Sunday, February 12, 2012

JT's Top Five: Favorite Ongoing Comicbooks

Hey everyone, JT back once again and would you believe I'm debuting yet ANOTHER new feature? I'm like a frigging machine or something. This is the debut edition of JT's Top Five, where I'll pick five things that I'm currently enjoying, hating, or wanting to see. This first edition will feature my five favorite ongoing comics, future editions will feature my five favorite comic characters, five least favorite, five team-up's I'd love to see, and etc. and of course, I'm taking requests and recommendations. So let's get this first edition underway.

There are a few rules I made for this post, as to narrow things down. Due to the DC Reboot it has to be something with at least five issues, something that's not been canceled, and something I look forward to reading each and every month, not something that sits on my dresser just begging to be read. (I'm looking at YOU, Uncanny X-Men!)  But before I get to my top five comics, here are a few honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions

Morning Glories - Definitely one of my favorite books, the only reasons it didn't make my list is because it doesn't have a definite schedule (I'm not even sure when the next issue come out.) as well as the fact it sometimes gives more questions than answers, and as a fan of the TV show LOST, I'm kind of afraid not all of the questions will be answered.

Invincible - A great series, a few months to a year ago it was probably my favorite. After the Viltrumite War, the book got a little stale and had some slow storylines, things are finally getting interesting, but those same slow storylines are fresh in my mind, so it brings down my enjoyment of the series as a whole.

The Walking Dead - This has been an amazing series that I recently read from the beginning up to the current ongoing issues, if I have any complaints as of now, it's that the story is moving along pretty slow, I can honestly say not much has happened in the last four issues, and between that and the constant flip flopping of Rick, I couldn't justify putting this on my top five favorites.

There are quite a few more, including Ultimate Spider-Man, Severed and Catwoman but those three were the closest to making the list. Now with those comics out of the way, let's get to my top five favorite ongoing comics.

5.) Green Lantern -  Now I know X-Man is groaning as he reads this, and I can't say I blame him. Geoff Johns seemed to be phoning it in this time last year while writing Green Lantern, and during Brightest Day before that, but now that he's got Sinestro in charge as the Green Lantern of Hal's former sector, and Hal as a normal guy who had some very bad moments in the first few issues of this series, it's become extremely enjoyable. Hal's character is still around, but he seems more as a secondary character for the most part, whereas Johns is exploring new ground with Sinestro, including his tied to Korguar, his people, his former enemies, and the man who gave his ring to Hal Jordan, Abid Sur. I look forward to seeing how Hal will be humiliated, or redeemed each month, as well as seeing Sinestro in action with a new ring around his finger and dealing with attacks from his enemies and his own teammates. Say what you will about Geoff Johns, I even rated his most recent Justice League issue a 3/10, but he definitely delivers on the Green Lantern series, which shows why he has over fifty issues of the series under his belt over the last few years. I look forward to seeing how long Johns can keep Sinestro in the forefront as the main Green Lantern before Hal takes his place once again.

4.) Batman - Scott Snyder. In the last year, the American Vampire writer has written some of the best Batman stories in recent memory. He's written Dick Grayson and now he's writing for Bruce Wayne, and in a time where story arcs last from 3-6 issues, he's crafted an exciting story that looks to last a year, a Batman story that seems new but doesn't seem drastic and like a sudden change from the Batman we've come to know over the last seventy-plus years. The Court of Owls storyline started off slow, but Snyder has made it exciting and his innovative storytelling and style (especially in issue 5) has given us something we've never seen, Batman out of his element, lost and confused and relying on nothing but his wits when even those have become unreliable. Batman being the one hunted, as well as haunted all at once is an interesting thing to see, and Snyder allows us to get into the head of a man like Bruce, a man of Science, who wants to make sense of everything, but can't seem to due so with this enemy. It's hard to express how great a job that Snyder has done with Batman, and it's clear he's just getting started and enjoying the ride.

