Non-superhero comic books for beginners
When most people think of Western comic books, the superhero genre is what comes to mind at first. While the superhero tales of Marvel and DC might be the most popular ones, there are many graphic novels of varying genres with amazing storylines and artwork that will keep readers enthralled.
While there are many lists out there with popular suggestions like The Sandman, From Hell, and Maus, which are all amazing recommendations, this list is curated with my personal recommendations for people looking to delve into the world of comic books outside of the superhero spectrum.
Y: The Last Man
A mysterious plague simultaneously wipes out every mammal on earth with a Y-chromosome, except a man named Yorick and his pet monkey Ampersand. They are eventually accompanied by a government agent named Agent 355 and a geneticist Dr Allison Mann, and the group embark on an adventure to figure out how Yorick survived and ensure the future of humanity.
The series has an interesting take on the post-apocalyptic genre as it is not entirely bleak with the female population still remaining to rebuild society. The story deals with serious themes of gender and the human spirit, with fascinating plot twists and character work sprinkled in between that make it a solid read from start to finish.
Do A Powerbomb
This miniseries presents a fantastical take on pro wrestling, with a woman named Lona Steelrose entering an interplanetary wrestling tournament hoping to resurrect her deceased mother.
Despite an over-the-top premise and short length, this is an exciting story with meticulously drawn action scenes and a surprising amount of character depth. The stylised and innovative artwork elevates every panel, and by the end of each issue, you will keep wanting more. If you are looking for a short and heart-warming story, this is a great book to start with. It's extra fun if you are a fan of pro wrestling.
Written by one of the all-time great comic book authors, Grant Morrison, We3 is a three-issue-long tale of three animals –a dog, a cat, and a rabbit – who have been turned into cyborg-like killing machines by the government and escape from their captors before they were to be decommissioned. What follows is an incredible emotional roller-coaster as the animals attempt to find safety while being hunted down.
The minimal use of dialogue at times and experimental panels showcasing the animals' perception of events make the presentation of this comic truly unique. Ultimately, this book presents a bittersweet yet powerful story packed with emotions, besides the obvious advocation of animal rights and compassion.
The Last God
While there are many great comics that explore the Tolkien-esque fantasy genre, The Last God is a more recent and standout title with captivatingly beautiful artwork. Two variations of the quest for saving the world from the malevolent last god are shown decades apart, and we follow both occurrences simultaneously and pick up the pieces connecting the whole thing together.
This book has some interesting twists and explores the concept of history being written by the victors and false heroes. While the story does not attempt too many innovations regarding fantasy tropes, the artwork and world-building are what make it worth the read.
Sabil spends most of his time trying to stay as hopeful as possible. You can contact him at email@example.com