AfterShock Comics is living up to its names. The quickly growing independent publisher has shaken the comic book industry just like an earthquake with its use of comic art titans and high-concept stories. Whether you're new to the comic book world or a life-long fan, AfterShock has a story for you. And to help you get started, we at CBR put together a list of our favorite titles of theirs. So check out these 10 Aftershock Comics You Should Be Reading, then head to your local comic book store ASAP!
10 Cold War
Miracles come at a cost. That’s the core truth underlying the violent and unsettling story of Cold War. It’s a story about cryogenically preserved human beings, frozen in a technologically advanced version of the present and awoken in a cruel and inescapable future. By gaining brief immortality, these people have entered interminable servitude as soldiers for the organization that froze them. It’s a story of hope turned to helplessness, advancement turned to aggression. And it’s a reminder that, with humans in charge, any technological marvel can become a weapon.
Fans of Neil Gaiman's Sandman or Kieron Gillen's Journey Into Mystery take note. A new kind of deadly magic has invaded comic book stores everywhere. It's a magic that's enticing but deadly, attractive but trailed unmissably by a scent of danger. It is the magic of Oberon, King of the Fairies, and for protagonist Bonnie Blair, it is a magic that's very, very real. Bonnie is a kind of Aquaman, a link between the world we know and another, more mystic one. Though we don't know the extent of her powers yet, we get the sense that Bonnie is almost Messianic in nature, a force that could change the reality of both her worlds. To control her would be to control both sides of that temporal coin.
Or if one should want, to destroy them.
8 Dreaming Eagles
Stories of bravery are the bread and butter of comic books. No other medium is so hero-driven, so rooted in challenging the odds and winning impossible fights. And though Dreaming Eagles isn't about super-powered vigilantes, it is a story of heroism that only a comic can tackle.
Dreaming Eagles is the true story of the first African-American fighter pilots in the Second World War. Abroad, they face Hitler and the death squads he puts in the skies. At home, they face a bigoted culture unwilling to change. Through every enemy, beyond every fear, they embody the very definition of heroes, comic book or otherwise.
There are so may ways to deconstruct the idea of Superman. Mark Waid did it in his masterpiece of superhero horror, Irredeemable. Alan Moore did it with Miracleman, and perhaps even with Watchmen's Dr. Manhattan. But Stronghold takes the idea of the Superman figure in a completely different direction. Instead of focusing on the weight and responsibility on such a figure, Stronghold reimagines a superman as part of a grander cosmic scheme. His immense power is only half the story, the other half is the threat of apocalypse should he ever unleash it. Luckily, the titular Stronghold Church is here on earth to prevent him from doing just that.
Until, of course, one of them goes rogue...
6 Moth & Whisper
Moth & Whisper is a story about identity, about how much we value it and how easily it can be taken away. In an all-too-familiar future, Nikki's parents were the greatest thieves to ever challenge the powerful corporate pseudo-governments. That is, until they disappeared six months ago. Now, the burden of their past falls on Nikki. And though Nikki is trained by their parents in the art of stealth, nothing can prepare them for the web of conspiracy that their parents have fallen into. Through cyberpunk sci-fi and a story of Robin Hoods reborn, Moth & Whisper asks the question: How individual are we in a society where nothing is private?
5 Her Infernal Descent
Her Infernal Descent is about challenges. It’s about roadblocks and impossible tasks and the very forces of Hell themselves. And it’s about how, up against a mother’s love, none of them stand a chance. Her Infernal Descent is Dante’s Inferno in technicolor, a masterful retelling of a cornerstone in world literature.
Fans of classic lit absolutely cannot pass this one up. Not only does it bring a classic tale into the modern world, it weaves in real wordsmiths Agatha Christie and William Blake to tell its story. Her Infernal Descent doesn’t just reference the classics, it tells a story worthy of them.
Why, out of all the great monsters of horror, is there such a lasting terror over the figure of the Antichrist? Maybe it’s just in the name, the implication that one human being can embody the unimaginable horror of damnation. Or perhaps it’s just the fact that that figure is human. It’s not some monstrous thing with wings or radioactive skin. It looks just like you and I. That’s the horror that comics superstar Donny Cates brings to Babyteeth, a tale of dark powers and twisted family drama. Read this book if you’re a fan of The Omen and The Exorcist, but don’t expect it to repeat what those stories do. Babyteeth is as unique a story as it is frightening.
3 A Walk Through Hell
A Walk Through Hell is a cop story that’s anything but procedural. The horrors of crime and the supernatural mix in this tale by Garth Ennis, one of America’s best writers for dark and twisted stories. Readers who enjoy edge-of-your-seat suspense and the sheer terror that comes with uncertainty should check this book out, for both the unnerving story and Goran Sudžuka‘s breathtaking art.
Humans have been on top of the food chain for a long, long time. And though we as a species might have gotten used to that, the truth is that that might not always be the case. Animosity confronts this uncomfortable possibility head on. It is the story of an animal kingdom that revolts against its human masters, destroying our civilization and our way of life as we know it.
However, humans aren’t going down without a fight. Though the survivors may be plagued with constant tragedy and danger, there’s still hope for them. Mankind might not be where it once was, but with the right grit and firepower, they might just take it back.
Or at least die trying.
1 Dark Ark
An apocalyptic flood. One man tasked with rescuing all manner of creatures from drowning. A higher power, guiding him and his family through the end of the world. You think you know the story, but you don’t. Dark Ark is the tale of the other Ark that survived Noah’s Biblical flood. As Noah’s ark carried the creatures of the Natural World, so main character Shrae’s ark carries the creatures of the supernatural. Vampires, ogres, even manticores all appear on the unholy vessel commissioned by Satan himself. These creatures are the deadliest monsters the world has ever seen, and the question Dark Ark asks is: can they work together to survive?
What's your favorite comic book from AfterShock Comics? Do you agree with our listings? Let us know in the comments section below!