Founded in 1992 by a collective of bestselling comics artists, Image Comics is the third-biggest American comics publisher after Marvel and DC. One major difference between Image and the big two is that creators who publish their work via Image retain the copyright in their work. This has helped it to attract many talented creators over the years, and resulted in a huge body of work. We’ve picked the best Image Comics from the extensive library for you to check out.
These are the best Image Comics:
- The Walking Dead – the ultimate zombie comic
- Saga – Star Wars for grown ups
- The Wicked and the Divine – messed up teen gods
- Die – the ultimate comic about RPGs
- Invincible – see where the hit Netflix show came from
The Walking Dead
The ultimate zombie comic
The Walking Dead comics, written by Robert Kirkman and illustrated first by Tony Moore and then Charlie Adlard, are an epic saga about the very best and worst of humanity. The premise is incredibly simple – Rick Grimes awakens from a coma into a world overrun by the undead. Over the long slow arc of the story, Rick faces horror, tragedy, and questions about justice, law, and civilization itself.
If you’ve already watched The Walking Dead (and fell off it when the series lost its momentum), you should check out the comic: it’s substantially different, as video essayist RealLifeRyan explains in the video above. Check out our guide to the best horror comics for more suggestions for spooky comic reads.
Star Wars for grown ups
Saga is a sprawling space-fantasy epic about family struggles, oppressive power structures, cool bounty hunters, and wicked sword fights. Alana and Marco first met on the battlefield, enemy soldiers in a war that has raged between their races for longer than anyone can remember. Now they’re lovers, and they’ll go to any lengths to protect their daughter Hazel from the powers hunting them down.
Brian K. Vaughan’s witty writing and Fiona Staples’ action-packed art combine to create a galaxy that is energetic without being frivolous, and mature without being dour. Here’s an example of what we mean: one recurring character is a disinherited prince with PTSD and a TV for a head. Saga manages to make him not just believable, but compelling.
The Wicked and the Divine
Messed up teen gods
Every ninety years, twelve young people awake to find that they are gods. They will be loved. They will be hated. Within two years they will all be dead. In past ages they’ve disappeared into history, but in 2013, social media has taken them onto the world stage, and this time they’re living it up as rock stars. The Wicked and the Divine follows mega-fan Laura as she’s caught up in a conspiracy among the living gods, with everything on the line.
Jamie McKelvie’s crisp art captures the glamour – and violence – of these oversexed living legends, while Kieron Gillen’s sharp pen gives great characterisation. The overarching mystery is whip smart, and the twists and turns in this tale mean it’s well worth going in without spoilers.
The ultimate comic about RPGs
Another razor-sharp story by Kieron Gillen, Die is a horror fantasy adventure. In 1991, six friends disappeared into a world of fantasy. Two years later, five of them returned, never speaking about what had happened to them. They go on to live ordinary, if unfulfilling lives – until the strange dice that first transported them to the world of fantasy takes them back there once again in their 40s.
Die is equal parts love letter to tabletop RPGs, and a surgical dissection of the genre. Gillen’s incredible imagination is backed up by Stephanie Hans’ painterly artwork, which strikes a perfect blend between clarity and explosive expression.
See where the hit Netflix show came from
If you’re a fan of super heroes, chances are good that you’ve already watched the Netflix adaptation of Invincible, and you’re waiting impatiently for the Invincible season two release date. The good news is that there’s already loads more Invincible – between January 2003 and February 2018, Robert Kirkman wrote 144 episodes of the comic.
Invincible follows Mark Grayson, the high-school son of superhero Omni Man, as he begins to develop super-powers. While the plot of the comics unfolds in different ways from the animated adaptation, the catastrophic ultraviolence that made the show famous is here, ably illustrated by Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley.
Wargamer covers everything that you’d find in a good comic book shop, so why not check out our guides to the best board games, the upcoming Magic the Gathering release schedule, or get some recommendations for LEGO sets for adults?