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Author Topic: Favorite Comics of 2014  (Read 5807 times)

The Adventurer

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Favorite Comics of 2014
« on: 27 December, 2014, 08:44:23 AM »
So 2014 is drawing to a close, and there sure were a lot of comic books in the last year. So here's a thread where we can post our favorites! No nominations, no voting. Just throw out whatever categories make the most sense to you.

Favorite Single Issue
Mega Man 35 (Archie) - I'm not shy about stating that Archie's Mega Man is easily one of the best super-hero comics on the stands for all ages. But this issue is a step even beyond its normal greatness. Coming off the previous arc Mega Man struggles to over come a deep seated sense of fear, meanwhile Protoman struggles with a sense of abandonment from his father Dr. Light. The amount of shear EMOTION that writer Ian Flynn can get out of these characters is just ASTOUNDING. You'll believe a cartoon fighting robot can cry.
Runner Up: Savage Dragon 199 (Image) - Savage Dragon 200 was a fantastic capend to a fantastic year, and a grand celebration of over 20 years of Savage Dragon. But Savage Dragon 199 gets my vote as best SD issue of the year, as Erik Larsen does what he always does takes a crazy idea and kicks it up a notch. 20 pages of story, every single one a double page spread. Amazing.

Favorite First Issue
The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw 1 (Image) - Kurt Buisek is obviously a great creator, having written some of the greatest comics of the modern era. As good as he is, I almost passed on his latest from Image. And thank god I didn't, there are very few comics, let alone first issues that I finish, and then immediately want to read again. Tooth & Claw 1 is one of those rare comics. It helps a lot that the first issue is an over-sized 32 pages in length (for $3!), so there is lots and lots of extra room for the set up to this epic fantasy yarn to breath. And epic is is. In just 32 short pages Buisek sets up this vast and varied fantasy world, introduces the principle players of the story, and then turns it all on its head. Just an exercise in perfect comic execution.
Runner-Up: Multiversity 1 (DC) - Dino Cop. Nuff' Said.

Favorite New Series
Copperhead (Image) - Sci-fi westerns are a pretty common trope, but they are actually pretty tricky to pull off IMO. But then Jay Faeber comes along and makes it look easy. A mother with a past... and a badge, her estranged alien deputy, a frontier colony with more then a few mysteries... I think what I like most about this series is how unlikable the main character is, she's not cruel or crooked or anything. She's just kind of an asshole. I have to say I'm also thrilled to be reading a Jay Faeber title again, I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't super into his last series, Near Death, even though I'm a massive fan of the man as a writer.

Favorite Collected Edition
Zenith Book 1 (Rebellion) - Very nearly the last frontier for me when it comes to 2000 AD's historical canon. Long out of print Rebellion has finally brought one of Grant Morrison's most important early works back to availability.

Favorite 'It's New To Me!' Comic
Jojo' Bizzare Adventure - Phantom Arc (VIZ) - So the Jojo train has finally arrived in North America. It certainly took long enough, especially after that false start back in the early 2000s. God damn they tried. But the latest anime series has finally caught the imagination of the public, and we're finally getting Jojo from the beginning. And I sure am glad, because these early adventures in the late 19th century read like Castlevania on crack. Its pure over rendered, over the top FUN. And knowing that I have litterally DECADES worth of this series to look forward to makes the experience all the sweeter. Now if only we could get Jolion into Weekly Shonen Jump...

Favorite New Series that Didn't Last
Stealth Symphony (VIZ) - Weekly Shonen Jump 2014 really started off with a bang with this fantastic little manga series. In a world of magic, dragons, and bureaucracy. With an amazingly diverse set of character, over the top action, a solid mix of seriousness and comedy, and an art style to die for; Stealth Symphony was my break out hit of 2014. But its lead character wasn't a high school student with a harem of girls after him, so OBVIOUSLY it would poll at the bottom of the weekly vote in Japan for its entire run. OBVIOUSLY. But at least it ended it a satisfying way.
Runner Up: EGOs (Image) - I'm cheating a tiny bit putting this hear, as the series is set to return spring of 2015. But this series ran 4 issues in the first half of this year, and then just... stopped. Worrisome! Every year I'm always on the look out for my 'Best Legion of Super-Heroes Comic of the Year'. Last year it The Hypernaturals. This year its EGOs. A troubled team of cosmic heroes has to come together to stop a living galaxy from wreaking the universe. There ain't much better formula then that. And writer Stuart Moore and artist Gus Storms really brought something special out of it.

