Note: Whichever quarantine week you’re living through may depend on where you reside. For me, it’s week 4.
So shit’s kinda fucked right now, especially when it comes to new releases. So it’s time to pull something off the bookshelf or explore something on your “I’ll check it out eventually” list. Here’s a couple picks worth diving into.
X-O Manowar (2012-2016)
(w) Robert Venditti (a) Cary Nord, various
When Valiant rose from the ashes like a phoenix for its rebirth in 2012, it kicked off with their flagship character. Asking what would happen if Conan the Barbarian had Iron Man’s armor while having Captain America’s “man out of time” schtick turned up to 11, X-O Manowar seems like a haphazard collection of ideas mashed together. However, Robert Venditti’s character-driven writing, along with fantastic artwork from Cary Nord, let readers know that Valiant was back and it meant business. While the art team rotated throughout the series’ 50-plus issue run, Venditti’s steady, quality writing made X-O Manowar a satisfying read that challenged what a superhero comic could be.
The Goon (1999-2019?)
(w/a) Eric Powell
A hard-hitting, farcical, and supernatural noir. That’s probably the most succinct description I can give Eric Powell’s The Goon. The multiple Eisner-winning series is like a throwback to the old EC Comics, with Powell providing grotesque monsters and a large, imposing figure as its protagonist. But The Goon is more than just a throwback to comics killed by the CCA, frequently rising above its station by virtue of not only its earnest appreciation of those old horror comics, but also its attention to detail when it comes to Depression-era aesthetics. The Goon may not be the sexiest title to check out, but it remains one of the best.