FAVORITE TRADE COLLECTION OF MATERIAL THAT’S NEW TO ME
2. Catwoman Vol. 2: No Easy Way Down by Ed Brubaker, Cameron Stewart, Various-A well received series when it was out I caught a couple issues during a crossover way back and never felt the need to go back. So when the collections started in 2012 I picked them up and have found them entertaining. The art by Cameron Stewart and Javier Pulido (plus others) is very cool.
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimate Collections volume 4 & 5 by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, Various-Collecting the important issues of the original series (though I wish it would have been all the issues) these two volumes bring together the famed City At War run of the original series with all the commentary each Ultimate Edition has. This set of TMNT collections are amazing and I glad I have them displayed.
FAVORITE: HAWKEYE VOL. 1 & 2 by MATT FRACTION, DAVID AJA, VARIOUS-I try five books that get great reviews. Three I don’t care for, one I liked well enough but feel no need to go forward, and then there is the one I agree with. Hawkeye is that one. I still don’t even care for Clint but the stories, the art and Kate Bishop make this a killer series. No wonder its Marvels top trade seller now.
3. Hack/Slash #20-25 (Image series) by Tim Seeley and Elena Casagrande-It started in 2012 but ended early 2013 so drawing the series of mini-series one shots and a previous volume to a close. Entitled Final, Cassie Hack and her partner Vlad battle the Black Lamp Society for the last time. A story bring back past enemies and friends. This one ended and brought a strong resolution. The opening issue (which came out in 2012) was also one of the most emotionally charged. The final arc brought in artist Elena Casagrande and her work brought a strength to the end that the previous artists for the Image volume did not have.
2. Fatale #12 by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips-The stand alone flashback gave a look at Mathilda who has the same femme fatale curse as the character Josephine. A dark, thrilling addition to this excellent series that I’m going to miss when its over.
1. All New X-Men #11 & Uncanny X-Men #4 by Brian Bendis, Stuart Immonen, Chris Bachalo, Various-Two halves of the same story. In ANXM Cyclops and his X-Men drop by Wolverine’s Jean Grey school offering a position in his re-established Xavier School. All New we see it from Kitty, the O5 and Wolverines perspective while in Uncanny the story is seen from Cyclops and Emmas team perspective. Much character drama for an excellent pair of issues.
FAVORITE: EMPOWERED: NINE BEERS WITH NINJETTE by ADAM WARREN and TAKESHI MIYAZAWA-The last Emp one-shot of 2013, and the last one before volume 8, creator Adam Warren is joined by Takeshi Miyazawa to expand further on Ninkettes’s character. She was the main focus on volume 7 and this dark, emotional story we get even further into her troubled childhood and how Empowered is so important to her life. Amazing stuff. Full of ‘feels.’
10 FAVORITE COVERS
10. Rocket Girl #2 by Amy Reeder
9. Batwoman #21 by JH Williams III
8. Wonder Woman #26 by Cliff Chiang
7. Revival #11 by Jenny Frison
6. Fairest #21 by Adam Hughes
5. Miss Fury #1 by Alex Ross
4. Fearless Defenders #5 by Mark Brooks
3. Rachel Rising #21 by Terry Moore
2. Saga #15 by Fiona Staples
1. Fables #136 by Daniel Dos Santos
3. Chris Burnham for Batman Inc.-Some people talked trash about Burnham, I disagree. I was really enjoying his work on this. Its cool, stylish and unique. Definitely a man I can’t wait to see collaborate further with Grant Morrison. The Namless 2014 from Image!
2. Adam Warren for Empowered Vol. 8, Empowered One Shots: Animal Style and Nine Beers With Ninjette-Both the volume and Warrens portion of the two one shots (alongside John Staton and Takeshi Miyazawa) displayed Warrens dynamic mangastyle. The best American manga artist there is and just one of the best in US comics. His work now is better than his Gen 13 stuff from back in my teens.
