Outright Classics – Image Comics
Joe Bones – Crowded
My favorite Image series is Crowded. Written by Christopher Sebela with Art by Ro Stein and Ted Brandt. This Sci-Fi action series could be called a work of speculative fiction. It examines, in the zaniest and most extreme way possible, where our current “gig culture” society may be headed. In the near future, the Reaper app allows people to settle grudges by putting hits out on those that have wronged them. Anyone can take the job and become an assassin. Those who are being hunted can secure a bodyguard using the Dfend app. When Charlie finds herself with a million dollar bounty on her head, she hires Vita to protect her. Both characters are complex and have secrets that lead to a plot full of twists and turns. The second volume just released last week, so now’s the perfect time to check out Crowded.
John Lee Reynolds – Deadly Class
This answer should be expected from anyone who’s read my most recent comic reviews. It’s Deadly Class. It’s got a great 80s punk feel to it. The art, the story of an assassins high school with all the teen angst 80s movie feel. Of course I’m still bitter at SyFy for canceling the show (beating a dead horse gif). It has the action & violence I expected audiences to be sucked into the show, but also it was set up to tell the longer story too, which should’ve kept audiences glued to their seats. In other words it was a great translation from the comics. The comic series pays off the cliffhanger of the canceled show, & dovetails into a new arch with reckless abandon, which again harkens back to that 80s feel. Which is why, if you got hooked on the show, it was a great gateway into the comic series.
Henry J Starling Jr. – Wild C.A.T.s
Easy. BTW I’m old school, so this should be expected, W.I.L.D.Cats. That line started me on Image. 50 issues in and I was immersed into a war between the Daemonites and the Kherubim. And then from them I branched off, specifically focusing on Team 7. Those two lines got me hooked on hard. Those were solid stories that had great artwork plus it alluded to the fact that the image superhero titles were in fact in a shared universe.
Zack Saa – Fathom
Since Top Cow used to be part of Image, I’ll go with the original run of Michael Turner’s Fathom. I was one of the few Image comics I read at the time besides certain issues of Gen 13 and Witchblade (then again, Fathom was one of the few Image releases that had consistent publishing). It looks great, the mystery of Aspen’s origin was cool, and I was a pre-teen at the time.
Dandy Don the Valiant – Spawn
Nothing shocking here, but I choose Spawn. I was 25 years old when Image was formed and the very first issue I bought was Spawn #1. I was hooked. I loved all the characters (good and bad). I loved the colors. I loved the splash pages. I loved the premise. Spawn is still and probably will always be my favorite Image character. And he’s still going strong today after setting an all-time record for the longest independent series ever! Thanks, Todd McFarlane.
John Hooser – Kill or Be Killed
Kill or Be Killed became an instant classic! The team of Brubaker and Phillips is always putting out great work and you can’t go wrong with most anything they put out. However, this story stood out for me. This great dark story left me so eager to read each page after the next. I hear there are rumors of this being optioned. Go pick up your single issues now and cross your fingers. Kill or Be Killed is a ride. I think it’s time to give it another read with the new hardcover that collects the whole series.
Joshua Daniel Rathbun – Invincible
Invincible is my favorite Image Comics series. For those who don’t know of this book, it’s basically a new take on Superboy and his dad is not the best guy. His alien biology is courtesy of a bunch of space conquerors. I feel like Image was home to a lot of mediocre superhero books but this one was good enough to be published anywhere.
Thomas Hulett – Maxx
Sam Keith’s The Maxx was one of the first comics that I read that really made me question just what the hell was going on. The Maxx is the story of a homeless man who is simultaneously the hero of the Outback. There in the Outback he’s the protector of the Jungle Queen who is really his social worker Julie in the real world. With incredible art and story the Maxx constantly switches from one local to another in the fight against Mr. Gone. Yet, with all this if you aren’t careful you may still wonder just WTF is going on in this groundbreaking classic.