Favorite Mini-Series
Usagi Yojimbo - Senso (Dark Horse) - Stan Sakai's rabbit ronin is BACK after a long absence (don't get me wrong, Sakai's 47 Ronin was pretty great too). But this series, about an older Usagi and Co. dealing with the invasion of the Martians of HG Well's War of the Worlds during the Edo period of Japan. Its some of the best Usagi's ever been, and it unfortunate that Sakai's year has been so sad in dealing with the loss of his wife to brain cancer.

Favorite Continuing Series
Savage Dragon (Image) - 2014 was a hell of a year for Savage Dragon. Dragon's son Malcolm has finally come into his own and officially taken over the book as the lead character and 2014 has seen the title finally reach its issue 200 mile stone. Having been new to Dragon when the lead up to issue 100 was in full swing its pretty amazing that I've been on this title for over 100 monthly issues. I won't lie that I'm a mega fan about this title (I host and honest to god monthly PODCAST about this damn book for god's sake) and it never ceases to amaze me the passion that creator Erik Larsen pours into this title. If there's any person in comics to learn anything from when it comes to following your gut and never compromising, its Erik Larsen.
Runner-Up:Saga (Image) - I'm actually surprised to see this title even make Runner-Up in my Favorites of 2014. The previous arc of Saga actually put me on the brink of dropping the title. The problems the characters were dealing with weren't ringing true and I was afraid the BKV curse was finally rearing its ugly head (in that I've never seen a BKV title to conclusion, they all lose me within 10 or 20 issues due to some nonsense I can't deal with, Safeword... I'm looking at you.) But the arc resolved satisfactory, and shot the title back to the top. So shame on me for doubting on this insane series.

The Worst Comic I read in 2014....
Nisekoi False Love (Viz) - Oh my god. Oh my god I hate this (weekly!) series so much. Oh my god. Its Ranma 1/2 without anything interesting about it. Its the most stock Harem Manga can possibly get. Its creepy and sexist and there is nothing good about it (well... except for that two-part crossover with My Love Story. But only because My Love Story looks like an incredibly charming romantic comedy that bucks all cliches intentionally. See: Everything Nisekoi is not.). And of course its the most popular franchise in Japan right now. THERE IS NO JUSTICE.


Comics I'm looking Forward to in 2015...

Judge Dredd: Dark Justice in 2000 AD
The return of EGOs in the spring
The conclusion of Fables
Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man: Worlds Unite mega crossover
More Jojo
More One-Punch Man
And of course... More Savage Dragon!

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NapalmKev

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #1 on: 27 December, 2014, 10:42:13 AM »
2000AD and the Judge Dredd Megazine.

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JamesC

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #2 on: 27 December, 2014, 11:42:04 AM »
This is really difficult.
I every much enjoyed 2000ad this year. Great to see Kingdom again in particular.
I've also really enjoyed 'The Fade Out' and 'Starlight' recently.
The comics I'm most looking forward to are the new Marvel Star Wars series (particularly the Jason Aaron one) and Grandville: Noel (which is already out but I haven't read yet).

BPP

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #3 on: 27 December, 2014, 12:04:49 PM »
Is Savage Dreagon 199 the one where Jnr SAvage Dragon fucks his step-sister after his girlfriend suggests a threesome or was that Crazy Idea taken up a notch in 200?
If I'd known it was harmless I would have killed it myself.

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ZenArcade

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #4 on: 27 December, 2014, 12:14:51 PM »
Boring I know, but 2000 ad and the Megazine do it for me. Some fantastic Dredds; Slaine revitalised; Jaegir; Ulysses Sweet in the Prog and some of the best storylines ever to grace the Meg with outstanding artwork. Z
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The Adventurer

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #5 on: 27 December, 2014, 12:15:24 PM »
Quote
Is Savage Dreagon 199 the one where Jnr SAvage Dragon fucks his step-sister after his girlfriend suggests a threesome or was that Crazy Idea taken up a notch in 200?

