Tag: Fiona Staples

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    You Choose The Best Comic Book of 2016

    Best comics of 2016

    A lot of amazing books have come out in 2016. With Marvel revitalizing their line, DC’s Rebirth, to so many independent and creator-owned books dominating the stands, 2016 has certainly been a comic book year to remember.

    With that in mind, the staff at TFAW took a look at sales numbers, fan buzz, and our personal favorites of the year to create a list of the 25 best comics of the year. Now we want you, our awesome customers, to vote on this list to decide definitively what the best books of 2016 are.

    Voting will take place from Jan 1st through Jan 31st, so head on over to our  Facebook page  and cast your vote. Let your voices be heard and recognize all these amazing creators and publishers for all their hard work.

    Superman Vol. 01 Son of Superman
    By: Peter J. Tomasi, Doug Mahnke, Patrick Gleason
    The New 52 Superman is dead, but hiding among us for years was the original Big Blue. Now, a world without a Superman is in desperate need for Clark to leave the good life on the farm with Lois raising their son. This story simultaneously brings Superman back to formula, but also takes him in a direction he’s never really been before.

    Bitch Planet Vol. 2: President Bitch
    By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Taki Soma
    Powerful and gut-wrenching, Bitch Planet continues to explore themes of patriarchy and non-compliance. A must read for SJWs, feminists, and people who truly appreciate comics as an artistic medium.

    Wonder Woman TPB Vol. 01 The Lies
    By: Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, Matthew Clark
    Wonder Woman has been interpreted in many ways over her 75 year existence. Instead of trying to hide this, Greg Rucka’s approach is to embrace this to try and get to the real heart of who Wonder Woman is. Not just a great jumping on point for new readers, but a definitive take on the character that will hold true for years to come.

    Black Hammer Vol 1: Secret Origins
    By: Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart
    Black Hammer is another in a long line of grand ideas by one of comics brightest stars, Jeff Lemire. This book has a unique take on superheroes and the art by Dean Ormston & Dave Stewart instantly ensnares the reader.

    Rough Riders Vol. 1
    By: Adam Glass, Pat Oliffe
    History in the making! Teddy Roosevelt, Jack Johnson, Annie Oakley, Harry Houdini and Thomas Edison make up an American dream team engaged in an epic shadowy war! Monsters and Mayhem folks!

    The Mighty Thor Vol 1: Thunder in Her Veins
    By: Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman
    Marvel is changing things up by casting Dr. Jane Foster as the new Thor. The goddess of thunder shines in this series as she comes to grips with heroism and her own mortality. Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman are the perfect pairing. Also: Loki.

    Divinity II
    By: Matt Kindt, Trevor Hairsine, Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic
    After Abram came crashing home in Divinity vol 1. Spending his entire life in the depths of space, Divinity II tells the tale of Myshka. Still beliving in the Communist ideal. She intends to play a very real role in the return of Soviet glory

    Old Man Logan Vol 1: Berserker
    By: Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino
    What happens when an older, more gruff version of Wolverine comes to the main Marvel Universe? A whole lot of fighting. He’s on a mission to to prevent a terrible future from happening. Andrea Sorrentino’s art is breathtaking.

    Detective Comics Vol. 01 Rise of the Batmen
    By: James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Al Barrionuevo
    Batman is notorious for being a lone wolf (bat?), but he’s always had his family behind him. Now it’s time to take the Bat-Family to the next level. Lead by Batwoman, Batman puts together a team of Red Robin, Orphan (Cassandra Cain), Spoiler, and Clayface to be ready for whatever threat comes Gotham’s way.

    Vision Vol 1: Little Worse Than Man
    By: Tom King, Kevin Walsh, Mike Del Mundo
    Vision has the perfect family: a wife, two kids, and a dog. Look elsewhere for over-the-top nonstop heroics; this book proves it’s the little moments that matter. Truly impeccable dialogue and top-notch art await!

    March Book 3
    By: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
    The third and final installment in civil rights activist John Lewis’ story in the battle for civil rights in the United States. 1963 was an incredibly turbulent time in America’s history, and John Lewis was not only in the middle of it, but a leader in getting us out of it, long before becoming a congressman. March will remind you there are real heroes in this world.

