Image Comics is offering a HUGE sale, anywhere from 50-66% off of their 2014 Eisner-nominated titles ranging from Saga to Rat Queens to Jonathan Hickman’s East of West and Manhattan Projects. There’s something here for everyone.
NOTE: of what I’ve read
1. Hawkeye #11 – Matt Fraction, David Aja, and Matt Hollingsworth create the single best comic of 2013. Individually, they are all talented; together, they use Lucky (Pizza dog!) as the thread between all the concurrent stories in Hawkeye, and show how a dog thinks. This is about as close to perfection as I’ve read, and there’s hardly any words to even decipher, beyond the few magic words Lucky knows. More of this for 2014, please.
2. Afterlife with Archie #1 – Who knew Jughead could be a legitimately scary figure? Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and artists Francesco Francavilla knew. And they deliver.
3. Manhattan Projects #12 – Enrico Fermi is a special kind of immigrant who brings his own special skills to the crew. Upon finding out his true mission, the reader is forced to rethink every scene with him in the previous 12 issues. Nick Pitarra brings some glorious visuals to accompany the masterwork.
4. Batman and Robin #18 – Silence rarely read as well as Peter Tomasi’s requiem piece on the death of a Robin. A bit overwrought and sappy, it works precisely because the reader is sucked into the grief of Batman.
5. Zero #2 – The issue in which we learn Agent Zero was bred from day one to be a cold-blooded killer, and how artist Tradd Moore made his pitch for being considered one of the best in the biz.
6. Batman #17 – Death of the Batman family gets real, very real. The art is beyond reproach, and the symbolism throughout is delicious. Snyder took his turn at the Batman/Joker relationship and added more to it than I thought possible. Some things are worse than physical death.
7. Daredevil #26 – Two years of a storyline are coming to a head for our fearless hero, but the backup is the reason this issue gets on the list. Foggy Nelson deals with his cancer, and learns a few things in the process. It’s a very special issue of Daredvil, but it draws the reader in without being grating or hitting one over the head with the message.
8. Saga #17 – Just as one starts rooting for formerly annoying characters, Brian K Vaughan throws a monkey wrench into the comic and completely reshuffles the pieces on the board. Months of buildup come to an action sequence that is pulled off with deft precision by Fiona Staples, and we learn the the opposite of war isn’t easy.
9. Edison Rex #9 – Playing with the concept of white space, a puppet who may be more than meets the eye, and a former ‘villain’ who was right all along, this issue delivers on every level.
10. Jupiter’s Legacy #3 – Sometimes Mark Millar hits a home run. Here, he hits a grand slam, playing with the idea of the Death of Superman…the death that all other superheroes seem to want. Drawn in gruesome fashion by the incredible Frank Quitely, it’s a feast for the eyes, and a tug on the heart.
NOTE: of what i’ve read
Best Single Issue of 2012
1. FF #23 (Marvel) – Pure, glorious fun with an emotional center. This is comics. This is the perfect sendoff for Jonathan Hickman’s amazing, almost 4 year long run on the Fantastic Four franchise.
2. Wolverine and the X-Men #17 (Marvel) DOOP! Great to find out the backstory of one of X-Statix’s orphans.
3. Saga #6 (Image) – Space opera meets frank nudity, violence and sex while still managing to remain grounded with humor and humanity. Amazing stuff, and wraps up the first arc spendidly.
4. Secret Agent Poyo #1 (Image) Noticing a trend yet? Another ‘fun’ entry, celebrating all that is the art of comics. A one-off pulled from the pages of the terrific Chew, SA Poyo delves into what he does when he’s NOT saving the department.
5. Hawkeye #3 (Marvel) Rarely has a comic re-invigorated a character such as this one. It’s made many a non-fan go, ‘oh, so THAT’S why Hawkeye’s a badass. Having David Aja pen it just seals it.
6. Manhattan Projects #6 – Seeing the scientific revolution from the Russian side has never been so gripping, and heart-wrenching, as the protagonist is never free to pursue what he DOESN’T want to do with his talents.
7. Fantast Four #604 (Marvel) – The Fantastic Four. The Future Foundation. Doctor Doom. Celestials. Future Richards’ kids. And then, ‘come to me, my Galactus’. Phrase of the year. Arc of the year.
8. The New Deadwardians #1 (DC) – Knowing of Dan Abnett’s work mostly only through his Guardians of the Galaxy run with Marvel, one could be surprised how starkly DIFFERENT this comic was. Somewhat slowly-paced yet still engrossing, the comic introduces us to the world of an undead detective who is decidedly blue-blood English.
9. Wonder Woman #11 (DC) – Brian Azzarello’s Wonder Woman learns to become a fighting machine while battling her mother Hera and her many God siblings. Magnificant art caps it.
10. (tie) Wolverine and the X-Men #19 (Marvel) Kitty Pryde searches for a new teacher for the school. Hilarity ensues with the various heroes who apply for the job.
10. (tie) The Unwritten #36 (DC) The underlying theme throughout this series remains the same, that stories can be created, and destroyed. Paulie the Bunny’s story continues. One of the gruffest bunnies you’ll ever meet, he treks across the vast landscape to find his home, and his real self.