This has been one of the best years for comic books. Not only did DC Comics find its stride with Rebirth, but Marvel also realised it’s time to give the fans what they want. On the IDW, Image, and indie side of things, the companies continued to churn out fantastic books – proving that quality doesn’t strictly reside in a big corporation with recognised names.
So, without further ado, here are our 10 favourite comic book series of 2017. Feel free to let us know your favourite books in the comments section below.
10. Shirtless Bear-Fighter
The name is completely ridiculous and the art is so over the top, but it’s impossible to ignore Jody Leheup, Sebastian Girner, Nil Vendrell, and Mike Spicer’s Shirtless Bear-Fighter. It’s so looney and wonderful!
While it refuses to take itself too seriously, there’s still enough emotion to drive the story home at pivotal points. Yes, Shirtless Bear-Fighter might appear like it’s a future Asylum movie, but it’s so much more than that. It’s everything that comics should – and aspire to – be.
9. Mister Miracle
There’s a modern psychedelic touch in Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Mister Miracle. It feels like Jack Kirby, but it also doesn’t. There’s humour to it, but there’s also a great sadness. In essence, it’s raw and deeply powerful.
While Mister Miracle might not be one of the big-name titles of DC, there’s no excuse: you should be reading every single issue. In an era where fans are crying out for more originality, King and Gerads are doing something extremely special here.
Having two Titans series running concurrently can get rather confusing until you realise that one is a reminder of the past (Titans) and the other is all about the future (Teen Titans). As a perfect tribute to yesteryear, Dan Abnett penned a compelling, fun story that takes us back to the days of Marv Wolfman and George Pérez’s insatiable run on New Teen Titans.
On the art front, Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund are absolutely killing it. This is one of those series that grabs your attention when you walk past it and draws you right in.
Tom King didn’t have an easy ride with Batman. After all, he took over writing duties from Scott Snyder and some of his early stories fell a little flat as he tried to find his feet. But proving he’s the King (ha!), he came back with a vengeance, delivering some of the best Bat stories we’ve read in ages and cementing Bruce and Selina as the new “it” couple of the comic book world. His “War of Jokes and Riddles” is a story for the ages and has future classic written all over it.
He’s been aided by a variety of artists – from the likes of Mitch Gerads, Mikel Janin, David Finch, and Clay Mann – who’ve all brought their unique touches to the franchise. It’s truly been an unforgettable year for the Caped Crusader’s titular series.
6. Kill Or Be Killed
Please tell us you’re reading Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser’s Kill or Be Killed. If not, you’re missing out on a comic book series that’s unlike anything else in the market right now.
Yes, it’s dark and deals with demons, suicide, and murder – but damn, it’s so good and impossible to put down. A film adaptation was recently announced, which will be written by Dan Casey and directed by Chad Stahelski, so you best catch up on the book before the movie hits the theatres.
The fact that Defenders is the only Marvel comic book on this list should tell you a lot about the publisher’s output this year. Granted, the quality of the titles has improved in the past few months, but it’s still too early to tell if it’s a radical or merely a reactionary change.
Nonetheless, Brian Michael Bendis and David Marquez’s Defenders delivers on everything you expected from the Netflix show. In fact, we’d argue it’s a better overall story than the eight episodes released. Featuring cameos from the likes of the Punisher and Deadpool, this is one Marvel title that should be on your pull list. Also, Iron Fist doesn’t suck here.
4. Teen Titans
Originally, this slot was a toss-up between Green Arrow and Teen Titans – both books written by Benjamin Percy. However, the latter got the nod due to the pure jubilation and fun it brings. No one writes Damian Wayne better than Percy does. You just hate the little brat, but you also can’t help feel a little sorry for him.
Percy’s story is brought to life by a talented rotating art team, which somehow manages to keep a similar tone and style across every issue. It’s a small thing but it really does make the difference and add to the overall reading experience.
Like a madman on a hot streak, Tim Seeley wrote up a storm on Nightwing this year. From teasing the possibility of Dick Grayson becoming a father to his reunited run with Damian Wayne, there’s been so much goodness in the series. In terms of the art, Javier Fernandez’s exquisite touch has cemented a distinct style for this Nightwing era that stands out from everything else.
Seeley might be gone from the series now, but the show must go on. Judging by Sam Humphries and Bernard Chang’s first issue, it looks like the former Boy Wonder is in good hands.
2. All-Star Batman
When Scott Snyder announced that All-Star Batman would be ending earlier than expected, the entire Fortress of Solitude team had a good rant on our WhatsApp group about it. How could DC cancel one of the most innovative comic books around?!
Not only did this series have a balls-to-the-wall and punk-rock mentality we loved, but it also smashed out some terrific Dark Knight tales, such as “My Own Worst Enemy”. Its “cancellation”, though, was forgiven for what came next…
1. Dark Nights: Metal
Going back to the point before, when All-Star Batman was cancelled, we were all devastated. If we’d known it paved the way for Dark Nights: Metal, the trauma might’ve been softened.
Hands down, this is the comic book event of the 21st century – there’s nothing else quite like it. Snyder and Greg Capullo joined forces, prayed to some other higher power, and conjured up a wicked, dark story that’ll blow your mind. This is an all-star extravaganza, calling on the DC Comics roster for a wild and crazy ride. Heck, Batman rode a dinosaur here, so you gotta know it’s insane.