1. Stuart Immonen for All New X-Men-Immonen is killing it. Loving his work on this book.
FAVORITE: TIE: SEAN PHILLIPS for FATALE and FIONA STAPLES for SAGA-Image has been turning out top stuff. Sean Philips, an artist I usually was cold on turned me into a fan with Fatale. Loving this horror series. Its so good. Creepy and disturbing. Fiona Staples I almost forget about but when I was putting the list together she came to mind and suddenly I knew she was up there. Saga is an excellent series and helping to lead the Image revolution. The characters, environments, everything is beautiful. I’m giving this to both artists. Image is where its at.
3. Greg Rucka for Lazarus-Greg Rucka is one of the only creators I’d consider buying a comic from based on name alone. Here, him and collaborator Michael Lark brought it. A dystopian sci-fi actioner with Rucka’s excellent pacing and development. Forever Carlyle is a boss bitch.
2. Ed Brubaker for Fatale & Velvet-I was never that into Brubaker but 2013 changed that. Serious, I liked Ruckas Gotham Central stuff better. Didn’t care for Sleeper, was indifferent to Capt. America and skipped Criminal. However Fatale is killer and I’m digging the first few issues of Velvet. Also those Catwoman volumes coming out have been great.
1. Brian Bendis for All New X-Men & Uncanny X-Men-Hell froze over. Where as I wasn’t into Brubaker I disliekd Bendis’ stuff. I just didn’t care and skipped him but him writing two books from my favorite franchise with my favorite Marvel character at that? I tried it, liked it and then loved it.
FAVORITE: ADAM WARREN for EMPOWERED VOL. 8, EMPOWERED ONE SHOTS: ANIMAL STYLE & NINE BEERS WITH NINJETTE-Empowered continues its incredible build, character development, comedy, suspense, emotional twists and turns and of course-payoffs that make the journey worth it. I’m not going to get too into it but Empowered has been on top of the game for a while now. Since volume 4, lets be honest.
FAVORITE COMIC SERIES
4. Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark-I mentioned that Rucka’s work on this is a joy to read and when you add Michael Lark executing the script it puts this one up high on my favorites of 2013. I can’t wait for the further adventures throughout 2014.
3. Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples-Image’s second best selling book behind Walking Dead-Saga is one of the most acclaimed works right now. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples are delivering a space adventure that people love talking about. The thrilling story of two parents of a different alien species trying to protect their child from their enemies. excellent stuff.
2. Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips-2014 brings an end sooner than expected. I am going to be sad to see this one go. The story of Josephine-a femme fatale who effects the men around her throughout the ages. A horror series you should check out.
1. TIE: All New X-Men & Uncanny X-Men by Brian Bendis (writer both series), Stuart Immonen (main artist on All New X-Men), Chris Bachalo (main artists on Uncanny X-Men), Various-I love X-Men and I love these two books. Damn it Bendis-I had written you off and you had to bring the goods. All New X-Men is about the First Class (aka O5) in the present timeline and lead by Kitty Pryde. The group is now joined by X-23 (Wolverines teen girl clone) and Magik. That team was at the Jean Grey school but now are based at the new Xavier school where militant and wanted mutant Cyclops leads his team. That team features in Uncanny which also stars Emma Frost, Magento, Magik, and several new mutants. The main artists and fill in artists all kick ass. Good times.
FAVORITE: EMPOWERED by ADAM WARREN with JON STATON (ANIMAL STYLE), TAKESHI MIYAZAWA (NINE BEERS WITH NINJETTE)-Empowered is the “sexy superhero comedy” about Empowered who is a bad luck case super-heroine who keeps trying even though she’s considered a joke and gets tied up far too often. The series and one shots keep bring the goods. Animal Style was a fun, if slightly more traditional, superhero actioner. My fave single issue of 2013 Nine Beers with Ninjette is a companion piece with last years volume 7 which focused on Ninjette. One showing more of her fathers abuse in a sad, dark, brilliant book. Volume 8 ties up a major subplot(s) involving Sistah Spooky seeking Emps help to try and save Mindfuck from hell and her infernal service provider (the demon who gave Spooky her powers). Damn-where will Empowered go next?