While Marvel and DC are often known as the Big 2 of the comic book industry, there is another large publishing company that holds equal footing among them. Image Comics was created by comics writers and artists for comics writers and artists. They have made it their mission to produce high-quality comics that are owned entirely by the creative teams that create them.
It’s no secret that Marvel and DC have been screwing comics creators out of their rightfully earned paychecks. Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Bob Finger, Alan Moore, all creators thoroughly boned by the Big Two. So today let’s take some time to highlight some of the greatest creator-owned comics that have come out in recent years that Marvel fans will love jumping into.
Marvel fans may recognize the author of this first entry from his work on anything from Gambit to Marvel Zombies Vs. The Army Of Darkness. John Layman and Tony Chu, the lead character in Chew, have brought a unique and thrilling look at the life of a cibopathic FDA agent. That is to say, an agent who gets psychic impressions from anything he ingests, including the flesh of the people involved in his most recent cases.
Tony Chu and the rest of the cast of Chew will definitely keep comics fans enthralled, just another excellent reason to take a bite (heh) out of Chew.
9 Luther Strode
Ever wished that by following a few simple steps in a mail-order book superpowers would be bestowed upon a worthy few? Well, that’s exactly the wish that Luther Strode had when he sent in for the Hercules Method.
Luther may have hoped to become stronger and braver, but he had no idea of the world that following the Hercules Method would unlock. Super-powers and some serious fighting skills may be pretty incredible, but the trouble that follows them? Not so much.
Marvel fans obsessed with Silver Surfer: Black and Absolute Carnage will most likely fall head over heels for this story surrounding a family of vegan vampires running a barbeque and surviving off of the blood of the innocent (cows in the area).
Redneck follows the Bowman family as they struggle to keep a life that remains just under the radar. They may be doing their best to stay out of the spotlight and keep the peace, but unfortunately for the Bowman family, that’s simply not in the cards.
Most Marvel fans have likely already seen Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass on screen, but for those who haven’t already dived into the source, there’s a lot of story to catch up on. From a spin-off series cover the misadventures of Hit-Girl to the sequel series that follow Dave Lizewsky’s successor, there’s so much more to Kick-Ass than the original work.
Millar deconstructs the superhero hero genre that many hold sacred and holds up a mirror to both the tropes and fans of the comics industry.
6 Renato Jones
Fans of Marvel’s Iron Fist: The Living Weapon will definitely remember the writer, artist, and colorist of the next series. Kaare Andrews’ Renato Jones follows Renato shortly after his inheritance lands him among the one percent.
As Renato plays at being a member of their little club, he secretly spends his nights keeping those same wealthy clowns in check with a bullet or fifty. Renato’s freelance work isn't his only secret, however. Any Marvel fans interested in discovering more about the mysterious freelance assassin will just have to pick up the book to find out.
5 The Private Eye
While DC Comics is generally known as home to some of the greatest detectives in comics, Brian K. Vaughn, Marcos Martin, and Munsta Vicente’s The Private Eye has a colorful and vibrant world that would feel just like home to avid Marvel fans.
In a world where everyone wears a mask and privacy is king, P.I. spends his time taking the most valuable thing anyone in this version of Los Angeles’ future, their secrets. This Eisner-winning series is a must for any comics fan, but Marvel fans may feel right at home.
4 Tokyo Ghost
Writing everything from Punisher and Venom, to Captain America and Avengers, Rick Remender is no stranger to Marvel fans. Which certainly makes the transition to his creator-owned works published by Image Comics a no-brainer.
Readers get an immediate sense of Remender’s frustration with a society that is growing ever more attached and addicted to technology. A futuristic Los Angeles as imagined by Rick Remender and snappy one-liners like, “I am the Jesus of murder!”, what else could a comics fan need before picking up a copy?
Yes, this article has already mentioned Brian K. Vaughn. And yes, Saga is a huge hit. So for any comics fans that have been avoiding it or just haven’t gotten around to reading it, take this as a sign. Get into it. Like right now.
The space-faring warrior couple of Alana and Marko have done something unspeakable, unmentionable, unthinkable... They hooked up. Yes, the whole Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lover trope has been done time and time again, but Saga isn’t just a repeat of the same old tropes, but in space. It’s so much more than that. But would-be readers will just have to find out why on their own.
2 East Of West
Jonathan Hickman has been rocking the marvel landscape since back when he started his run on Fantastic Four back in 2010. Since then he’s gone on to shake up the Avengers, the X-Men, and everyone in between. So when Hickman decides to break ground on his own creator-owned series with Fantastic Four collaborator Nick Dragotta, fans come in droves.
Hickman can take familiar archetypes and a familiar setting like the four horsemen and the apocalypse and turn them into something that feels completely fresh and original. With a huge cast of players ranging from the four horsemen to the son of the horseman death, fans should prepare for yet another epic adventure provided by Hickman’s brilliant storytelling.
1 Deadly Class
Fans of The Runaways and Chris Claremont’s run on X-Men will immediately fall in love with Remender’s Deadly Class. While Deadly Class was recently (criminally) canceled by Syfy after just one season, fast times at King’s Dominion continue on the beautiful pages inked by Wes Craig and colored by Jordan Boyd with letters by Rus Wooton.
As Marcus drifts from bad situations to worse situations, can he finally manage to take real and resounding control of his life in a high school meant to breed the world’s greatest killers? Pay for the book and find out.