2015 has come and gone. There are so many great books that were released, and I do not think I have ever done as much reading as I did in the last year. With only limited amount of time to read, I am sure I missed some amazing titles, so feel free to comment below with your top picks.
Here are my top comic picks for 2015:
#10. Star Wars
There is no doubt that with the release of The Force Awakens, 2015 was a great year for Star Wars, additionally with Marvel now owning rights to publish Star Wars comic stories (via Disney purchase) there are many happy readers, new and old. Specifically with the main Star Wars title, Jason Aaron along with John Cassaday and Stuart Immonen have been able to do a fantastic job bridging the gap between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
Wytches is a horror book about a family attempting to escape their problems by relocating. Unfortunately for them, the problem plaguing them are very old and rooted, and cannot be avoided. The book is expertly written and drawn by Scott Snyder and Jock, respectively, it is the colouring treatment from Matt Hollingsworth that gave this book the eerie treatment needed to solidify the tone. The first story arc was completed in 2015, so if you haven’t already read it, make sure you do and keep an eye out for the story’s continuation in the next year sometime.
#8. The Vision
The Vision is a book that I almost had no interest in reading when it was first announced earlier in the year. After picking up issue 1 a couple days after seeing the attention it got through social media, like many I was delightfully surprised. Not surprised that Tom King could write a great book, (see Grayson and Omega Men), but that Marvel decided that this was the direction The Vision would take after appearing in the Avengers: Age of Ultron film. This book is all about The Vision and his newly created family attempting to settle into normal life of suburban Washington.
#7. We Can Never Go Home
I only managed to get my hands on this book once it was released in trade paperback form. This book was a great example of story telling, as the characters Madison and Duncan try to outrun a secret cult and the FBI. What impresses me most about this book are the page layouts and designs. Most of the pages include 3,4,5 or 6 panels per page, fairly standard for a comic, but it is the couple of pages per issue that split into 10+ panels that really jump out. The ability to squeeze text and an image into a 1 inch square panel while adding to the narrative that puts this book in the top ranks of the year.
#6. Bloodshot Reborn
At this point I likely sound like a broken record when it comes to my praise for Valiant Entertainment. This publisher and title should not be ignored. With a huge blockbuster movie in the near horizon, Bloodshot is a character that has huge possibilities for growth. Thanks to the creative mind of Jeff Lemire this possibility is properly being explored through the Bloodshot Reborn book. After being relieved of the ability enhancing nanites after The Valiant story, Bloodshot has to adjust to the normalcy of this new life. When the nanites cause their new hosts to do horrific deeds, it is Bloodshot who feels obliged to stop them.
I never purchased an Archie book as a child. So the fact that I buy this book, as well as Jughead, on a monthly basis is a complete surprise. With amazing creative teams, new life is breathed into these classic Riverdale characters.
Saga is one of the most consistent ongoing comic book titles in terms of writing and art. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples how mastered the craft of creating wonderful fantasy stories that always keep the reader on the edge of their seat. Though the book is only released 6 months of the year, (creators use the other months to make other great books), is well worth the wait.
#3. The Wicked + The Divine
Another great ongoing title is Image comics, The Wicked + The Divine. This year has been great for this book, there were some heart stopping moments and amazing guest artists. Creators Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie used 2015 to complete the 2nd story arc, and welcomed Brandon Graham, Leila Del Duca, Stephanie Hans, Tula Lotay and Kate Brown onboard. Issue 11 was one of my most memorable issues of the year, so if you aren’t doing so already, read this comic.
#2. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is exactly what I want from a comic. Ryan North skillfully blends comedy and action into a book appropriate for all ages, something there could be more of. It is a part of Squirrel Girl’s character, how she confronts the conflict of these stories. Unlike other superhero books, punching each other isn’t the first resort, it is often some creative humorous way get both the “bad guy” and ultimately,the reader, to look at the situation through a different lens and come to a mutual understanding.
#1. Paper Girls
Brian K. Vaughan had a very busy, yet successful year. Paper Girls has only 3 issues out in 2015, but each issue is more intriguing than the last. It is easy to relate to at least one of the four main characters of this book. Whether you grew up having a paper route, like myself, there is still a lot of other mystery surrounding this story. Paper Girls is my top pick because it is the book I look forward to finding where the story takes us into 2016. Additionally, the art combination of Cliff Chiang and Matt Wilson is just stunning and well worth the low cover price.
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