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It was about a year ago that Monkeybrain Comics, the all-digital, creator-owned comics publisher headed up by Chris Roberson and Allison Baker, burst onto the scene. A year later, they’ve published roughly two dozen titles, many of which have found print homes and one of which, Bandette, brought home a few Eisner nominations.
In celebration of their big year, we thought we’d list six of our favorite Monkeybrain titles, but we couldn’t quite narrow the list down that far, so you’re getting one bonus selection as well.
by Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover
I remember when I first saw Colleen Coover’s work in X-Men: First Class. She would do these short stories – usually featuring Jean Grey, Scarlet Witch, and other female characters – and I foolishly thought how awesome it would be to see her do something longer for Marvel. It was foolish because what I really wanted (I just didn’t know it) was Bandette. Written by Coover’s husband, Paul Tobin – whose work I loved so much in the dearly missed Marvel Adventures line – Bandette is a beautiful mash-up of many amazing, awesome things. It’s a world of heists, detectives, and spies all set in France with a European adventure comics feel and a perfectly adorable lead character who pulls it all together. There’s a reason Bandette was nominated for four Eisners, but it deserves many more than that. –Michael May
by Chris Roberson, Dennis Culver, Stephen Downer, John J. Hill and Dylan Todd
Reading this series, I am reminded a little bit of Alan Moore’s run on Supreme. The creative team uses the Edison Rex universe to make homages to other comics series, story devices and even ads. Rex is the reluctant hero. Roberson delivers a script with a load of action and a dash of whimsy/wit. Both Roberson and Culver channel the old Marvel Universe Handbook material for some of the back pages material. For all the fun infused in these pages, Roberson also gives us villains who struggle (when not superpowered) with diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The latest issue (Edison Rex 7) came out last week and dives headfirst into the origin of Edison Rex. Longtime readers of Robot 6 will not be surprised to learn this is my favorite title of all the Monkeybrain line. –Tim O’Shea
by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa
Zan Jensen had a great Olympic career ahead of her until she wiped out at the wrong moment; now she’s hiding from her demons in Kathmandu, working for a cheesy climbing service and on the side, helping her friend Haskell Price strip the bodies of those who perished on the slopes of their valuables and their right hands, using the fingerprints to track down their relatives and offer to bring the remains back—for a fee. That works fine until Price comes down the mountain with the right hand of a Special Ops agent who went rogue 20 years ago. Now his colleagues want him back, and they have an arsenal of ruthless techniques to get what they want. This is a great action story, and Sebela and Moustafa make the most of their setting, with plenty of telling details and interesting bits of storytelling. It’s great escape reading for the dog days of summer. –Brigid Alverson