It’s difficult to believe, but we are almost at the end of 2018. This means it’s time to look back at the comics I read this year. Each new week this year brought a plethora of new comics for fans to enjoy. Dozens of new titles launched, and some favorite books ended after a decent run.
Event book still reigned supreme, but at least the emphasis seemed to be in the story rather than in the shock value, well for the most part at least. Heroes in Crisis is certainly going for shock rather than a good story.
Anywho, like any other year in comics, there were plenty of up and downs in 2018. Books shipped late at an alarming rate, and we lost too many legendary creators like Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Norm Breyfogle and many others. But compared to last year, I thought 2018 had more good comics than bad. Therefore, I now present to you, my top 10 comics of 2018:
10.Doctor Strange #390
Written by: Donny Cates
Art by: Frazer Irving.
The truth is you can’t go wrong with any comics written by Donny Cates. The man is brilliant, and there were plenty of his comics that I could have chosen for this list. But only one of his comics had me rolling on the floor laughing, and that comic was Doctor Strange #390.
This issue sees Doctor Strange back as Master of the Mystic Arts. But in the aftermath of the battle with Loki and the Damnation saga, the Earth’s magic is still weak, and so is Stephen. He needs to get in fighting form and repair his friendship with Zelma, assuming he can get rid of that special guest Spider-Man.
By far the highlight of this issue had to be when Doctor strange gives Spider-Man the ability to talk to a real spider. Yes, it’s as twisted as it sounds, and it’s even crazier when you see Spidey and spider comparing powers and enjoying a day in the country or something. It’s bizarre but fun.
9.Elvira Mistress of the Dark #1
Written by: David Avallone
Art by: Dave Acosta
It’s doesn’t happen very often these days, but once in a while, I find myself with a few extra bucks during my weekly visit to the comic store. That’s what happened this past Fourth of July, and the reason I picked up Elvira Mistress of the Dark #1.
In this issue, The Mistress of the Dark has become unstuck in time! It all starts on the set of Elvira’s latest movie, when one day during a break, she’s shoved into a casket that sends her through time and space.
Elvira #1 sees her crashing Mary Shelley’s monster weekend, beginning an epic journey through horror history. Sounds like a fun trip, except Elvira is being stalked by the most terrifying nightmare to ever walk the Earth!
If you’re a fan of classic horror, funny one-liners, and a lot of cleavages, then this Dynamite Entertainment series is the one for you! All kidding aside, Elvira Mistress of the Dark is highly entertaining and worth checking out.
Written by: Robert Venditti
Art and Cover by Bryan Hitch
Ask any Hawkman fan and they’ll tell you how messed up his continuity is these days. It wasn’t always like that of course, but since the 1990s DC Comics has butchered one of my favorite characters. But then came along Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch. Together they are not only making sense of the origin mess but making it a fun and entertaining quest.
In Hawkman #1, Carter Hall returns to his roots as an explorer of the ancient and unknown. Here we see Hawkman embroiled in a long-standing mission to discover the true purpose of his many reincarnations as he races around the globe trying to piece together an ancient prophecy, but will he be able to face down his past lives lurking around every corner?
In just one issue, Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch restored my love for Hawkman, and I will be forever grateful. If you haven’t checked out this monthly book, now is the time!
7.Rogue and Gambit #3
Written by: Kelly Thompson
Art by: Pere Perez
What is this? An X-Men story with heart, continuity, and consequences? My oh my, this is rare territory indeed.
In Rogue and Gambit #3, the on again off again couple are enjoying their undercover mission in paradise more than anyone expected. The two have rekindled their romance and dealt with some heavy issues between them. This issue shows the trouble began all the way back in Antarctica in the pages of Uncanny X-Men #350 from way back in 1997. Turns out a lot more happened in the Antarctic cave than we previously thought.
In my opinion, Kelly Thompson is one of the most underrated writers in comics. She has the ability to make any character fun and endearing. Thompson also manages to cram a lot of story into a single issue, something that seems lost in many of today’s comics. With Rogue and Gambit #3 Kelly Thompson showed me a different side of the relationship and some progression. If you liked these characters in the 90s, give this series and the follow-up Mr. and Mrs. X series a shot.
6.Charlie’s Angels #1
Written by: John Layman
Art by: Joe Eisma.
The original Angels are back! That’s right, Jill, Kelly, and Sabrina star in this series which the team is on a globe-trotting adventure written by John Layman, and with art by Joe Eisma. set in the groovy 70s, the team sets off on what should be a simple mission of helping out a local club owner.
But it isn’t long before things take a turn for the worst when Charlie is kidnapped and the club owner goes missing. And that’s just for beginners because along the way, President Jimmy Carter gets caught up in the mayhem.
