If You Haven't Read Them, They're New To You

There are a number of short series I'd like to read or re-read, for my own benefit as much as for the blog's, but I'd like some help compiling the list. It's impossible to read everything and in my particular case, I was out of comics from the mid-to-late 90s to the mid-00s. So I'm looking for "little series that could" that I might read (and report on) at a rate of about one a month. They should be no longer than about 25 issues (though I'm flexible), and represent mostly underrated, less well known, perhaps cult, quality work. Little treasures. Not mini-series, though longer minis might count. What the hell, let's make it a New 52 project, or rather an Old 52. Imagine we're compiling a list of 52 series that most people haven't read (from across all comic book companies). So even if DC's New 52 isn't to your tastes, you might be able to dip into older material you haven't read yet. Like the title says, if you haven't read them, they're new to you!Here's what I've got to date. I'll keep this a "living post" which will be influenced by your suggestions and updated through the coming days. (R) = Books I've already read, but would happily re-read.

Alias (R)/The Pulse
Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld
Kurt Busiek's Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis

Army@Love (both volumes)
Atari Force
Authority vol.1
Blue Beetle vol.2
Cadillacs & Dinosaurs
Chain Gang War (R)
Chase (R)

John Arcudi's Doom Patrol (vol.3)
Dynamo 5
El Diablo (the one with Mike Parobeck art)
Global Frequency
Dwayne McDuffie's Hardware (R)
Human Target (Vertigo)
Irredeemable Ant-Man
Jack Kirby's 2001: A Space Odyssey
Locke & Key
Major Bummer (R)
'mazing Man
Mouse Guard
Phantom (DC)
Kyle Baker's Plastic Man
Power Company
Ruse vol.1
S.T.A.R.S. and Stripes
Dan Slott's She-Hulk
Strikeforce: Morituri
Tales of the Beanworld

Untold Tales of Spider-Man
Young Heroes in Love (R)
Young Liars
Zatanna vol.2

That makes 52 (but don't be shy about suggesting more, prospective readers can use your recommendations in the comments!). As much as I'd like to put 100 Bullets or Y the Last Man or Gotham Central - all books I'm ashamed to say I haven't read - they're too long by a stretch. Don't hesitate to suggest books to add on here that fit my criteria, or even to convince me to REMOVE some you feel DON'T. I promise to get on ONE of these soon.

Alternates! I can't read them again because I've JUST read them to bits very recently, but if you haven't, please feel free to switch a series above you HAVE for one of these fine suggestions from readers like YOU!
Gail Simone's All-New Atom
Astro City
Batgirl vol.3
Black Hood (Impact Comics)
Immortal Iron Fist
Incredible Hercules
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Top 10


MOCK! said…
I love your choices of H.E.R.O. and 'maxing man!

I would add the recently ended Batgirl.
Cradok said…
You don't have Nextwave on the list. You should really fix that. :-p
Madeley said…
I second Nextwave, and submit Phonogram for consideration.
Siskoid said…
In all cases, I read them very very recently, but I'll certainly build a section of the list as "alternates" in case another choice was too new to you!
Eric TF Bat said…
I'm glad you've got Chronos and Res Man on there, but what about Chase? Too well known? I liked it.

What was that Vertigo comic with the paranormal detectives in London with a vinyl (record) fetish? I'm pretty sure it was meant to be an ongoing, not a mini. It wasn't bad.
Craig Oxbrow said…
Global Frequency. Two trades of done-in-one stories of different kinds of heroism.
De said…
I have a few suggestions:

Planet Hulk (the storyline is reasonably self-contained)
Power Company
Damage Control (all 3 minis + the World War Hulk tie-in)
Green Lantern Quarterly
Justice League Quarterly
Justice League Task Force
Astro City

And... volume 1 of both Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. They were about 25 issues each.
Matthew E said…
Good call on Atari Force.

You could try:

-Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew
-Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld (the original series was 12 issues, plus a preview, plus an issue of DCCP you could throw in there... then there was the regular series, which didn't last that long, plus a miniseries after that... Overall it wouldn't come to too much more than 20 issues. Or you could just stick with the original maxiseries)
-the recent Guardians of the Galaxy stuff by DnA
-The All-New Atom (but you can stop where Gail Simone stops)
-Jonni Thunder aka Thunderbolt

I can't help but think that there's something I forgot.
Matthew Turnage said…
The Tony Isabella-written issues of the 1995 Black Lightning series. I think he left after #8, and that's when I dropped the book. It only ran thirteen issues total, but I can't speak to the quality of the last 5.

Caveat: I haven't read it in years, so I don't know how it's aged. At the time, it was neck and neck with the Ostrander/Mandrake Spectre as my favorite comic.
MrCynical said…
Seconded Astro City

I'll also add in:
Stormwatch (Warren Ellis issues only)
Supreme (Alan Moore issues only)
Moriarty said…
Love that you have HOURMAN, GL: MOSAIC, and Dan Slott's SHE-HULK on the list. SHE-HULK, in particular was just pure fun and th best take on the character I've seen since Byrne. The closest I've come to having that much pure fun on a comic recently was with Van Lent & Pak's INCREDIBLE HERCULES, which I also highly recommend if you haven't read it.

