Five underrated comic books from Marvel and DC

There’s more to Marvel and DC than Spider-Man and Batman.

She-Hulk

Someone (who I’m no longer in contact with) described this as ‘Ally McBeal meets superheroes!’ While I rolled my eyes at the time, this description actually turned out to be rather apt – that premise kind of fits the bill, as Jen Walters, a character I had previously written off as a  waste of time, took to the court room to tackle superhero legal cases in amusing fashion. It’s excellent, especially the first volume.

Gambit (2004)

Efforts to launch an ongoing Gambit series have inevitably failed, over the years, due to the sheer number of X-books on the market. This title, written by John Layman, represented a fine attempt, however, yet it was  overlooked by readers – its second and final volume is a great read, though, even if it’s  a nightmare to track down due to the fact it’s out of print. Recommended if you can find it.

Cable/Deadpool

Any volume of the ongoing Cable/Deadpool series is well worth picking up, as Fabian Nicieza’s run on the series made for the funniest selection of comic book stories I’ve read – one particular sequence in the series has Deadpool relaying his interpretation of what the universe is like to a peanut, trapped inside a shell. Cable plays the straight man to the hilarious lunatic that is Deadpool. Great stuff.

Fallen Angel

Not really a DC book any more, since IDW picked up the rights to Peter David’s Fallen Angel title, which ran for a while before being given the chop. Still, this first volume is a great introduction to a character that was, for a long time, perceived as a spiritual successor to David’s Supergirl series. In and of itself, Fallen Angel is an entertaining character-driven title.

Manhunter

A smart eBay purchase in 2005 landed me the entirety of Manhunter from issue 1 up until issue 20 for about £12 – its cancellation a few years ago indicated that it never quite attained the level of commercial success it deserved, but it remains a title worth picking up from the very beginning. Kate Spencer, the titular Manhunter, works as a lawyer by day and a superhero by night, but soon becomes embroiled in conflicts that spiral beyond her control.