Top 10 Ongoing Comics I Read in 2014 by Jake

Top 10 Ongoing Comics I Read 
in 2014
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, were looking at the impact these had on him over the course of the year.

Honorable Mention: Copperhead


Image Comics
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, Im eagerly anticipating where this book goes in 2015.

#10: Hawkeye


Marvel Comics
Writer: Matt Fraction
Main Artist(s): David Aja, Annie Wu
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
I couldnt 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 cant very well anticipate something monthly that comes out every three months or so.  Still, theres no denying the brilliance of this out-of-nowhere series.  Whodve thought that a comic about Clint Bartons out-of-cowl adventures wouldve made for such an incredible experience.

#9: The Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw  

Image Comics
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Benjamin Dewey
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Lettering: Comicart
So heres the thing: only three issues of this series has come out.  But those issues have been so strong, theyve 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


DC Comics
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


Boom Studios
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Michael Dialynas
Colorist: Josan Gonzalez
The ongoing comic thats 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.  Tynions actors are fleshed-out and as much a driving force as the mystery surrounding them.  If youve got a hankering for some mystery sci-fi, The Woods is the book for you.

#6: Southern Bastards


Image Comics
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.  Its 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


Image Comics
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?  Theyve 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 youve got all the fame and celebrity in the world but only two years to use it, things are going to get delightfully, tragically messy.

#4: Moon Knight


Marvel Comics
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, Ill 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


Image Comics
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Roc Upchurch
Ive 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 doesnt 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 series.

#2: Magneto


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.  Thats essentially what Bunns 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 cant deny its a hell of a ride going inside the mind of Magneto.

#1: Ms. Marvel


Marvel Comics
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, shell right wrongs, protect people, all while maintaing her secret identity from her somewhat strict parents.  If this sounds familiar, youre 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 Im totally not just saying that because Lockjaw, the Inhuman teleporting bulldog, is a supporting character, though that does play a significant part.

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