    Star Wars: Poe Dameron Vol 1: Black Squadron
    By: Charles Soule, Phil Noto
    With crisp and clean art by Phil Noto, Poe Dameron is one of the most beautiful of Marvel’s new Star Wars comics. Charle Soule explores Dameron’s uncanny skills and matching bravado.

    Paper Girls Vol. 2
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang
    Continuing where Vol. 1 left off, the misfit group of paper girls from 1988 find themselves transported to present day. Our main characters are forced to look at who they are, and who they may…or may not become. This superstar team continues to tell one of the craziest sci-fi stories currently on the shelves, while staying focused on the heart of any good story, the characters.

    All New Wolverine Vol. 01 Four Sisters
    By: Tom Taylor, David Lopez, Bengal
    With the death of Logan, clone daughter Laura Kinney (X-23) steps up to be Wolverine and the best she is at what she does. This book is bloody, emotional, hilarious, and beautiful. This is one of those unique books that can present adult subjects in a way that people of all ages can understand. Clone or not, All-New Wolverine definitely has soul.

    Dept. H Vol. 1: Pressure
    By: Matt Kindt, Sharlene Kindt
    Not your average murder mystery! An in depth(see what I did there) story taking place on a deep sea research station. Family, lies, secrets and creatures make for a spectacular, well-paced adventure.

    Steven Universe & Crystal Gems Vol. 01
    By: Josceline Fenton, Chrystin Garland, Kat Leyh
    They are the Crystal Gems. They always save the day! If you think they can’t. Here is proof that they always find a way!

    Monstress Vol. 1
    By: Marjorie Liu, Sana Takeda
    A fascinating look at an alternate 1900’s Asia where monsters of god-like power are normal. Witness the journey of one teenage girl struggling to survive while trying to tame her own MONSTER.

    Black Panther Vol. 01 Nation Under Our Feet
    By: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Brian Stelfreeze
    Wakanda under the microscope. On the brink of civil war, treason and terrorist attacks ensue in T’Challa’s homeland. Witness Black Panther fight to save his country from all fronts.

    Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Vol. 01
    By: Kyle Higgins, Jorge Corona, Goni Montes
    “It’s Morphin Time!” This fantastic new series starts after the Green with Evil Saga. Takes us through a different path from the show, one that keeps it at the top of my reading every month. Perfect for fans new and old.

    Saga Vol. 6
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
    Set three years after the end of Vol. 5, our story opens with Hazel in kindergarten. For a story that’s followed a family on the run through space since issue 1, Vol 6 shows them living a domestic and stationary life for the first time…and it doesn’t go too well for them. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples continue to be a dominating power tag team.

    Sheriff Of Babylon Vol. 01 Bang Bang Bang
    By: Tom King, Mitch Gerads, John Paul Leon
    Currently known for his fantastic work on Batman, Tom King and Mitch Gerad’s The Sherriff of Babylon, is a suspenseful crime noir tale set in Bagdad circa 2003. King’s CIA experience in addition to Gerad’s life-like art style gives this series the accolades it deserves.

    Beauty Vol. 01
    By: Jason Hurley, Jeremy Haun
    The first STD that people actually WANT! In this world, The “Beauty”, transforms your body into its most beautiful version. People are literally dying to get it but the public is unaware of the side effects. Detectives Vaughn and Foster are on the case.

    Faith Vol. 01 Hollywood & Vine
    By: Jody Houser, Francis Portela, Jele Kevic-Djurdjevic
    Starting off as a side character in Harbinger back in 2014, we were given a full ongoing series of Faith Herbert this year. Written by the wonderful Jody Houser. This is a series meant for Fan-boys/girls, as Faith herself is as much of a geek as we are.

    Gotham Academy Vol. 03 Yearbook
    By: Brenden Fletcher, Moritat, Mingjue Helen Chen
    Our favorite students go back after their adventures last year, telling tales before everything went to chaos. Gotham Academy is an all-ages series perfectly suited for those wanting to move to Gotham, but are not old enough to drive there.

