New To You Comics #77: (Another) ‘Best Of’ Compilation

by Brendan M. Allen

Tony and Brendan have very different tastes in comics. Tony loves his capes, super powers, and sci-fi. Brendan tends to stick to horror, noir, and weird indies. Occasionally, their paths cross, but like most readers, they tend to stay in their own lanes.

New To You Comics is here to break up the pattern a little. Tony will throw some of his favorites at Brendan, and Brendan will hit Tony with some of his. Every NTYC title is brand new to one of them. Every once in a while a title will land with both of them. Most of the time they can find some common ground, but even when they don’t, it’s fun to watch them go at it. Brendan fights dirty. Tony kicks like a mule. 

Writing a weekly column comes with challenges. Co-writing a weekly column compounds those challenges. We said we were going to be hitting  2015’s Ninjak V1 by Matt Kindt and Clay Mann this week, but some things came up. Namely, SDCC 2021 Comic-Con At Home coverage, and Tony’s birthday celebration (Dude is OLD). So, instead of leaving you hanging, here are six of our favorites from earlier this year, and one from last year. Ninjak next week. Fair? Fair. 


Tony’s Picks:

House Of X/Powers Of X

House of X #1 launched with perhaps the most ominous quotes in comics- “While you slept, the world changed.” For the X-Men, Jonathan Hickman’s words rang true. Alongside rising star artists Pepe Larraz and RB Silva, inker Adriano DiBenedetto, color artists Marte Gracia and David Curiel, letterer Clayton Cowles and designer Tom Muller, Hickman proceeded to give the X-Men line a fresh new status quo as well as a relaunch unlike any the line had ever received.

House of X/Power of X is the story of the nation of Krakoa, the new home of the mutant race. However it’s also the story of the ultimate fate of mutant kind, and the desperate race to save their world. And it all hinges on one of the biggest revelations in the history of mutantkind.

All-Star Superman

All-Star Superman was originally part of an ill-fated line of “continuity free” series from DC Comics. Only two series came from the line- the much maligned All-Star Batman & Robin and this series. While its sister book was a creative bomb, it was clear from the first pages that Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, Jamie Grant, Travis Lanham and Phil Balsman had something special on their hands.

When one of Lex Luthor’s plots results in Superman receiving a fatal dose of solar energy, the Man of Steel realizes he only has weeks to live. He determines to fill those final days with the good deeds that he was known for in life. And so begins the final labors of Superman…

Afterlife With Archie V1

When we reached out to David to invite him to join us (and plug some of his upcoming projects), he suggested diving into Archie Comics’ 2013 horror hit Afterlife with Archie. We’ve covered other Archie Horror titles before, but never the one that started it all. So we were definitely excited to take a look at one of the most lauded titles in the past decade of comics.

In 2013, a variant cover for Life with Archie homaging classic EC Comics by Francesco Francavilla became a surprise hit. Afterlife with Archie was quickly born when Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Archie executives realized there was nothing stopping them from transforming the variant into a full-blown series. Not long after, the series made its debut and was an instant hit.

Created by Aguirre-Sacasa, Francavilla, and letterer Jack Morelli, Afterlife with Archie begins with a much darker moment than any other Archie comic that’s come before. Jughead Jones’ beloved Hot Dog has been killed in a hit and run, and his only hope is Sabrina Spellman’s magic. However, the spell goes horribly wrong, spelling doom for Riverdale and perhaps the entire world…

Brendan’s Picks:

Gideon Falls Vol. 1

A paranoid conspiracy theorist in the middle of the big city. An embattled priest in the middle of nowhere. Our man Norton’s fighting to keep his freedom, having been recently released from a psychiatric program. Father Fred was settling into a stable, if boring, existence at seminary before being reassigned to the recently vacated post in Gideon Falls. 

Two characters that seemingly have little in common, in settings that couldn’t be more opposite. No clue how they relate to each other until the very last page. Murder and conspiracies and haunted architecture.

Harrow County Vol. 1

The first time I read a chapter of Harrow County was way, way back when I was a baby comics journo, working on the blog side of a Portland based internet comics retailer’s website. 2016? Sounds about right.

We didn’t have a whole lot of control over the books we’d review, and a lot of times it would be singles out of the middle of a story arc. They assigned me Harrow County #13, which is one of those middle of the story singles that doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense without the context of the rest of the story.

It was absolutely gorgeous, though. Between the visuals and the dialogue, lost as I was, it grabbed me enough to go back and read the first twelve, and then to pull every chapter moving forward. It was my introduction to Cullen Bunn’s work and probably my first horror comic ever. Needless to say, this is the comic that most influenced my current taste in comics.

Coyotes Vol. 2

Wow. I know this (was) my pick, and I’ve read it before, but this is the kind of work that hits you every time you read it. So many levels of allegory, so topical for so many current events. Man, I love this book. We say stuff all the time like ‘horror is the perfect vehicle for satire,’ and books like Coyotes are the works that prove the rule.


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