Jim Zub and Steve Cummings’ Wayward from Image has been one of the best new titles I’ve read in the last year or so. The series hit the ground running back in August, and seemed to kick all sorts of ass as it progressed through to the conclusion of its first arc. And that final arc was certainly quite explosive too, in more ways than one, and it was also an unexpected one. Jim Zub took some pretty big chances with that finale, and I think it served the series well, and of course the art by Steve & Co has been up to showing off those chances in as great a light as possible.
Issues 6 & 7 of Wayward start off a new storyline with a new central character. This time we get to spend some time with Rori’s classmate Ohara Emi who develops some powers of her own and ends up hooking up with Ayane and Nikaido, who have become… freelancers of sorts. Following the end of Wayward #5 they have been taking the fight to the demons as best as they can, and Emi’s journey as part of their team really helps shine a light on the new direction that the series is taking, and that’s pretty darn great too!
There haven’t been any “Comics Picks of the Week” articles for a while, and the major reason for that is because I’ve just been too caught up with other stuff and I just can’t be… well bothered. It just takes too much out of my time to keep these titles going, especially when Wednesdays also see me trying to get through two TV shows and doing reviews for them. Though, that situation has kind of abated now.
Anyway, this week’s surprise hits were Batman: Arkham Knight #2 and Gotham Central Book 1 from DC. It was a relatively small week for me since I didn’t read all that many new titles and most of those were middling. Ongoing greats were Django/Zorro #4, John Carter: Warlord of Mars #4, Fantastic Four #643 , Inhuman #12, Aquaman #39 , Catwoman #39 , and He-Man: The Eternity War #3 among others .
Another week of a “Magic 40”, though no graphic novels.
This week’s surprise hits were Ivar, Timewalker #1 from Valiant, Mortal Kombat X #4 from DC, and Twilight Zone: Shadow And Substance #1 from Dynamite. The disappointments of the week were Spider-Woman #3 from Dynamite and Spider-Verse #2 and The Amazing Spider-Man #13 from Marvel and Vampirella: Feary Tales #4 from Dynamite. Ongoing greats were Wonder Woman ’77 #3 , The Flash: Season Zero #11 and Supergirl #38 from DC, Black Widow #14 and Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #4 from Marvel, and, Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm War #6 from Zenescope among others.
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!
I was hoping for a second Magic 40 week in a row, but turns out that it was just wishful thinking. Still, I managed to get up to 30 comics this week, though no graphic novels sadly.
There was only one surprise hit this week, Eternal #1 from Boom Studios, as pretty much all the other comics I read this past week were ongoing series I’ve been following for a while. The disappointments of the week were Spider-Woman #2 from Marvel and Future’s End #33 from DC. And the ones that continued a great trend were the likes of Black Widow #13, Justice League #37, Catwoman #37, Supergirl #37, Wayward #5 and others.
The eighth book cover I pick for the 2014 edition of “12 Days of Best Covers of…” is actually not for a novel, but an audio drama. Written by Nick Kyme, Horus Heresy: Censure is the continuation of the tale of Sergeant Aeonid Thiel of the Ultramarines, who was awaiting censure by the Primarch Guilliman for his many insubordinations when the traitor Word Bearers launched their sneak attack on Calth and the rest of the Veridian System. Though it was released last year, I didn’t get a chance to listen to the audio until this year, and it proved to be a very good one too. Nick picked up the story from Dan Abnett’s Know No Fear novel from 2012 really well, and showed how things are at Calth now, in the present, presenting an interesting look at one of the Astartes who would go on to change the way the Ultramarines thought about almost everything when it came to making war.