    Legend of Zelda Legendary Ed GN Vol. 01 Ocarina Time
    By: Akira Himekawa
    Viz does it again. While this is a reprint, if you’ve never read the Manga adaptation of the celebrated N64 game Ocarina of Time, this is a perfect time. Collecting vol 1 and 2, You get the complete tale.

    DON’T FORGET TO VOTE BY THE 31ST

    Honorable Mentions

    2016 had so many amazing titles that it was nearly impossible for us to narrow it down to 25. With that in mind, here are some honorable mentions of books that you should definitely check out. Odds are they made your own personal top 25.

    Batman Vol. 1 I Am Gotham
    By: Tom King, David Finch
    Gotham City has two new heroes, Gotham and Gotham Girl. With these super powered saviors doing what Batman can’t, is he really what Gotham City needs anymore?

    The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 04 Kissed Squirrel Liked It
    By: Ryan North, Erica Henderson
    I an age of dark and gritty superheroes, The Unbeatable Squirrel decides to have fun with the universe it lives in instead. Be prepared to smile.

    Dark Knight: A True Batman Story
    By: Paul Dini, Eduardo Risso
    Legendary Batman writer, Paul Dini, was beaten within an inch of his life. This autobiographical tale shows just how these iconic characters like Batman can get us through the darkest of times.

    Serenity: No Power in the ‘Verse
    By: Chris Roberson, Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, Wes Dzioba, Dan Dos Santos
    Set after the events of the previous series, Leaves on the Wind, No Power in the ‘Verse continues the tale of our favorite Browncoats

    I Am a Hero Omnibus Volume 1
    By: Kengo Hazawa
    A slightly crazy artist, and one of the few people in Japan that actually owns a gun, is neck deep in the zombie apocalypse.

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    All New Wolverine has a Freaky Friday

    New Comic Book Day August 31st 2016

    For New Comic Book Day this week All New Wolverine Snikts her first Annual as does DC Comics Bombshells, war wages on in Saga, and Dark Horse’s first issue of World of Tanks explodes onto the scene. Remember these are only a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

    DC Comics Bombshells Annual comics at TFAW.com

    DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1
    By: Marguerite Bennett, Elsa Charretier, Terry Dodson

    I have to say, I had the biggest grin on my face after I finished reading the DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1. It’s got everything – new characters, beautiful and artistic poetry, great action, and fun, flirty humor combined with lots of heart that has become the trademark tone of the series. In this extra-long issue, Amanda Waller enlists the brilliant Frankie Charles to find a former Bombshell, long ago disappeared: Batgirl! Waller knows that Batgirl will be invaluable to the Bombshells’ plans, but after a major loss, Babs went down a dark and twisted path and has become something much stranger – and more dangerous than she ever was before. Only Frankie has the guts, smarts, and savvy to carry off what could either be a rescue operation – or a suicide mission.

    This issue introduces new DC characters that will pump you up (I liked them so much that I even forgot for awhile about how I wish they’d bring in Hawkgirl already). Featuring clever, fast-paced writing by Marguerite Bennett that builds the universe up and bonds you even more to the characters and their story. This is definitely one of my favorite issues of this series (we’re 16 issues in as of press date, for those of you who are just joining us). The art, by Elsa Charretier and Terry Dodson is some of the most cohesive and gorgeous the series has had in recent times. The surprising, amazing line on the last page, well, let’s just say it drops like a bombshell. Don’t miss this giant-sized DC Comics Bombshells Annual! [Steve M. at Portland TFAW]

    All New Wolverine Annual comics at TFAW.com

    All New Wolverine Annual #1
    By: Tom Taylor, Marcio Takara, Cameron Stewart

    It has been a rough year for Laura, the All New Wolverine. She helped her cloned sisters hunt down a group of trained killers, teamed up with Squirrel Girl to take on some baddies, and dove headlong into Fin Fang Foom (like, inside his mouth) to rescue the original 616-Wolverine. On top of that, she’s stepped up to train and raise her clone/sister Gabby – but at least she got a pet wolverine named Jonathan (a gift from Squirrel Girl) out of it all.

