Books

End the year off right with the Top 10 Comic Books of 2014

Top 10 Comic Books of 2014

The end of the year brings on all sorts of things; holidays, gifts, eggnog, and copious amounts of alcohol. It also brings about “best of” lists throughout the entire journalistic and review spectrum, and this column is no exception. It was a big year for comics, both the “big two” as well as indie titles at Image Comics as well as smaller publishers, both creator owned and licensed. Compared to years past, there are some reliable stalwarts which have appeared on previous “best of” annual lists as well as plenty of new additions. In fact, publishers which aren’t Marvel may be well represented this time around. The top ten list consists of the best ongoing titles, mini series, and/or graphic novels published this year, in alphabetical order.

So, without further ado, the best comic books of 2014!

As always, a hearty thank you to all of the subscribers, readers, and clickers of this column. It wouldn’t exist without you folks!

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend First Second

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend

Written and drawn by Box Brown, this original graphic novel published by First Second chronicles the life and career of one of the most well known professional wrestlers the world had ever seen. Emotional and personal without showing a bias, it is a must read for both wrestling fans and comic fans alike!

Black Widow #1-13

Black Widow #1-13 Previews World

Black Widow #1-13

With the wind at her back thanks to a spectacular film appearance this year, Marvel’s best known superhero spy saw her own ongoing series launch by Nathan Edmundson and Phil Noto. The stories may be brief, but the art is always stellar and things always connect into a cohesive and satisfying whole, without being exploitative or boring.

Daredevil #1-11; 35-36

Daredevil #1-11; 35-36 Previews World

Daredevil #1-11; 35-36

One of Marvel’s best ongoing titles for almost four straight years, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee (and others) once again graced readers with the high quality adventures of the man without fear alongside one of the best supporting casts outside of a Spider-Man comic. Daredevil saw a relaunch and a change in home town’s this year, but not even that could slow down the awesome stride this series has made into a routine.

Legend of the Mantamaji vol. 1-2

Legend of the Mantamaji vol. 1-2 And Action Entertainment

Legend of the Mantamaji vol. 1-2

A brand spanking new comic book publishing company has quickly impressed with it’s first production. TV director Eric Dean Seaton teams with artist Brandon Palas and colorist Andrew Dalhouse have created an original franchise which mixes ancient mysticism with modern day urban vigilantism. Full of strong characters, great designs and terrific action sequences, it is one to watch out for.

Ms. Marvel #1-10

Ms. Marvel #1-10 Previews World

Ms. Marvel #1-10

The right title at the right time from Marvel Comics, this is easily one of their best original creations in years. This spin off to “Captain Marvel” by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona (and others) introduces teenage Muslim American Kamala Khan as the new Ms. Marvel, out to defend Jersey City and do her best to survive and have fun. Lighthearted yet gripping, more comics should be like this.

Rex Zombie Killer #3-4

Rex Zombie Killer #3-4 Big Dog Ink

Rex Zombie Killer #3-4

Big Dog Ink’s signature series by Rob Anderson, DaFu Yu, and Juan Romera on colors, brings it’s violent yet engaging journey to a close. One part “Homeward Board”, two parts “The Walking Dead” with a science fiction twist at the end, it offered animals versus zombies and army men this year, and made it work beautifully.

Saga #18-24

Saga #18-24 Previews World

Saga #18-24

Image Comics’ smash hit by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples had another year of science fiction romance, action, suspense, and intertwining characters. The cast has expanded but the problems for our lead heroes Alana and Marko have only increased, as they can survive mercenaries, but not marriage. Earning sales comparable to “the Walking Dead” without the aid of a TV show, Saga has proven to be exactly what it’s titled as.

The Shadow Hero

The Shadow Hero First Second

The Shadow Hero

Released as a six issue digital comic as well as one printed graphic novel from First Second, the Shadow Hero is one of the most innovative and enjoyable superhero comics in 2014. Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew dust off a public domain character from 1944 (the Green Turtle, the first superhero made by an Asian American) and add a modern day sensibility and cultural heritage to him like never before.

The Standard #5

The Standard #5 ComixTribe

The Standard #5

This great superhero series by John Lees, Jonathan Rector, Will Robson, and Mike Gagnon saw its’ full U.S. release in 2014, and wrapped up a terrific run with a double sized finale! The adventure of retired Silver Age hero Gilbert Graham reaches a bloody conclusion without compromising who he is. For those tired of mainstream superhero operas from the “big two”, ComixTribe offered a great one here!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #30-41

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #30-41 Previews World

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #30-41

Flanked by two mini series (including a team up with the Ghostbusters), IDW’s licensed TMNT comics by writers Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz and artists Ross Campbell, Mateus Santolouco, and Cory Smith (among others) is a hit for fans new and old. Perfectly mixing the old with the new and never shying away from character growth, plot ramifications and jaw dropping action, reading this series is a perfect way to celebrate the Turtle’s thirtieth anniversary!

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