The eighth set of comic covers I pick this year are for Ms. Marvel #7 by G. Willow Wilson, Jacob Wyatt, Ian Herring, and VC’s Joe Caramagna with the cover by Jamie McKelvie and Matthew Wilson, with the second one being Wayward #1 by Jim Zub, Steve Cummings, John Rauch and Marshall Dillon with the cover by Steve and Ross A. Campbell, and the third of the set is for Life With Archie #37 by Paul Kupperberg, Fernando Ruiz, Pat & Tim Kennedy, Bob Smith, Gary Martin, Jack Morelli and Glenn Whitmore. The first of these is of course from one of my absolute favourite new series of the year, through which writer G. Willow Wilson pretty much revolutionized young superhero comics. Kamala Khan has to be the most awesome new character to debut in superhero comics this year, and I love reading her adventures month after month. Wayward is one of Jim Zub’s latest new projects and he has been rocking it out on all levels, especially with the fantastic art provided by Steve, John and Marshall. And Life With Archie #37 is, of course, the issue that followed on from the landmark Life With Archie #36, in which the titular hero died. These series has kind of been an alternate-verse storyline that has also been quite progressive in many ways, and though Life With Archie #37 might not be THE issue where Archie died, it is set a year later and is a nostalgia trip of epic proportions as many of the most iconic characters of the Archie-verse talk about him and celebrate his life.
So without further ado, hit the break to see all the covers in their full glory! The full list of all these covers is available here.
The first three issues of Wayward by Jim Zub and Steve Cummings have done much to create the setting for the story that can found inside these pages, that of a half-Japanese, half-Irish young girl Rori who comes to Japan to stay with her mother and ends up finding out that she has some really freaky powers and that there are others like her, in Tokyo at least, one of them at her school even! And of course, there’s also a larger story here of villains with nefarious plans, leaving it to Rori and her new friends to do something about all of it and save the people close to her, if she can.
After the introductory three issues, issue four and five of Wayward are all about closing out the first arc, for the fifth issue does feel like a temporary conclusion to the story. They are also highly action-packed issues that blitz you through a number of twists that will leave you stunned, scrambling to make sure that what you just read actually happened. Another thing that becomes clear is that after the almost light-hearted tone of the first three issues, the creators are going full-out for some serious stuff, an interesting juxtaposition that really ends up working well in this case, making Wayward a must-read for all comics readers.
Almost a month after the last time, I finally had a Magic 40 week! And not just any plan Magic 40 week, but one where I managed to read three graphic novels as well!
For this week, the surprise hits were Fables: The Wolf Among Us #1 from Vertigo Comics, Death of Wolverine: Logan Legacy #6 and Spider-Man & The X-Men #1 from Marvel Comics, Justice League #32-36 from DC Comics and The Valiant #1 from Valiant Comics. The comic (yes, the only one!) that proved to be rather disappointing, even unexpectedly so, was New Suicide Squad #5 from DC. Apart from that, a good run continued on several other titles like Hexed, John Carter: Warlord of Mars, Batman: Eternal, Birthright, Prometheus: Fire and Stone and others.
The three graphic novels for this week were: Grimm Fairy Tales: Code Red Volume 1, which is set during the recent Age of Darkness crossover event from Zenescope Entertainment, Mighty Avengers Volume 2 from Marvel, which is an effort by me to catch up on this mostly-good title, and Supergirl Volume 1, which is an older Supergirl title, pre-New 52.
A third straight week this time without me hitting my magic 40 number, which I really regret since a ton of comics have been coming out these last two weeks, but no matter.
Anyway, My top picks for the surprise hits of the week would be Battlestar Galactica: The Death of Apollo #1 from Dynamite Entertainment, Dredd Uprise #1 from 200AD, and Swamp Thing #35-37 from DC Comics. The most disappointing comics of this week were Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1 and Hulk #9 from Marvel Comics. Comics which continued on with a good run yet again were Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #3 , Aliens: Fire and Stone #3, Grimm Fairy Tales: Realm War #5 , Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program #3, Inhuman #9, Gotham Academy #3 and Vampirella v2 #7 among others.
No graphic novels this past week unfortunately.