    In this truly fun annual issue, you get to see what happens when you cross Wolverine and Spider-Gwen Freaky Friday style. What will happen when Gwen Stacy is thrown into the body of Wolverine, and how will she adapt to the new sets of powers and the loss of her old? How will Laura deal with her new super-strength and being part of a band? Oh, and not to give too much away, but there’s a Wolverine version of Spider-Ham named Wolver-Hampton! I need a book with just him running around with Jonathan the Unstoppable (Laura’s pet wolverine) like they were in a seventies cop drama. All that being said, do yourself a favor and get all covers to All New Wolverine Annual #1, and then read them all, it’s well worth it! [Steve M. at Portland TFAW]

    World of Tanks comics at TFAW.com

    World of Tanks #1
    By: Garth Ennis, Carlos Ezquerra, Michael Atiyeh, Isaac Hanford

    Garth Ennis being no stranger to comics about war. It’s only fitting that he’s teamed up again with Carlos Ezquerra, to give us another fantastic series surrounding WWII and the battles people faced. World of Tanks #1 reads more like Ennis’ other series Battlefields rather than War Stories. It’s more about the fight they’re in, rather than the characters themselves.

    In this first issue, we get our setup – an untested greenhorn British crew go up against one of the toughest German tanks in history. Will they be able to overtake them? Time will only tell.

    With Carlos at the helm of art, he gave this issue a silver-age war story style, and it fits perfectly. One of the key items that draws you into this book – and really all Garth Ennis war books – is his use of slang. Reading the characters dialgue while they use slag of WWII creates the environment quite well. As a War Stories reader, I was quite thrilled with World of Tanks #1 and am looking forward to the second issue. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    Saga comics at TFAW.com

    Saga #37
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

    After a three month hiatus, Saga is back! The famous team, Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan beautifully start the new arc for this series. We last left off at Hazel escaping a refugee prison and her parents practically ripping apart their marriage and universe to find her! In this issue, we open up with a napping Hazel and her two adoring parents, Alana and Marko – and end with more questions!

    We get to see what our favorite characters have been up to and how much everyone has grown. This issue slowly opens to a new problem our favorite couple and friends will have to face. Whatever could that be?! Pick up a copy of Saga #37 today to find out! [Darcey M. at Universal Citywalk TFAW]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    Review: Saga #36

    Review of Saga #36

    saga #36There are few comics that compel the reader to return, issue after issue, in the way that “Saga” does. Brian K. Vaughan’s writing and Fiona Staples’ emotive artwork invite you back to the space opera at the end of each chapter.

    Picking up from all of issue #35’s cliffhangers, issue #36 starts right up with Noreen, Hazel’s teacher in the Landfall detention center, is helping her escape when she is stopped amid heightened security measures.

    Meanwhile, on Quietus, Ghüs comes across The Will as he is throttling Prince Robot’s son. Ignoring the advice to kill, well, everyone from his hallucinatory companion The Stalk, The Will neutralizes Friendo, raising the ire of Ghüs, who makes sure The Will remembers their encounter to the tune of Klara’s ax. Returning to the young Squire, The Will is stopped from any wrathful actions by another imaginary guest.

    Back in the detention center, Marko shows up to rescue Hazel and return her – along with a stowaway – to the rocketship tree, where Alana and Sir Robot are busily trying to repair damage to the ship. Mother, father, and daughter are reunited at long last, and we are left with a cliffhanger that will surely launch an entirely new arc.

    This issue brings to a head the relationships we have built with the characters of the “Saga” universe; Marko’s embrace of his daughter and her sighs of “Daddy, daddy, daddy…” into his shoulder has an emotional impact that reminds us why we’ve continued reading, and the final panel reminds us why we will continue reading as long as Vaughan and Staples keep allowing us to be part of the family.

    Saga #36, Written by: Brian K. Vaughan, Artist: Fiona Staples, Publisher: Image, $2.99

    Review by Robb McKinney.

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    Free Comic Book Day – Review of Archie

    archie #1 for free new comic book dayArchie and the Gang are back for New Comic Book Day, but should you care?

