Ten Underrated Graphic Novels and Series
There are so many graphic novels and series out in the world, that it takes very little effort to overlook some here and there. It’s impossible to hear about all the series out there – there’s just too many to be browsing through at any given time. Then there are the series that people look at and either write it off because of styles, impressions, or something else. Heck, sometimes a series gets written off because it’s confused with something else (an easy thing to do when the series has been rebooted several times).
This list is going to include some of the most commonly overlooked series. It is by no means a complete list, and it doesn’t really delve into the indie comic world that much (that way lay dragons). With any luck, it’ll get somebody out there to try a new series or two.
I’m including Gwenpool as number one on the list for a very simple reason. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard somebody talking about it where they assumed that it was about Gwen Stacy. Or assuming that it’s just a Deadpool spinoff. Okay, that last bit isn’t entirely wrong, but there’s so much more to it than that. Gwenpool is about a character named Gwen Poole. She somehow managed to get herself from our world into Earth 616, where her immense knowledge of the comic book world gave her a huge advantage when dealing with it. It’s funny, it’s quirky, and it’s not quite like any other series out there.
2.) Dark Fang
Dark Fang is another standout series. Not only is it absolutely beautiful, but it carries a very important message. It blends the theme of traditional vampire lore with the concern of global warming. It may sound like those two shouldn’t blend together, but it makes for a really interesting series. And as a bonus, it isn’t too preachy. It has fun being exactly what it is, and nothing more.
3.) Paper Girls
Paper Girls is one of the very many series by Brian K. Vaughan. That means a couple of things. For one, some people will think that means it should automatically be included on a list like this, while others will probably argue that it’s too well known to bother listing. I’m including it because I know a few people that read it (I may have forced the issue there) only to drop it because they didn’t like/understand nonlinear storytelling. It really is one of those series that’s easily underestimated, but it has so much potential. The other thing to be aware of, knowing that Brian K. Vaughn wrote it, is that likely at some point in time it will rip your heart out.
4.) Sex Criminals
This is one of those series that will either get written off or picked up based on the name alone. Some people will assume the worst about it (and to be fair, a lot of the covers have to be hidden when sold in comic book stores), while others will be naturally curious about it. To be honest I’m not really sure how popular this series is. I just know that nobody I’ve met in person has read it, and that’s really disappointing. The series is funny, interesting, and has a lot of food for thought hidden inside. Oh, and there are people who can freeze time when they’re having sex – hence the title and plot of the series. So you just know that there’s going to be plenty of humor and chaos
5.) The Wicked + The Divine
This series may not necessarily belong on the list, because it is somewhat popular to my knowledge. However, it’s one of my favorites so I’m going to include it anyway. It’s a fantastic series about reincarnation, intrigue, powers and the cost and all of that fun stuff. The artwork is beautiful and the plot is complex. The only downside is that the series is due to conclude soon. Something I’m not sure I can handle.
6.) Rat Queens
Rat Queens is one of those really fun series to read. It has a basis in D&D, so if you’ve been looking for a series like that when you’re on the right track. It’s got a touch of ‘girl power’ but its way more badass than that. The humor can be a little bit crude and very brazen, but that’s what gives the series its charm.
7.) Scales + Scoundrels
Speaking of series that are perfect for D&D fans, Scales + Scoundrels is one of them. I wanted to make a point of including this one on the list because I really enjoyed reading it while it was actively releasing comics. Unfortunately, there aren’t any new comics on the way for the series, because of funding issues. But there’s still hope that something will get worked out in the long run. The series itself is really interesting, and they aren’t afraid to take risks. My favorite issue had almost no conversation in it whatsoever but still told quite the story.
Realistically you’ve probably heard of Lumberjanes. This one is getting included on the list because of the number of people I’ve heard assuming that the series is for kids. While it could be considered kid-friendly (there are no negative numbers and the violence is never traumatic) it is still amusing for adults as well. I personally love the series. It’s a nice break from all the heavy and intense series I frequently read. In short, it’s the perfect temporary escape from the world.
Nimona is Noelle Stevenson’s first graphic novel. You may recognize her name – she’s the writer behind Lumberjanes. Nimona is one of those series that has a little bit of everything, so it’s really approachable. The main character, Nimona is a shapeshifter and the perfect grayscale character. She’s trying to be good…while being really good at being bad. The series is fun and light, and worth reading.
Faith is a superhero, but she isn’t like the ones you’re used to reading about. Unlike a lot of female superheroes out there (sadly) Faith isn’t objectified. She’s stubborn, driven, and so full of hope it’s actually quite inspiring. She’s also a huge nerd, enjoying immersing herself in superhero fandom when she’s not actually out there being a superhero. Her whole character makes for a charming change of pace.
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