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.
Following on the heels of the landmark Death of Wolverine mini-series, Marvel Comics and writer Charles Soule dived straight into its major spin-off, The Weapon X Program, which takes a look at what happens with Abraham Cornelius’ various experiments at Paradise facility in the wake of Wolverine’s death. Released out in the wilds without any explanation or context, the five experimental survivors of Paradise have to discover their real identities and what was done to them. There’s also some internal dissension between all of them, and that’s what really kicks things up a notch here.
In The Weapon X Program #4 and #5 some really major things happen. First of all, we learn just who is talking to Sharp in his mind and it is a major surprise. At least, it was for me. And then, we learn more and more about what was done to these characters, and why exactly they are important to the people who funded Abraham Cornelius for his latest project, the objective of which was to create something much, much deadlier than Logan himself. With a really great story and some pretty decent art, I think this series definitely ends on a fine note.
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!
The last week of 2014 and I hit my Magic 40 number. That pleases me immensely. I was hoping I’d be able to make it to this number, and I did, especially with 2 graphic novels in the mix a well!
For this final week of 2014, the surprise hits were: Jungle Book: Fall Of The Wild #1 from Zenescope and Transformers: Drift: Empire of Stone #2 from IDW Publishing. The disappointing comics of the week were Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #7 from Marvel and Secret Origins #8 from DC. The regular greats like Aquaman, Catwoman, Sensation Comics, Secret Avengers, Godzilla: Cataclysm and others struck once again in the final tally.
The graphic novels for this week were Sunstone by Stjepan Sejic and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Volume 3 by Dan Abnett, Pop Mhan, Mark Roberts, Deron Bennett and Stjepan Sejic.
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.
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.
Marvel’s Death of Wolverine: Weapon X Program series has been kicking along just fine since it debuted almost a month ago. Being a mini-series that explores the aftermath of Death of Wolverine that saw the titular character die after facing one of his worst enemies, his creator in fact, there have been some pretty big revelations so far, not the least of which is that at least one of the people on the “team” is an unrepentant serial killer and that another is perhaps hosting a slice of Wolverine’s consciousness in himself, creating some really tense moments.
This week’s Weapon X Program #3 continues the tale of the ad-hoc group as it tries to locate Victor Creed aka Sabretooth, another one of Logan’s greatest enemies, in an effort to get some answers as to what the hell happened to them all in the Weapon X Facility and why it happened. Charles Soule continues to keep some mysteries about the group close to his chest, while also introducing some new ones and the art by Salvador Larroca continues to be pretty damn good with some great action this time around.
No “Magic 40” this week since I wasn’t able to get around to a lot of the comics I wanted to get through this week, largely because I am traveling and in India for a cousin’s marriage. These things always take up a lot of time. I haven’t even had a chance to work on my NaNo novel these past two days!
Anyway, My top picks for the surprise hits of the week would be Batman ’66: The Lost Episode #1 and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Volume 2 from DC Comics. The most disappointing comics of this week were Amazing Spider-Man #10 and Spider-Woman #1 from Marvel Comics. Other than that, the regularly great titles like Black Widow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 , Future’s End, Predator: Fire and Stone and Witchblade all proved to be immensely fun.
The graphic novels for this week were Aphrodite IX v2 Volume 2 by Matt Hawkins, Stjepan Sejic and Troy Peteri, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Volume 2 by Dan Abnett, Rafael Kayanan, Kathryn Layno, Deron Bennett, Yildiray Cinar, Randy Mayor, Michael S. O’Hare, Frazer Irving, Pop Mhan, Tom Derenick, Tony Avina, Ken Lashley and Ryan Sook.
Last week I started off a new feature on the blog, Fast-Shot Comics Reviews, in which I will be reviewing some of my comics read from that week that I wasn’t able to get to in terms of reviews. And these can be comics I liked or comics I hated or anywhere in between really. Last week I did six comics, all of them among my top picks for the week, and it was a pretty fun experience, trying to reduce my usual 700+ words reviews into something like half that number. Quite challenging too since I usually write so much more.
The picks for this week are: Grimm Fairy Tales #104, Grimm Fairy Tales 2014 Holiday Edition, Death of Wolverine: The Weapon X Program #2, Inhuman #8, Storm #5, and Wonder Woman #36. The picks are a bit heavy on the Big Two this week, owing to how much I read from them, and also since most of my reading was confined to them only this week. An interesting bunch certainly and there are quite a few really good books in here, though not all are what I’d call “Pick of the Week” material, even though they skirt the line.