From the House of Ideas: Five Favourite Marvel Books of 2021 + More

It’s hard to believe that yet another year has come to a close. Even with (waves arms in the air) all “this”, I still feel like 2021 went by quickly. Maybe that’s the disadvantage of getting older; time goes a lot quicker now than it did when we were young.

However, in a tough year, there were still good things, including comics! I read quite a few this year, with most of them coming from Marvel. This should come as no surprise; after all, I have this here weekly column devoted to the House of Ideas, and the majority of my favourite characters have come from Marvel. While not every 2021 title was a home run for me, the publisher continues to put out multiple titles that I look forward to reading.

Last week, I highlighted Wastelanders: Wolverine, part of an ongoing series of titles highlighting characters from what was once considered the “Old Man Logan” universe. This week’s edition is Wastelanders: Hawkeye, and for anyone who enjoyed the first Wastelanders book, the original Old Man Logan series, or the Old Man Hawkeye series that was collected last year, this book is pretty much a must buy.

Written by Ethan Sacks and illustrated by Ibraim Roberson, Wastelanders: Hawkeye takes please in between Old Man Hawkeye and Old Man Logan, and finds Clint Barton virtually blind but still determined to be a hero in a world where heroes are scarce. He still needs to hone those skills, though, which brings him into contact with Matt Murdoch, one of the few survivors of the massacre that wiped out the hero population. Murdoch now goes under the name of his mentor, Stick, and is willing to help Hawkeye, but only by sending him out on a life or death mission.

Considering how bleak the Wastelanders universe is, the fact that Sacks and Roberson have crafted a tale that manages to have some sly humour throughout it is refreshing and entertaining. Hawkeye feels like the Clint Barton we’ve known and read for years, while their take on Matt Murdoch builds out the character in a way his street-level ongoing series will likely never be able to do.

Overall, Wastelanders: Hawkeye is another solid entry into this ongoing series of character one-offs that hopefully are leading to something bigger, like an ongoing Wastelanders monthly. Quivers crossed.

On that note, as this is the final From the House of Ideas of 2021, I wanted to leave you with a few suggestions for your reading pleasure. From single issues, to collections, here were some of my favourites of the year.

Inferno – “From the return of Moira MacTaggert to what may be the culmination of Mystique’s behind the scenes dealings, Inferno #1 strikes a match and sets the stage for a huge Hickman finale.”

The Death of Doctor Strange

The Death of Doctor Strange – “McKay and Garbett demonstrate just how involved Doctor Strange is throughout the entire fabric of the Marvel Universe and how he’s developed as character throughout his history.”

Moon Knight – “MacKay and Cappuccio have found that often-elusive balance between character development and action that only the comics medium can deliver.”

Alien – “You know creators are doing something right when you finish a book and your immediate thought is “I can’t wait to see what comes next.””

Eternals – “The combination of Gillen’s writing and Esad Ribić dreamlike artwork work together seamlessly, and I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to see where this series goes.”

Happy New Year and stay safe!

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