Man aren’t comic books great?!
Yeah I know we’re a bit into the year, but honestly, I much prefer it that way so I can really take a look back at the year before and truly pick out the best of the best from those crazy twelve months. That and I had a few books I really needed to catch up on. Well, I and a few of our funny book readers here on the site wanna tell you what were the best comics of 2017!
I’ve previously gushed before about the DC miniseries, but I just can’t help but talk about it again given that its still getting better and better as it goes. The book has further dived into the unraveling psyche of Scott Free. The book now is also starting to take a look at the people around Scott, particularly Big Barda, but that’s not a surprise. Issue five is a sweet, touching, and also tragic look into the love they have each and what they mean to each other. I honestly was blown away when I read it and started reading it again once I was done.
Tom King has reinvented things big time here. He has truly transformer what people think about with superhero fiction. There is more to it than simply good vs. evil. All these characters, human or not, are just as complex as we are. King truly puts all his heart and soul into this, as does astounding one-man art team Mitch Gerads to create a look that is undeniably unique. It adds further layers to the story and our characters with how they are shown to be moving and the expressions. Its still believed because of the art that it might all in Scott’s head but thankfully we got the rest of the series ahead of us to find out.
Need to escape the real world? Read Mister Miracle!
Written and drawn by Emil Ferris, My Favorite Thing is Monsters is hands down one of the greatest graphic novels of all time. It is an amazing piece of art. Ferris hand drew this book in crosshatched style and wrote the whole book in ballpoint pen and was published as if it were a notebook. Now the production of this book alone isn’t what makes this standout, it is indeed the story herself. Based on her life growing up in 1960s Chicago, Monsters tells the story of Karen, a Mexican girl who loves monster movies, investigating the death of her upstairs neighbor. The book honestly feels pretty relevant given the high tension we have in our own society today as it depicts the social tension that resonated there. Ferris tells a heartbreaking, moving, and deeply emotional story and gets right at your core when you open it up and start to read. The characters, their backstories, it’s all so beautifully done and you start to connect with these characters, you get invested in their hopes, dreams, their heartbreaks even. I don’t remember the last time I cried so much reading a comic.
The art alone would make this book worth the purchase. It’s stunning and mesmerizing. The fact that it’s in all ballpoint again is still astonishing. From reading about the production of the book and know how much skill drawing like that takes, this book oozes the passion that was put into it.
My Favorite Thing is Monsters is an incredible journey from start to finish, it sucks you in right away and never let’s go. A second volume is coming out this August to conclude the story and you better believe I’m outside the bookstore day one waiting to buy it!
There is no finer example as to how to do superhero comics than Ms. Marvel herself, Kamala Khan. The teenaged shape-shifter is still the top character to me at Marvel. It is still going strong thanks to the voice of G. Willow Wilson. The book balance out-of-this-world superheroics and relevant social issues and problems. Kamala’s world is our world! Granted her’s does have mutants, a giant dude feasting on planets, and you know, Deadpool, but it still feels grounded enough to delight those that read it. Its funny, it’s dramatic, its just overall fun!
The current tension between Kamala and her mentor/hero Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) is opening up Kamala and further developing her perfectly. She is a teenager and it stands that as the book goes on, she too will grow. Kamala is evolving and the book is too, and all for the better. It also helps that the supporting cast for this book is outstanding! From family to friends, classmates, and especially, Bruno. They flesh everything out so well and give life to the book.
There is so much to love and enjoy about Ms. Marvel. If you haven’t already read the book, why the hell not?! Go out and buy some trades!
Black Hammer written by Jeff Lemire (Old Man Logan, Moon Knight) with art by Dean Ormston (Judge Dredd, The Sandman) was awarded the Eisner for Best New Series 2017 and rightfully so.
When reading a story by Lemire you expect to relate to the protagonists on a very deep level. His characters are always troubled people that you can connect with, people that have problems like you and me. With this series, he brings it in spades.
While fighting the Anti-God, a group of superheroes is transferred to a rural farming community, when their leader the Black Hammer strikes the final blow. Our story starts at the ten-year anniversary of this event. Due to a deadly energy field that affects only them; our heroes have been stranded in the small area around their farm and the neighboring town of Rockwood. Lemire is an absolute mastermind when it comes to building a big world in a small place. Much like his acclaimed graphic novel, The Nobody, he portrays a little town in the middle of nowhere, where abnormal people try to lead a normal life.
While the story unfolds we are treated to origin stories for each of the main characters. Heroes and villains alike all seem familiar in one way or another and their backstories bare a slight resemblance to well established comic book icons, which adds a feeling of déjà vu to the already mysterious circumstances. By the time we have gone through everyone’s origin story you find yourself bonding with these characters and seeking solutions to free them from this unusual prison.
Ormston’s art adds a brush of nostalgia to each panel which blends perfectly with the narrative. The art is reminiscent of other Dark Horse titles like Hellboy and Lobster Johnson, which I find very beautiful.
Black Hammer does not end with these two volumes. What it does is get you invested enough to never want to let it down and crave for more. If you like comics that have more than action to offer, I would highly recommend reading this series.
Well, these were just some of our favorites among the field of last year, what was yours and why? Let us know in the comments below!