    Imagine an average high school, only there are no vampires to kill, no witches learning spells in the gym, no alien in disguise posing as a History teacher, and no, a serial killer hasn’t just moved in next door… it’s just Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica.

    Archie comics was founded in 1939, and while this reboot by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples doesn’t contain a superhero of that same era, Archie proves to have as much relevance in today’s hypercritical and jaded world as Batman, maybe more.

    The Archie reboot works beautifully and is a nice palate cleanser from all the darkness and dread that has seeped into everything. The books contain beautiful art and ink work and a surprisingly compelling story.

    You’ll be amazed at how the very real risk these characters face (learning to be comfortable in their own skin, finding their strengths, making peace with their weaknesses, navigating the complexity of dating, and endearing nature of friendships) can be engaging on a level that superheroes and villains can’t reach.

    The story has been updated and Archie’s Riverdale High is very much set in the present time, but all the angst that we’d expect from a postmodern take on high school (murder, suicide, sex scandals involving teachers, drugs, etc.) have been stripped away.

    What remains is a wonderful story about identity, attraction and dating, and friendship.

    Seemingly simple stuff, but the simple in Archie is surprisingly filling.

    Archie #1 for Free Comic Book Day, story by Mark Waid, art by Fiona Staples.

    Review by Matt Morava.

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    Review: Saga #35

    saga #35Like in most issues of the space opera Saga, the characters and storylines in issue #35 can seem to be scattered and disjointed. And, like in most issues of “Saga,” Brian K. Vaughan manages to keep the reader engaged in the story and invested in the characters throughout the intertwining storylines and character arcs. As always, Fiona Staples draws some of the most unique and expressive characters in the industry, and the way Hazel’s look continues to progress so organically continues to be one of the outstanding aspects of her work.

    Picking up from issue #34, Doff and Upsher are coerced by The Will to find out Robot IV’s probable whereabouts from the less-than-savory nightclub owner Zlote. Robot IV, however, is on board Marko and Alana’s as an unwilling participant in their plan to get to Landfall to rescue Hazel. Meanwhile, Noreen has recovered and plans to help Hazel escape from the Landfallian detention center, but she and Hazel must convince Klara that it is in the girl’s best interest.

    The Will arrives at Robot IV’s hideaway and discovers the prince’s son Squire. As he contemplates what to do with the young Robot, Ghüs shows up to intervene…

    Saga #35, written by Brian K. Vaughn, art by Fiona Staples. Published by Image Comics.

    Review by Robb McKinney.

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    New Comic Book Day — Reviews for the Fight Club 2 Finale, X-Men ’92, Saga & More

    Has it really been a week since our last New Comic Book Day comic book review? Man, time flies. Here are a few of this week’s new releases that stood out from the crowd. Check out our other blog articles so see our thoughts on other books. Be sure to comment or share our post on Facebook or Twitter if you like our articles!

    SPOILER ALERT — We try to keep from posting spoilers, but one may sneak through to our reviews now and again. Read with caution, true believers.

     	
Fight Club 2 comics at TFAW.com Fight Club 2 #10
    By: Chuck Palahniuk, Cameron Stewart, Dave Stewart, David Mack

    The End. With Tyler seemingly seizing control, Sebastian and all of Tyler’s followers are hunkered down with the world’s most precious art in a salt mine and the world is ending. Tyler won. We start over.

    Not quite. What happens after, is a weird twist/ex-machina, that turns the written world of Fight Club into our own. Seemly putting Palahniuk on the stand for the crime of his own creation. Fans were not liking the way things turn out to force themselves to create “a better” ending.

    It’s a great finish for Fight Club 2, a series that took on a life of its own from fans of the film and book. Chuck gives this an existential twist that really makes you think about not only the original story and what it meant, but the purpose of literature. To be free. To become something else entirely. To escape. [Martin M. at TFAW.com]

    X-Men ’92 #1
    By: Chad Bowers, Chris Sims, Alti Firmansyah, David Nakayama

    If you love the classic X-Men with mesmerizing art, then this comic is definitely the one for you! When there’s a big shakeup like the one we just had in the Marvel Universe (Marvel’s Ultimate Universe died), it’s always nice to go back to the classics.

