It’s about time we got to these isn’t it? In my mind, self-contained short series are one of the joys of the comic world. I love that they follow and arc and tell a specific story, without worrying too much about further continuity. Of the books I re-read the most, OGNs and miniseries make up the lion’s share. These are the three that have been through the most (including in one case, replacement – twice) and that set the standard in my mind.
Painkiller Jane – Everything Explodes
Writer: Joe Quesada & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Lee Moder
Jane has been a favourite character of mine for a long time, and it may be strange to pick the third of her series as a favourite, but it is. The reason this series wins out over any of her others? It shows just how brilliant Jane is, but it also highlights the strengths of Seth and Maureen. The way the three interact in the different situations fleshes the characters and their relationships. There’s another side of Jane you see in this book as well, as if she’s softening, and that’s fascinating to read. From humour to sex, to high-tension action, this book really has everything I could expect from a Painkiller Jane book.
One of the great things about this series (as with the others) is you don’t actually need any knowledge of the character to read it. It’s referenced in a way that is explanatory to new readers, but not tiring or boring to old. It’s also the one I’ve now replaced twice. Once because I can be hard on books and wore out a copy, and the other time because I loaned it out and it was sadly never returned. Ah well, it just means someone else loved Jane enough that they needed to keep it.
Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Shawn McManus with covers by Chrissie Zullo
I love the series Fables. Or rather, I love the idea behind the series Fables. I grew up reading fairy and folk tales, and some of my favourite books were the re-telling an re-interpretation of these stories. Over the years Fables has been both hit and miss for me. Willingham created characters I loved, but didn’t always deliver on the stories. I’ve stuck with the series, but can’t stand the other offshoot Jack of Fables.
So, I was wary when I heard that Cinderella was getting her own miniseries. A spy for Fabletown who’s cover is being a socialite and dilettante, Cinderella was a character who intrigued me. I wanted more, but I was worried that I would hate what I was given. I needn’t have worried. Roberson writes the character very well, and the bond-like spy story he’s given us is engaging and entertaining. McManus’ art is brilliant and very much in like with Mark Buckingham’s work on the main series. Chrissie Zullo’s covers are simply stunning. End story.
The best news? There’s going to be another series from the same team next year.
Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Artist: Amanda Conner
If there’s anything I find missing in many comics, it would be humour. It’s one of those things that seems hard to convey for some reason – whether it be the writing or the art, I’m not sure. Terra manages to capture this so well – some combination of Jimmy and Justin’s writing and Amanda Conner’s brilliantly expressive art.
Set before their Power Girl run, it introduces us to the third Terra, a girl named Atlee who… Well, read the series, you’ll find out. She and Power Girl end up working together and becoming friends, Terra’s naivete about human life a contrast to Peeg’s wryness and experience.
A great four-issue story, it establishes these two as friends, and firmly ensconced Atlee as my favourite character created by Palmiotti & Gray.
Plus, Conner drew her ass off in this series. There are so many panels that I’ve gone back to look at over and over, always surprised by some new detail, pleased by a clever layout or the sheer wealth of detail and expressiveness. I’d always liked her art, but this book won my love.
Because no list of mine would be complete without it! This time it goes to the Kitty Pryde/Wolverine Limited Edition Series I read when I was 8. My very first comic, and what started my love of the medium.