Comic book titles that are generally lesser-known but also critically acclaimed? A few even considered cult classics by many comics fans you say?
Yep, it's true!
They're all unique in their own ways and have different stories, characters and art styles.
Some of the themes that these comics explore include supernatural powers, anti-heroes, complex storytelling, satire, and psychological issues.
Here are eight comic book titles for those interested in reading something new and a little different:
The Darkness is a supernatural antihero from the Top Cow universe, created by Marc Silvestri, Garth Ennis and David Wohl. The character first appeared in 1996 in the comic book "The Darkness: Prelude."
The Darkness is the embodiment of an ancient, primal force of evil that is passed down through multiple generations. The current host of the Darkness is Jackie Estacado, a mafia hitman. Jackie discovers his powers on his 21st birthday when he inherits the Darkness from his dying uncle.
The Darkness gives Jackie immense strength and the ability to create and control darkness and shadows. He can also summon creatures known as "darklings" to do his bidding. The Darkness also comes with a heavy price though, as it constantly tempts Jackie to give into his violent, destructive impulses.
Throughout the story, Jackie struggles to control the Darkness and use its power for good, while also dealing with threats from rival mobs, the FBI and other supernatural forces. The series also explores themes of power, corruption, and redemption.
The Darkness comics are known for its mature themes and graphic violence, as well as its dark humor and satirical tone. The series has been illustrated by several artists, including Marc Silvestri, Dale Keown, and Michael Broussard.
The Maxx is a comic book series created by artist and writer Sam Kieth and was published by Image Comics. The series first debuted in 1993 and ran for 35 issues until 1998.
The series follows the titular character, The Maxx, who is a homeless man with split personalities. In the "real world," he is a down-on-his-luck drifter, but in an alternate reality known as the "Outback," he is a powerful jungle warrior. The series explores the relationship between these two worlds, as well as the characters who inhabit them.
The main story follows the life of The Maxx and his social worker, Julie Winters, who becomes embroiled in the supernatural events of the Outback. Julie is often kidnapped by the villain Mr. Gone, who is also the creator of the Outback, and The Maxx has to come to her rescue. Along the way The Maxx faces various other characters such as the Isz, the tiny creatures that act as Mr. Gone's henchmen and the Pimp, a dark version of The Maxx.
The Maxx is a complex and psychological series that deals with themes of reality, identity and mental health. It is known for its unique art style with a mix of cartoonish and darker elements, and its use of surreal and dreamlike imagery. The series was critically acclaimed and won several awards, including the Eisner Award for Best New Series in 1994.
The series was adapted into an animated TV series in 1995, which aired on MTV, and is now considered a cult classic.
The Invisibles is a comic book series created by writer Grant Morrison and published by the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics. The series ran for 25 issues from 1994 to 2000.
"The Invisibles" are a group of anarchists and freedom fighters who battle against a secret organization known as "The Establishment," which is a powerful cabal that seeks to control the world through manipulation and mind control. The team is led by the charismatic and mysterious figure known as "King Mob."
The series is known for its complex and trippy storytelling, as well as its use of occult and paranormal elements. Morrison draws inspiration from a wide variety of sources, including mysticism, conspiracy theories, and counterculture movements. The series also explores themes of freedom, individuality, and the power of the human mind.
The Invisibles is considered one of Morrison's most ambitious and experimental works, and it received critical acclaim for its unique and challenging storytelling. The series won several awards, including the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 1999.
Jack Staff is a British superhero comic book series created by Paul Grist. The series was published by Image Comics, and ran for 36 issues from 2003 to 2010.
The series is set in the fictional town of Fairford and follows the adventures of Jack Staff, who is a retired superhero and former leader of a group of heroes known as "The Fighting American." Jack is also known as "Britain's Greatest Hero" and is often portrayed as a reluctant hero who is more interested in running his newsagent shop and taking care of his sick wife than fighting crime.
This book is known for its complex and interconnected storytelling, as well as its use of humor and satire. Grist draws inspiration from a wide variety of sources, including British comics, pulp fiction, and superhero comics. It also explores themes of heroism, sacrifice, and the human condition.
It features an ensemble cast of characters, each with their own unique backstory and powers. Some of the characters include Tom-Tom the Robot, a robot who is the last survivor of a robot war, and Becky Burdock, a teenage superhero who is struggling to deal with the responsibilities of being a hero.
