Thursday, January 3, 2019

Anon's Top 10 Comics of 2018

   An old friend (who prefers to be Anonymous) sends along his Top 10 list - and it's a great one! Take it away, Anon:

   In my opinion, it’s been a year of some good comic books and many comic books that, simply put, weren’t very good. I’m not talking about comic books in total, but rather the ones I purchased. It seemed to be a year where few comic books “paid off” in the end for me after purchasing an entire run. This realization leads me to be a choosier shopper of comic books in 2019, so we’ll see how that goes…

   On with the Top Ten Countdown of Comic Books of 2018!

10. Fantastic Four. It’s really too early to put this book on a Top Ten list, but I’m doing it anyway. Dan Slott’s Fantastic Four is just starting, even though we’ve already had an all-inclusive alumni reunion and a wedding! I’m just glad we live in a world where there’s an FF comic book, but I sure wish Jonathan Hickman were still writing it…

9. Kill Or Be Killed. Sigh. When Brubaker and Phillips do a comic book, I always buy it. Their work together is always interesting, often depressing, and perhaps a bit too “real” for my tastes. Kill Or Be Killed is a wild ride that is hard to describe, but follows the main character through a dark and bloody trip that he is cursed to follow. It’s a long trip, but worth the time.

8. Saga. Wow. Just an amazing book. And I mean every issue. You know those comics that are formulaic and never change? Every plot is a Point "A" to Point "A" storyline? Saga isn’t that book. People die. Things change. Hearts are broken, including yours. I nearly didn’t include this book as it’s “going away for awhile” but I’ll be here when it returns, hopefully sooner than later. I think I’m punishing this book by placing it at #8 because it’s leaving…

7. Doomsday Clock. Walking on the sacred ground of Moore & Gibbons’ Watchmen, the book that some of us consider the greatest comic book of all time – FIGHT ME! (as the kids would say), Geoff Johns & Gary Frank not only work to create a sequel to the original story but also weave the original story into a DC Universe, even though this DC Universe might not be the one we know (and I don’t think this description is a spoiler as I’m not sure I’m correct). While one could easily argue that these two talented creators could spend their time creating something new, it has been an enjoyable read and it is good to see the characters of Watchmen exist elsewhere (pun).

6. The Magic Order. There are times I think that Mark Millar’s stories are the “fast food of comic books.” That statement is not meant as a criticism, as you can be highly successful making good fast food. Millar’s stories are in neat little packages and they have a beginning and an end. The Magic Order is no different. With Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and countless other incarnations, I’m not sure we need another magic story, but Millar shows us a battle between good and evil for all the marbles. Oliver Copiel’s atmospheric art is a big help as well.

5. The Wild Storm. A consistently good comic book with the same writer and artist for more than fifteen issues seems to be a rarity these days. A reworking of Image’s Wildstorm Universe, Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt craft an interesting story with somewhat familiar characters. This long-range plot is clearly leading somewhere and I’m looking forward to seeing where we wind up.

4. Marvel Two-In-One. As a roundabout reintroduction of the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Universe, this book was far more interesting than the current Fantastic Four series, but the new series has just started, so we’ll give it some time. A strong combination of good writing and art, this overarching story takes the The Thing and Human Torch into multiple dimensions and perilous situations in an attempt to find their lost teammates. It’s a great story of depression, deception and loss. And Dr. Doom shows up!

3. Doom Patrol. “Hi! I’m a famous rock star and I’m going to write comic books.” While the previous sentence sounds concerning, Gerard Way has done great work with his Umbrella Academy for Dark Horse and now with many of my favorite DC titles, including my all-time favorite comic book, Doom Patrol. Way’s run on Doom Patrol was a clever mix of all the different versions of the team, which was perfectly confusing. I need to go back and reread this entire run, as I’m still not sure what actually happened, but I’m glad it exists.

2. Murder Falcon. I had to catch up to this book after it’s initial release because it just looked so… stupid. Heavy metal, a half-robot/half-eagle mystical warrior who likes beer, and giant monsters? What’s not to like? Oddly, the creator of Murder Falcon, Daniel Warren Johnson, seems to have a lot more going on here than what I initially saw, but the book is only on issue #3, so time will tell. Thus far, it’s hitting on all cylinders.

1. Mister Miracle. Not unlike Doom Patrol, I’m not very objective when it comes to Kirby’s New Gods and especially Mister Miracle. A lot has been written about this brilliant series and it’s also my #1 as it is on many other lists. As I mentioned about Doom Patrol, I’m still unpacking this story and need to reread it in one sitting (a different experience in most cases) to see all that’s going on. Cosmic yet personal, I don’t think any other book did as much to move the medium forward than this one.


Hoy Murphy said...

I've read a couple of those.


El Vox said...

Good list and commentary. I'll have to check into some you mentioned.