Yeah, I waited until 2014 was actually over to make one of these. I didn’t know if some book was going to swoop in on December 31st and deserve a spot on this coveted list. Might as well gee everyone a fair shake, right?
Crazy, right? Considering how little I care for DC’s books, you wouldn’t think this would be my choice. I really enjoyed this one though. It had a similar feel to the Justice League cartoon series, which I love. I liked seeing DC’s villains come together, exposing Nightwing’s identity to the world, and Lex Luthor saved the day. It was fun, often brutal, and made some significant changes for the DCU going forward. The only drawback was that it took forever to come out.
Best Mini-Series: Robin Rises
DC again! What can I say, sometimes they really knock it out of the park. These are the only times I felt like they did that though.
Batman grabs his kick-ass bat armor and goes to Apokolips to retrieve Damian’s corpse, in hopes of bringing him back to life. The art is great, Frankenstein is in it, his cape turns into an army of bats, and I really dug the ending. It shakes things up for the bat crew, nothing they’ve had to deal with before. Good stuff!
*-Please note that this category didn’t go to Spider-Verse because it’s still going on.
Best Series: Superior Spider-Man
If you want to turn your good guy book evil and still have it be enjoyable, this is how you do it. Having Doc Ock as Spidey really changed things up for not just the Spidey characters, but for the Marvel U. I really enjoyed how Ock was trying to be a good guy, but the way he did it was evil. Noble intentions, poor execution. It made for a lot of great moments with the regular cast, and humanized Ock in a way we had never seen before. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want him to go at the end. Not that I’m not happy Pete is back, but damn that book was a lot of fun. Pick it up in trade if you never read it. The most significant Spider-Man story since Venom was introduced.
Best Book That Should Suck On Paper, But Doesn’t: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
I would say I’m a casual He-Man fan at best, but I really dig this book. The art is usually pretty great and the stories are a lot of fun/sometimes pretty violent. Any serious He-Man fan out there should be thanking their lucky stars that they have something worth reading about their 20-30 year old property, because why should there be?
Biggest Disappointment: All-New Ghost Rider
I was really on-board with this book when it came out. I’m a big Tradd Moore fan and I thought his art style was perfect for this book. I really dug the first six issues, liked where everything was going. Then BAM, it was like Marvel just gave up on the project. The art went downhill and the story started falling apart too. If you really want to push a new version of an established brand, then you need to stick to your guns. The real disappointment here is that the company seemed to stop caring about this book.
I’m very open about this, I could not give a crap about the Inhumans. I always found them boring and I couldn’t relate to them. Then Inhuman came out and it all started to click for me. It had a slow start, and then recently started picking up steam. Gorgon was a cool dude that was into metal, Medusa stopped being as stuck-up as she’s been in the past, and the new Inhumans were pretty cool. I remember thinking “I actually like Inhuman characters, this is insane.” The only detriment to this book is that it’s being plagued with having to tie-in to larger events going on. I think it really needs a year and some solid stories on their own, before they’re able to join in with everything else. That way we can get a better feel for these news characters, which I think have a lot of potential.
How could I pick Image without choosing ay of their books for the above categories? Fair question! while I really enjoyed the books mentioned above, I don’t feel the publishers as a whole did a better job than Image. Make sense?
Image has really turned itself into the place where you are going to read exciting new stuff, that will probably end up on your TV in the next couple of years. They’ve attracted great talent and do a wonderful job of promoting their books. The majority of their stuff is really good, so I would encourage you to check out what’s been coming out from Image over the past year.
Black Science (Image)
Captain America (Marvel)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW)