy to see why a normal person would want to be a hero, loved and honored, but what drives a person to throw on a costume and go out to rampage and be hated?”

Wheeljack84: “I’m glad to see Peter David returning to Hulk. I know he’s had his issues in the past, but he’s one of my favorite comic writers. I loved his run on Captain Marvel.”

Jamalc: “The duo that got me into comics.”

Steed: “Anticipation and excitement. My favourite Hulk duo to have ever worked on the comics.”

Dexter Plisskin: “”Interested in this?”

Half-interested. Nothing against Keown, but, David and George Perez on the project would make me VERY interested!”
Ken Wood: “I’ve never been the hugest Hulk fan. I’ve always enjoyed him appearing in other issues, like Spiderman and Punisher and stuff, but never really bought his own comics. That said, I did enjoy Pitt and this intrigues me. I might check it out in graphic novel format at some point in the future.”

Thank you to everyone who commented!
This week we discuss…

Best Comic Books to Read to Feel Good

It’s been a tough week in the middle of a tough few months for many out there. With everything going on, I thought it would be nice to share some recommendations for comic books that you turn to for a little boost. 

Like any list, what comic book you pick up to feel good is subjective. It could be something humorous, something serious, maybe a horror or even classic superhero story. 

One of my go to books is Bone by Jeff Smith. It’s a pretty obvious choice and made even easier since I’ve introduced it to my kids recently. Seeing them delve into them was pretty cool and they clicked with the story and the characters. Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone and their exile from Boneville was all they talked about and when I told them it will eventually be made into a series, they cheered. For me, it boils down to the tale itself. Even while I was reading it the first time, I felt like I was reading a classic. Picking it up now is like reconnecting with old friends. 

When I want to feel inspired visually, I grab The World of Edena, by Jean “Mœbius” Giraud. Something about that art just takes me to another place. This book plays to his strengths and delivers a mesmerizing trip. While interstellar investigators Stel and Atan are investigating a missing station and crew, they come across the mythical paradise planet of Edena. An artistic ballet that leaves you wanting more. 

In need of a laugh? I Hate Fairyland by Skottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu is my book to reach for. Is it high humor? Not even close and it’s obviously meant for those who still find immature humor funny. Guilty.

This next one might get some looks but Sex Criminals from Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky is a wild ride that can make you forget about just about anything. I don’t even know where to begin in describing it but will say it’s for mature audiences. See how I went from immature humor to mature reading?

Anyways a couple realize they can stop time when they do the ole vertical dance so they decide to rob a bank in order to save…a library. From there it explodes into a much larger world filled with sex police, explicitly shaped guns and so much more I can’t talk about. 

If you want more from Fraction, his Hawkeye is always a good one to pick up and get away from the world for a while. Fun and funny. 

Like Bone, another constant in my house is Astro City by Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, and Alex Ross. Since this series came out in 1995 I’ve been a faithful reader and have read and reread these stories over and over. The concept of giving superheroes a realistic edge isn’t new but the execution of Astro City is near-perfect. In fact, after I submit this, I’m diving into the adventures of Jack-in-the-Box, Winged Victory, and Samaritan.  

For pure fun that will make you smile and remind you why you love comics, grab The Superior Foes of Spider-Man. It’s just so well done and endearing. While we’re following the supervillain c-list, there’s so much charm in each page. 

When I want some nostalgia, I can always pick up G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero from Larry Hama and Herbe Trimpe. Again, it checks all the boxes and was the book that really locked down my love for comic books. There’s something relaxing about watching the battle between the Joes and Cobra play out with a cast of colorful characters.

There you go! Shares yours below!

That’s all the time I have. See you next week!