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WHICH WAS OUR FAVORITE COMICS OF 2018?

With this year coming to a close and comics trying to avoid the Holidays, we thought we would mention some of our favorite series we read this year.

Immortal Hulk - Marvel ComicsIMMORTAL HULK
Marvel Comics
Writer:  Al Ewing
Artist:  Joe Bennett

I’m sure a lot of people overlook this series as just another Hulk comic, however, this series has a wildly different flavor.  Aspects of him are familiar (he comes out at night like the Joe Fixit Hulk and he speaks like the Planet Hulk).  Meanwhile, this Hulk is insidiously smart and can manipulate people into doing what he wants.  This Hulk is also cold and alright with killing people to reach an end.  In addition to all of that, the Immortal Hulk can steal the powers of other gamma-infused heroes and has gone straight into Hell.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina tries to be scary.  The Immortal Hulk succeeds in being freakishly terrifying.

Rat Queens - Image ComicsRAT QUEENS
Image Comics
Writer:  Kurtis J. Weibe
Artist:  (current) Owen Gieni

Make four strong female characters in the most drunken Dungeons & Dragons campaign in history… and you’ll only scratch the surface of this series’ blend of adventure and madcap.  A dwarf, an elf, a halfling (smidgen), and a human cleric all have their secrets and baggage.  Moreover, each is a credible and robust character.  They all have distinct personas, and this series has a voice that is ready-made to be a streaming show.  No series is as consistently entertaining and awe-inspiring as this comic.

This series’ second volume earned a perfect rating in our podcast!  The fact that more people do not know about this series is a crime.

Justice League Odyssey - DC ComicsJUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY
DC Comics
Writer:  Joshua Williamson
Artist:  Stjepan Sejic

DC’s best Justice League has none of it’s Trinity in it.  Cyborg and Starfire use one of Brainiac’s skull ships to get to a far-flung sector of space.  However, they meet Green Lantern Jessica Cruz along the way and Azrael has stowed away.  If this doesn’t sound wild enough, they have a strange ally in Darkseid who needs most of them to help save this sector and all of reality!  It is strangely entertaining to see a Darkseid that knows he can’t be trusted still trying to save lives.

With solid writing and stunning art, this series is much better than the main Justice League series.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - BOOM! StudiosMIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS
BOOM! Studios
Writer:  Kyle Higgins
Artist:  Hendry Prasetya

While this series’ start is pretty good, the most recent stories, like the Shattered Grid event, have taken this series from being a nostalgia piece into the series that allows the concept to grow up.  Moreover, the characters are much more rounded and the stakes feel high.  The writers are taking chances by changing the roster of the main series and, so far, it is all working.

Don’t let the costumes fool you into thinking this is a kids’ comic.

Domino - Marvel ComicsDOMINO
Marvel Comics
Writer:  Gail Simone
Artist:  David Baldeon

This series has elevated Domino from being a minor player in the X-Men lines to a complicated star that is part Lara Croft, part John Wick, and part Rifftrax.  Additionally, it made more stars out of the supporting cast of Diamondback and Outlaw.  These femme fatales are mercenaries taking on strange jobs and unique enemies.  Meanwhile, this comic deals with both Domino’s mindset and the effects of her history and lifestyle on those around her.  This series is both hilarious and thought-provoking.

Moreover, this series is doing so well, Marvel has approved an expansion to the roster and the new title, Domino: Hotshots.

Batman: White Knight - DC ComicsBATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT
DC Comics
Writer:  Sean Murphy
Artist:  Sean Murphy

Tom King has seriously elevated the main Batman series. However, this new alternative world tale blew my expectations away and added new layers to the Batman mythology.  When the Joker says he wants to save Gotham, can you afford to believe him?  Besides, can Batman ever believe him?  This mini-series provides a unique look at how Batman affects his entire city and whether Batman is actually helping the situation.  It has an unusual party behind the events at the end and is surprising to the last page.

Moreover, this miniseries has a sequel coming where Azrael is one of the new central players.

Iceman - Marvel ComicsICEMAN
Marvel Comics
Writer:  Sina Grace
Artist:  Nathan Stockman

Iceman has not had his own successful solo stories, until now.  This series touches on all aspects of Iceman’s life; personal and professional.  Well, as professional as a superhero can be, without being preachy or dragging itself down.  The writing is careful not to bury Bobby Drake’s cavalier nature.  Meanwhile, there is a sense that he’s doing his best to make the world a better place, and not just put the bad guys away.

This is a positive character that is embodying the best of humanity without trying to make you feel bad about yourself.

Die!Die!Die! - Image ComicsDIE!DIE!DIE!
Image Comics
Writer:  Robert Kirkman
Artist:  Chris Burnham

This series is not a thinker.  It is an action movie with violence on par with the Raid: Redemption.  An assassin replaces one of his identical brothers in a power grab between two government agencies.  This sounds like a storyline from the WWE, although it is a wild series that is very self-aware of its ludicrous nature.  Moreover, the kinetic art is well matched with the story.

If you miss the wild physics-breaking movies of the ’90s, this series is a must-read.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

X-Men: Red is the X-Men series that I have been looking for since Jim Lee and Chris Claremont’s X-Men from the 1990s.  It didn’t make the list since the series was ended to make way for 2018’s Uncanny X-Men.

Heroes in Crisis is a gem of an event so far.  However, it is only 3 issues into its 9-issue run.  It is too early to say that it is thoroughly great.

The Magic Order is a mini-series that is also unfinished.  If you mix the Magicians and Harry Potter with the Expanse and a murder thriller, you’re halfway to the feel of this comic.  I’m excited to read the ending.

Which series do you think was the best of 2018?  Let us know in the comments below!  In the meantime, here is a link to our comic news and reviews podcast, the Part-Time Henchmen!

COMIC REVIEWS FOR 12/19/18

COMIC REVIEWS FOR 12/12/18