See ya later 2018!! I mean this in the best way possible, there were some outstanding comics that came out last year. Despite it already being January, I thought I should still put together a little round-up of my favorite series. So in no particular order, here they are.
COME INTO ME
Black Mask Studios – Zac Thompson, Lonnie Nadler, Piotr Kowalski, Niko Guardia, Ryan Ferrier
Come Into Me is a book that I wouldn’t have ever thought I would be interested in, and yet couldn’t wait to find out where this twisted, body horror series was taking me. A strange intersection of technology, biology and the dark side of human nature, writers Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler have really created an amazing follow up to there breakout hit The Dreggs from 2017.
THE DEAD HAND
Image Comics – Kyle Higgins, Stephen Mooney, Jordie Bellaire, Clayton Cowles
The Dead Hand was a surprise hit for me, and I think overlooked by many people in a year that had so many amazing comics. Kyle Higgins skillfully crafts an intriguing post-cold war spy/thriller. This series is jam packed with action and mystery and was a great reminder of how much I love the genre. This was the first read whenever a new issue was released.
Black Crown Publishing – Tini Howard, Nick Robles, Aditya Bidikar
Black Crown Publishing is still a young imprint, but has definitely made their mark with groundbreaking comics like Euthanauts. This is the best work creators Tini Howard and Nick Robles have yet to produce (though still very early in both their careers) and made a huge impression on me with this series. It is to be expected that a book centred around the exploration of the topic of death, and what lies beyond, is rooted in a darker tone. Where this series really excels, is the storytelling balance between the fantastic and realistic.
Vault Comics – Ryan O’Sullivan, Andrea Mutti, Vladimir Popov, Andworld Design, Ariela Kristantina
Much like Black Crown, Vault Comics has really jumped onto the comic scene in their second year of publishing. Fearscape is just one of many fantastic titles pushing the boundaries of the comics medium. A story that will have you re-reading pages to unravel the multiple layers of beautifully written text, this will be a book that will be revisited years later. This is a new generation of comic storytelling, in the vein of the Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.
Image Comics – Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino, Dave Stewart, Steve Wands
By now it shouldn’t come as a surprise to readers that a series with Jeff Lemire’s name on it will get some attention, just see his other hit series Black Hammer. However, I was a bit surprised just how dark this twisted mystery is. Gideon Falls follows various characters all trying to make sense of past and present events, and piece together the puzzle that is the Black Barn. This is another amazing series that is headed to TV, I can’t wait.
HOT LUNCH SPECIAL
Aftershock Comics – Eliot Rahal, Jorge Fornes, Taylor Esposito
Now here is a series oozing with noir goodness. I’m a huge fan of Eliot Rahal’s work, and love seeing how much great work he produced in 2018. Hot Lunch Special managed to check all the boxes for what I want when reading a crime comic. Added bonus for teaming up with the Jorge Fornes, who illustrates the noir look perfectly.
Image Comics – Karl Kerschl, Brendan Fletcher, M.SASSY.K, Aditya Bidikar
I was fortunate enough to be at Image Expo a couple years ago when Brendan Fletcher and Karl Kerschl announced Isola, but this was well worth the wait. Filled with beautiful worlds and intriguing characters, it’s the type of story that feels like it could go on forever. I am constantly recommending this books to all my friends that are fantasy fanatics.
DC Comics – Tom King, Mitch Gerads, Clayton Cowles, Nick Derington
You might be able to tell from the other titles on this list, but most superhero comics just didn’t stand out this year. Mister Miracle is an exception to that, if you consider an escapist born on New Genesis a superhero. This creative team brilliantly uses the ‘9-panel’ grid, but more importantly makes a couple New Gods more relatable than they’ve ever been. This is a must-read series, if you haven’t already done so.
MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS
BOOM! Studios – Kyle Higgins, Daniele Di Nicuolo, Simona Di Gianfelice, Walter Baiamonte, Ed Dukeshire, Jamal Campbell
This year the Shattered Grid crossover event in both the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers & Go!Go! Power Rangers series drew out the fan-boy that I forgot I was as a child of the 90s. What is more to love about multiple ranger teams, from multiple dimensions having to team up to go up against an evil version of the White Ranger.
Vault Comics – Michael Moreci, Hayden Sherman, Jason Wordie, Jim Campbell
Wasted Space is a ton of fun. A couple galaxy hopping renegades tasked with saving the day. Throw in a determined female and maybe they just might have a chance. Or maybe not. This is my favorite Science Fiction title of the year.