Christmas is soon approaching and I’m sure you’re really wanting to knock it out of the park with when it comes to gift giving, but you’re just not sure what exactly to for some people. Well you can’t go wrong with a good comic book and thankfully Don’t Hate the Geek is here to help you out with a few great gift ideas. Here are some books you can hand out to those among your family and friends so they can explore some fascinating new stories.
We’re splitting this list up into three choices by DC, Marvel, and indie publishers and from least to most expensive in each category.
Doctor Strange Vol. 1: The Way of the Weird
This goes out to those who want a little bit more of Doctor Strange after seeing his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is a collection of the first five issues from the recent run of Doctor Strange and it honestly serves as a great introduction into the Sorcerer Supreme and really goes into how important he is to the defense of Earth itself and what magic is and does exactly in the Marvel Universe. Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo are a dynamic team who perfectly compliment each other very well to make an exciting mystical superhero adventure that can really be enjoyed by anyone be they new to Doctor Strange or very familiar with the character.
Black Panther by Christoper Priest: The Complete Collection Vol. 1
Christopher Priest’s time on Black Panther truly changed everything about the character. His 1998-2003 run shaped it from not just being a superhero adventure books, but also a sharp political satire as well, which is perfect given that aside from being Black Panther, T’Challa is the king of Wakanda. The emphasis of his role as king is a key factor as to why this is such a great read throughout and it even helped add to and shape the Black Panther mythology going forward from the introduction of Everett K. Ross and the Dora Milaje, T’Challa’s all female bodyguards/warriors. The balance of adventure and political intrigue make for one great read and given it’s influence has already touched upon the MCU from Captain America: Civil War, its a great time for Marvel to recollect and reprint this amazing book. You can’t go wrong with this at all.
Ms. Marvel Omnibus Vol. 1
No hero has made quite the impact in his or her debut as much as Kamala Khan did when she became Ms. Marvel. Kamala’s adventures as a teenage superhero is a great throwback to the earlier days of Peter Parker’s teenage misadventures as Spider-Man, but very much wrapped in its modern setting very well and this book never gets boring. Kamala is firmly planted into the Marvel Universe perfectly and feels at home right away and guest appearances from the likes of Spider-Man, Wolverine, and former Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel AKA Kamala’s personal hero, help to really add more. Also this has one of the finer examples of a regular book suddenly becoming a tie-in to a major crossover event and not at all feel out of place with the overall tone of the issues before. What’s so great about this selection is that not only is this book so perfectly suitable for anyone at any age, but it collects all nineteen issues of Kamala’s first series and the sections of her appearances in other books, all together in a neat little package.
The Flash by Mark Waid Vol. 1
Barry Allen may be the one headlining the films and TV shows for the Crimson Comet, but former Kid Flash and the one to take up the mantle after Barry’s sacrifice in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally West has been and most likely will remain the huge fan favorite Flash and this book shows why. Mark Waid already has a lot of accomplishments to him in the industry, but his 90s run on The Flash remains immensely loved. Waid’s run did so much for the character in further defining Wally as his own hero and making sure the legacy of Barry Allen was well respected. Not only did Wally strive under Waid, but as did everyone else around him. Finally being recollected, I find this book to be one of the finest examples of superhero storytelling ever. It’s exciting, adventurous, emotion, and above all us, fun. This is one book not to miss.
Gotham Central Omnibus
Some of the best Batman stories don’t even feature Batman and I’d like to present to you, Gotham Central. The book is more or less Law & Order: Gotham, but man it’s a deeply engrossing book. Featuring the men and women of the Gotham City Police Department, Gotham Central shows the other side of the fight against crime and supervillains from old school detective instinct and police work, how some of the force feels about relying on Batman for crimesolving, and the personal lives of the officers themselves, one story in particular being the catalyst for Renee Montoya to be a prominent figure in the DC Universe. Industry favorites Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka helped add more depth and personality to world of the Dark Knight and the simple, yet invoking and captivating artwork of Michael Lark really drove home what a breathe of fresh air this book was. Every single issue is collected here and for those with any interest in crime stories, this absolutely perfect.
Absolute Preacher Vol. 1
Okay so this is from Vertigo, but that’s a DC imprint so it counts and this is also the heftiest priced of any book on this list, but it is worth it. DC’s Absolute Editions are incredible. They are oversized slipcase editions of select works from DC and Vertigo printed on gorgeous glossy paper and they stacked. Not only are you getting classic stories in a new format, but also loads and loads of bonus features that can range from original scripts and art and sketches to creator commentary and sometimes, additional pages not included in the original release. This year finally saw Preacher get its long awaited Absolute treatment and the wait was worth it. The production of the first volume is outstanding and also packed to the gills with bonuses. There are numerous reasons as to why Preacher is revered as one of the finest comics ever created and if you want to know why, this first Absolute collection is where you should start.
One-Punch Man Vol. 1
No exaggeration, One-Punch Man is one of the best superhero stories out there today and I really can’t get enough of it. The story here is of Saitama AKA Caped Baldy who has gotten bored being a superhero due to the lack of a challenge in fighting because he is incredibly overpowered and well you can guess why by the title of this. This is one of the absolute send-ups of the superhero genre in sometime. Originally created by One as a parody webcomic, the series immediately took off and if you read this or even happen to catch the anime adaptation, you’ll see why. This is one of the best send-ups of the superhero genre in a while and it utterly hilarious. Seriously, this book is fun and outrageous in all the best ways while providing great character as well and a fully fleshed out world. The art is wonderful as well and really helps compliment the craziness of this entire premise. Oh man, One-Punch Man is seriously a great alternative from the offerings of DC and Marvel.
Paper Girls Vol. 1
Anyone who needs their itch for Stranger Things scratched since they’re so impatient for season 2, then might I suggest the excellent, and dare I say superior, Paper Girls? Paper Girls is the tale of well, four paper girls, out delivering papers together the morning after Halloween in 1988 when they come across an out of this world discovery and then everything they about their world and what they think they know is suddenly turned upside down in this amazing and weird sci-fi adventure. The combined superstar talents of Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang help give this book a great personality from its standout characters to the wonderfully designed art that will thrill and delight. Given this is the first trade collection of an Image book, it’s only $9.99 so you can pick it up if your curious and believe me, with how this book ends you’re going to want to read more Paper Girls.
Harrow County Vol. 1: Countless Haints
Harrow County is a coming-of-age witch story that right now sits as the crown jewel of Dark Horse’s current publishing line. The reason I say that is because of how much this book can turn on a dime. Cullen Bunn’s scripting, but more so Tyler Crook’s beautifully done watercolor art can take this from being a sweet, innocent, and charming story to a terrifying, haunting, and dark one quickly. It’s a deeply engaging horror drama that really gets after the heart and can evoke so many different emotions as you read it. The shifts in tone and scene transitions are so seamless. Despite only collecting the first four issues, you get plenty of action here and some pretty good extras that include original sketches and parts of the original prose story by Bunn that he later turned into this very comic. You’re not gonna be sorry about picking this up.
Once your done here, be sure to checkout our other gift guides on here for great ideas for your loved ones this season.