Top 10 Ongoing Comics I Read
A list of comics that Jake looked forward to month in and month
out in 2014. Requirements: purchased
monthly, as opposed to collected format, and had to come out in 2014 obv. Also, we’re looking at the
impact these had on him over the course of the year.
Honorable Mention: Copperhead
Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist: Scott Godlewski
Colorist: Ron Riley
A Space-Western set in a Borderlands-esque setting, the young
book from Image Comics debuted this year with a strong opening arc. Following the first days on the job of
Sheriff Clara Bronson, the murder-mystery opener was categorized with sharp
characterization and frequently fantastic line art and colors. Now that the initial arc is over, I’m
eagerly anticipating where this book goes in 2015.
Writer: Matt Fraction
Main Artist(s): David Aja, Annie Wu
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
I couldn’t make a Top List without include this
Marvel gem. Going into its second “year,”
Hawkeye continues to be one of the best books Marvel puts out. …Whenever it does actually come out. Frequent release delays prevented this title
from being any higher on the list. After
all, I can’t very well anticipate something monthly that comes out
every three months or so. Still, there’s
no denying the brilliance of this out-of-nowhere series. Who’d’ve thought that a
comic about Clint Barton’s out-of-cowl adventures would’ve
made for such an incredible experience.
#9: The Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Benjamin Dewey
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
So here’s the thing: only three issues of this
series has come out. But those issues have been so strong, they’ve made it one of my favorite
series. With a tale of anthropomorphs
and sorcery that never quite goes where you expect it to, veteran comics writer
Kurt Busiek has crafted an amazing world that is easily understandable yet
wonderfully complex. Under the
incredibly detailed pen of Ben Dewey and an able assist from colorist superstar
Jordie Bellaire, The Autumnlands is a series to watch.
#8: Injustice: Gods Among Us: Year Two
Writer: Tom Taylor
Art Teams: Various
Here we are again. The
dark series based off the dark video game continues to be a solid weekly hit,
thanks to the plotting and on-point characterization by Tom Taylor and
serviceable art duties by the various teams.
And boy does it get dark. The War
with The Green Lanterns is the crux of this storyline, and it is not without
its devastating casualties. We know how
this book ends (with the video game), but journey itself is fascinating.
#7: The Woods
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Colorist: Josan Gonzalez
The ongoing comic that’s Lost-with-The-Drifting-Classroom-esque-bent
has been chugging along, chock-full of mystery and great character
moments. The creative team is on-point,
with the alien world and the stranded characters providing continuous
opportunities for Dialynas and Gonzalez to shine. Tynion’s actors are
fleshed-out and as much a driving force as the mystery surrounding them. If you’ve got a hankering
for some mystery sci-fi, The Woods is the book for you.
#6: Southern Bastards
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jason Latour
This hard-hitting series from Image Comics roared onto the
scene in 2014, taking no prisoners with its gritty story-telling and its
rough-hewn, red-deluged art. The two
Jasons have woven a tale of smalltown Alabama, with all the horror and ugliness
that implies. As a Southerner myself,
this series hit pretty close to home.
The first arc having drawn to a close, Southern Bastards has been blown
wide open with what can happen next. It’s
a truly great thing when a book makes you say “Holy Shit”
aloud after you finish reading it.
Southern Bastards is that book.
#5: The Wicked + The Divine
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Jamie McKelvie
Colorist: Matt Wilson
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Team Phonogram/Young Avengers V2 return to comics with their
gods-as-popstars saga. Every 90-odd
years, twelve ordinary humans become gods incarnate, with all the accolades and
power that implies. Problem? They’ve
only got two years to live. Gillen is at
his Gillen-est, sharp, clever dialogue entwined with a plot that slowly yet
satisfactorily reveals more and more about the status quo of a world where gods
take the stage. McKelvie and Wilson
expertly use all the tricks they developed on YA V2 and continue to provide
some of the best expressions in comics.
When you’ve got all the fame and celebrity in
the world but only two years to use it, things are going to get delightfully,
#4: Moon Knight
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Declan Shalvey
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
You read that right.
Moon Knight essentially felt like comics legend Warren Ellis saying to
Marvel “Sure, I’ll write a couple issues of Moon
Knight,” writing six skeleton scripts and then
turning to the art team and saying “Go nuts.” That art team? Perennial favorite
Declan Shalvey and aforementioned colorist superstar Jordie Bellaire. And go nuts they did. These were six of the most breathtaking, grim
and gritty, one-and-done comics ever to grace the printed page. Downright cool and often wonderfully trippy,
Moon Knight, of all characters, was an A-list comic from an A-list team that
set the tone for every creative team since.
#3: Rat Queens
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Roc Upchurch
I’ve written about this book before, so
it was inevitable that it would wind up somewhere on this list. All my previous comments still stand: a fun,
heartfelt, foulmouthed fantasy adventure romp superbly crafted by Wiebe and
Upchurch. Every month it doesn’t
come out is a bad month in my book. With
the amazingly talented Stjepan Šejić assuming the
duties as main artist, the future looks bright for this darling of a
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Javier Fernandez
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire, Dan Brown
Remember that scene from X-men First Class where young Magneto
confronts those ex-Nazis in that bar in South America aka the best scene in the
movie. Take the feeling and drama of
that scene and make it a comic book.
That’s essentially what Bunn’s Magneto is. The recently-underpowered, chrome-domed
once-leader of mutantkind is on a one man journey across the world, protecting
mutants with his own dark form of brutal justice. Seriously, the relatively simple act of
wielding a paperclip or a length of barbed wire is rendered fantastically by
the art teams. Hero or Villain?
Regardless of the answer, you can’t deny its a hell of a ride going
inside the mind of Magneto.
#1: Ms. Marvel
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Main Artist: Adrian Alphona
Colorist: Ian Herring
Believe. The. Hype. This
book is everything everybody says it is.
Kamala Khan, a Mulsim teenager from New Jersey, gains superpowers thanks
to the Terrigen Mist outbreak. With
them, she’ll right wrongs, protect people, all while maintaing her secret
identity from her somewhat strict parents.
If this sounds familiar, you’re absolutely correct. However, Wilson and Alphona have made the
standard concept feel like a breath of fresh air on the comic market with
snappy dialogue and wholehearted enthusiasm, accompanied by soft yet vivacious
artwork. Ms. Marvel is a must-read, and
I’m totally not just saying that because Lockjaw, the Inhuman
teleporting bulldog, is a supporting character, though that does play a
Labels: Comics, Copperhead, Hawkeye, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Magneto, Moon Knight, Ms. Marvel, Rat Queens, Southern Bastards, the Autumnlands, the Wicked + the Divine, the Woods