Marvel Comics – With the endless reboots and crossovers taking place throughout the year, every year, fans have a love-hate relationship with the publisher and yet, there are some gems to be found amidst the madness if one takes a look. Immortal Hulk is one of the year’s best books, a return to the Hulk’s horror roots courtesy of Al Ewing and Joe Bennett which is quite the surprise, especially given what has been happening in the title the last few years. Thor continues to be solid thanks to Jason Aaron, not to mention his Avengers ongoing title. The Fantastic Four returned to the stands after years away and while it started off slow, Dan Slott writes the First Family as if he has been doing it for years. There were a few more surprises like Thanos, Venom and Cosmic Ghost Rider – all by Donny Cates who is a welcome addition to the Marvel stable. Thanks to Matthew Rosenberg, The Punisher has been firing on all cylinders and is definitely one of the better titles coming from Marvel at the moment. It is hard to say what 2019 will bring as of yet, but hopefully some well-written and well-drawn titles that fans can settle into.
DC Comics – After a little time away, Hawkman returned to the stands thanks to Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch, quite possibly DC’s best ongoing title at the moment. It is a book that has fixed Hawkman’s continuity problems by fixing his origin story so that he not only reincarnates over time, but also space and the book gets better and better with every issue, with an epic quality about it that it never really had before. Dan Abnett’s Aquaman was another series that continued to raise the stakes for the hero and gain in quality over time, though 2019 will be interesting as Abnett has moved on to other things. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps by Venditti ended strong as did Green Lanterns by Dan Jurgens, the Superman titles pre-Bendis also finished on a high note and surprisingly have not been all that bad under Bendis so far. The Terrifics turned out to be a decent adventure book along with a few other titles like The Flash by Joshua Williamson that continue to truck along. Doomsday Clock is also turning out to be a very solid event-type book despite delays and proves Geoff Johns still has what it takes.
Archie Comics – Archie Comics continues to change things up in their line of books while still providing the classic strips that made people fall in love with them in the first place. The ongoing Archie title still remains one of the strongest of the bunch, but with the new Archie 1941 title that looks at a different timeline for the character, it offers something just a little different for the casual reader. The publisher also continues to expand into the horror realm with Jughead: The Hunger and Vampironica, finished up its biker title Vixens, and began a new Betty and Veronica book by Jamie Lee Rotante and Sandra Lanz that is off to a very promising start.
Other good books that came out….
Ninja-K – Valiant continues to put out quality material despite some internal reshuffling with Ninja-K being one of the best.
Redneck – Donny Cates and his vampire epic.
Moth & Whisper – Aftershock continues to put out some very interesting titles and this book about legacy is one of its best.
Oblivion Song – This is a fun book about an alternate dimension on Earth, that caused much of the population of Philadelphia to disappear at the time. It turns out they have been living quite happily within said dimension, those that survived, and do not want to come back.
Black Hammer – Black Hammer is a superhero epic/tragedy from Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormstrom that continues to wow with each release.
Project Superpowers Chapter Three – A return to form for the heroes in a brand new, incredible adventure.
Strangers in Paradise XXV – Francine, Katchoo and more return in a new title from Terry Moore and it is quite good to say the least.
Dark Ark – An alternate look at Noah’s Ark thanks to Aftershock, Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe.
Bone Parish – Another Cullen Bunn book, this one from Boom! and one about a new drug hitting the streets sourced from the bones of the dead.
Nancy Drew – A fun mystery featuring the venerable character from Dynamite.
What did you enjoy this year?