2013 continuously delivered excellent weekly issues and we want you to know about ‘em! But remember, this list is based on single issue comics we have read, so that means we may have read amazing comics in trade forms, such as Hawkeye, that didn’t make the list. Furthermore, we don’t expect you to agree with everything on this list, so please, let us know how wrong we are!
Living up to the 100th issue hype is a daunting task for any creative team; more often than not readers are left disappointed. Luckily, we knew we were in for a unrelenting ride when the opening page of this book showed Invincible having his head crushed by Dinosaurus. Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley showed us the love and respect they have for this series with the way they matched the hype with Invincible #100.
Andy Diggle and Jock start their 4 part story with an excellent first issue. The premise is a familiar one; an unsuspecting person gets caught up in mysterious criminal happenings. What separates this issue from hundreds of similar titles is Jock’s artwork, which raises Snapshot #1 into must read territory.
Jupiter’s Legacy #1
Brought to you by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely, this book features superhero offspring who are more interested in partying and skirting responsibility than saving the world. The ideas of Millar are executed with precision and are complemented by the artwork of Quitely. Jupiter’s Legacy #1 gives us one of the hottest creators in comics teaming up with one of the most talented artist in comics today.
Top Ten Single Issue Comics
10) Forever Evil #1
The Crime Syndicate has neutralized the heroes and now they are setting their plan in motion following the events of The Trinity War. Geoff Johns sets the table with this issue, giving us an evil version of Superman(Ultraman) snorting kryptonite fumes. David Finch’s artwork does not waver once in this 48 page issue, displaying the intricate details that set him apart from other artists. Forever Evil #1 delivers a comic that leaves you on the edge of your seat, even without a single panel containing one of the “big seven.”
9) Wonder Woman #23
Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang have delivered one of the best New 52 DC comics since it’s inception; Wonder Woman #23 sees 2-years-worth of story explode on the page. Each turn of the page raises the severity of the situation as the action is quick and brutal. Wonder Woman’s choices in this issue leave her with the position of God of War, whether she wanted it or not. As always, Azzarello has crafted a story that excels in every way, satisfyingly closing doors and opening ones that are exciting and new.
8) Trillium #1
Although confusion may have been the first response the this book, readers are given directions on the inside pages as to what order the comic should be read. Confusion aside, Trillium #1 shows us why DC promoted Jeff Lemire to a significant member of their roster. Lemire gives us two very different worlds with two characters that are worlds apart. Nika, of a future that is trying to outrun The Caul, an ever- evolving disease, is trying to find a flower that may be a cure. The other character, William, is on expedition to find a mysterious temple when his group is attacked by natives. The story meets at the halfway way point when Nika and William stumble into each other’s lives. Those familiar with Lemire from his work on Sweet Tooth, will not be disappointed with his work on both the art and story of this series.
7) Chew #34
The Collector and Tony Chu meet for the first time after the death of Tony’s sister at the hands of The Collector. John Layman and Rob Guillory let their creativity loose in this issue, showing you The Collectors multiple acquisitions of powers. Chew #34 flawlessly combines the humor of a person who takes the form of what he last ate, with the seriousness of Tony’s desire to avenge the death of his sister. Few comics match the creativity and uniqueness of the Chew series. Layman and Guillory are a well oiled machine.
6) Batman and Robin #18
In the comic world “tie-in” issues tend to be below average in terms of quality and it’s a rarity when one is worth the cover price. Peter Tomasi and Pat Gleason managed to deliver one of the best issues of 2013 without using a single word of dialog. As you may know, Robin was killed in the pages of Batman Incorporated #8, leaving the other Bat titles with the Requiem tagline. Batman and Robin #18 pulled at our heartstrings, invoking despair as Bruce fell deeper into grief following his son’s death. With each passing panel, the need for an emotional release grew, until we were left with the final image of Bruce embracing the Robin costume.
5) Batman Incorporated #13
This issue was 7 years and over 70 issues in the making, as Grant Morrison attempted to cover every conceivable with the end of his run on Batman. Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham gave us the final confrontation between Bruce and Talia Al Ghul, and like promised when he started the run, Morrison put all the toys back in the toy box. Thematically, this issue was a depressing reminder that Batman is who he always has been and will never be able to break out of his box; Batman never dies.
4) Happy #4
Back to back Grant Morrison with his work for image comics with Darick Robertson. Happy #4 was the culmination of a 4 part story of a former cop and a pegasus/unicorn hybrid named Happy, which may or may not be imaginary. Darick Robertson, known for his work on Transmetropolitan and The Boys, stole the show from Morrison in this issue. Any comic that has a splash page of a child molesting Santa being overrun by an imagination army deserves to be in any top ten.
3) Alex + Ada #1
Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn gave us one of the most surprising hits of the year with Alex + Ada #1. Luna’s subtle and simple artwork allow us to become immersed in the nuances of the story; a simple facial expression tells us all we need to know about any particular scene. The underlying theme of the issue is very relatable to our own always-connected world and hopefully, some CEO of a multi-billion dollar company will read this comic and invest in thought controlled appliances.
2) Saga #11
Saga has been one of the best comic series since it’s launch in March of 2012. Brian Vaughn has the uncanny ability to make us care for the characters he creates, even though this was only the 11th issue of the series. Vaughn also has the ability to masterfully rip our hearts out with gut wrenching scenes, one of which exists in the pages of Saga #11. Fiona Staples gave us her best work on the series in this issue, expertly capturing the emotions each situation demanded. Saga, when completed, will be talked about for years to come. Everyone should make room for Saga in our lives.
1) Sex Criminals #1
While Alex + Ada #1 was one of the most surprising hits of the year, Sex Criminals #1 was the most surprising hit of the year. Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky gave us the story of Jon and Suzie, both of whom experience “time stops” post orgasm. The comic is filled with witty dialog, and more direct fourth wall breakage than nearly any other comic. Sex Criminals #1 treated us to humorous scenes such as a sex position tutorial, and Suzie’s first experiences with the “time stop.” Fraction is becoming one of the best writers in comics today and he has found an artist worthy of his skill in Zdarsky. Read Sex Criminals now, it’s number 1!
Now, before we sit back and prepare for 2014 shower us with more excellent comics to enjoy, tell us what we missed in our 2013 list! We love comics and if we missed something, we want to read it! Happy holidays and happy reading fellow comic nerds!