3.) Aquaman - If you would have told me a year ago that Aquaman would be one of my favorite comic series, I'd laugh in your face, and probably slap you. Yep, I'm a bit of a jerk. But lo and behold, here we are and I will openly say that Aquaman is probably the best comic coming out of the DC Reboot. It's got everything you need for a comic, and Johns doesn't try to hard, he knows that Aquaman has been a joke for years and he uses that to his advantage. A line here or there about Aquaman and how he shouldn't eat fish  because their his friends or mentioning how Aquaman is "No one's favorite superhero" and you not only have some funny lines, but a character that becomes easy to relate to. Add in the fact that the story seems to build more long-term storylines slowly from things touched upon earlier in the series is pretty interesting, especially considering it's only been five issues so far. In the most recent issue we saw something many people, including myself had pondered for years, what would happen if Aquaman was stranded in the desert? We saw what happened, and we saw the human side of a hero, which we don't see too often outside of Spider-Man comics. It's hard to explain what makes Aquaman come off so likable here, but with the same skill Johns uses to make you enjoy seeing Hal Jordan have a miserable life, he uses to make you connect with Aquaman, a character I mocked mercilessly for losing his hand twice last year, so you can see how far I've come thanks to the amazing story that Johns has been crafting for Arthur Curry, the King of Atlantis.

2.) Amazing Spider-Man - Dan Slott is the best Spider-Man writer in the history of the series. That's my opinion anyway, now it may not mean much as I haven't read every Spider-Man comic ever written, but Slott is often taking chances and they pay off. Since American Son, I've read and enjoyed everything that Dan Slott has done with the Amazing Arachnid. He's made me laugh, he's made me cry, he's shocked me and he's left me wanting more the whole time. During Slott's run with Spider-Man, we've had some of his biggest moments, and Pete's went from a poor photographer to a successful scientist, he even managed to fix the One More Day travesty by writing One Moment In Time. He's brought back obscure characters and made them some of the best, all the while keeping Peter Parker as the character we know and love. If you're not enjoying Spider-Man I truly feel sorry for you, because it's one of the best written books today. From American Son to Big Time to Spider-Island and the upcoming End of The Earth storyline, Slott has written Spider-Man impeccably and I can honestly say as long as Slott is writing Spider-Man, I'll keep reading it. Oh, and did I mention how awesome he made the Hobgoblin?

1.) Venom - Venom is THE BEST SERIES OUT RIGHT NOW. Simple as that. Rick Remender, a man whose work I was not familiar with outside of two issues of Booster Gold that I don't remember anything about, took a character I loved, Venom, and a character I was indifferent about, Flash Thompson, and made him without a doubt one of my favorite characters. Over the span of a year of amazing writing, Flash Thompson replaced Eddie Brock as my favorite Venom, and that's one year of the 24 that Venom has been around. Venom is an amazing book that much like Spider-Man, allows you to see past the superpowers and connect with the character. Flash comes off as a man who wants to do right by his woman, his family, his friends, and his country, and things get more and more difficult from the moment he becomes Venom. Add that with the wonderfully written stories by Rick Remender and the amazing cast he's included, Spider-Man, Betty Brant, Eddie Brock, Captain America, and Venom's newest nemesis, Jack O'Lantern (Think a 100% evil, completely insane Deadpool) and you've got a recipe for the best ongoing series since Bryan Q. Miller's Batgirl. If you aren't reading Venom, you should be, if you are reading Venom, get someone else hooked, because this is a comic that makes me proud of being a comic fan. 

And there you go, my five favorite ongoing comicbook series. I hope you all enjoyed and I'd love to see your picks, so feel free to let me know what books make your top five and why, as well as any ideas on what you guys would like to see next. Favorite Storylines? Favorite Characters? Five Things I'd do in Comics? Let me know, and I'll take it from there, but until next time, this is JT, signing off.


