14. THE FLASH: SEASON ZERO
Following the success of the recent TV adaptation of “The Flash,” DC released “The Flash: Season Zero.” This graphic novel, set between early episodes of the live action series, focuses on a Barry Allen dealing with his newly discovered powers. While the S.T.A.R. Labs crew keeps researching new info about the inner workings and limits of The Flash’s super-speed, Barry attempts to balance his hero life with his police life.
The series is a bit more silly and easygoing than its TV counterpart. Barry Allen’s narration is great, and some of the villains’ costumes are pretty ridiculous. Not to mention, Barry rescues “a surprising number of dogs!” It’s some good old-fashioned superhero fun, without all the added baggage of figuring out how to get started in DC’s elaborate canon. For people newly interested in the world of “The Flash,” who don’t want a full-time commitment, “The Flash: Season Zero” is the comic for you.
13. ONE-PUNCH MAN
“One Punch Man” is a phenomenal parody both of the Japanese shounen genre (action heroes – think “Naruto” and “Dragon Ball”) and the Western superhero tradition. This story follows the adventures of Saitama, a superhero who is so powerful that he can win literally any fight with a single punch. In fact, it is impossible for him to lose. You’d think this would be an amazing gift. However, Saitama’s overwhelming strength has made his superhero hobby (one of the only things he enjoyed in life) incredibly boring. Plus, he gets zero recognition for his work and still lives an underwhelming life in a single apartment waiting for big sales at the grocery store.
The guy has developed a sense of apathy about life that provides brilliant contrast to the dramatic, ever-monologuing supervillains and monsters who foolishly challenge him. Though many know this series as a mainstream anime now on Netflix, it started out as a humble webcomic by Japanese writer One. The intentionally bad drawings of the original comic are endlessly entertaining by themselves. But mix them with the masterfully written comedy and absurd superpowers present in “One Punch Man,” and you have something really great.