With 2015 just around I corner, I decided to once again present my list of my top 10 favorite comic series of 2014. There have been some amazing comics released over the past year, and it was definitely difficult to develop this list. To make things a little easier on myself, I’ve decided to only include series that are still ongoing as of the end of 2014; sorry mini-series (like Armor Hunters) and ongoing series that ended (like Superior Foes of Spider-Man and Archer & Armstrong), y’all were amazing but aren’t on this list.
So what did I choose? Check it out after the jump!
10. The Sixth Gun
The Western, in my honest opinion, is one of the best genres ever conceived. Yet, there is a definite dearth of Westerns in popular media. Luckily, The Sixth Gun from Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt, Bill Crabtree, and Tyler Crook is consistently amazing. This series blends elements of fantasy and horror into the Western to craft a wildly enjoyable series that gets better with each new issue.
Ever since the start of The New 52, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s run on Batman has been a fan favorite title, and rightly so. The combination of exceptional writing and stellar artwork make the series highly enjoyable. The current “Endgame” arc is downright spine-tingling. The only reason I can’t rate the series higher is that I felt “Zero Year” dragged on too long. Nevertheless, the series has returned to a place of prominence in my eyes.
Anyone who has consistently followed my work knows that I adore Superman. After a rocky time in the early days of the New 52, Superman received the creative team of Geoff Johns, John Romita Jr. (doing his first ever work for DC Comics), and Klaus Janson. This team took one of the unquestionably worst titles on the market and transformed it into one of the best in just a few short issues. As with Batman, the reason this doesn’t rank higher concerns the issues that came out this year before the new team took over. Still, if you’ve ever had the slightest interest in the Man of Steel, how is the time to hop on board.
Cullen Bunn makes my list again, this time joined by Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Javier Fernandez on art. Magneto is my favorite Marvel character, and I’m glad he’s finally in such an amazing ongoing series. This comic focuses on the psyche of the Master of Magnetism, getting to the heart of his motivations, desires, and fears. There is some deep emotional work in this comic.
6. Deadly Class
Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s Deadly Class is a series I started picking up after the first trade came out. I’m glad I did, because this series about teenagers at a school for assassins in the late 80s in a fun ride. While it’s definitely a dark tale, one of the greatest things about this story is the wonderful character work; people make choices that seem realistic and, given that some of the events are loosely based on Remender’s youth, resonates on a personal level. Craig’s artwork is one of a kind, and really stands out. This series is highly entertaining, and well worth a picking up. Word of warning, though: this is a series for mature readers and is not for the faint of heart.
5. Green Arrow
Green Arrow saw an amazing run during 2014. Though Andrea Sorrentino and Jeff Lemire’s run ended, the new creative team of Ben Sokolowski, Andrew Kreisberg, and Daniel Sampere’s stories are strong as well, albeit not as good. Still, as Green Arrow is my favorite comic book character, I’m glad he’s been in capable hands over the course of 2014. His series is definitely one to watch heading into 2015.
4. Afterlife with Archie
I never thought I’d say this, but Archie Comics is publishing the best horror comic in print today: Afterlife With Archie. Chronicling the rise of the undead in Riverdale, writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Francesco Francavilla created a comic that sounds like the world’s weirdest fan fiction, yet is one of the most interesting, poignant series out now. I’m a little mad at myself that I got into the series so late, but am glad I finally gave it a chance. This is a comic that won’t let you down.
3. X-O Manowar
Valiant’s flagship title, X-O Manowar, continued this year as one of the strongest sci-fi comics on the stands. Aric of Dacia truly went through Hell as he battled Unity, the Armor Hunters, and, soon, The Armorines and Dead Hand. Robert Venditti has crafted a comic that at once provokes deep introspection while throwing out-of-this world battle scenes forward thanks to artists like Diego Bernard. If you’re a sci-fi fan and you don’t read X-O Manowar, you need to remedy that issue.
Valiant scored another winner in 2014 with the premier of Rai. The team of Clayton Crain and Matt Kindt brought to life the story of an enforcer in Japan in the year 4001. The artwork alone is worth the price of admission, as every one of Crain’s pages is a masterpiece. Furthermore, the story is gripping, and cleverly written to portray cultural changes that may occur over two millennia. Nevertheless, the series still ties into the greater Valiant universe in clever ways.
Saga making the top of any list these days is unsurprising. Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples strike gold issue after issue with the most human comic out today or, perhaps, ever written in the modern era. The story deals with the child of parents who are from two different warring alien races, yet strikes so much deeper than the premise may betray. Dealing with almost every issue imaginable, from substance abuse to the purpose of war, Saga is a comic that even those who claim no interest in the medium will love.
Well, that’s my Top 10 Comics list for 2014. What were your favorite series of 2014? Do you agree with any of my choices? Do you disagree? Let me know in the comments!
Have a very happy new year and I’ll see you all in 2015!
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