  1. I noticed that you gave severed an honorable mention. It was only a 7 issue series.. but thats okay because i thought it was great too! lol not many people i know were reading it. I am not a horror comic fan but severed was excellent. If i made a top 5 i think itd be:

    5. Green Lantern-I completley agree with you on this one. Sinestro as the main character? Im in! although I didn't care much for last issue with lyssa drak, but it still enjoy this series quite a bit? Did you read this week's issue? The art was ridiculous! Hal looked like a 12 year old boy.
    4. The Flash-Now before everyone throws tomatoes at me, I already know the hate that you guys hold for barry allen. I am fine with that, not going to convince you any different. But I think the series has introduced some awesome new concepts and villain ideas and the art is gorgeous.
    3. Teenage mutant ninja turtles- I may get flack for this one as well haha! but i love the art, its kind of dark and the direction that it is heading is great for a reboot! the dialouge is spot on at times.
    2. Batman- SNyder crafting an 11 issue arc is awesome! I am very concerned with EVERY batbook crossing over with the court of owls idea, but i have heard that they will just be filler and the main story takes place in the self-contained series. ANyway the art fits so well with the writing, and snyder is a masterful story teller.
    1. Venom- also agree on this. No series has been as consitently awesome as this one. EVen when its not a phenominal issue, it is still pretty darn great and better than almost any other book in its best form.

    Best mini-X-club. This series has been full of all kinds of fun and hilarious moments. Dr. Nemesis is easily one of the funniest/coolest characters in comics. Proof? Last issue he came up from the sea riding a mutated hammer head shark whilst screaming "Science Hoooo!!" haha

    My honorable mention goes to daredevil- I am a die hard waid fan so i may be biased. But i have loved this series. THe art is beautiful and the series just reminds me of old school comics.

    Anyway i probably ranted and raved enough. Nice job!

  2. Nemesis:

  3. Huzah I love this kind of posts lets see

    Not reading Green Lantern so have nothing to say about it.

    Totally agree in Batman, I'm sure there must be some story where batman has been threatened but Snyder's storytelling is unique an is incredibly to me how after I read all his interviews where he told one time and again what would his plans be for Bruce, the story still surprise me and take my breath every issue.

    Aquaman. sigh I haven't hear a single complain for Geof Johns's version of Aquaman, but I just could't get into it... but congrats if you are enjoying it.

    Venom, It would be in my honorable mentions only cuz I havent read it from the start but is one of the books I'm looking forward month after month.

    my list would be like this

    Animal Man
    Swamp Thing
    American Vampire
    Punisher: Somebody had read Gotham Central? this feels a lot like that series an I loved it.

    Is too obvious that at the moment Snyder is one of my favorites writers?

    Honorable mentions,

    Stormwatch: Maybe it would be between my favorites but Paul Cornel is leaving the book so I dont know what's next.

    Avengers Academy

    Uncanny X-Force, It was between my favorites but Remender went off of the rails in the lasts issues

  4. Damn, check out JT! He's busting out posts like his name is X! Sweet! Now here's a post I can really dig my teeth into... I'm not gonna say anything about Green Lantern... And I won't even throw any tomatoes... Although seeing the words Barry Allen DOES make me see red... :P So far out of the lists I've seen we all def have a few things in common... As for me, this is my top five...

    1) Avengers Academy: Easily my favorite comic. Great characters, great stories, great writing, great art, great everything. There's at least one character in that series for every comic fan to latch onto.
    2) Deadpool: I'm kinda surprised by this one, but looking at my comic list, this is always one of the comics I read first every month... Yeah, there have been some highs and lows, but the highs have been REALLY high.
    3) Venom: Agreed with what everybody else has said. This comic rules.
    4) Morning Glories: This is like Avengers Academy without powers but with way more profanity! And a more sporadic release schedule... :/ Seriously, almost everything I've said about Avengers Academy applies here.
    5) Stormwatch: My lone DC comic on the list. Like Alien, I'm worried about the future of this series, but for now? It's one of the first comic books I read when it's released. And it's usually the DC book I'm most looking forward to reading.

