Welcome to the final Geeky Brummie Comic Roundup of 2019!
In this edition, we take a look back at my favourite comics of the year.
As appears to be something of a tradition, here is my look back at the last 12 months. The books I present here are my own personal favourite comics. These are the books that I’ve enjoyed reading the most. Some have made regular appearances as my Comic Of The Week choices so many will be familiar to regular readers. I hope that there is something here for everyone and that you’ll maybe try one of these comics.
So without further ado and in no particular order, here they are.
THE WILD STORM
(Warren Ellis, Jon Davis-Hunt / DC Comics)
The beginning of 2019 saw the end of this wonder series from DC. Warren Ellis re-engineered the WildStorm universe to deliver a thrilling tale of super powered espionage. The art by Jon Davis-Hunt was sublime and delivered on the wide screen grandeur established by previous artists like Bryan Hitch. All 24 issues are now available in trade editions and I highly recommend you pick them up.
(Mark Russell, Stephen Byrne / DC/Wonder Comics)
The first of two Mark Russell books in this list, here he takes a couple of D-List DC characters and brings us one of the most beautiful and insightful series of the last decade. Russell has proven himself to be a marvellous writer, his previous work on The Flintstones and Snagglepuss was outstanding but probably less accessible to younger readers. Placing him within the Wonder Comics imprint has been a stoke of genius as this is the kind of comic everyone should be reading. Artist Stephen Byrne is the perfect choice for this book, his beautiful, animated style looks incredible and his version of the Justice League is phenomenal (seek out his Justice League/Power Rangers work for more). Originally solicited as a 6 issue series this has proved so popular that the run has been extended to 12.
DIAL H FOR HERO
(Sam Humpries, Joe Quinones / DC/Wonder Comics)
The Wonder Comics imprint overseen by Brian Michael Bendis has been putting out some of the best books in DC’s catalogue. Alongside Wonder Twins, Dial H For Hero has been one of my must read comics this year. Sam Humpries and Joe Quinones have been putting their hearts and souls into this book and it shows. Once again taking an older concept from the DC stable and giving it a 21st Century makeover, Dial H has been taking the comic medium and using it for all it’s worth. Breathtaking, beautiful and heartfelt this one series you shouldn’t miss. And like Wonder Twins, this series also had its run extended to 12 issues.
ONCE AND FUTURE
(Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora / BOOM! Studios)
I was slow off the mark with this book. I missed the first issue but once I heard the buzz I was all in. I was also quite surprised how familiar the lead character looked. Once and Future takes the Arthurian myth and brings it smack bang into the 21st Century. As a fan of Captain Britain I have a love for all things about mythical Britain and this book hits that sweet spot. Kieron Gillen is a hugely talented writer who is at the top of his game on this title. Dan Mora, whose work I’ve loved in Klaus, is absolutely perfect here. His art is kinetic and beautiful and fits the story well. Originally planned as a limited series, Once and Future has now been upgraded to a regular title and I can’t wait to see more.
(Simon Spurrier, Bilquis Evely / DC Vertigo/Black Label)
I was initial skeptical of returning to the world of The Sandman, but Simon Spurrier has worked his magic and made The Dreaming one of the best books on the market. He has perfectly captured all that I loved about Neil Gaiman’s original series. He has been matched by regular artist Bilquis Evely who’s art is perfectly suited to the world of the Endless. This is everything you could want from a book set in the Sandman Universe and anyone who loved the original title should definitely add this to their collection.
(John Layman, Afu Chan / Image)
I had no idea what to expect from Outer Darkness but the idea sounded cool – horror mixed with sci-fi. For anyone who enjoyed films like Event Horizon this is the comic book for you. John Layman and artist Afu Chan have created a fully realised world of spaceships and magic that thrills and horrifies in equal measure. This book has just wrapped up its first season and I eagerly await where these creators will take us next.
JOHN CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER
(Simon Spurrier, Aaron Campbell / DC Black Label)
Towards the end of this year a book really surprised me. John Constantine had been kicking around the regular DC Universe for a while but never really seemed to fit in. Then he appeared in a Sandman Universe one-shot ahead of his new regular series. What a book that turned out to be. The genius that is Simon Spurrier brought John home. This was a book that pulled no punches. It was a book for the here and now. A book that felt timely, perfectly reflecting the world we live in. John Constantine was back and better than ever. We’re only a couple of issues into the new series and already I feel it will stand up against the work of Jamie Delano and Mike Carrey. This is the John we need now. This is the book you need to be reading now.
(Shaun Simon, Mickey Way, Illias Kyriazis / DC’s Young Animal)
DC’s Young Animal imprint has been putting out great book after great book and Collapser was no exception. Shaun Simon and Mickey Way have created a wonderful new character here and the world he lives in doesn’t seem all that distance from our own. The book was beautifully illustrated by Illias Kyriazis, and artist I’d not encountered before but will be following in the future. This was a lovely 6 issue series that is well worth seeking out.
DOOM PATROL: WEIGHT OF THE WORLDS
(Gerard Way, Jeremy Lambert, James Harvey, Evan Shaner, Nick Pitarra, Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad / DC’s Young Animal)
Doom Patrol. How I love you. This is one of those books that defies description. Weight of the Worlds has taken a novel approach to storytelling with most issues focusing on seemingly unconnected events, using different artists to highlight this fact. Gerard Way as the new shepherd of the the Doom Patrol really knows what he’s doing here and has been weaving a incredible series. A strange thing happened in this series that took it beyond anything, anyone expected. In issue 5, Becky Cloonan and Michael Conrad gave us the single best issue of the year. A love letter to comics that nearly brought me to tears and jumping for joy. But then this is Doom Patrol and I expect nothing less.
(Brian Michael Bendis, Nick Derington / DC Comics)
In America DC put out a selection of 100 page comics exclusively for Wal-Mart. I didn’t expect to see these comics but luckily DC has decided to collected them for regular comic shop readers. And what a revelation Batman: Universe turned out to be. Written by Brian Michael Bendis, who had already worked wonders with Superman and the Wonder Comics imprint, got to bring us his version of Batman. This was a Batman I could get behind. This was my Batman. But that wasn’t all, Bendis got artist Nick Derington, whose work I’d admired on the Young Animal Doom Patrol series, to drawing the Dark Knight, Nick’s depiction of Batman is now one of my all time favourites. This man knows how to draw. His Batman is fluid, beautiful, fearsome and heroic. I hope these creators get to bring their version of Batman to comics again and soon.
(Mark Russell, Richard Pace, Leonard Kirk / Ahoy Comics)
It’s that Mark Russell again. This time in a book that got some serious misrepresentation when initially announced as a DC title. Having been set adrift for a while, Second Coming found its new home at Ahoy Comics and that has allowed us to finally see what a great book it really is. Going way beyond expectations this book has been a revelation – mixing religion and superheroes into a tale that questions what it means to be good in the modern world. This is a lovely book and one everyone should be taking the time to read.
(Gerry Duggan, John McCrea / Image)
At the end of 2019 we had Dead Rabbit. Now we have Dead Eyes. Thankfully the title issue that meant the book had to take a hiatus until it discovered its new identity is over. With the first couple of issues reworking previously released material we are now getting more from the dream team of Duggan and McCrea. This is a great crime book and the story is cracking along with beautiful kinetic art from John (check out his work on Yondu at Marvel to see more of his awesome art). Highly recommended and easily one of the top tier Images books of the year.
Well that’s it for my whistle stop tour of my favourite comics of the last 12 months. Tomorrow, I’ll be bring you the latest new comic book day releases. I’ll see you then!
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