If You Could Only Buy Three Comics…

A few weeks ago I talked about decluttering the pull list. Over the weekend, noscans_daily took things it a bit further, asking people to consider how they’d cut down to three titles. I didn’t properly do the suitcase test last time, since I approached it from the “What can I drop?” perspective instead of “What do I have to keep?” but a specific number — however harsh — really puts things into perspective.

If I had to cut it to three, I think I’d go for:

  • The Unwritten – My favorite new series of the year. I’m always a sucker for stories about stories, and this one’s holding up well.
  • Madame Xanadu – My favorite new series of last year. I never had any interest in the character before, but casting her as a magical detective/troubleshooter rather than simply fortune teller, and making it possible to tell stories anywhere from Arthurian times to the present, has made this
  • The Unknown – Mystery, a protagonist whose key feature is intelligence, and exploring the boundary between science and the supernatural — or at least what seems to be supernatural to us. This is currently on its second 4-issue miniseries, and Mark Waid said at Long Beach Comic-Con that he could see it going for 3 or 4 minis depending on how long they can keep the artist.

The other more-or-less regular books, not counting miniseries with only one issue left:

  • Flash: Rebirth – At this point I’d be perfectly willing to wait until they launch the ongoing next year, by which time The Unknown should be finished. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I’m looking forward to Blackest Night: The Flash, which will overlap. But just based on what’s in progress now, I’d drop it if I had to. (Of course, since I run a Flash fan site, that’s not really an option!)
  • Fallen Angel – This would be the hardest one to cut. If I were choosing my top 4 instead of top 3, it would definitely be in there.
  • Astro City – I can wait for the trade on this one.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I’m pretty far behind on this, which should tell me something.
  • Dynamo 5 – It’s the best superhero book I’ve read in a while, but I’ve also been losing interest in superheroes.
  • Farscape – I’m waiting until each mini finishes to read it anyway, so I may as well trade-wait.
  • Wheel of Time – I half-suspect this is on hold anyway.

The surprise for me was finding that neither Flash nor Fallen Angel — two books which have been my #1 favorites at various times in the last few years — quite made the cut. I hope this will change once the ongoing Flash and Kid Flash series launch.

So…If you had to buy only three comics a month, what would you choose?


15 thoughts on “If You Could Only Buy Three Comics…

  1. collectededitions

    Toughie. Considering trades, I had to think about what titles really make me salivate right now, the ones I can’t wait to read when I get them home. Superman: New Krypton is one. Green Lantern is another. When you cut out miniseries (I’m looking forward to Legion of Three Worlds, for instance), I find myself stuck on the third …
    .-= collectededitions’s latest blog post: Review: Robin: Search for a Hero trade paperback (DC Comics) =-.

  2. Perplexio

    Looking towards the future:

    The Flash
    Kid Flash
    Red Robin (I really like what DC is doing with Tim Drake)

    Batman (barely misses the cut. I really like Dick Grayson as Batman actually. Less dark and brooding than Bruce Wayne but I know Bruce is coming back eventually so I don’t want to get too attached to Dick as Batman as I know it won’t last)

  3. Wally East

    Three books. Hmm.

    1. Irredeemable. This is a fantastic book. Every time I get to the end of an issue all I think is “AHH! That’s it?!” I can’t wait to read the next one. The story has really grabbed me. I don’t know how long the premise can go on but that’s okay.

    2. Superman: World of New Krypton. This is another story idea that’s really interesting and, to me, is being well-developed.

    3. Detective Comics. Beautiful art. I would read this for the art alone. It’s an interesting story, too.

  4. fastest

    That would be very hard. Purely from an enjoyment standpoint, right now, I’d get Flash: Rebirth, Adventure Comics and Superman. Three is not enough though. Blackest Night, Blackest Night: Titans, Blackest Night: Flash, Kid Flash when it comes out. These would all need to be on my list. Everything else I could pretty much wait till trade.

  5. Jason West


    I’d have:
    The Flash
    Kid Flash
    Green Lantern (until Geoff stops writing it)

    and Red Robin would barely miss the cut.

