Today’s comic book market is dominated by Marvel and DC. It’s been that way for many decades, but independent publishers and creators have been persistent in releasing alternatives to “the big two.” While many publishers emerge and fall every year, there are always series that become loved by readers worldwide.
In the 1980s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles caused an explosion of independent, black-and-white comic books. In the 1990s, Image Comics led a wave of viable alternatives to Marvel and DC Comics. Today, publishers like IDW, Boom!, and Dynamite keep the independent spirit alive, publishing plenty of comics that are deserving of more issues.
10 Cycops Debuted A Young Artist Named Brian Stelfreeze
Published in 1988 by Comics Interview, Cycops was a science fiction series where three-person teams protect the world. When the white team is set to take the fall for an assassination, it proves deadly. Cycops was written by Julie Woodcock and featured a new comic artist named Brian Stelfreeze.
The three-issue series was succinct in its story, completing it sufficiently. However, Cycops was left with the villain still at large, setting the stage for a sequel. As long as Brian Stelfreeze provides the covers, if not the interior artwork, a sequel would be very welcome.
9 Day Men Crafted A Complex World Of Vampires
Day Men was an eight-issue series that created a vast world of secret vampire covens who were at war with each other. Each coven, modeled on organized crime families, had trained and deadly operatives who protected them during daylight hours. Writers Matt Gagnon and Michael Alan Nelson worked flawlessly with Brian Stelfreeze to craft this world.
At the end of Day Men, Matt Gagnon left the possibility of a sequel open. The story left the Virgo family expecting the retribution of the European families for stopping the Scourge of hybrid vampires. David Reid, the Day Man of the Virgo family, still serves his family after earning their trust and loyalty. The world needs to be further explored before leaving it behind.
8 Ironwood Was Another Rich World, But Is For Adults
Bill Willingham held onto two characters when he sold Elementals, iron golem Fantasia Faust and nascent dragon Dave Dragavon. I have built the world of Ironwood around them and told a tale of ribaldry and the chase for a magic knife. It was all done through the adults-only Eros Comix, an imprint of Fantagraphics.
While pornographic, the world Ironwood crafted is excellent and is in need of further exploration. A role-playing game supplement by Theatrix gave further information on the world, showing the potential. A sequel does not need to be an adults-only title, as Willingham has proven that his stories of him alone are worth the price.
7 Babe Is An Original Character That Needs To Be Further Explored
In the 1990s, John Byrne was one of the legendary creators that formed the Legend imprint at Dark Horse. Among Byrne’s contributions to the shared universe with Mike Mignola, Art Adams, and Mike Allred, was babe, about a gestalt heroine with vast possibilities. She had the exponential strength of five combined women, each of whom could trigger the merger on their location.
Given that one of the women was a convicted criminal, the possibility of her trying to use the Babe identity to commit crimes was never explored. babe ended with Danger Unlimited, a Fantastic Four-like group interested in Babe. It’s not surprising, considering that her origins involve alien technology. The cliffhanger is one of Byrne’s unfinished stories that he most deserves to be finished.
6 Leave It To Chance Was A Coming Of Age Story That Ended Too Soon
James Robinson and Paul Smith’s Leave It To Chance was a wonderful series that followed a girl growing into her legacy as a paranormal investigator. Accompanied by a pet dragon, Leave It To Chance had a sense of fun and innocence missing from late ’90s comics. The last issue of the series was published by Image Comics in 2002.
The last issue set the stage for young Chance Falconer to grow into adulthood. A sequel, even just a standalone graphic novel, would show how the young woman stepped into her father’s shoes as her town’s protector. Unfortunately, it’s been twenty years since readers last saw her, so time is running out.
5 Coventry Built A Compelling Modern Magical World
In 1996 and 1997, Fantagraphics published three issues of Bill Willingham’s Coventry. This predates his most renowned series at Vertigo, fables. While it excels due to Willingham’s intelligent writing, Coventry also features his incredibly detailed artwork, seen far too seldom.
The world of Coventry started with a plague of frogs being investigated by a paranormal detective and expands from there. Every page seems to elaborate on the world, bringing in mythical creatures, werewolves, angels, and demons. Sadly, Coventry suffered from the near-collapse of the comics market but it did have two follow-up novels featuring the legendary hero Beowulf, Hyde And Seek and The MonsterMaker.
4 Monkeyman And O’Brien Featured Apes, Super-Strong Women, And Alien Toads, All By Art Adams
Art Adams debuted his creation of Monkeyman And O’Brien in 1993. Their adventures were sporadic, but every story brought readers fun and adventure. Their last appearances were in 1998 with a serialized strip in the first few issues of Dark Horse Extra and a crossover with Gen13.
A return for the duo could just be a standalone graphic novel that ties up the lingering story threads. In a 2017 interview, Adams mentioned that if he ever did interior work again, it would be on something creator-owned like Monkeyman And O’Brien. Hope springs eternal for fans of this duo’s adventures.
3 E-Man Was An Early Superhero In The Humor Genre
e man was created in 1973 by writer Nicholas Cuti and artist Joe Staton for Charlton Comics. He was different from other superheroes, from his orange and yellow costume to his origin as an energy being born in a supernova. Over the years, the creators have returned to creating stories that harken back to the golden age hero, Plastic Man.
Over time, the creators obtained ownership of the character. there was an e man story planned by publisher Charlton Neo in 2014. Staton planned for the story to be the last e man story, but the publisher folded before the comic was published. Hopefully, Staton and fans can one day get closure.
two Elementals Went Into Limbo After Ignoring Bill Willingham’s Bible
In the 1980s, Bill Willingham created one of the best-known independent superhero comics, Elementals. The two series and various specials and spin-offs dealt with mature topics, setting the stage for mainstream superheroes to tell more mature stories in later years. Decades before the X-Men established the mutant nation of Krakoa, the Elementals established a formal nation of the supernature.
In the 1990s, Bill Willingham sold the Elementals to Comico’s new owner, Andrew Rev. Before leaving the book, Willingham created a story bible detailing how the “Oblivion War” story he had started was to play out. As Willingham described in a text piece in Ironwoodthe last he saw of this bible was it being used as a doorstop.
1 We Can Never Go Home Was Supposed To Have A Sequel
We Can Never Go Home was a fantastic limited series written by Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon, with art by Josh Hood. Published by Black Mask, it was reviewed by numerous websites as one of the best comics of 2015. We Can Never Go Home featured a teenage girl named Madison who discovers her superpowers and runs away with a new friend named Duncan.
The story grew more complex as it unfolded with a mystery surrounding Madison’s parents, the government agents after them, and the criminal enterprise that employed other superhumans like Madison. We Can Never Go Home ended with Madison on the run and Duncan trying to lose himself in obscurity. A sequel was promised in a Black Mask giveaway for 2016’s Free Comic Book Day, but nothing has developed past there.
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