Jack Staff was widely praised for its originality and clever writing. The series was nominated for several awards, including the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 2005. The series was later collected in trade paperbacks and is considered a cult classic by many comics fans.
The Black Terror
The Black Terror is a Golden Age superhero created by writer Richard E. Hughes and artist George Storm, and first appeared in 1939 in the comic book "Exciting Comics #9" published by Nedor Comics.
The Black Terror's secret identity is Bob Benton, a chemist who discovered a powerful chemical called "formic ether" which grants him superhuman strength, agility, and the ability to fly. He uses this power to fight crime and injustice, often accompanied by his sidekick Tim Roland, who becomes the hero known as the "American Avenger."
The Black Terror comics were popular during the 1940s but as the interest in superheroes started to decline in the 1950s, Nedor Comics went out of business and the character fell into obscurity. However, the character has been revived and re-imagined in several comic book series since then, but it never reached the same level of popularity as it had during its initial run.
The Black Terror is considered a classic Golden Age superhero and is often seen as an important part of comics history. The character is also known for its striking costume, which features a skull-like mask and a red, white, and blue color scheme.
"Chew" is a unique and quirky comic book series that combines elements of detective fiction, science fiction and horror. The series is set in a world where a bird flu pandemic has made the consumption of chicken illegal and the FDA has been given extraordinary powers to enforce the law. The main character, Tony Chu, is a detective with the power of "cibopathy" which means he can gain psychic information by eating something, including corpses. He works for the FDA solving food-related crimes and investigating illegal food trades. His partner, John Colby, is a "saboscrivner" who can write so vividly about food that it tastes as he describes it.
The series is known for its dark humor, satirical elements and for tackling serious themes such as family, love, power and the consequences of our actions. It's also known for its unique and visually striking art style, with a lot of attention to detail and creative use of food imagery.
Throughout the story we see Tony Chu evolving as a person and how he deals with the weight of his power and the responsibility that comes with it. The series also has a diverse cast of characters, each with their own interesting backstory, and it also features a number of memorable villains.
Chew is a critically acclaimed series and it won several awards, including the Eisner Award for Best New Series in 2010 and Best Continuing Series in 2011. The series has been collected in trade paperbacks and many comic book fans consider this a cult classic.
The New Warriors
The New Warriors is a team of teenage superheroes created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, that first appeared in 1990 in "The Mighty Thor #411", by Marvel Comics.
The team is made up of a diverse group of characters, each with their own unique abilities and personalities. The original lineup of the team includes Speedball, Firestar, Nova, Namorita, and Night Thrasher. Over the course of the series, several other characters joined the team, such as Marvel Boy, Silhouette, and Darkhawk.
The New Warriors comics were known for their youthful tone and focus on the characters' personal lives, as well as the themes of growing up, friendship, and responsibility. The series often dealt with the characters' struggles to balance their duties as superheroes with their everyday lives as teenagers.
The series was popular at the time and ran for 75 issues, with a spin-off series and miniseries. The team also appeared in The Avengers and even got a live-action television series which ran for one season in 1990.
The Sentry is a superhero created by writer Paul Jenkins and artist Jae Lee. The Sentry first appeared in the year 2000 in "The Sentry #1", published by Marvel Comics.
The Sentry is the alter-ego of Robert Reynolds, a man who has the power of a million exploding suns, making him one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe. The Sentry is also plagued by a multiple personality disorder which causes him to forget his past as a superhero and to believe that he is a normal person living a mundane life.
The series explores the character's duality and the struggle between his heroic and villainous personalities. The story also lays out the idea of a forgotten hero since the world has no memory of the Sentry, and the characters in the series have to deal with the consequences of his return.
The series was illustrated by Jae Lee who is known for his moody and atmospheric art, and the series was critically acclaimed for its storytelling. It ran for just 8 issues and it was later collected in trade paperbacks.
The Sentry has been seen in various other Marvel comic book titles, such as The New Avengers, Dark Avengers, and Siege, as well as being a member of the Avengers and the Thunderbolts. The character is considered one of the most powerful in the Marvel universe and his return and the revelation of his past is often used to add a sense of mystery and intrigue to the stories he's featured in.