As the year comes to a close, it’s time to look back. Today, Dom has gone through his comic book collection and found the best comic book stories of the year.
Looking at the year, it’s been a far less eventful year than other years. We didn’t have a massive universe-reboot like The New 52 during which publisher DC Comics ended all his stories and comic books and rebooted everything: New universe, all characters new, everything old was gone. Although DC’s biggest competitor Marvel has continued their soft reboot, it’s not as jarring as it was when DC Comics did it. Sure, there were plenty of big events and crossovers and whatnot, but it wasn’t too much of a shock to the entire world of a publisher, even though announcements were made – as they always are – about how nothing will ever be the same again and while some might never be the same again, it’s not too wild.
So here they are, the best comics of 2014.
Green Arrow – The Outsiders War
Publisher: DC Comics
Issues: Green Arrow #26 – #31
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Plot: Green Arrow’s past is finally revealed as his world is shocked by the emergence of clans based around tribal weapons and his supposed legacy.
Why it’s on the list: Beautiful art, amazingly dense and gripping story, re-imagining some of the more obscure elements of the DC Universe in unexpected ways. What more could you ask for?
Publisher: Image Comics
Issues: Death Vigil #1 – #5
Writer: Stjepan Šejić
Artist: Stjepan Šejić
Plot: Ancient forces beyond life and death threaten all of reality and creation. The only people opposing them are the Death Vigil, undead protectors of our reality.
Why it’s on the list: While the basic plot has been done before, it’s not just the beautiful art that makes this book stand out. It’s the very human characterization of the members of the Death Vigil as well as their allies. They have fun, they’re close friends and they share living space. It’s an all-around fun ride that proves that the darkest stories can be told in lighter tones.
The Walking Dead – All Out War
Publisher: Image Comics
Issues: The Walking Dead #115 – #126
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
Plot: In a world that has been decimated by the living dead, the last few survivors struggle to rebuild society. The group around Rick Grimes meets a dictator by the name of Negan who rules with an iron fist, but manages to have a stable society going on.
Why it’s on the list: Finally an opponent who isn’t just an evil man with big guns. Sure, Negan rules by fear, but he manages to keep a society relatively peaceful, albeit to the disadvantage of anyone not allied with him. And when this style of government clashes with the still ideological Rick and his group, the ensuing conflict is incredible.
All-New Ghost Rider – Engines of Vengeance
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issues: All-New Ghost Rider #1 – #5
Writer: Felipe Smith
Artist: Tradd Moore
Plot: When Roberto Reyes, a young man who’s the sole caregiver for his handicapped brother Gabe, gets shot by a paramilitary cartel, he can’t rest in peace. He resurrects as the new Ghost Rider. Driving the Hell Charger, he sets out to bring justice to the streets of Los Angeles. And to balance life at school with working a job as well as making ends meet for his brother.
Why it’s on the list: There’s no artist like Tradd Moore when it comes to portraying speed in a medium that is inherently static. His cartoonish style, paired with the world of street racing makes for an exciting read. But it’s not only that, the story of a young man down on his luck who just so happens get possessed is also gripping. Robbie Reyes has a grand future ahead of him.
Publisher: Marvel Comics
- Spider-Verse Team-Up #1
- Spider-Verse #1
- Spider-Woman #1
- Scarlet Spiders #1
- The Amazing Spider-Man #9
- Spider-Man 2099 #6
- The Amazing Spider-Man #10
- The Amazing Spider-Man #11
- Spider-Verse Team-Up #2
- Scarlet Spiders #2
- Spider-Woman #2
- and more
Plot: When extradimensional beings want to conquer all realities, they know that only one being can stop them from having success: Spider-Man. Every dimension has their own Spider-Man. Among them: Spider-Ham, Spider-Man India, the various animated incarnations of Spider-Man and Ultimate Spider-Man.
Why it’s on the list: A great love-letter to the Spider-Men of the ages. From silly to serious, from dark to light, from horror to the lightest of comedies, Spider-Verse manages to blend together all the Spider-Men and their universes. The stories play to the strengths of the individual characters, their universes and their quirks. They play fun at the silliness and the seriousness, the art styles clash in panel and it’s just so refreshing to see. In addition to that, the comics bring us new characters that are not only creative but have the potential to stand on their own two feet for a long time.