Saturday, 26 December 2015

The 10 Best Comics of 2015


Lotta great comics came out this year so whittling down my favourites to a manageable ten was tough. Image, the third biggest comics publisher in the world, continued to be the main counter-programming to Marvel/DC’s superhero stranglehold on the market with some amazing, original titles.

Marvel continued to put out a brilliant book that thankfully survived the Secret Wars mess (which still hasn’t resolved at the time of writing!), and, while DC didn’t put anything too incredible, their indie branch, Vertigo, produced a fantastic book from a well-established creative team. 

The indies published some great books too – on the list below are entries from Fantagraphics, Oni and Top Shelf. Beyond the top ten, I’ve listed all the other titles I’d recommend if you’re after a good read. All comics were published this year. 

Enjoy! 

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10. Alex + Ada, Vols 2 and 3

Human man and robot woman fall in love. Beautiful story and characters – Sarah Vaughn and Jonathan Luna successfully blend the romance, sci-fi and thriller genres into an emotional and captivating mix. 

9. Sex Criminals, Vol 2: Two Worlds, One Cop

The honeymoon’s over but amidst their first relationship strife Jon and Suzy discover they’re not the only ones with their set of special powers. Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky continue their raucous and enormously entertaining romp in style! 

8. Fante Bukowski

A struggling writer fails to become a published novelist let alone a successful one! Noah van Sciver’s comedic satire on hipsters and wannabe writers is hysterical – the funniest comic of the year! 

7. Airboy

James Robinson returns with his best comic to date in this startlingly original book about golden age superheroes and… himself! James, his artist Greg Hinkle, and Airboy go on a Hunter S. Thompson-esque odyssey – genius. 

6. The Sandman: Overture

It took two years to complete its six issue arc but it was worth it. Neil Gaiman returns to the world of The Sandman with one of the best books in the series, this time a prequel to Preludes and Nocturnes. JH Williams III produces some of the best artwork of his career – and that’s saying something! 

5. Letter 44, Volume 2: Red Shift

Charles Soule may be writing 90% of Marvel’s output but Letter 44 is the only one you need to read. Aliens have set up a giant craft within our solar system and the US government has kept it secret. Meanwhile, a small team of astronauts have been sent out to discover more about the aliens – are they hostile or friendly? 

4. March, Book Two

Congressman John Lewis continues his remarkable comics autobiography, picking up with the Freedom Riders and the progression of the Civil Rights Movement. Moving, informative, fascinating reading. 

3. The Fade Out, Vols 1 and 2

Exceptional Hollywood golden age noir mystery with a screenwriter who becomes embroiled in studio politics and the murder of a starlet – Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ first Image book is utterly compelling. 

2. Velvet, Volume 2: The Secret Lives of Dead Men

Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting are telling the best spy story ever with Velvet. Miss Moneypenny-type Velvet is on the run after being framed for the murder of a prominent spy – she’s gotta track down the real killer with both sides hunting her. Thrilling reading with gorgeous art from Epting. 

1. Ms Marvel, Vols 2, 3 and 4

Kamala Khan: the best new Marvel character of the last twenty years? G. Willow Wilson continues Kamala’s wonderful story as she becomes the superhero she needs to be. Amazing on every level – the best title Marvel are currently publishing and my favourite comic of the year! 

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Special Mentions: 
October Faction 
The Private Eye, Volume 2 
Barrier #1
We Stand on Guard 
New Suicide Squad Vol 1: Pure Insanity 
Bodies 
Moon Knight Vol 2: Dead Will Rise 
Thor Vol 1: The Goddess of Thunder 
Thor Vol 2: Who Holds the Hammer? 
Star Wars, Vol 1: Skywalker Strikes 
Hawkeye Vol 4: Rio Bravo 
Hawkeye Vol 5: All-New Hawkeye
Men of Wrath 
Trashed 
Big Man Plans 
Deadly Class Vol 1: Reagan Youth 
Deadly Class Vol 2: Kids of the Black Hole 
Rat Queens Vol 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'rygoth 
The Legacy of Luther Strode #1-3 
The Violent #1 
Trees Vol 1: In Shadow 
Killing and Dying 
Step Aside, Pops 
Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels 
Bandette Vol 2: Stealers Keepers! 
Henshin 
Palookaville #22 
Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet 
Pisces #1 
Fight Club 2 #1
Mythic #1 
Head Lopper #1 
Doctor Strange #1-3 
Criminal Special Edition One-Shot 
Sons of the Devil Vol 1
Hank Johnson, Agent of Hydra #1

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