Hello again. It’s that time of year once more, where the ghouls and spooks come out to play, and it’s the witching hour 24/7. If you do find a quiet moment, and you feel like sitting down in a dark corner and delving into the world of the dark and sinister, then here are some recommendations for supernatural comics that should be appropriate for this time of year. Note that whilst most of them aren’t downright scary, they all deal with stuff slightly out of the realm of the ‘normal’, even in a world of superhero comics.
I’m going to split the spotlight down into certain supernatural creatures, and then recommend one or two comics that might appeal if these are the type of character you’re interested in, with a miscellaneous section at the end. Feel free to add your own, or tell us all your favourite supernatural comic, either in a reblog or in the comments section below, and I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween, whatever it is that you decide to do.
Let’s begin with the deadlier of the species — Magic spells are no stranger to the leading ladies in these comics. Vertigo’s Madame Xanadu series is both excellent and spellbinding, and I couldn’t praise it any higher. The series follows the enigmatic Madame from her humble origins in Arthurian legend all the way to her current day establishment in the DC Universe, with lots of tricks and illusions along the way. Marvel’s witches are a bit thinner on the ground, however, and though the Scarlet Witch is a lead character in the new Uncanny Avengers series, the more supernatural character is definitely Satana, the daughter of Satan. You can find her in the Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers series, and I would definitely recommend the Ripper Tour arc from issues #166 to #167 to quench your thirst for horror this Halloween.
Rude, uncouth, and yet loveable all the same, John Constantine, the Hellblazer, is your first port of call if you’re after a wizard for this time of year. He can be found in numerous books at the moment, not least of which is the Justice League Dark series, which also stars numerous other creepy characters (more on them later). Constantine can also be found in Vertigo’s Hellblazer series, which is a bit more hardcore, if you’re looking for something a bit darker. Over at Marvel, Doctor Strange is easily the best magical property for the company, and he can be found lurking around in the soon to be concluded Defenders series, or the New Avengers. I would also recommend Strange: The Doctor Is Out as one of my definitive stories for the good doctor.
I will get through this paragraph without a Twilight reference, I promise. If bloodsuckers are what take your fancy, then look no further than DC’s superb I, Vampire series. Following the exploits of Andrew Bennett, one of the only “good” vampires in the DC Universe, this series has more twists and turns than a python with back problems, as well as gorgeous artwork and a refreshing look at the vampire mythos. A more unorthodox look at vampires can be found from Vertigo’s American Vampire series, a trip through time that will take you to all corners of the globe with some complex protagonists, a deliciously evil antagonist, and again an exceptional selection of artists along for the ride. Either series should satisfy your bloodlust, and there’s not a sparkly vampire in sight. Oh damn it.
The living dead are probably the most tapped of the supernatural creatures, with many comics about them, with them in both main character roles and just as mindless villains. Recently completed Vertigo series iZombie is of the former camp, taking a look at the modern day zombie who aren’t quite as decomposed as you might think. Or, there are the Marvel Zombies, which operate across numerous series with your favourite Marvel heroes as the lead characters — only with some bits and pieces missing, like an arm or so. A little outside my normal wheelhouse, but I’m lead to believe that there are numerous Avatar comics that fall under the Crossed banner, all of which feature zombie-like creatures for your viewing pleasure, as well as the New Deadwardians mini-series from Vertigo. Or, there’s always that comic that no one ever talks about, the one with the award winning TV show. Oh, what’s it called…you’ve probably not heard of it. The Walking Dead?
Spooks and spectres are also welcome on All Hallows Eve, and thankfully there are a selection of incorporeal entities waiting for your reading pleasure. First, DC has the Phantom Stranger now starring is his own series, as the hand of God tries to make amends for his past betrayals. Along the way, the Stranger will cross paths with a number of mystical characters, and reshape the DC Universe along the way. Plus, there’s Deadman appearing as part of the Justice League Dark to consider. And then over at Dark Horse, there’s the new Ghost relaunch; the iconic character returns with a new creative team as she once again tries to discover her true origins.
There are a number of other titles worth mentioning that will fill your supernatural void this Halloween. Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE is well worth looking into, as the famous monster solves supernatural problems across the DC Universe. If that kind of thing appeals to you, then I’d also advise checking out the Hellboy and BPRD series from Dark Horse, which are of a similar tone as supernatural creatures team up to protect our world from demonic threats. I’ll also take the time to mention Vertigo’s House of Mystery series, which isn’t especially spooky, but deals with alternate dimensions and some very interesting creatures, as well as telling an awesome story along the way.
Over at Marvel, there’s the Legion of Monsters who have had a number of mini-series, including a recent one, which sees most of Marvel’s well known horror characters teaming up to protect other monsters from threats like monster hunters or supernatural plagues. Starring Man-Thing, Manphibian, the Living Mummy, the Werewolf By Night, and Morbius the Living Vampire! And then a final note for DC’s Scarecrow, the self-proclaimed God of Fear, who is currently running rings around Batman over in Batman: The Dark Knight. If you’re looking for terror, look no further.
This week also sees the arrival of an anthology title just in time for Halloween called Ghosts, featuring some top talent all telling their own little spooky stories, including Geoff Johns, and the late Joe Kubert.
There we have it. Hopefully, these selection of comics will quench your thirst for the supernatural this time of year. If not, what will you be reading instead? Let me know in the comments below, or in a reblog. I would especially be interested in some werewolf comics, since I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head aside from the Werewolf By Night’s classic series.
No doubt you will have a selection of titles on your pull list already, but I hope I have possibly highlighted some that you might not have considered otherwise and feel like checking out to get into the spirit of things. Whatever you read this week, have a Happy Halloween and enjoy yourself!