5. The Wicked + The Divine: Greek mythology, reincarnation, fashion, and music fans should be driving to this comic in droves. Written by Kieron Gillen with art by Jamie McKelvie, The Wicked + The Divine experiments with a world where gods and goddesses are incarnated every nine years as humans. The populous is drawn to them and they become famous musicians and pop icons. “They are loved. They are hated,” Gillen puts it. “In two years, they are dead.” It makes for an intriguing premise that kicks up the urgency with a countdown timestamp throughout the series.
4. Montress: Monstress has been compared to the Final Fantasy video game franchise, I’ve never played but if true, I’d would have been hooked because Montress has everything fantasy fans crave for. In an alternate early 20th century Asia, a teenage girl struggles to survive in this war infested world littered with monsters. But she discovers she has a psychic link with one monster. Writer Marjorie Liu proves she has more than just attorney and Massachusetts Institute of Technology lecturing chops with superb writing that creates intrigue through mystery and teasing.
3. Descender: Written by Jeff Lemire with art by Dustin Nguyen, Descender takes readers on a high-flying cosmic adventure with a young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where his kind has been outlawed. Tim-21 is an android who resembles a young boy. He wakes up a decade after a horrific massacre from a massive robot army called The Harvesters who laid waste to across the United Galactic Council. As a result, the once well human and robot communities flourished splintered pitting humanity against machine.
2. Wayward: Wayward plays to suckers of Japanese culture and mythology and splashes it with a twist of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Half-Irish, half-Japanese teenager Rori Lane is starting a new life and leaves the British Isles and reunites with her mother in Tokyo, Japan, but an ancient order of Yokai—spirits, demons in Japanese folklore—are after her. The sense her as a threat and readers soon find out that they should, as she teams up with a group of other high school students who also have mysterious powers. Writer Jim Zub creates strong characters and environment in this series supplemented with Steve Cummings artwork. It feels like Japan and not a cheap American interpretation.
1. Low: Low tops both the sci-fi and overall charts at Image Comics. Set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic Earth with an environmental message, mankind fled the planet’s surface a millennia ago into the darkest pits of the ocean. Trying to stave off what seems as certain extinction, one woman searches for her kidnapped daughters and hope for the human race. Sounds cliché, right? No worries, writer Rick Remender takes this trope to new heights with incredible character driven storytelling. Low delves into several themes throughout the series, such as alienation, fear of losing loved ones, failure, but the theme of hope is the most interesting take. How it ones drives our life’s decisions. What happens if it dominates an individual’s life. Can hope blind us to an inevitable future? Can lack of hope keep us away from a possible happiness. All these questions and more are explored with captivating art.
Written and photos by Eric Bradach