Or Changes to My Top-Ten Comics
Due to poverty and an urge to buy better comics, I have decided to be super-selective about which superhero comics I read. Harnessing the Awesome Power of Maths, I have determined that I can afford to read 10 ongoing titles. So I get to read 10, and only 10, titles published by either Marvel or DC as well as one trade paperback a week of my choosing.
A complication of this is that I am forced to drop an on-going title if I want to try reading a new on-going title, an act of very tough love. Being financially responsible is the worst.
I will be adding Avengers to my ten comic list and dropping The Fantastic Four/FF.
The Avengers, when it's at its best, is the engine of the Marvel universe. It's where the big, bold events happen and where a collection of the most interesting and powerful of Marvel's heroes combat the very worst of their villains. It's Marvel's showcase book for the company's serious fans (while Uncanny Avengers and Avengers Assemble would be more casual, approachable showcases). What I'm getting at is that it's supposed to be BIG. And while it has often been a high stakes book over the last few years, the title has maybe lacked some gravitas and thoughtfulness (in my humble opinion). If there is one guy who can infuse Avengers with some weight and an insane degree of planning and thought it's Jonathan Hickman. The man is an expert at creating new, giant ideas and building exciting stories around PLOT while still maintaining all important characterization and dialogue. Couple him with some great artists, like series opener Jerome Opena, and Avengers looks to be a thinky, epic comic about which the Marvel Universe can spin. And yeah, I want in on that.
(Really though, I could've just said I want some Jonathan Hickman in my life, and this book looks like the best of the current lot.)
Why not The Fantastic Four/FF?
The Fantastic Four really saw a resurgence under Hickman. The Fantastic Four previous to his run had become essentially about a super powered family who had superhero adventures. Under Hickman the book, and its offspring title FF, became Science Fiction comics where a super powered family explored, studied, and fought epic battles against simply incredible things. No comic being made by Marvel or DC managed to stimulate my wonder glands in the same way as Hickman's Fantastic Four and FF. All the more impressively Hickman managed to tell his epic Sci-fi parables and super heroic conflicts without ever losing focus of the family and love which are the heart and soul of the Fantastic Four. For me the book was this perfect balance of Sci-fi and heart. (Hickman also writes one hell of a Reed Richards.) Hickman has moved on to other projects and The Fanatastic Four seems to want to become a really good book about a super powered family again instead of a wonder inducing book about an astronaut/scientist/explorer/superheroic family who have mind-expanding Science Fiction adventures. And as good as the former is, all I really want to read is the latter.
(Although, if you are looking to read more comics Matt Fraction and Mark Bagely's Fantastic Four is pretty good.)