Sometimes it feels like Marvel and DC Comics own the comic book industry. Of course, this isn't true, but it's easy to think like that. After all, comic book media has never been more widespread than it is now, with adaptations of comic book storylines everywhere you look, and with the most popular of those adaptation coming from the Big Two. However, there's still a ton of great content coming out of other publishers in the comic book industry. We thought we'd highlight a few of the best ones for you. So here, for your comic reading pleasure, is Comic Book Resources' 10 Non DC or Marvel Comics You Should Be Reading Right Now.
RELATED: Year Long Saga Hiatus Announced
We’ll start off this list with probably the most obvious entry. If you haven’t heard of Saga by now, you haven’t been paying attention. The series, created by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples, follows a pair of refugees through a weird, modernized fantasy world. Again, Saga really should already be on your reading list, but if it isn’t, there’s no time like the present to put it there. Trust us, it’s worth every minute you spend reading it.
9. Curse Words
Speaking of modern fantasies, Image Comics’ Curse Words is another book to add to your reading list. That is, if you haven’t already. The Charles Soule-written magical drama tells the story of a present-day evil wizard and the problems he faces every day. If you like the magic of Harry Potter and the humor of Rick and Morty, you should definitely give this book a chance. If nothing else, it’s definitely worth it for the tongue-in-cheek way it portrays the arcane arts. Wielding magic, posits this book, isn’t always that magical.
8. Buffy The Vampire Slayer
If you’re a true fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you know that the comic book version of her adventures has gone through some big changes lately. The Buffy title just switched publishers, leaving its long-held spot at Dark Horse Comics for Boom Studios. But that isn’t the only change headed to Buffy’s comic. In fact, it’s not even the biggest one. Boom! Studio’s Buffy is starting the story from scratch. It’s a total reboot of the Buffy universe, one that’s sure to intrigue as well as worry long-time fans. But in case you’re one of those worriers, try to take solace in the folks behind the comic. In order to ensure a great new Buffy storyline, Joss Whedon himself is supervising this book. Now that’s how you reboot a universe.
7. Archie 1941
You might not know it by the fresh and hip feel of Riverdale, but Archie Comics has been around for over 75 years. Actually, the stories debuted in 1941, which is why Archie Comics has returned to that year to reimagine America’s coolest teens. Riverdale is a very different place in Archie 1941, and Archie Andrews himself is a young man drafted into military service. If you’re a fan of Archie Comics, World War II history, or just a unique take on familiar characters, you should really check this book out.
It’s been eleven years since the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense was on the big screen. Now, with another Hellboy movie coming out this year, it finally makes a return to cinemas. However, B.P.R.D. stories didn’t slow down even a little in the gap between movies. Dark Horse has been publishing consistently brilliant stories set in Mike Mignola-creates universe the whole time, and they haven’t gotten any less great. With the movie coming out in April, now is a great time to hop back into the world of the B.P.R.D. Or, since the stories are told non-linearly, it would be a great time to start the series. Either way, you don’t want to miss out on this fantastic occult detective series.
Aftershock Comics is a relatively new entry into the world of comics, but it’s already publishing some incredible content. One of those titles is the thriller comic Animosity. Animosity is about a world gone mad, where animals have decided that the planet would be better off without humans. It’s a tense and human story of survival and sacrifice, touching on one of our most basic fears as a human race. What happens, it asks, when humanity is no longer on top of the food chain?
4. Bitter Root
If you’re already overwhelmed by all the modern takes on magic mentioned in this list, then we’ve got bad news. You still have to check out Bitter Root. To be fair, Bitter Root isn’t quite as modern as Saga or Curse Words. It’s actually set in 1920s Harlem, where voodoo and the Jazz Age mix to make a story that’s somewhere between noir and Occult drama. This is a perfect book if you like historical fiction, especially the kind that involves New York City. If macabre adventures in flapper costumes is your kind of party, you can’t go wrong with Bitter Root.
3. Black Hammer
Just because we’re straying from the Big Two doesn’t mean there are no superheroes on this list. In fact, many of the characters in Black Hammer are inspired by either Marvel or DC Characters. However, the world they live in is entirely different from both. Black Hammer’s surreal, David Lynch-esque universe takes the familiar images of superhero comics and scrambles them, reassembling them into a dreamlike, existential mystery series. DC and Marvel might control a large portion of superhero stories, but Black Hammer is proof that they don’t own them all.
2. The Wicked + The Divine
Full disclosure, this book is about mythology, which means it is a personal love of yours truly. That said, The Wicked + the Divine would deserve a top spot on this list even without the mythological bias. The storytelling is tight, the artwork is phenomenal, and the way classical myths are written together to make one cohesive story is an achievement all on its own. If Black Hammer is proof that Marvel & DC haven’t cornered the superhero market, The Wicked + the Divine proves that they don’t own mythology as well. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good Wonder Woman or Thor story. But there’s just something so familiar about WicDiv. It’s like it taps into some cultural memory we have as a species, a memory of when gods and monsters weren’t just stories. And when magic was anything but made up.
RELATED: 10 New Comics To Read In 2019
Monstress has, simply put, made comic books better. From its vast, moving storyline to its breathtaking and emotional art, Monstress is one of the rare comics out there that brings the medium up as a whole. Marjorie Liu took home two Eisners for just that reason, and if you haven’t checked out the book to see why yet, we promise that you are missing out. Pick up any of the books on this list to see the best modern comics has to offer, but pick up Monstress and you will see comic book history being made.
What's your favorite comic book outside of Marvel or DC Comics? Let us know in the comments section below!