I have a lot of memories of watching the classic tv show when I was young. The Drew Barrymore movies weren’t my cup of tea, and the least said about the 2011 tv reboot the better. This comic though was pure gold. The Angels rely on their skills and detective know how to save the day, and it was classic Charlie’s Angels stuff.
5.Amazing Spider-Man #10
Written by: Nick Spencer
Art by: Humberto Ramos.
After years of mostly avoiding the Spider-Man books, I decided to subscribe to the new Amazing Spider-Man book by Nick Spencer. My main reason for checking out the book though was because of the art of regular artist Ryan Ottley. But you know what? This book is kicking ass.
In Amazing Spider-Man #10, there’s been a major theft the likes of which we’ve never seen and for once, The Black Cat didn’t do it. But Spider-Man might need the help of his once-foe-once-friend-once-crime-boss Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat. However, the best part of this book for me were the scenes with Mary Jane Watson.
MJ and Peter have recently started dating again, and in this issue, Mary Jane joins a support group for people who have loved ones who happen to be heroes. The whole thing is run by Jarvis from the Avengers, and he uses special technology to block out people’s faces and names. That way, all of the costumed heroes’ identities are safe. Jarvis also has a very touching moment with MJ where he explains to her why she matters to Peter. Great stuff, and totally worth the price of admission.
4. shazam! #1
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art and Cover by Dale Eaglesham
The original Captain Marvel is back and better than ever thanks to the superstar team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Dale Eaglesham. The two creators reunite to launch the all-new SHAZAM! monthly title set in the DC Universe in almost 20 years, and just in time before a certain movie comes out too. But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.
Anyways, Billy Batson is now a teenager turned super-hero who still struggles to balance school and superheroics. But this time he’s not alone, this time he’s got his foster sibling (who are also heroes) and loving foster parents. For once, things seem to be working out for Billy, but when Shazam unlocks a shocking secret deep within the Rock of Eternity, it challenges everything he knows about the worlds of magic and his family’s future as its champions!
Like I said in my review of this book, I was a little hesitant to try it because I loved what Jerry Ordway did with this character in the 90s. But Geoff Johns has something special cooking here, and I can’t wait to see more!
3.Fantastic Four #3
Written by: Dan Slott
Art by: Sara Pichelli and Nico Leon
It took over three long years, and three issues of the new series. But comic book fans finally got what we wanted: the Fantastic Four reunited at long last!
Fantastic Four #3 is the comic that proves once and for all that the F4 is more than a team, they are a family. And when the fate of the very Multiverse is at stake, that means it’s time for the ENTIRE family to have a reunion. That means bringing back anyone who has ever been a member of Marvel’s first family. But let’s be realistic, the reunion everyone had been waiting for finally happens in this issue, and it a beautiful thing to see.
Even the mist of a battle, Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Benn take a moment to give each other a hug and say hello. The reactions from Ben and Johnny when they see the kids too is just awesome. When all is said and done, Fantastic Four is the Fantastic Four issue fans have been waiting for.
2. All-New Wolverine #31
Written by: Tom Taylor
Art by: Marco Failla
Without question, my favorite comic book writer today is Tom Taylor. Every comic the man writes is a joy to read. Not only does he deliver great action, but he develops characters and stories in a way that makes me want to read more and more. And his work on All-New Wolverine is some of the best comics of the decade.
In All-New Wolverine #31, Gabby makes a shocking discovery about the past and turns to the only person she can trust to help her. If you guessed her big sister Laura (Wolverine), you’d be wrong. Instead, Gabby turns to Deadpool, yes that Deadpool! So now, Gabby and Deadpool embark on a mission of vengeance, assuming, of course, he doesn’t make things worse.
Go find a copy of All-New Wolverine #31, or download it if you prefer. Either way, I guarantee you will love this story by Tom Taylor. There’s humor, tragedy, and a shocked Laura when she learns Gabby asked Deadpool for help.
1. Archie 1941 #1
Written by: Mark Waid and Brian Augustyn
Art by: Peter Krause and Kelly Fitzpatrick.
Did I ever think an Archie comic would top my yearly best comic list? Hell to the no, but then again, comics by Mark Waid always surprise. Archie 1941 #1 is another issue I bought when I had a couple of extra bucks, and thank goodness I did, otherwise, I would have missed out on what I consider a masterpiece.
Archie has been around for over 75 years and has been through many significant moments in time, but never before have we seen the Riverdale gang take on real-world events as they unfold. With World War II raging in Europe and in the Pacific, Archie and many young men from Riverdale are close to enlistment age. But after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the choice becomes clearer, but nor easier in some cases. Archie 1941 focuses on how a Riverdale teen would cope with a looming world-changing event and its effects of their loved ones.
This entire series has been an incredible read. But the reason I put Archie 1941 #1 as my top book of the year is for one reason: when an Archie comic brings a tear to my eye, then I know Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, and Peter Krause did something very special here.