Another run to add to the pile is ALIAS + THE PULSE. They may be pushing the length limit (A=28 issues, TP=16) when combined, but once you get through ALIAS, you won't want to stop.
Austin Gorton said…
I'll second Alias, if you're willing to fudge the guidelines a bit, and Global Frequency.

Also consider:

Slingers (a short lived series surrounding characters who took up Spider-Man's various identities from his "Identity Crisis" story - it's much better than it sounds).
Image's Dynamo 5
The Order
Iron Fist (either the original 70s series and/or the most recent one).
X-Men: The Hidden Years (not because it's terribly good, but I'd be curious to read your take on it).
Marvel's Lost Generation (the "backwards" numbered one; again, not great, but worth reading).
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Top 10

Those last three might stress the definition of longer miniseries, but Top 10, at least, was intended to be an ongoing series, I believe.
Randal said…

Why are you not reading Vext?

Have you read Vext yet?

You should totally read Vext.

I have an idea - Vext.

Jeff R. said…
Seconding Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld.

How about The Ray? Ran 28 issues+1 annual, should be close enough.

Untold Tales of Spider-man, also.
Austin Gorton said…
DefinitelyUntold Tales of Spider-Man.

How could I forget that...
Jeremy Patrick said…
There's a really interesting short-lived Caliber comics series called Baker Street featuring a female punk take on Sherlock Holmes.
Cradok said…
Top 10! How could I have forgotten that, it contains what's probably my favourite page in all of comics.

I'd disagree with Guardians of the Galaxy, though. Not because it's not good, it's awesome, but because it's one part in a massive ongoing epic starting with Drax the Destroyer back in 2004.
waarschuwing said…
I don't kow if it fits the bill, and as a French seaking comics lover you should have read this ages ago, but I recommend The Incal-series. Wonderful sci-fi antihero stuff. depending on the time of day and my mood, this is somewhere high up just clinging onto my all-time top 10.
d said…
I have an odd fondness for The Shadow War of Hawkman. And did anyone mention Evanier & Spiegel's Blackhawk or is that too obvious?
Siskoid said…
Whoo! Lots to answer to! Thanks guys!

Chase: I thought about it, ok might as well put it on the list, but I do want to limit the strict re-reads.

Global Frequency: Sounds interesting!

Planet Hulk: Well... I'm not gonna do events in this thing.

Power Company? Made me look, and it's Busiek. That's usually good value.

Damage Control: Minis, so I'm gonna leave them out, though they are awesome. Perhaps as part of some other project.

GL/JL Quarterlies: Really? I have them all and consider them a mix bag.

Astro City: Will place in alternates since I re-read the original series recently.

Legionnaires: Length well beyond the parameters of this project.

Blue Beetle vol.1: While perfectly pleasant, it doesn't bear re-reading.

Booster Gold vol.1: Falls apart after issue 18, and I know this because I look at the series relatively often already.

Captain Carrot: Fun one-offs when read from time to time, but not worth reading all in one go.

Amethyst: Thought about it, and I'm gonna take your recommendation.

Guardians of the Galaxy: I was also thinking about Nova, but the whole Annihilation thing seems of a piece, so that's gonna be for later.

All-New Atom: Too recently read. Alternate?

Jonni Thunder: Just a 4-issue mini, which isn't in line with this project.

Black Lightning vol.2: Hmmm... I remember liking it fine, but Isabella left pretty early (yes, #8).

Stormwatch/Planetary: Don't know much about "Earth-50", and The Authority in my list would be my first taste. I'd then see if I want to look at more (the new Paul Cornell series may well prove an incentive as well).

Supreme: I'm reading the Alan Moore issue very soon for a Reign feature, so that's covered.

Incredible Hercules: My yes! Adding it now!

Alias/The Pulse: Loved the former, don't know anything about the latter. So I'm game for a re-read/new read experience.

Slingers: Never heard of it. I'll need to check it out before saying yes.

Dynamo 5: I'll try it, looks interesting.

Aztek: That would be a re-read for me, so I'll slide it into the alternates.

The Order: You'll have to sell me on it a little more.

Immortal Iron Fist: Very clear in my mind, so a worthy alternate.

X-Men/Lost Gen: The list is getting tight, so you'll forgive me for not adding titles you call "not terribly good".

LXG/Top 10: Read all of these relatively recently. Alternates.

Vext: I thought about it, but it was really short, as was Heckler already in the list. I thought "If it's good someone will sell me on it." Someone has.

The Ray: Was ok, but not something I find myself eager to reread.

Untold Tales: Oh yes, let's add that.

Baker Street: I have the trades! Hm... let me think on it. Might be good for an entirely different project. At least an alternate at this point.

The Incal: I'm a fan of Jodorowski and Moebius, but I consider these a series of graphic novels more than a comic book series. Good recommendation though!
Siskoid said…
Shadow War of Hawkman is a straight up mini-series, not what I'm looking for here.