That's in 200. Not... my favorite character moment of the year (for... a bunch of reasons, mostly because I think it hurts two really interesting female characters. Not so much the sex itself). That said, they're technically not step siblings. Though for a while they were living effectively as siblings, Dragon was her guardian and Malcolm was his son. Dragon never married her mom (though he tried once, turned out she was being impersonated by a shapeshifting dude at the time...)


Quote
Boring I know, but 2000 ad and the Megazine do it for me. Some fantastic Dredds; Slaine revitalised; Jaegir; Ulysses Sweet in the Prog and some of the best storylines ever to grace the Meg with outstanding artwork. Z
I actually should edit in Jaegir as my 'Favorite New Series' Runner-Up. It really has been a really good series staple this year. A fresh take on an old universe.
« Last Edit: 27 December, 2014, 12:17:44 PM by The Adventurer »

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Hawkmumbler

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #6 on: 27 December, 2014, 07:10:55 PM »
Favorite Single Issue
White Death (One-Shot) - (Image): Dante team Robbie Morrison and Charlie Adlard offer one of the most harrowing experiences I've ever had in reading comics. A horrifyingly down to earth representation of life in the trenches during the war in the Austro-Hungarian lines. Adlards art better represents classic art than actual individual comic panels and damn does it work. A scary piece of work, not least because of how well Morrison articulates the all too human characters.

Favorite First Issue
Wilds End - (Boom!): A great story of what happens when you mash together The Wind in the Willows and War of the Worlds. INJ's art is on top form here and even surpasses his run on the last series of Brass Sun. DAbnett has a good groove going here and I look forward to seeing how it continues.

Favorite New Series
Copperhead - (Image): It's just ace, OK.

Favorite Collected Edition
The Best of Library of Death - (Hibernia): Collecting material I could never have hopped to have read, David has given me this great collection of titles that have captured my imagination and given me plenty to love. Indeed, all of Hibernia's 2014 collections can get my vote! Here's to more class titles from David!

Favorite 'It's New To Me!' Comic
Jojos Bizarre Adventure - (Shueisha/VIZ): I read the whole thing via scanlations soon after the first episode of the new season premiered this spring. And I gobbled up about 30 years worth of comic in just two weeks. It was bliss. And like so many other previously unavailable titles, I fully intend to purchase the new 'Jojonium' collectors editions when they hit the shelves in Feburary. Now i'll second the statement that we should have Jojolion in the English Jump...

Runner up - Zenith (2000AD): Grant Morrisons classic was what got me into 2000AD years ago via an old article in SFX. And now I own the first two volumes of the complete series. And it's AMAZING!

Favorite New Series that Didn't Last
Stealth Symphony - (Shuiesha/VIZ): A charming, very original and refreshing manga by seasoned veteran Rhyuga Narita (Baccano, DRRR!). It was smart, cleverly written, well paced, and great art work and had nothing to do with creepy school teachers or boob jokes so naturally Japan hated it. GRRRR! Well if history has taught me anything it's that Narita series get more popular with time. So let's give it a year or two before we cross out a potential return yet.

Favorite Mini-Series
The Royals Masters of War - (Vertigo): From 2000AD stalwarts Rob Williams and Simon Coleby came this phenomenal powerful little 6 issue mini on how the Royal families of the world might have perceived the second world war....had they had super powers. From a hideously deformed Russian Tsar to a Japanese Emperor with Bipolar, the greatest threat the House of Windsor faced, turned out to be itself. Decadent and degenerate.

Favorite Continuing Series
Stickleback - (2000AD): Ian Edginton continues to craft one of my favorite steam punk titles in the prog with some outstanding art by the now god like Disraeli. The escalating madness of the city into the eventual death of both a regular character and her seemingly invincible protector are very well handled catalysts to the eventual twist that had me recalling for hours. More! MORE!

Runner up 1 - One-Punch Man (Shueisha/VIZ): A joy of a comic and has been from day one. The only problem with it is how it seem's to be sporadically present within the Jump. But considering it's and adaptation of an also ongoing webcomic, that's to be expected.

Runner Up 2 - Saga (Image): Continues to a a phenomenal little character driven story, and after several hours contemplating why it clicks with me so much I can now give a simple answer. Diversity and representation.

