Another year is about to come to a close and before we enter 2014 I thought it prudent to look back at some of the amazing comics that came out in 2013! There was definitely a great crop over the last year. It was difficult to narrow my list down to ten, but after a lot of work I was finally successful. I decided to only include ongoing series which are still ongoing (and so a few, such as my beloved but sadly cancelled Demon Knights, aren’t included). Which comics made the cut? Find out after the jump!
10. Amazing X-Men
The X-Men, in my opinion, are one of the best concepts in comics: a minority team tasked with protecting those that hate and fear them. The characters are creative, funny, interesting, and even downright inspiring. All too often, however, writers fail to portray the X-Men effectively and usually overuse the melodrama of their narrative. Amazing X-Men, however, is a series that reminds us that the X-Men can be fun as well as action-packed and dark. I love the series thus far and, while I’d like to put it higher on my list, only two issues are out so far. Still, it’s a series I’d keep my eye on as we head into 2014.
9. Superman/Wonder Woman
DC made headlines when the company decided to make Wonder Woman and Superman into a couple in the New 52’s Justice League #12. Since then, however, we’ve only seen snippets of their budding relationship. A few months ago, at long last, we saw the premier of Superman/Wonder Woman, a comic series that focuses on the DCU’s two biggest powerhouses. This series is epic in scale and has some amazing art thanks to the talented Tony Daniel. As with the previous entry, I’d like to place this higher on my list, but given that only three issues are on the stands it’s difficult to do so. Still, if these early entries are any indication, this series will only grow more amazing as the years go on.
8. X-O Manowar
Valiant Comics burst onto the scene with its revival in 2012, and 2013 saw a great deal of growth and expansion for the company. Their flagship title, X-O Manowar, has continued to push the bounds to sci-fi action and adventure while retaining an excellent human element to its stories. Each month, readers are treated to the struggles of Aric of Dacia, a man out of time in possession of the universe’s most powerful weapon. Fans of big action and cosmic adventure should look no further than this series.
7. Archer & Armstrong
Another wonderful title in Valiant’s line is Archer & Armstrong. Following hyper-talented ex-assassin Obadiah Archer and hard-drinking immortal Aram “Armstrong” Anni-Padda, the series takes readers on a wild ride through the very real conspiracies that control the fate of the world. A far cry from most action-heavy titles on the stands, this comic injects a great deal of humor, and a surprising amount of interesting historical facts, into its pages. Readers looking for an intelligent, off-beat, and fun story should check out this series.
6. Superior Foes of Spider-Man
Sure, reading about heroes is well and good, but sometimes you just want to root for the bad guys. And nowhere do you have to root harder than in the pages of Superior Foes of Spider-Man, the story of the bumbling idiot supervillains who make up the New Sinister Six (despite possessing only five members). This comic is downright hilarious and gives a fun look at a side of the Marvel universe that’s rarely explored, one in which the likes of Boomerang, Shocker, Overdrive, Speed Demon, and Beetle have to struggle every moment to survive, let alone to pull off major crimes. If you’re looking for a good time with some great visual gags, you’ll love this comic.
Sometimes a series can take a single character that no one pays much heed to and, through clever writing, superb art, and in-depth examination of said character, raise him or her to a level never before seen. Marvel’s Hawkeye succeeds on all these levels and more, making Clint Barton and Kate Bishop feel like real people and transformed them into some of the most interesting figures in modern comics. I’d have loved to put this comic higher, but given the multitude of delays this series has experienced in the second half of 2013, I couldn’t justify doing so. Still, it’s a wonderful series and I hope it can stay on a better schedule come 2014.
Creating a new superhero team from scratch, and making the story work, is a difficult feat. Valiant Comics, however, proved once again their propensity for stellar series when they released Unity to much acclaim back in November. Yes, I know I said earlier that I placed a few series with only a few issues on the stands lower for that reason, but Unity is just so darn good that I can’t help but raise it into the top five. This is definitely a high energy series to watch in the coming year.
3. Quantum & Woody
It’s sometimes hard to believe childish, ridiculous, and over-the-top humor can succeed in its hilarity, but Quantum & Woody proves that the right blend of immature antics can make even the dourest individual smile. That’s not to say the humor herein is entirely juvenile; in fact, there are a great deal of witty jokes, many of which are aimed at key issues such as race relations, gun control, animal testing, and more. Starring two adopted brothers (and later a goat), Quantum & Woody shows what happens when two bumblers who are constantly at odds get superpowers…which require them to stay in close proximity at almost all times! You can’t go wrong with this amazing read.
A simple concept is sometimes the best, a fact exemplified by Saga. What is essentially Romeo and Juliet in space turns into so much more than to the creative minds of Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughn. While I’m reading this series in trade (and thus am some issues behind), it’s nothing short of spectacular. Even people who don’t normally read comics should pick this up, as the beautiful art combined with a creative, compelling story will draw the reader into a world of pure imagination.
1. Green Arrow
Without a doubt, Andrea Sorrentino and Jeff Lemire’s resurrection of DC’s ailing Green Arrow title is the greatest comic success story of 2013. Green Arrow is my favorite costumed hero, and I finally felt he got the creative team he deserved come early 2013. The title has been nothing short of spectacular on their watch, and continues to impress each month with its amazing story telling and, in my opinion, the best art in modern comics. Seriously, you owe it to yourself to check out this series!
Well, that wraps up my list of the best comics of 2013! What were your favorites? Did you agree with any on this list?