Personal Favorites: Top 13 Indie

From high-end studios to self-published stories, there are multiple worlds of imagination available. Here are my Top 13 Independent Characters.

List items

  • Elissa Megan Powers wants to be a respected hero in the worst way. As a bondage-prone heroine, Empowered does her best to stay positive in Adam Warren's tongue-in-cheek universe. Despite the kinky nature of this Dark Horse series, it is Emp's character development and heart that shine brightest.

  • Joss Whedon introduced Melaka Fray as the future Slayer in her own limited series from Dark Horse. Possessing half the slayer powers and none of the experience, Melaka battled the supernatural as well as her estranged family. Eventually encountering Buffy Summers during the Season 8 arc, Fray has emerged as one of Whedon's best comic creations to date.

  • A mysterious thief who ends up in all sorts of bondage predicaments, "the Blonde" was developed by Italian artist Franco Saudelli. Published under the Eros imprint, the decidedly adult comics proved to be a hit with audiences around the globe. With quirky characters, screwball plots, and fit-to-be-tied escapades, the Blonde in surely a league of her own.

  • The title heroine of her own Image series, Pearl Penalosa championed for justice as the beloved Ultra. When pictures from a one-night stand are leaked to the press, Pearl is forced to deal with fallout of a very personal attack on her life. Existing as a satire of celebrity-obsessed culture, Ultra's storyline is a powerful as it is poignant.

  • Comic store assistant Katie Carva found herself transformed by twin mystical blades into a walking '90s bad girl. Using her new powers to hunt space vampires across the Action Lab universe, Carva is growing into to her new role of Vampblade. While Katie would prefer to be stocking comic shelves, the origins of her abilities are drawing Katie into a world of danger and intrigue.

  • Originally created as a foil for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Slash became a popular anti-hero in his many incarnations. The Archie version fought for his palm tree, the IDW version seeks to protect his fellow mutants, and the Nickelodeon version just likes to hit things. No matter the venue, Slash always remains a cut above the rest.

  • Imperial Guardsman Kir Kanos found himself out of a job following the demise of the Emperor. Determined to eradicate all who had betrayed the Galactic Empire, Kanos wandered the Star Wars universe as a vengeful bounty hunter. One of Dark Horse's most unique additions to the Star Wars mythos, Kir Kanos's twisted idea of honor generated an engaging tale.

  • Reginald Hargreeves groomed seven special children to become a team of heroes - only to watch them drift apart over time. Only the emergence of a global threat would once again unite the Umbrella Academy, forcing them to accept themselves in order to save the world. Despite the limited run, the creative partnership of Dark Horse and Gerard Way generated something special.

  • Lisa Williams is a frustrated girl dealing with loneliness. After meeting with dominatrix Ally Carter, Lisa began a journey of self-discovery that is chronicled in Stjepan Sejic's webcomic Sunstone. Published by Top Cow, characterization and charm have breathed humanity into Lisa and her circle of friends.

  • Mitchell Hundred initially attempted to use his technological gifts to fight crime as the Great Machine. Realizing that he could do more good within the system, Hundred attempted to change things as a politician rather than a vigilante. Fighting in a mature arena of red tape and double talk, Hundred emerged as the breakout star of Wildstorm's politically-charged comic series.

  • The Madame Mirage program was a high-end holographic interface designed by the Temple sisters. When Angela Temple is murdered by corrupt corporation ASI, Harper dons the digital alias in order to exact revenge - all while wearing her sister's face. A twisted game of vengeance from the Top Cow universe, Madame Mirage was brought to life by the excellent pencils of Kenneth Rocafort.

  • Cassandra Hack was the daughter of a "slasher," powerful killers and psychopaths that haunt the Devil's Due universe of Hack/Slash. Cassie now slays these creatures with her partner Vlad, working out her own personal issues in the process. Tough and determined, Cassie Hack and her trusty baseball bat are not a team to be messed with under any circumstance.

  • Image’s two-issue Meltdown series focused on the hothead hero Flare. Burning out because of his powers, Cal opts to take every threat in his path down with him. The Flare burns brighest, but also burns fastest in this dark look at vigilantes.