Best Comics 2013
Hawkeye was one of my favorite Comics of 2012 and writer Matt Fraction's take on the purple archer just got better in 2013. Joined by artists David Aja, Javier Pulido, Francesco Francavilla & Annie Wu Fraction pushed Clint, Kate and visual storytelling to the limits. This year's sprawling out of sequence epic including Hurricane Sandy, a killer clown, three superhero ex-girlfriends, a villainous brother & an annual in LA. Fraction & Aja also delivered what might be my favorite single issue of the year, a wordless mystery starting Pizza Dog. You can download the whole series online or splurge on the hardcover collection containing the first 11 issues.
Another one of my favorite series of 2013 sadly came to an end this year. Boom Studios Supurbia focused not only of Earth's greatest super-team but also the ones they loved. After a four issue mini-series writer Grace Randolph & artist Russell Dauterman delivered an epic 12 issue run. I especially loved the focus on the children of these heroes and openly gay sidekick Agent Twilight got some spotlight time. There's no doubt that Dauterman is destined to be one of the great artists in the industry and he's already been snatched up by DC. You can check out the mini-series & ongoing series online and the final collected volume will be out in February 2014.
Another series gone too soon this year was Marvel's Fearless Defenders. Spinning out of the Fear Itself: The Fearless mini, this all-female book focused on Valkyrie as she tries to rebuild her Valkyrior. Along for the ride are fan-favorites like Misty Knight, Dani Moonstar and Hippolyta. With a game changing character death in issue #6 this series really kicked into high gear. If you're a fan of strong & diverse female characterization this is the book for you. All 12 issue are available for download and the second collection with be on sale in February 2014.
Author Jonathan Hickman got his start on independent titles before hitting it big with runs on Fantastic Four & his current epic Avengers run. I have to admit I've never connected with any of his indie work before this year's East of West. Along with artist Nick Dragotta, Hickman tells a sci-fi/western tale about the four horseman of the apocalypse. This book really defies description, but the first collection was one of the best things I've read in a long time. I love the work Hickman does with the main character Death while still creating a complex & intriguing new world. The first collection is in stores now and you can read all current 8 issues online.
I grew up a huge X-Men fan, so I'm a bit biased when it comes to books from the X-Universe. While I read most of the titles, I was surprised how much I'm enjoying Brian Wood's all-new female X-Men book. Wood did a great job on a previous version of the title as well as the Ultimate version of the team. It's doesn't hurt that I'm also a big fan of all these women & the current diversity of the team just knocks me out. After being part of the "Battle of the Atom" crossover the series is heading off in its own direction while introducing a new Sisterhood. The first collection just came out this month and you can also read all current 8 issues online.
Writer Kelly Sue Deconnick's Captain Marvel book became an internet sensation this year with the creation of the "Carol Corps". This group of hard core fans helped get this under looked title some the attention it deserved. I really enjoy Deconnick's take on Carol Danvers and the book really hit its stride with the "Grounded" & "Enemy Within" arcs. In order to boost attention and kick off an all-new direction Captain Marvel will be relaunching in May 2014. Until then you can catch up digitally and with the three trade collections.
If you haven't tried out digital comics yet then Dean Trippe's Something Terrible is the perfect excuse. This deeply personal story is about Trippe overcoming childhood trauma with the help of comics. The story is only 99 cents and was definitely one of the most moving stories I read all year. You can download this ground breaking story now at Dean's website.
This of course isn't complete list of every comic I enjoyed this year. I also recommend checking out All-New & Uncanny-X-Men, Fables, Avengers, The Sandman: Overture, FF, Wolverine & The X-Men, Young Avengers, Daredevil & Saga. I hope you're all checking out my Tumblr & Twitter which is where most comics related content ends up these days.