Last year I did a small roundup over at The Founding Fields with fellow reviewer Bane of Kings which contained a list of the best new comics to have come out in 2013. It was a rather small list with only 10 entries each from the two of us, reflecting our reading for the year and the consequent small pool to pick from. But in 2014, I greatly expanded my weekly reading, and so for the round-up of the best new comics to have come out in 2014, whether as mini-series or ongoings, I have decided to go much bigger.
There were a ton of new comics to come out last year and many of them started off well enough but unfortunately well by wayside since subsequent issues were nowhere near as good. That however, is a call to make on any new comic and you have to have a wait-and-see attitude for the most part. For this embiggened round-up, I have some mini-series here and some ongoing titles. Some have had multiple issues come out in 2014, while some have had less than three.
Irrespective of that, these are all the most promising new series of 2014, and I think that they are all well worth the read in 2015.
Let’s see what makes the cut and which comes close then!
A few days ago I did my best of 2014 list for the comics I read in the second half of 2014. And back in July of 2014, I did the first “best comics of 2014” post. The reason I mention that is because of the changes I’ve made for this list. While previously I used to do it so that I put up my top 6 comics, in July’14 I did a top 12 on account of the increased number of comics I was reading at the time. And that same holds true for this list as well since I’ve gone up on the number yet again, and this list has the top 20 and then 20 honourable mentions.
More comics, yay!
So, with the books of the second half of 2014 already having been covered, I now delve into my favourite monthly comics of the same period. The next post will be a list of the top graphic novels I read in all of 2014.
Let’s see what makes the cut and which comes close then!
Major characters in comics die all the time. It is how the publishers, especially the Big 2, keep things rolling and try and do some interesting things in the wake of these deaths. But deaths also rarely stick, because some major characters are just too important to the entire line-up to just let go like that. I mean, even Peter Parker is back in the Ultimate Universe right now after being dead for a number of years and with his successor having stepped in to fill his shoes big time. But the big focus is on Wolverine right now, Marvel’s greatest success in terms of any media you pinpoint.
For some six weeks now we have been watching the story of how Wolverine is going to meet his death. Whether Avengers of X-Men, Wolverine has been one of the biggest characters in the Marvel universe, and there’s a line in the second issue of this mini-event series which sums it all up (paraphrase): “nobody out there who doesn’t owe me their life…” Few heroes in the Marvel universe can say that with the same conviction. And that’s why this series has been almost heartbreaking to read, though Charles Soule and Steve McNiven bring it all to a very sentimental, true-to-form close in this week’s finale.
Marvel’s The Death of Wolverine is its current big event of the year and though it isn’t exactly on the same scale as Original Sin or Inhumanity or the like, it is still a pretty big deal. But then, the deaths of superheroes, or their closest friends and family members in some cases, are always big events. They are big emotional milestones, both for the characters and for the readers alike, and they should definitely get the attention they deserve. Especially when the character dying off soon is Wolverine, Marvel’s biggest success of late, whether we talk movies or comics.
Charles Soule is the writer entrusted with killing off Wolverine for the modern audience and it is quite possibly his biggest gig in comics to date. While some of his other work has failed to resonate for me, with Death of Wolverine at least he has won me over. The first two issues have seen him fighting off a bunch of assassin mercs and then going off to Madripoor for a showdown with Viper and Lady Deathstrike, all without his healing factor. In the latest issue, we see him face off against yet another personal foe, someone he has a lot of history with, and Charles definitely brings his A-game here, as does artist Steve McNiven and his fellows.
Last week Charles Soule and Steve McNiven debuted their first issue of Death of Wolverine, and it was a pretty great issue. The word is out in the supervillain-verse that Wolverine is vulnerable like never before, having lost his crucial healing factor, and someone out there has declared open hunting season on him. Charles Soule’s first issue on the series told a really fast-paced tale that also featured some great character moments and Steve McNiven’s art was close to being perfect as well. I didn’t care about the entire mini-event before, but now I most certainly do.
Unlike the last issue, there is a lot that happens in Death of Wolverine #2. Previously, he learned that Viper had put a hit out on him, and so he decided to go to Madripoor to deal with her. Of course, he can’t exactly get a direct audience with her, so he guiles his way into her base, and that’s like one of the best parts of the entire issue! Charles has greatly improved on his writing with this issue and shows that he really gets Wolverine, which was very gratifying, not to mention that all aspects of the artwork were also much better this time, with a really great opening splash page.