    The series starts off with Hank McCoy’s first day of teaching and he’s already late! He finally arrives and just as he’s about to start teaching he is interrupted by Maverick bursting through the window with a frantic warning to the X-Men. Shortly after, the X-Men are fighting The People’s Protectorate. Omega Red wants top secret information that Maverick has! What information does Maverick possibly have that causes a war outside of the school?! You’ll just have to read X-Men ’92 #1 to find out! [Darcey M. at Universal TFAW]

     	
Aquaman comics at TFAW.com Aquaman #50
    By: Dan Abnett, Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund

    Let’s play a bit of catch-up before we jump into Aquaman #50: it has been decided that Atlantis should establish an embassy to the surface world to present land dwelling humans with a bridge between cultures, with Mera serving as the perfect public face for Atlantis in her new role as Aquawoman.

    In this issue, Aquaman must face a new mysterious force that is capable of coming through any water like a portal, whether it be a swimming pool on top of a skyscraper, a fountain in the middle of town, a puddle in the road, and this foe comes from a dark new place where we are likely to see more from in the future.

    Of course, Aquaman will do whatever he can to save the day for any threat intent on harming the innocent, and he does so with the moral compass of a great King. He’s not only regal, and willing to protect all life, but he does so without becoming hardened to the darkness of our world. Fantastic story for our hero, and this issue gives me high hopes for the future of the King of Atlantis. [Casey D. at TFAW.com]

    Saga #35
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

    In the last issue of Saga, we left off with Marco and Alana finding Prince Robot IV and Ghus (and of course Friendo) and coming up with a crazy plan to go rescue Hazel and Marco’s mother, Klara, from a Landfall prison. Meanwhile, The Will has kidnapped journalists Upsher and Doff to find the whereabouts of the person that killed The Stalk. In the midst of all that, Hazel is caught between her grandmother trying to protect her and her schoolteacher trying to break her out of the prison…

    In this new, exciting issue of Saga, we learn about the plan that Marco, Alana, and Prince Robot make as journey to find Hazel and Klara. Prince Robot wavers between helping them or turning them in to get back his former life as royalty. The Will struggles with working with his new captives get the much-needed information he needs to exact his revenge — oh, and The Stalk (who is still very dead) is egging him on to kill everyone that gets in his way. What is in store for Hazel? Will her teacher get her safely out? Will her parents be able to rescue her? Will their attempts tragically fail? You’ll find out this and much more in this amazing issue of Saga, written by the iconic Brian K. Vaughan and featuring the beautiful, one-of-a-kind art of Fiona Staples. [Steve M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    What did you think of these books? What should we review next week? Let us know below!

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    The Best Comics of 2015 – Part 4 of 5 – Image Comics

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

    Now that we’re firmly in the new year, and the effects from the champagne have worn off, we want to stop and remember the great books that were released last year. What follows is the fourth in a series of five Best Comics of 2015 pieces we’ll be posting through January 6. Missed the earlier installments? Check out Part 1Part 2, and Part 3. Starting January 7, you’ll have the opportunity to weigh in and help us crown the Best Comic of 2015!

    Superheroes are all well and good, but if you want to dig your teeth into something with a little more meat, creator-owned series are where it’s at. With series for virtually any taste, Image Comics really pushed hard in 2015 to draw us in and captivate us.

    The Best of Image Comics (in no particular order):

    Rat Queens
    By: Kurtis J. Wiebe, Stjepan Šejić, Roc Upchurch

    Looking for a fantasy comic that is different than all the others? Like, WAY different? Good. Pick up Rat Queens. This book has all the classic high-adventure elements you would expect and so much more. Led by a cast of strong female characters, each issue is violent and vulgar but also has more heart than most series on the stands. Similarly, each of the four Rat Queens are fully realized, complex characters. They feel like real people, which is something many series seem to struggle with.

