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Superheroes still rule comic books

by Matthew Price Published: December 18, 2009
The split between periodical comics and graphic novels is becoming more like the gap between TV and film. Most comic books are being collected in book-length editions, just as episodic TV is being gathered in box sets for DVD. Monthly comic books still lean toward superheroes, influencing the lion’s share of sales in many comic stores. The following are 2009’s best 10 periodical comic books.

1."Unwritten”: Mike Carey and Peter Gross create the story of Tom Taylor, whose father created the popular Tommy Taylor novels about a boy wizard. After his father’s disappearance, Tom becomes a low-level celebrity, signing the books that star the character named after him. But one day he discovers his father’s stories may be more real than he knew.

2."Irredeemable”: Mark Waid ("Fantastic Four”) and Peter Krause ("Power of Shazam”) create a story in which the world’s greatest hero goes bad. Explaining why and how superhero The Plutonian turned to the dark side has been one of 2009’s best comics.

3."Superman Secret Origin”: Writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank provided a perfect template for a new "Superman” film in last year’s "Brainiac” arc. In 2009, they go the Man of Steel’s past to tell a modern update of his origin.

4."Chew”: Cibopathic detective Tony Chu gets psychic impressions from whatever he eats. This has led to a vegetarian lifestyle, but when he chomps on a suspect to find out the whereabouts of the victim, he attracts the attention of the Special Crimes Division of the Food and Drug Administration. In this near future, the FDA has become the most powerful law-enforcement group on the planet after a bird flu led to the banning of chicken.

Nerdage Blog
by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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