    And my honorable mentions would be(in no particular order): Journey Into Mystery, New Mutants, X-Factor, Irredeemable, Invincible, Batman. Oh, and as for mini-series? You all know, but I'll say it anyway, Avengers: The Children's Crusade.

  5. Dam I forgot to mention Journey Into Mystery and X-Factor!

  6. Thanks for commenting everyone, I love long comments like this so let's see...

    I'm glad that everyone seems to agree that Batman and Venom are pretty awesome. I also like how we all have our own styles as well, but no one's crapping on anyone else's books.

    Cap - I've been contemplating reading TMNT so the fact you mentioned it is a big plus to me, and I won't judge you for enjoying Flash, hell I didn't expect to enjoy Aquaman. And Severed has been great, I actually have to read issues six and seven as I havent gotten around to them yet but that book has been amazing, man, Scott Snyder is everywhere. Oh, and Science Hoooooooooooooooo! Cracked me up, that was awesome.

    Alien - Speaking of that, maybe YOU should read Severed since it's by ya boy Snyder. Oh and this will make you and X happy, sue to you two I bought the first trade of Avengers Academy and have the second trade in my pullbox at the show, so I'll probably knock out the first trade tomorrow and let you two know what I think.

    X - I'm a machine when it comes to these posts. I literally was like, hm... that would be fun, maybe I'll take a nap and type it up. A hour later it was posted... and I STILL didnt take my damn nap. :P And I don't blame you for putting MG in your list, I was damn close.

  7. I'm telling you, I was legit surprised to see a new post from you tonight, mi amigo! That was a pleasant surprise. I definitely hope you enjoy Avengers Academy. I do think you'll like it, and it's a good way to kind of ease into the Avengers books, without having to know much about, or buy, the main Avengers titles. And yeah, Morning Glories is all kinds of awesome... I just wish it would come out on a nice, regular, monthly schedule! There wasn't even a solicit for it in the most recent Preview magazine... :(

  8. Well thanks dude, I like these posts because I can do them very spur of the moment or if I just feel like typing something up in advance or to kill time.

    I'm sure I will like Avengers Academy, there's a #0 included where some people were gonna kill Repitil and I read that already and I was enjoying that so I'm sure I'll enjoy the actual book. And that really sucks about Morning Glories, especially when it left off with such a cliffhanger.

  9. Yeap, I have an eye over severed but I'm going to wait until the HC that will come out in April.

    I'm pleased to see that Avengers Academy has a new reader, in partly thanks to me. I hope you enjoy it that much as we do it. (an maybe Lisha too ;).

  10. I've been following Severed, Morning Glories, Walking Dead. Haven't come up with a top 5 yet.

    Great blog, I also left you a comment on your Whispers post.

  11. Look at this cover for Swamp Thing #9

  12. uh here is the link

  13. Thanks Arion, those are some pretty good picks too.

    Alien, Gotcha, I figured it wouldn't be too long until you read Severed, and I finished the first trade for Avengers Academy and I hate you and X because now I have to buy the other trade and catch up. Lol, but I love that series, it's like Morning Glories mixed with The Runaways.

  14. Alien what the hell is that thing? I'm happy it ate Swamp Thing and wish to thank it by name.

  15. Hey, if you are reading Avengers Academy I'm OK with you hating me.. =)

    HA That thing is Snyder twisted mind, but you know that the hero never dies right?

  16. Lol well I hate X more if it's any consolation. :D

    Yeah but it's still the action of eating your foe that just screams awesome to me, especially since Swamp Thing is... Swamp Thing.

  17. THAT is the kind of hatred I am MORE than happy to have foisted on me! :D After REBELS, I am SO glad that you are enjoying Avengers Academy. Trust me, it keeps getting better and better... Especially around the Fear Itself stuff... I'm doing my part, Christos Gage!! I keep trying to get more people interested in that awesome series!! :D

  18. Haha but hating X is easy, me? I'm the most adorable being on hearth =P

    Yeah I supposed that you will like it for that. an I think that her name is Abby Arcane although she can be Tefe (Abby's and Constantine's daughter)

  19. Fun! As a DC guy, I was surprised to see JT have two Marvel series on top. Venom is just that darn good, makes my list as well. Rounding out the top five, in no particular order, are Journey into Mystery, Uncanny X-Force and Daredevil. For these top four books, nothing can happen at all and I still enjoy readying about the characters, a clear sign of a well-written book.

