Allan Muir and Tayo Wole
These days the name Tom King resonates with DC in the Batman title he took over from Scott Snyder after a very successful five-year run with Greg Capullo. To me, the book that has shown the strength of Tom King: Comic Book writer is “Vision” with artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta. The 12 issue series was about synthezoid and Avengers member “The Vision” and the family he had created for himself. When reading the first trade I still felt like Vision should’ve been with Wanda but then again I’m a comic fan who longs for the days of yesteryear. Where Captain America isn’t a Hydra agent, The New 52 DOESN’T exist and The Justice Society have their own ongoing book.
But The Vision somehow appealed to me in an issue that featured Wanda Maximoff giving Vision the ability to create a wife for himself. It had enough of the past relationship of Scarlet Witch and Vision and it was completely new again. Perhaps the funniest bit from Vision #9 was the vibranium addiction which came out of nowhere. Post-Vision, the daughter Viv can be seen in Marvel’s Champions.
Dark Knight: A True Batman Story really doesn’t have much to do with Batman history. More specifically Batman: The Animated Series and Batman: Masks (Mask of the Phantasm). It centers around writer on Batman: TAS and writer on Mask of the Phantasm Paul Dini. It focuses on an event that occurred 23 years ago in California late at night. Paul Dini was walking home from a date and was viciously assaulted by two men and was robbed of everything he had on him.
Not only that but there are revelations in this book that are absolutely haunting. Not just that but terrifying when you think of the process Paul Dini went through over the horrific ordeal. When it comes to a Graphic Novel or OGN in this case 50% is writing and the other half is art. Artist Eduardo Risso shines in this book with a mix of cartooning and photo reference you believe you are looking into the past with Risso’s art.
One of my favourite writers right now, Jeff Lemire is really producing some brilliance right now and I would say the pinnacle of this is the post-Secret Wars Old Man Logan comic. The book focuses on Logan who’s been thrown from Battleworld onto Earth and exactly how he copes with a world before the villains’ uprising where things are similar but different to his world.
There are a few things that make this book brilliant and the first thing for me is the character voice Lemire gives to Logan, he doesn’t just feel like Wolverine, Lemire creates a character which feels so much more than that but still has that familiar feeling. The artwork is this book’s other boon, Sorrentino and Maiolo have some of the most beautiful art in comics, even the layouts tell the story, from panels in the shape of twin dragons, to a double page spread collage of Logan’s head consisting purely of panels from previous issues ;which is currently the wallpaper on the laptop which I’m typing on now. This book would be worth buying just for the writing or the art on their own and with both together it’s the perfect book to buy a comic book fan now. As an added bonus, like another of Lemire’s books right now, Moon Knight, it’s completely separate from any of Marvel’s events so there’s no real barrier to entry for people who don’t regularly read Marvel.
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe
The final gift on this list isn’t actually a comic, it’s a non-fiction book about the history of Marvel Comics, so perhaps if the comic fan in your life is looking for a more cerebral experience this is the perfect gift. This book gives a comprehensive and engaging history of the Marvel side of the comic book industry up until the early 21st century. This book gives insights into things otherwise obscured from public view and although it doesn’t seek to attack anyone it does expose some of the truly terrible things that have happened behind closed doors *cough* Stan Lee *cough* . At the same time it manages to show the creative and truly brilliant parts of Marvel history without feeling like it’s pandering. Which has the interesting effect of truly making you, the reader, have to think about whether the good of the company outweighs the bad. Despite it erring on the long side this book isn’t pretentious and is perfectly accessible for anyone from the amateur to the diehard fans.
That concludes our comics gift guide, comment with any suggestions of your own and happy holidays!
Find the books mentioned on Amazon:
Vision Vol 1:https://www.amazon.com/Vision-Vol-Little-Worse-Than/dp/0785196579/ref=pd_sim_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0785196579&pd_rd_r=BGF6MRJ8MDADYAT3981T&pd_rd_w=Utu48&pd_rd_wg=0mrG5&psc=1&refRID=BGF6MRJ8MDADYAT3981T
Vision Vol 2:https://www.amazon.com/Vision-Vol-Little-Better-Beast/dp/0785196587/ref=pd_sim_14_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0785196587&pd_rd_r=3NGRKJAB5TRWGVFBCDRV&pd_rd_w=BbNIT&pd_rd_wg=QmfGC&psc=1&refRID=3NGRKJAB5TRWGVFBCDRV