    It’s weird though…I’m reading a lot of books right now and almost all are minis.
    Blackest Night (and all its minis)
    Superman: Secret Origin
    The Flash: Rebirth
    Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance
    Adventure Comics I’m dropping after issue 6 when Johns/Manapul go onto better things. 😉
    I picked up some of Wednesday Comics…

    I can’t wait until I’m back to regular monthlies.
    The Flash
    Kid Flash
    Green Lantern
    Red Robin

    who knows maybe I’ll find another monthly series before the next big event occurs…I tried Booster Gold and Secret Six…neither of which impressed me too thoroughly…any suggestions?

  6. Craig MD

    Right now it would probably be Madame Xanadu, Detective Comics, and Batman and Robin.

    All three are very well written, and Madame Xanadu (Amy Reeder-Hadley) and Detective Comics (J.H. Williams) have the best artists around, though I think their time on both titles may be ending soon. I know Williams is only on ‘Tec for 12 issues right now, and I’m not sure how long Wagner and Hadley plan to stay with Xanadu.

    As for Batman and Robin, while I would prefer Frank Quitely as the permament artist, what I really read it for is Grant Morrison’s scripts and the chemistry between Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne. I think if Bruce ever comes back (as Batman) I’ll probably drop the title as it just won’t be the same.

  7. saranga

    OK that’s a really difficult question. I’d have to say, I’d keep:
    Superman: WONK
    Green Arrow/Black Canary

    But when Kid Flash comes out that would replace WONK.
    I’m surprised I didn’t choose Teen Titans – it’s been a bit rubbish lately but I’m kind of addicted to it.
    Blackest Night is a hard one to drop, but it’s not as neccessary as the 3 i’ve chosen.

  8. Ben

    Oh man. I would have to go with the Flash, Jonah Hex, Boostergold. or The Flash, Jonah Hex, and if Booster Gold wasn’t avaible then Green Arrow. I would pick everything else up in trade at some point or other.

  9. KC Flash

    What an incredibly tough question! I just can’t do it…

    Here are my current favorites…

    – Batman and Robin
    – Daredevil
    – Green Lantern/Green Lantern Corps
    – Flash: Rebirth
    – Superman: WONK
    – JSA

    When the Flash books come out, I am hopeful that they will good enough to replace the others. However, I think I would still have Daredevil up there just the same.

  10. Kelson Post author

    Yeah, three makes it really hard to decide. On the other hand, it does make it easier to rank books by starting with only three, then only four, then only five, etc.

    Also: I can’t believe I never noticed that World of New Krypton is abbreviated as WONK!

  11. chaos850

    Lol, this’d be easy for me. I only follow two titles, Blackest Night (only the main issues) and Flash: Rebirth.

    Though, with the current rate at which Rebirth is coming out, it’s like I’m only following one title.

    Guess the biggest reason is the cash. Being a schoolboy, I ain’t got a lot of dough to spend. And even if I did, I would likely spend it on trades, while following only these two titles.

  12. saranga

    Well i think it’s good, especially since the back up section started. I will admit that I’m a sucker for GA and BC, so it will take a lot for me to drop it. But OTOH I can also honestly say that I’ve really enjoyed the last few issues. Mia has made a come back and I find Cupid very enjoyable (although lots of people hate her). My only complaint is Dinah tends to be drawn defying gravity.
    I’ve written reviews at my blog if you’re interested, click my name for a link.

    As for Red Robin. It is pretty good but is not yet in my top 3. Give it time.

  13. Jason West

    I’ve gone through my pull list and decluttered some more so now my top 3 are easy!

    The Flash (beginning this March)
    Kid Flash (beginning this April)
    Green Lantern (until Johns stops writing…)
    my minis:
    Blackest Night (ending in March)
    The Flash: Rebirth (only 2 more issues left)
    Superman: Secret Origin (ends in March as well)
    Blackest Night: The Flash (ending in Feb)

    simple enough. Let the minis run their course and all I have left are 3 monthlies as of next April. (until the NEXT big mini I come across…:P)

  14. Jason West

    almost forgot!

    Adventure Comics (dropping after Jan when Johns/Manapul leave…)


    The Flash
    Kid Flash
    Green Lantern



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