FF, by Matt Fraction and Mike Allred (Marvel, ongoing)
It’s been a rough couple of years for superhero comics—thanks to Marvel charging as much as they can for endless “event” books, and DC still stumbling through their clumsy “New 52” reboot, it’s hard to find superhero books that are as much fun as they should be. But here’s one! Teaming up with Madman genius Mike Allred, Casanova and Invincible Iron Man writer Matt Fraction digs into the bizarre, poppy, retro fun that the Marvel Universe can still provide—what begins as just one more book about the Fantastic Four soon heads into territory that’s a lot more fun. (If FF doesn’t sate your superhero hunger, Fraction’s got another great ongoing, too: With Hawkeye, Fraction and artist David Aja have somehow given the crappiest Avenger a way better book than any of his teammates have.)
Godzilla: Half-Century War, by James Stokoe (IDW, April)
One of 2012’s underrated titles, Orc Stain creator James Stokoe’s take on Godzilla finally gets collected this spring. Sure, it includes the obligatory things every Godzilla story needs (Godzilla, stuff, Godzilla smashing stuff), but it’s also a solid, engaging war comic that charts puny humans’ wearying, never-ending battles against monsters that have zero respect for personal property. Lots of kids got into comics just to see monsters causing chaos; the big, loud Half-Century War scratches that itch, but accomplishes some more, too. But not too much more. Because, still: Godzilla. Stuff. Godzilla smashing stuff.
Good Dog, by Graham Chaffee (Fantagraphics, April)
You could say that Good Dog is The Big Wheels cartoonist Graham Chaffee’s return to comics after a 10-year absence, or you could say that it has all the polish and purpose borne by most books put out by fancy-pants publisher Fantagraphics. Or you could just say this simple fact: The world does not have nearly enough graphic novels told from the perspective of adorable dogs. Let alone graphic novels that have a good chance of making you feel delighted on one page, then maybe like you might cry a little bit on the next page. Good Dog does those things, and also, did I mention it’s told from the perspective of an adorable dog? Seriously, the dog is so great! I would adopt him in a second and we would do everything together.
Helheim, by Cullen Bunn and Joëlle Jones (Oni Press, March)
Conflict of interest alert: I know artist Joëlle Jones in real life. But I’d be including Helheim in here even if I didn’t, so geez, journalistic ethics, get off my back already. The upcoming series from Cullen Bunn, the writer behind the excellent western The 6th Gun, Helheim promises to be a hell of a thing. Why? Two words: Undead Vikings. Plus: A whole lot of axes, a whole lot of snow, and a whole lot of blood.