    After the top four there's a drop-off, but I would say it goes to Wolverine and the X-men at the moment. I like the tone and characters just a bit more than Avengers Academy and Amazing Spidey. I could easily see this spot going to X-men Legacy (loved the point one, to my surprise), Secret Avengers (Remender!), or Invincible Iron Man in the near future. I'm also really interested in the Galactus-Celestials showdown coming up in Fantastic Four, so I may see what all the hype for Jonathan Hickman is about.

  20. See, Alien is right, he's a lovable guy but It's so easy to hate you X. :P Thanks to you both for the recommendation I'm really looking forward to reading more of the series.

    I'm kinda surprised too Trobb, I'm actually surprised I had three DC books considering how much I've disliked the reboot as a whole. Speaking of Uncanny X-Force, I've been interested in that for a while, do you know what a good jumping in point would be?

  21. I'll chime in with an answer regarding Uncanny X-Force, JT. I LOVED that series prior to the current storyline. I mean if you'd have done this post three or four months ago, X-Force would EASILY be on my top 5. I'd say hold off and jump into the next storyline. The current storyline may be kind of confusing to a new-ish Marvel guy like yourself, what with the omniverse and Capt. Britain Corps and all.

  22. Thanks X, that's the thing that kinds made me weary, the fact you haven't been rating it too great recently. Are there any really good stories that are worth going back and reading in trade form for Uncanny X-Force? Preferably something Deadpool is prominent in?

  23. The first storyarc was actually damn good, and the ending was REALLY surprising, and set the tone for the entire series. The Dark Angel Saga ruled ALL(well, the ending left something to be desired), but probably isn't out in trade form yet. I'd say give the first storyline a shot if it's in trade form(which I'd think it is by now). As for Pool, I can't really think of any stories where he was a major part...

  24. ...Actually (just my opinion) Deadpool did pretty good in the first arc and in the World story line.
    Also in the Dark angel saga has his moments(When he fight's AOA Blob)

    there aren't like entire issues dedicated to him but Remender let him shine in some ones.

  25. I feel like you two are in cahoots to sell me on comicbooks I'm not reading... the sad thing is it works. You bastards better not work for Marvel! :P

  26. HA! And I just Started with Marvel last 5 month ago! What can I say, DC really push me in that direction with his New 52..

    But seriously Nothing would made me more happier than get you two guys to read Animal Man an Swamp Thing.

  27. I can't say I blame you, a lot of those DCnU books suck, but I do enjoy a few. Off the top of my head I'd say Aquaman, Batman, Green Lantern, Catwoman, Suicide Squad,and Batman and Robin. I did read issue one of Lisha's I, Vampire and I enjoyed that.

    I've been reading Lisha's Animan Man comics, some are hit or miss but I've enjoyed it for the most, but Swamp Thing may take me a while.

  28. I agree with X, "The Apocalypse Solution" and "Dark Angel Saga vol. 1" are out in trade form, and are essential reading. The stories build on each other, so the current arc might be tricky to follow for a newb to the series.

    I think the current arc started with issue 20, so if you want to stockpile for future reading I would start there (my comic shops have a hard time keeping UXF in stock, so it may be a good idea). That said, I agree with X re: the new arc being hard to follow for a non-Marvel head. At the least, you need to know about the Braddock family, Betsy's whole body-switching ordeal, and have some general sense about what happened in the aforementioned story arcs.

    As for DP, he does have a star turn in the Dark Angel saga, when its up to him, Fantomex and Deathlok to save the day (Wolvy is incapacitated, Betsy's captured, and Warren's gone bad).