Cult Classic Comics

By Eric S. Brown | Apr 30, 2014

I have always been a fan of comics from Marvel and DC that were a bit more fringe than their normal, mega popular titles like Spiderman, Batman, the X-men, etc.

As thus, I thought would share with you three titles you may never have heard of or read that are more than worth you time to check out.

When I was a kid, Marvel had a more mature line comics called Epic that published a series called Alien Legion. It was a Military SF title that was basically a SF take on the French Foreign Legion in space. The bulk of the characters weren't human.

They were an odd mix of races from all across their universe.  What made the comic special though was its realism. It was violent, characters died, and the war that filled its pages felt very real. Alien Legion had a huge impact on me back then and I enjoyed the title so much that I wrote notebooks full of fan fiction set in its universe.

Another title I greatly enjoyed in my younger days was Alpha Flight. Created by comics legend John Bryne, Alpha Flight first appeared in the pages of the Uncanny X-men attempting to reclaim Wolverine, who they argued was the property of the Canadian government.

They were Canada's answer to the Avengers but their team was made up of off the wall characters like a guy who turned into Bigfoot, a speedster with a personality disorder, a shaman, a shape shifting demi-goddess, and a near immortal, acrobatic midget with a demon trapped inside him just to give you an example of what their membership was like.

Alpha Flight, like the Doom Patrol before them, was a group of misfits who struggled as much with their own inner issues and (in the case of Puck literally) inner demons as they did the villains they fought.  The team was a high point of fun for comics in the 1980s and are still around in the current Marvel Universe.

And lastly, the Legion of Superheroes. The Legion is the ultimate in pure geek comics. Part Superhero/SF epic and part soap opera, it's not for everyone though I personally have dearly loved the title in all of its various incarnations.

The stories of the Legion take place one thousand years after the time of Superman and Batman and their team consists of far too many members to try to address even a fraction of them here.

The Legion is also perhaps the most rebooted team in the whole of the comic industry but in their own way, they're just as iconic as the Justice League of America or the Avengers. Mark Waid's take on the Legion in 2005 (or what most folks think of as the team's third major reboot, though I would number it higher than that) kicked off with a story arc entitled “Teenage Revolution.”

Those issues brought me back to being a hardcore DC fan instead of general comic book one. It was that well written and drawn. So if you're looking for something a bit different in your comic reading and are getting burnt out on all the industry's “Epic” crossover events these days, maybe give one of these titles a try.  Who knows?  You might just fall in love with them like I did.