Posted by mkilroy89
The end of the year always seems to be a good time, to look back at all the things that made the year worthwhile. Instead of creating a best of list, I decided to just list books that I think anyone could enjoy. These books are not in my opinion the best written or drawn, although in many instances that is true, but just the books that I liked reading over the last year and the ones that I look forward to continue reading in 2014. So here is a list of 13 great comics with a little description of why they are great. Yes, the order matters. In my opinion 1 is better than 13.
1. Thor God of Thunder
Jason Aaron told a story with the right blend of action, humor, drama and horror. Esad Ribic rendered it like the best fantasy artwork that you have ever seen. Together they told a story that was perfect for both old school Thor fans and newer fans that have come to the character through the movies.
Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting, the team behind Captain America, have reunited for a new spy thriller. Their tale of a female super spy that has been filling in, as the secretary of the spy agency, combines the visceral action of a Bourne movie with the existential coldness of one of John le Carre`’s best novels.
3. East of West
Jonathan Hickman’s newest creator owned book is a mash up of eastern and western philosophies-gunslingers and samurai swords. One of the four horsemen, Death, has returned to enact bloody revenge on those that have wronged him, set against the backdrop of a futuristic but still desolate desert landscape. It is a book that mixes speculative history with both action and pathos. The artwork by Nick Dragotta, with colors by Frank Martin, is vibrant and immersive, making this one of the last books that should still be purchased in print.
Read the review. Nuff Said!
Mark Waid and Chris Samnee ended their massive Coyote arc that began in issue #1. This year also saw a team up with the Silver Surfer and Daredevil guest star in Waid’s Hulk book. This was nothing compared to Waid’s court room/Sons of the Serpent drama that will serve to wrap up this era of the book.
6. Fury Max
Garth Ennis and Goran Parlov used one of Marvel’s main characters to tell a poignant and emotionally devastating tale of wars and the soldiers who have to fight them. It also features, what may be, the best line I have ever read in a comic book. It is a great book for anyone that enjoys quality comics.
7. All New X-Men
Bendis, who is as good at self promotion as Stan Lee, finally delivers on a book that he talked up long before it was published. His writing seems to be a perfect fit for the X-Men. The story that involves the original X-Men, time traveling to the future, has delivered the right amount of emotional impact that readers expect after Bendis’ build up. Stuart Immonen and David Marquez’ facial expressions and body language add to this appeal.
8. Wonder Woman
DC’s best book continues as Brian Azzarello builds off both New Gods and Greek mythology. The new development of Wonder Woman becoming the God of War is especially interesting. The book continues to move lots of pieces around, in a way, which never makes the plot seem stale or an issue seem predictable. Cliff Chiang and his team of fill-in artists, Tony Akins and Goran Sudzuka, continue to draw the book the way they want, instead of the way DC seems to be enforcing.
9. Sixth Gun
Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt continue to produce one of the most consistently entertaining comics and they do it every month without fill-ins, mostly without delays. This supernatural western is another example of an off the wall concept that seems to only work in comics.
Another reunion of a great artistic team, this time it being Greg Rucka and Michael Lark. This book looks at the level to which ruling criminal families will stoop in their pursuit of power. The main character Forever Carlyle is a member of the family, but also a tool that has been genetically altered to be her family’s sword. This world is a playground and Rucka and Lark are having fun playing in it.
11. The Manhattan Projects
Yes, this is another Jonathan Hickman book. And while it is hard to describe the plot and the overall storyline, this book offers a darkly humorous take on science fiction and an irreverent yet dramatic look at the history of scientific discovery in the US.
12. Batman Inc.
Grant Morrison finally ended Batman’s magnum opus. He lived. He died. He was born again. Repeat forever to the publisher and meta fiction’s content. All kidding aside, this was one of the best Batman stories ever written and Morrison did a great job of building up his own mythology, telling his story and then putting all the pieces back when he was finished. The death of Damian was also one of the more, well-handled deaths in recent memory, besides Batman’s of course.
This book would have originally been higher on the list, but it has been plagued with delays throughout the year and sometimes it runs the risk of being too clever. With that in mind, it is still one of the best looking comic books out there and Matt Fraction continues to evolve creative ways of storytelling, which are seldom seen or even attempted elsewhere.
So that’s my list. Let me know if you agree or disagree? What were some of the great books you read this year?