Break from Batman: best July 2013 comics list

Here’s a question I’d really like all of you to answer: How many titles is too many for one person to read in a month? Or maybe I should ask how many titles you read in total each month? Ever since I started this Break from Batman thing I’ve tried to read as many titles as I can so I have a pretty eclectic list of books to recommend each month but it’s starting to take a lot out of me. I think I’ve reached the point now where I’ve maxed out on how many titles I can keep up with before confuse or forget characters and storylines from the month before. It’s also starting to feel a bit like work when you’re reading this many books and I didn’t even read as many non-Bat titles this month due to my trip to Comic-Con! And for cryin’ out loud, with Batman Inc. getting 2 issues, Bats and Detective getting annuals, and all the Trinity War tie-ins I reviewed 27 comics this month in addition to 4 graphic novels, the Beware the Batman episodes, Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox, and all the Comic-Con coverage.

What I’m saying is that this month’s Break from Batman is going to rely a lot on you heroes who write in the comments. I’m going to need you to step up and list what books you loved most from the month of July because this is what I read… or tried to read but gave up midway through due to comic book fatigue and I’m not confident that it’s a good enough list to get a discussion going or help out those who are enthusiastic about trying out new titles:

Guardians of the Galaxy #5 –MARVEL: I’ve really liked this comic so far but the introduction of Angela in this one took me off guard. The only thing I know about this character is that there was a big custody battle over who had the legal right to character’s license between Neil Gaiman and Todd Macfarlane and I wasn’t in a Wikipedia-mood to learn more. Add on the references to whatever happened in the Age of Ultron mini-series that I didn’t read and I sort of zoned out.

Green Arrow #22 –DC: I don’t really remember what happened right now, but I do remember this image and that’s why I have a little star next to it in my notes so I guess it was a good break from Batman.


Daredevil #28 and #29 –MARVEL: I hate how Marvel double-ships books sometimes, but eh… Daredevil is just an awesome series and this story (which is actually new-reader friendly) about Matt Murdock representing his childhood bully in court was really brilliant. This is worth the break from Batman.

Indestructible Hulk #10 and #11 –MARVEL: Another double-shipped title and they even squeezed in some time-fractured Age of Ultron repercussions but I still managed to enjoy this. #10 can’t really be read unless you picked up last month’s issue #9 because that’s a whole 2-part team-up story between Hulk and Daredevil that was fantastic and then #11 is all about Hulk/Banner trying to fix the time problems going on throughout the Marvel universe right now. Although I didn’t really know how the time shattering had happened, an obscure villain was reintroduced and he was pretty spooky. Yes, it’s worth a break from Batman.

Thumbprint #2 — IMAGE: Last month’s issue was a tough read full of torture and unlikeable characters but it was well-written and well-drawn so I stuck with it due to the craftsmanship. This issue, however, felt much shorter and like very little even happened.

Lazarus #2 — IMAGE: I wish I had read #1 last month because it definitely deserved to be on that month’s best comics list. The series is still new reader friendly and it’s written by Greg Rucka, the architect behind Batman: No Man’s Land. It’s an interesting post-apocalyptic story in which the nation reverts to a feudal system and we follow a powerful family and their “Lazarus,” a genetically engineered super-woman named Forever. One thing I really dig about this series is that the female lead isn’t overly sexualized. She’s supposed to be a buff super-soldier who can kick your ass and that’s exactly what she looks like. No impossible posturing to show off the goods, no armor that exposes the midriff and boobs. This book is definitely worth taking a break from Batman.

Rocketeer & Spirit #1 –IDW: I think my hopes were too high for this one. Batman/The Spirit was a phenomenal team-up, I like the Rocketeer, I like The Spirit, and Mark Waid is writing this team-up between Spirit and Rocketeer… it all sounds like it’s a guaranteed must-read, but… I got a little bored reading this one, unfortunately.

Wild Blue Yonder #2 –IDW: Not quite as good as issue #1, but this new series about sky pirates is definitely different from the other stuff I read so it stands out as a pleasant break from Batman.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #25 –MARVEL: I read Ultimate Spider-Man to actually read about Ultimate Spider-Man, not Cloak and Dagger. I don’t give a crap about Cloak and Dagger.

 Thor: God of Thunder #10– MARVEL: Not one, not two, but three Thors smack a giant bomb big enough to destroy the universe with hammers. Yup, I’ll take a break from Batman for that. Gorgeous, gorgeous artwork, too.

All-New X-Men #14– MARVEL: What got me interested in this series in the first place was the premise of seeing these character meet their past-selves. It was a deeply emotional story. Issue #14 was page after page of 20 or 30 characters punch each other and didn’t really do much for me. And while the premise was initially interesting it has been 14 issues now and the novelty has worn off. I already dropped Uncanny X-Men.

Hawkeye #12 — MARVEL: I read a lot more Marvel stuff than I realized… Anyway, this was a great story about brothers expertly colored by Black Mirror/Black Beetle’s Francesco Francavilla. It’s also a done-in-one comic that anyone interested can pick up and enjoy. Basically, since DC gave Green Arrow a complete makeover so he’s less unique yet the book is pretty good while Lemire continues to write it, you have two options. If you want to see a dark, gritty story about a Hawkeye on a spiritual journey with loads of mystery about his past then you’ll want to read the green book: Green Arrow. If you want to read a light-hearted, fun, and often hilarious book about what Hawkeye does when he isn’t an avenger then you’ll want to read the purple book: Hawkeye. Green: Serious, Purple: Fun. It all depends on what you’re in the mood for. As for July, both green and purple are worth taking a break from Batman.

Rachel Rising #18 — ABSTRACT STUDIOS: I loved this series at first but I don’t think I’ve really liked an issue in 6 months or so. I like the art and I like the characters, but I just don’t get the feeling that the story has been going anywhere for quite some time and I think I’m going to drop it and just wait for the TV show.

Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril #1–VERTIGO: I got a few pages in but it felt like I was definitely missing something and it’s a story for fans who have already read previous Tom Strong adventures.

Collider #1 — VERTIGO: Something happened a few years ago and the laws of physics no longer apply and as you can imagine that leads to quite a few problems. It’s got potential, but it’ll take at least 2 issues to really know if it’s worth reading. The first issue definitely didn’t convince me but the final page teases a follow-up that will expand on the concept in an interesting way so I’m willing to give it another go.

The Wake #3 — VERTIGO: It’s not holding my interest as well as it did with the very first issue and Snyder is weaving quite a few big ideas in and out like the future, an underwater mission in the present, the dawn of man, and a devastating meteor impact on Mars. The art by Murphy is spot-on and he creates a really eerie atmosphere that this world deserves, but I don’t think this tale can be fully appreciated until you have all 12 parts sitting in front of you so it might be better to just wait for the trade to come out.

East of West #4 — IMAGE: Essentially a really big battle scene, but I like this high concept series and the next issue that picks up after the battle is over will be something special.

And that’s it, really. Rather than just pick out the best I gave you a full rundown of everything I had the chance to read. So what were the best books you read this month?