Have you been reading Thanos and/or Doctor Strange? If not, please put them on your pull list. If you don’t like them at least you can sell some issues for double, triple or quadruple cover price within a week! Writer Donny Cates burst on the scene with God Country from Image. Yes, he did other books before that, but God Country (6-issue limited series), with art by Geoff Shaw, really got him notoriety from mainstream readers. He followed God Country up with Redneck (another Image production), which is an ongoing series featuring a southern vampire family living in harmony with day walkers. The harmony doesn’t last long and all sorts of crazy vampire shenanigans break loose. (Both God Country and Redneck trades are available in the store!)
A few months ago Marvel has a shake up (loses some writers like Jeff Lemire and Brian Bendis) and brings in some fresh, new talent. With Image and other indie labels being like a farm team for Marvel and DC, Matthew Rosenberg (We Can Never Go Home and 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank fame) and Donny Cates make their way to the Mighty Marvel team. Cates takes over writing duties on Thanos (issue #13) and Doctor Strange (#380). IMMEDIATELY, he breaths life into these titles, taking over when Marvel launches their Legacy line.
Fan don’t jump on the Cates books right away partly because they don’t know who Cates is and because numerous reboots by Marvel have created skepticism among comic readers. Within a couple issues, fans figure out who this guy is due to social media buzz and start to scour stores for back issues of Doctor Strange, but mainly Thanos. The first issues of his runs are easy enough to find because the shiny, Marvel lenticular covers were printed in large quantities, but trying to find the non-lenticular covers can be harder. Trying to find Thanos #14 for under $20 is starting to be a tough chore as this introduces the Cosmic Ghost Rider! This new, well kinda-new, character has become so popular that he’s getting his own series. Two issues later, Thanos #16 reveals another new character, the Fallen One, which was already selling for $10 the day it was released!
It’s not just dropping new characters in his stories that makes his books fun, it’s that Cates has woven them into his stories in a way that makes sense. His pacing of Thanos and Doctor Strange is fast and moves the story along at an even clip. After reading one of his books I don’t feel like nothing happened or that he just created a filler issue. Sure, it’s still early in the game, but he’s keeping the momentum going and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. He just started another limited series, Doctor Strange Damnation and already has me hooked. We do still have copies of Doctor Strange Damnation, so if you missed the boat on the other issues, definitely jump in now!