    But who are the Rat Queens? Hannah, Violet, Dee, and Betty are a raucous, drunken, crass group of mercenaries and your new best friends. They are the Dungeons and Dragons party you wish you had. This book is a fantastic ride that you should hop on as soon as possible to see for yourself! So many people have thanked us for bringing them on board this series. [Jeff B. at Portland TFAW]

    Birthright
    By: Joshua Williamson, Andrei Bressan

    After their youngest boy Mikey goes missing in the woods, the Rhodes family is torn apart. A year passes and someone shows up that looks like Conan knowing a little too much about the disappearance of little Mikey.

    If you haven’t picked up Birthright by Joshua Williamson (Ghosted, Nailbiter, Illuminati) you are sorely missing out. One of Image’s best series continues this past year as we figure out about what happened to Mikey, and what could happen to our world.

    I don’t read a ton of fantasy comics, but this one got me hooked from issue one. I’ve introduced this book to people who don’t typically read comics and comics fans who don’t really like fantasy series, and they’ve all come back and told me that they can’t stop reading this book. It’s wholly engrossing and transcends genres.

    The first two volumes are available for order, and I can tell you the series has only gotten better with time. I can’t wait to see where Joshua Williamson takes us next. [Martin M. at Milwaukie TFAW]

    Bitch Planet comics at TFAW.com Bitch Planet
    By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Valentine De Landro, Robert Wilson IV, Cris Peter, Clayton Cowles, Rian Hughes, Lauren McCubbin

    Taking a page from the sexploitation flicks of the ’60s and ’70s and borrowing from the best that the sci-fi genre has to offer, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet is one of the best comic book series on the shelves right now. DeConick knows how to tell a violent, gripping story with gravitas, and is particularly talented when it comes to writing complex characters.

    This series is all about power. The power we give up to others. The internal strength that one can tap in to. Societal power that forces us into different roles. Bitch Planet more than a comic book at this point. The team has expertly created a movement of Non-Compliance, and I can’t wait to see where they lead us. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Fables comics at TFAW.com

    Saga
    By: Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples

    What more can be said of perhaps the best series out there? If the shelf full of awards Saga has won, it’s constant presence bestseller lists, or the series’ amazing reviews hasn’t convinced you to check it, out this blog won’t either. But seriously, go read Saga. Like, right now. We’ll wait… finished it yet? All caught up? Good. It’s awesome right?!

    What other series blends fantasy and science fiction so seamlessly? What other series has such visionary art? What other series possesses the sheer charm of Saga? Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples come together and make a truly unique universe. It’s a crazy one, filled with robot royalty, magic using satyr people, dragons, living spaceships and GHUS! Oh and intergalactic space wrestling. Can’t forget that.

    With all this insanity it’s easy to forget the best part of the series — the characters. This creative team’s real success is how endearing these characters are, even the “villains”. Nearly every issue has an incredibly compelling cliffhanger that has us readers on an emotional rollercoaster. And just like the intergalactic space wrestling, we live and die with these characters every issue. [Dustin K. at Universal TFAW]

    The Wicked and the Divine comics at TFAW.com The Wicked & The Divine
    By: Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, ‎Matt Wilson

    Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie sucked me in, and I’ve been waiting with baited breath for each and every issue of The Wicked and The Divine, or WicDiv for short. There’s a huge cast of characters to follow, and Gillen’s world-building ability rivals J.R.R. Tolkein and George R.R. Martin.The series centers around two themes: Death and Fame.

    The twelve (or possibly 13?) Gods are reincarnated on Earth every 90 years to to fight the world’s darkness, but the kicker is that they only have two years–after that, they’re dead. Fame is also a strong theme in the series. These Gods are both famous and infamous. Adored and revered. Hated and envied.Fantastic story aside, I swoon every time I crack open the newest issue.

    McKelvie is a wickedly talented storyteller in his own right, with panel construction and linework that consistently has me taking a moment to think about what I’ve just seen. This series is also evidence that Matt Wilson is one of the best colorists in the industry. I can’t get enough of this series. [Josh C. at TFAW.com]

    Honorable Mentions:

    Stay tuned to the TFAW Blog in the coming days as we’ll be posting our final Best Comics of 2015 lists. At the end, YOU will decide which one will be crowned as the Best Comic of 2015!

    –UPDATE: YOU CAN VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE ONCE PER DAY NOW THROUGH 1/14/16!–

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