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High Fantasy and Sci-fi comics

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30 Mar 2011 19:03 #92739 by Ancient_of_MuMu
Over the last few months I have been lamenting the fact that there is no longer and weekly/monthly comic titles that I collect. I mainly just wait until a trade paperback comes out with a complete story in it, so there is no frustration at having to wait to find out how the story ends (and plus it avoids that soap opera nature of many titles where the story never really ends).

However I like the ritual of the once-a-month trip to the store so I have been desiring some titles to start collecting. Now for my superhero fix I have decided on Green Arrow as I like anti-heroes and reading the lesser lights of the superhero world (as their authors are given more flexibility), and as he has just been restarted I can collect from the beginning of his current series. However when I think about what I really like to read stories of I really like my pulp sci-fi and high fantasy, and when browsing the racks at comic book stores I noticed that these genres are severely lacking.

Sci-fi only seems to be popular in the form of 2000AD/Judge Dredd and its offshoots and the Star Wars comics. Fantasy only seems to be present in the Conan low-fantasy style of comic (or the Hellboy/Sandman style of supernatural superhero).

Thus I was curious as to whether there was something I had missed when browsing the racks. Is there a sci-fi or fantasy series that anyone here collects and reads (including ones mentioned above like Star Wars as if that is all there is I am curious what is the best of these)?

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30 Mar 2011 21:30 - 30 Mar 2011 21:31 #92749 by usrlocal
My wife and I just discovered Warren Ellis' "Planetary" series, which totally rocks. Not sure how you'd classify it in terms of genres but it has a cool blend of pulp, weird science, superheros, cyberpunk, and fantasy. I've heard that his other series "Transmetropolitan" is really good - that's more in a classic cyberpunk vein, I think.
Last edit: 30 Mar 2011 21:31 by usrlocal.

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30 Mar 2011 22:01 #92751 by Ancient_of_MuMu
I have a couple of the trade paperbacks of Transmetropolitan and yes it is good.

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31 Mar 2011 08:36 #92768 by Dair
Planetary is great, but it is done. It sounds like you are looking for a current series to me.

Mouse Guard and Mice Templar might fill your fantasy bill. They are smaller press stuff, so they are not monthly. I read both and probably enjoy Mouse Guard a little more, but give those trades a shot and see if you want to add them to a subscription list.

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31 Mar 2011 12:58 #92814 by Dr. Mabuse
It's been mentioned before here at the Fort but "The Metabarons" by Jodorowsky and Gimenez may fit your bill.

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31 Mar 2011 13:07 #92816 by Shellhead
Ancient_of_MuMu wrote:

Over the last few months I have been lamenting the fact that there is no longer and weekly/monthly comic titles that I collect. I mainly just wait until a trade paperback comes out with a complete story in it, so there is no frustration at having to wait to find out how the story ends (and plus it avoids that soap opera nature of many titles where the story never really ends).

However I like the ritual of the once-a-month trip to the store so I have been desiring some titles to start collecting. Now for my superhero fix I have decided on Green Arrow as I like anti-heroes and reading the lesser lights of the superhero world (as their authors are given more flexibility), and as he has just been restarted I can collect from the beginning of his current series. However when I think about what I really like to read stories of I really like my pulp sci-fi and high fantasy, and when browsing the racks at comic book stores I noticed that these genres are severely lacking.

Sci-fi only seems to be popular in the form of 2000AD/Judge Dredd and its offshoots and the Star Wars comics. Fantasy only seems to be present in the Conan low-fantasy style of comic (or the Hellboy/Sandman style of supernatural superhero).

Thus I was curious as to whether there was something I had missed when browsing the racks. Is there a sci-fi or fantasy series that anyone here collects and reads (including ones mentioned above like Star Wars as if that is all there is I am curious what is the best of these)?


I've been a big comic book fan for most of my life, but I might not be able to help you with this specific request. DC and Marvel are both coping with a shrinking fanbase by playing it pretty safe and sticking to conventional superhero fare these days.

But if you're willing to buy trades or back issues, there are some good science-fiction and high fantasy comics from the past worth looking at.

Dreadstar - this comic was actually both science-fiction and high fantasy. Most of the setting is science-fiction, with space ships and space empires and high tech gear. But there is also magic, and the high-end users were close to Doctor Strange at the top of his game. Features some great artwork and writing by the likes of Jim Starlin and Peter David.

Six From Sirius - There were just two limited series runs, a total of 8 issues. But it was great fun. Doug Moench wrote it and Paul Gulacy drew it, with some very nice fight choreography. They're the same creative team that made Master of Kung Fu truly amazing back in the '70s. Anyway, the titular Six from Sirius are a team of agents that go on special missions for their government, in a high-tech science-fiction setting.

Astonishing Tales #25-#36, featuring Deathlok - This was cyberpunk several years before William Gibson even started writing. Violent, gritty, psychological cyberpunk, written at a time when Americans were reeling with disillusionment from Watergate and Vietnam. Forget the later versions of Deathlok, these early issues are the real deal.

Amazing Adventures #21-#39, featuring Killraven - At a basic level, this is a sequel to the original War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells, featuring the return of the Martians and their tripods. But the tone is wildly different, more like a deadly serious version of Thundarr the Barbarian (an obvious ripoff of Killraven). The series starts out rough despite an initial creative team of Roy Thomas and Neal Adams, but soon gets much better with a team of Don McGregor and P. Craig Russell. The characters are great, the adventures are exciting, and there are some interesting ideas percolating just below the surface action. The series is also notable for having the first interracial kiss in comics. You can get the whole run in black and white with the Essential Killraven trade.

Elric - for really high fantasy, you can't do better than the comic book version of the Elric books. Stylish artwork, and intelligent adaptations that hit all the right beats.

I will post more as I get a chance.

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31 Mar 2011 22:05 #92852 by metalface13
The reboot of Xombi sounds really interesting to me, though I had never heard of the original series until the reboot came about.

I also keep hearing a lot of good things about Orc Stain, but that's definitely more low fantasy than high fantasy.

I hear you about the monthly comic ritual. There's not much I'm following now that Buffy Season 8 ended. Oh the Dark Tower is pretty awesome, btw, but you'll have to do some catching up via trades.

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31 Mar 2011 22:13 #92854 by Ancient_of_MuMu
I had another wander down to a comic store in my lunch break, and without the kids there creating time pressures, things did seem a bit better. There are new Wheel of Time and D+D lines plus a couple of other lines I saw in both fantasy and sci-fi (though mostly limited run stuff for sci-fi).

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01 Apr 2011 03:21 #92862 by OldHippy
My favorite Sci-Fi series right now is Fear Agent by a long shot. Tons of un-pretentious fun.



If you want the more arty type you could pick up some Warren Ellis stuff. Transmetropolitan's been mentioned already, Planetary is his best project but it's more super hero then pure sci-fi. He has a bunch of one off trades that are allright too, Ocean for example.

For High Fantasy I love Kurt Busiek's Arrowsmith. But no new issues have come out for years so it might be a letdown. Only one stroy arc even gets finished.

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