The holidays are finally here! Just as we may all celebrate in different ways, we each have our own unique taste in comics, so we’ve put together a diverse list of comic books that would make great gifts for anyone in your life. We’re sticking strictly to trade paperbacks and graphic novels – they simply make better gifts because they collect multiple issues in one easy to read book. It’s also much easier to give them to friends and family that aren’t “into comics” because many of these collect entire storylines in one package. We also only chose books that were released this year in 2014 – some comics were published earlier but came out in trade paperback form this year. The most important criteria – they’re all great stories! You really can’t go wrong with any of these. Well, you probably wouldn’t give Sex Criminals to your 7 year old niece (Ms. Marvel is likely a safer bet in that case).
Age of Ultron
Get acquainted with the most dangerous robot in the universe before he makes his big screen debut in next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. The artificial intelligence known as Ultron has fought for years to eradicate mankind…and now, it has all but succeeded. The few remaining heroes are battered, broken, almost beaten and left considering desperate measures – some more desperate than others. But when Wolverine breaks ranks and pursues his own plan to defeat Ultron, will his drastic action cause more problems than it solves? This is a complete story that collects the entire Age of Ultron run, issues 1-10. Get it on Amazon for $23.
Batman Eternal vol. 1
The world looks at heroes in a different light, creating tension between Batman and his allies and the Gotham City Police Department. When a gang war breaks out and new villains arise, it’s up to the Dark Knight, Batgirl, and more to turn the tides as best as they can. Volume 1 of this series collects issues 1-21 of Batman: Eternal. Volume 2 comes out July 2015. Get it on Amazon for $27.
Black Science vol. 1
Black Science is a thrilling sci-fi mystery and adventure by the talented Rick Remender. Grant McKay, former member of The Anarchistic Order of Scientists, has finally done the impossible: He has deciphered Black Science and punched through the barriers of reality. But what lies beyond the veil is not epiphany, but chaos. Now Grant and his team are lost, living ghosts shipwrecked on an infinite ocean of alien worlds, barreling through the long-forgotten, ancient, and unimaginable dark realms. Collects issues 1-6. Volume 2 comes out February 2015. Get it on Amazon for only $7!
Captain Marvel vol. 1
Marvel Studios announced a Captain Marvel movie, so now’s a great time to be introduced to Carol Danvers – superhero, pilot and mighty Avenger! Carol takes on a mission to return an alien girl to her homeworld, she lands in the middle of an uprising against the Galactic Alliance. Investigating the forced resettlement of Rocket Girl’s people, Carol discovers that she has a history with the man behind the plot. But when the bad guy tries to blackmail Carol and turn the Avengers against her, it’s payback time! Volume 1 collects issues 1-6. Get it on Amazon for $15.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2008) vol. 1
Your new favorite superhero team from this summer’s blockbuster hit movie started out in a 2008 series of their own, which was collected this year in a trade paperback. Led by Star-Lord, the newly-minted Guardians of the Galaxy include a who’s who of the mightiest -and most bizarre – protectors the stars have ever seen! Rocket Raccoon, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Gamora, Adam Warlock, Mantis, the all-new Quasar, Cosmo the telepathic space dog and more take on the universe’s most dangerous menaces…and have fun while doing it! Collects issues 1-12. Volume 2 is also available, and collects issues 13-25. Get it on Amazon for $23.
Moon Knight vol. 1
Often referred to as “Marvel’s Batman,” Moon Knight is one of the most unique heroes. Yes he’s a wealthy man with cool gadgets, but the similarities end there. New York’s wildest vigilante protects the street with two-fisted justice and three – that’s right, count ’em – three different personalities! But even with the mystical force of Egyptian moongod Khonshu fueling his crusade, how does the night’s greatest detective save a city that’s as twisted as he is? The road to victory is going to hurt. A lot. Collects issues 1-6. Get it on Amazon for $14.
Ms. Marvel vol. 1
Ms. Marvel is one of our favorite series here at Shortboxed, earning high praise in our review. Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Collects issues 1-5. Get it on Amazon for $11.
Original Sin Hardcover
“Original Sin” was the marquee Marvel storyline of 2014. Who shot the Watcher? Uatu, the mysterious space-god who’s been watching mankind from the moon for as long as we can remember…is dead. Thus begins the greatest murder mystery in Marvel history! As Nick Fury leads the heroes of the Marvel Universe in an investigati on, other forces are marshaling and other questi ons are arising. Why is Black Panther gathering a secret team of his own, including Emma Frost, the Punisher and Dr. Strange? Who is the Unseen? What was stolen from the Watcher’s lair? Fury’s cosmic manhunt leads to the far corners of the universe and beyond, but just when the Avengers think they’ve cornered their murderer…everything explodes, unleashing the Marvel Universe’s greatest secrets and rocking the heroes to their core! What did the Watcher see? What was the Original Sin? Collects the entire Original Sin storyline. Get the giant hardcover (nearly 400 pages!) on Amazon for $49.
Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples is the best comic book series out right now, and one of the best – period. We even gave the epic fantasy space opera a rave review. Saga is the story of Hazel, a child born to star-crossed parents from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war. Now, Hazel’s fugitive family must risk everything to find a peaceful future in a harsh universe that values destruction over creation. Collecting the first three trade paperbacks (issues 1-18) of the smash-hit series, this massive edition features a striking new cover, as well as special extras, including never-before-seen sketches, script pages, and a roundtable discussion with the creators about how Saga is really made. Altogether, this hardcover contains over 500 pages. Get it on Amazon for $31.
Seconds is the latest graphic novel by Bryan Lee O’Malley, creator of Scott Pilgrim vs the World, which was made into a feature film in 2010. In Seconds, you won’t find superheroes or mutants, but you’ll fall in love with Katie – she’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Get it on Amazon for $18.
The title pretty much describes what this comic book series is about, and it’s one of our favorites. Suzie’s just a regular gal with an irregular gift: when she has sex, she stops time. One day she meets Jon and it turns out he has the same ability. And sooner or later they get around to using their gifts to do what we’d ALL do: rob banks. Collects issues 1-5. Volume 2 comes out February 2015. Get it on Amazon for only $7!
There were so many great trade paperbacks and graphic novels that came out this year! Way too many to mention, but these are some of our favorites and would make great gifts. Pick up a couple for yourself to catch up on some current series, or give friends and family an easy to consume introduction to some incredible stories. And for the love of Odin, no one needs another travel mug this year.
If this is your first time visiting Shortboxed, thanks for stopping by! We want to provide a place online where people new to comics can come and learn about the culture and be introduced to some amazing stories without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. We’re always adding new content, so please come back soon! You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr at @shortboxed.