As for Blackhawk, you mean the last run of the first DC series (251-273)? Is it really that good?
Jeff R. said…
A couple more, some of which might be more difficult to actually track down:

Both Mage series (The Hero Discovered and The Hero Defined) [Are they underrated enough, though?].

Wasteland (the Close/Ostrander anthology series, that is)

Puma Blues

The American

Oh, and for potential cuts. Authority and Incredible Hercules. Not because they aren't excellent comics, mind you, but because they're not in any way underrated.
delenore said…
There is also the late Milestone imprint. I've always been partial to Static, Xombi and Blood Syndicate but everything from the early years is great.
Austin Gorton said…
You'll have to sell me on it a little more.

I won't sell you too hard on it, as you've clearly got plenty of ideas already, but The Order was a short lived series that sprang up as part of "The Initiative" (the Order is California's state team, originally to be called the Champions before legal nixed it).

It basically examined the relationship between superheroes and celebrities, and did a good job of establishing some memorable and interesting characters in a short amount of time. Plus, it featured some great Barry Kitson art.

Heck, now that I think about it, you could include the original Champions from the 70s. It ran 17 issues and, amongst other things, featured a Nazi made of killer bees.
ticknart said…
The Black Hood from DCs !mpact line. 12 issues and an annual.
Siskoid said…
Jeff: I did say "mostly" underrated. ;-) As for your picks, I was never that in love with Mage though I tried to be, and while Wasteland could be a good choice, I'm not sure I want to include an anthology. They lack the momentum I need to get through a series. I'll have to keep a lookout for you other suggestions.

Milestone: Yeah, I should give the last slot to a Milestone book, hm...

Teebore: Swarm, right? I've loved him ever since Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends! (Still thinking about it for the list placement.)

Ticknart: I loved Impact's Black Hood, the only Impact series I was really sorry to see end. Re-read it very recently, so I'll stick it in alternates.
Austin Gorton said…
Swarm indeed. "Nazi made of killer bees" is one of my all time favorite "only in comics/comics are awesome" concepts.
Brad said…
How about Big Bang and Common Grounds?

If you would re-read Hero Hotline, you'll probably love 'mazing Man (despite the fact it's not really about superheroes, but another contender for a four-color Seinfeld)

Seconding Tales of the Beanworld, Untold Tales of Spider-Man and Power Company

About Kyle Baker's Plastic Man... Baker is a great cartoonist, and I wanted to like the series much more than I did. My feeling is, he doesn't seem to like Plastic Man (the character as opposed to the series) very much.

To me, Plas always works best when he's the sane one in the room, pretty much as Cole had him. The Steve Skeates years were particularly embarrassing.
De said…
Whoa! I had no idea that Legionnaires ran so long! Seemed like it was coming to an end around issue 20 or 21 (if my fuzzy memory serves).
Siskoid said…
Got past 80! But it wasn't always the same version of the Legion, so your confusion is understandable.
d said…
I think Shadow War of Hawkman lead directly into Hawkman vol 2 which ran for 17 issues of mostly Isabella written goodness according to GCD. I also wanted to recommend my favorite indie comic ever: Journey, written & drawn by William Messner-Loebs. 27 B&W issues mostly from Aarvark-Vanaheim or Fantagraphics. Cannot praise this book highly enough!
Siskoid said…
Never heard of it, but will certainly try to find out about it.

I've decided to fill the last gap with a Milestone book, and that book is... McDuffie's Hardware (to issue #19, and including crossovers with other books around that time).
Siskoid said…
I too the idea that Incredible Hercules was too popular for the list and dropped it into alternates), and added The Crossovers instead. Always been curious and the 9 issues just fell into my hands.
Patrick C said…
I'm coming to this post late, but Primal Force is another underrated series that I think deserves another look.
Siskoid said…
I have every issue. Read it back in the day. I wanted to like it more than I did given some of the obscure characters in it. Not sure I want to give it another whirl 20 years later though. Red Tornado may have something to do with that.
Michel Fiffe said…
Didn't see these listed or suggested, but forgive me if I missed them....

BREACH by Bob Harras and Marcos Martin
HAYWIRE by Fleisher and Giarrano

Pretty good stories, but the art's the main draw. Also, you're not doing minis, right? If you change your mind, there's always CINDER & ASHE!

Good to see THRILLER on the list (as I'm more than a little partial towards it)!
Siskoid said…
No minis for this particular series of posts, but I'm always up for recommendations.

As for Breach and Haywire, I'll check 'em out. Don't tell anyone, but I sometimes take something out of the list and replace it with something else I'd rather read at the moment. Shhhh.
Michel Fiffe said…
I just scanned the titles on the comments at first, not realizing you had more than plenty of suggestions to fill your time for a while! Ooops.

You have a good variety going, tons of reading ahead of you. I look forward to the ensuing posts!
Siskoid said…
I'm late on the schedule, and Thriller's just short enough to be a second series read in May (I just couldn't make April 30th with 'Maze).

So maybe I'll hook you up sooner than later.