The Worst Comic I read in 2014....
Nisekoi False Love - (Shueisha/VIZ): Horrible, horrible little thing. Best thing about it is some not to awful art. "Writing" is sexist drivel.

Comics I'm looking Forward to in 2015...

Dark Justice, Absalom, Low Life, and Enceladus in 2000AD naturally
The potential Royals sequal Rob Williams hinted at TB
More MAXX
More OPM
MORE JOOOOJOOO
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Judge Brian

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #7 on: 30 December, 2014, 05:23:06 AM »
Sex Criminals, Rat Queens, Velvet, Anderson: Dead End, All-Star Western, Brass Sun, Superior Foes of Spider-man

shaolin_monkey

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #8 on: 30 December, 2014, 10:16:34 AM »
Favorite Mini-Series
Usagi Yojimbo - Senso (Dark Horse) - Stan Sakai's rabbit ronin is BACK after a long absence (don't get me wrong, Sakai's 47 Ronin was pretty great too). But this series, about an older Usagi and Co. dealing with the invasion of the Martians of HG Well's War of the Worlds during the Edo period of Japan. Its some of the best Usagi's ever been, and it unfortunate that Sakai's year has been so sad in dealing with the loss of his wife to brain cancer.

I missed this!  Thanks for the heads up - I see it's going to be collected in May, so I'll get it then.  Give me any of my fave comics with a War of the Worlds spin, and I'm on it!


Re this list, does it have to be comics released in 2014, or ones read in 2014 regardless of how old they are?

The Adventurer

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #9 on: 30 December, 2014, 10:39:26 AM »
The intent is comics released in 2014, but if you've got something 'New To You', might as well talk it up.

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Hawkmumbler

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #10 on: 30 December, 2014, 10:49:29 AM »
I'd say any comic. I included Jojo which started way back in 1987 and is only now being collected in English. And now I realise I should have included The Maxx Maxxamised in the list, hell I half did!

Spikes

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #11 on: 30 December, 2014, 11:54:03 AM »
...the new Marvel Star Wars series (particularly the Jason Aaron one)

Ah yes, all reverting back to Marvel. These may be worth flicking through, to see what's what. Is there anything online about these? Must check.


But haven't bought a lot of comic's this year apart from the prog, of course. (And plenty on my 'to buy' list, that ill get to once my reading pile has gone down a bit...)
Jaegir, Brass Sun, along with the Rob Williams Dredd's have all been enjoyed immensely, so more of these, please.

For older stuff, ive been back issue buying Strangers in Paradise. Need a few more of the later ones, but what ive read so far, ive really enjoyed. And Terry Moore's art is superb.

shaolin_monkey

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #12 on: 30 December, 2014, 12:16:30 PM »
There were two standouts for me, one not recent at all, and another very recent indeed.

Edginton and D'Israeli's War of the Worlds was superb.  My full review here:
http://2000ad.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/review-the-war-of-the-worlds/

The other was Robbie Burns: Witch Hunter, by Rennie, Beeby, Trevallion and Campbell.  Just bloody brilliant.  I'll have to write up a full review for ECBT at some point, but even if you're not Scottish and don't get the myriad Burns references, it's a cracking action romp with tons of witches and demons, very witty dialogue and gorgeous art. 

I love Burns as well, so this was an absolute delight for me.  It's clear Rennie and Beeby know their stuff!

My only criticism really is that after reading the splendid version on Comixology I immediately ordered a hardback version for my personal collection.  I found it very gloomy - very difficult to read instead.  For example, there was one magnificent page of a demon leering down on Burns from a tree, and in Comixology I marvelled at the art - all the little imps peering over his shoulder etc.  In the hardback physical copy it was so muted and gloomy I could hardly make out any detail.

So just a bit of feedback if you're reading this guys!  It may be worth hiking up the brightness for future physical reprints.  It is otherwise superb.

The Adventurer

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #13 on: 30 December, 2014, 01:16:44 PM »
Sounds like someone RGB'd when they should have CMYK'd.

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shaolin_monkey

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Re: Favorite Comics of 2014
« Reply #14 on: 30 December, 2014, 02:42:34 PM »
Sounds like someone RGB'd when they should have CMYK'd.

I had to google that.  Fascinating!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CMYK_color_model