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!
The fourth book cover I pick for the 2014 edition of “12 Days of Best Covers of…” is for Josh Reynolds’ Gotrek & Felix: The Serpent Queen, which was published in late March this year and is one of the best books I’ve read all year, indisputably. Josh’ take on Warhammer Fantasy’s most famous heroic duo is very different from that of his counterpart David Guymer, being much more quirky and fun for starters, and that approach is exactly why I love his work so much, in general. And The Serpent Queen stands tall among all the other work he has done for Black Library, which is saying something since pretty much all of it is top-notch, all of that I’ve read that is.
The fourth set of comic covers I pick this year are for Transformers: Windblade #1 by Mairghread Scott, Sarah Stone and Chris Mowry, with the cover done by Casey W. Coller, and the second one is for King Conan: The Conqueror #3 by Timothy Truman, Tomás Giorello, José Villarrubia and Richard Starkings of Comicraft, with the cover done by Tomás and José. The former was the first of a new mini-series from IDW that has since led to the upcoming release of an ongoing featuring the titular character, and since the mini-series was top-notch, I’m really looking forward to that one. The latter was the latest in a series of comics adaptations of novels from Robert E. Howard, carrying on the story of The Hour of The Dragon, and proved to be immensely good.
So without further ado, hit the break to see both the covers in all their glory! The full list of all these covers is available here.
Sometimes I wonder if I unnecessarily torture myself by reading as many comics as I do, especially of late. After all, jumping on various events at a mid-point or something similar can often leave you a bit disoriented but masochist that I am, I just can’t resist. And that was kind of the case when I picked up Transformers: Windblade back in April. The first and second issues were both great in story and art but since I’d missed out on the Dark Cybertron arc, I didn’t know all the facts going in. Still, the series was one helluva read and the wait for the third issue has been long and arduous.
At the end of the previous issue we saw Windblade, our kickass and awesome protagonist, and her allies go up against the Terrorcons and confront them about all the bad mojo going on with the Titan Metroplex, who converted himself to City-Mode at the end of Dark Cybertron to provide a safe haven for the surviving Autobots, Decepticons and more. Mairghread Scott’s writing has been incredible from the start and this issue is no different in that regard. The same can be said of Sarah Stone’s equally incredible artwork as well, with the art being one of the true high-points of this mini-series.
Being only passingly conversant with IDW’s Transformers comics range, but having spent the last eight year immersing myself in various animated adaptations and the ongoing movie series, Transformers: Windblade #1 offered something refreshingly new last month. In addition to introducing a really fun new character, a female-bot no less, the first issue was a rather great starting point for an intro to Cybertron’s new status quo. I didn’t read the Dark Cybertron arc that preceded the current comics, but having read this particular first issue, I was all interested to do that, although I haven’t yet found the time for it.
Transformers: Windblade #2 came out this week and it has proven to be just as good as the first issue. More than that, this issue is also a part mystery story, and I really liked that aspect of it. Plus, who can say no to Starscream being portrayed as a cool, intelligence and cunning supervillain? I certainly can’t. He’s always been portrayed as a bumbling fool and this series gives me a different portrayal that I like. And watching Windblade and her friend Chromia stand up to that smug Decepticon is one of the greatest joys of this comic. Mairghread Scott’s writing is really superb in this issue, as is the artwork by Sarah Stone.
Despite some interest in Transformers comics last year, mainly in Chris Metzen’s Transformers: Autocracy, I never really took the full dip. I read a few scattered issues here and there but that’s about it. Nothing concrete. And then a few weeks IDW announced that following the intense Dark Cybertron story arc there would be a new mini-series coming up that would focus on some of the characters introduced in this arc, namely Chromia and Windblade, both of whom are female Cybertronians. That alone was enough to peak my interest since, throughout my viewing of numerous Transformers cartoons over the years, only two or three such characters have stood out. Which is a shame.
Transformers: Windblade began last week with its #1 issue and I have to say that it is one of the best #1s I’ve read to date. Writer Mairghread Scott delivers a character-driven story with lots of action that touches upon several aspects of the Transformers universe and does a great job of introducing characters like Chromia and Windblade to a new reader. Plus, the artwork by Sarah Stone is pretty damn amazing too, making it one of the most beautiful comics on shelves right now.