Here’s a list of my recent-ish reading separated into superhero and non-superhero. I’m new here so apologies if I’m re-treading any ground. I just read the 2019 thread and extracted a few recommendations that I’ll definitely be picking up so thanks for that. I tend to go for books with clever plotting, a sense of humor and a moral compass or a concern with society-scale issues, usually in the action-oriented superhero, sci-fi or fantasy genres. I’m not much into manga, soap-opera or open-ended stories but only because I haven’t been exposed to them much.
It's long, so I’ll hide it.
Coda by Simon Spurrier - Pure post-apocalypse fantasy with heart and melancholy. This is probably my top recommendation. Big Moebius / Metal Hurlant vibes. The emotional and moral stakes emerge surprisingly over the run and I found it really affecting. It’s also very funny.
Buddha by Osamu Tezuka. Retelling of the life of Siddhartha Gautama. Way more Adventure than Theology. Long but not long-for-manga. An effortless but spiritual experience. A good long quarantine read with relevance to our social and spiritual responsibilities. @sputnik mentioned it last year and I agree with his take.
The Dead Hand by Kyle Higgins - 80’s cold-war-style intrigue set in a mysteriously isolated american town with a dark secret.
Deathbed by Joshua Williamson - Over-the-top adventure centered on a Hemingway/most-interesting-man-in-the-world archetype and his amanuensis. Interrogates ideas of life-narratives and legacy. How they serve us and fail to serve us.
Author Tom King has been mentioned so I’ll just note that Waypoint fans might most enjoy The Omega Men. It follows a lesser known Green Lantern on an undercover mission to infiltrate a group of people who are either terrorists or freedom fighters and handles issues of colonialism, militarism and the costs of violence.
Black Bolt by Saladin Ahmed - Basically about the definition of the human in the carceral state. But like, with Black Bolt. Saladin Ahmed really has a handle on treating society-scale issues with personal-scale stories.
House of X/Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman is as good as everyone says and perfectly compiled in one collection now. A really smart and extremely sci-fi take on how revolutions do or do not evolve over time.
Silver Surfer: Black by Donny Cates. It’s got elements of dense 70’s Dr. Strange psychedelia, Gendy Tartakosky-style fights, and simple but strong emotional stakes.
Finally, Cosmic Ghost Rider: Baby Thanos Must Die by Donny Cates is just very funny.