Comic books can be a hard medium to get into. For one thing, it’s much harder to go out to your nearest comic book shop, stare at those towering shelves, and figure out what you might like to read than it is to just stay on your couch and keep hitting “play next” on Netflix. It’s difficult to know where to begin with comics, and sometimes feels intimidating to ask — everyone wants to feel smart, but as Black Panther writer Ta-Nehisi Coates once told EW, in order to really get into comic books, “you gotta allow yourself to be dumb.” For another thing, comics can be fairly expensive, especially if you want to read a lot of them.
If any or all of these factors have prevented you from checking out as many comic books as you might like, then you’re in luck this weekend. The digital comic site Comixology is offering massive Black Friday sales from pretty much every major publisher, including DC, Marvel, Boom, and Image. Almost any comic collection you’d want from those publishers is currently on sale for $5 — about a third of the usual asking price. Plus, “digital” means you don’t even have to leave your house; you can just download them online and read them on your computer or tablet.
But if you still need some help figuring out where to start, we’ve highlighted a few particularly good books that you can get for very cheap right now. You won’t regret them.
Monstress volume 1: Awakening (Image)
EW’s favorite comic of 2016 is currently on sale for $3 (and the similarly stellar second volume is available for just $5). Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s masterpiece paints a beautifully desolate fantasy world where humans are entrenched in a bloody ongoing conflict with the half-human descendants of animal spirits. One such “Arcanic” is the protagonist Maika Halfwolf, but that’s not Maika’s only secret. Her soul is also home to an ancient tentacled Lovecraftian demon-god, which paints a giant target on her back but also gives her the power to extract some well-earned vengeance on the world’s oppressors (plus, the demon’s constant hunger for flesh allows the Monstress team to draw some fascinating parallels with how a woman’s appetites are so often considered dangerous). It’s not all doom-and-gloom though; Maika also has two adorable companions in the form of the fox-child Kippa and the wizard cat Ren. This comic’s fascinating tonal whiplash is difficult to explain, as is its rich and complex mythology. The best way to understand Monstress is just to dive in and get lost in it. Buy volume 1 here.
Mister Miracle by Jack Kirby (DC)
In this, DC has paid homage to the 100th anniversary of comic legend Jack Kirby’s birth with a brand-new Mister Miracle series by Tom King and Mitch Gerads. The book is shaping up to be one of the hands-down best comics of the year, and it doesn’t require much pre-requisite knowledge. However, the best way to appreciate it is to check out Kirby’s original work on the character, now collected in a beautiful color edition available for just $5. Learn how to escape the life trap by ordering it here.
Silver Surfer volume 1: New Dawn (Marvel)
Dan Slott and Michael Allred’s cosmic superhero series, which doubles as a psychedelic romance, came to a satisfying conclusion earlier this year. To see what it’s all about — and to fall in love with Dawn Greenwood yourself — check out the first volume while it’s on sale for just $2. Order it here.
Lumberjanes volume 1 (Boom!)
There’s a lot of darkness out there in the world today. You’ll hardly find a better antidote for a bad mood than checking out this series from Noelle Stevenson, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen, and Grace Ellis. Lumberjanes follows a group of young girlfriends who go off to summer camp and somehow find themselves tangling with monsters and gods in between collecting merit badges and building sweet friendships. Start with volume 1 here.
52, volumes 1-4 (DC)
Almost every year brings a new huge superhero crossover event series, but at least DC’s 2005 edition (Infinite Crisis) had real consequences. Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all vanished for a full year afterward, opening the doors to one of the most fascinating experiments DC has ever done. 52 was, true to its title, a 52-issue weekly series chronicling that lost year in the DC Universe, and brought together four of the top writers in the business (Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, and Greg Rucka) to explore what some of the company’s lesser-known characters got up to during that time. It was a comic written like a TV show, and somehow it worked beautifully. It’s also hard to find these days, and at 52 issues can be somewhat expensive to collect (though definitely worthwhile, since every plot line comes together in a mind-blowing way). Take advantage of these cheap prices and start with volume 1 (of 4) here.