Spider-Geddon is coming but before that event get to know Spider-people from around the multiverse in this trade paperback collecting the four issue series and Superior Octopus #1.
Edge of Spider-Geddon is by Jed McKay, Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson, Gerard Way, Jason Latour, Aaron Kuder, Christos Gage, Gerardo Sandoval, Alberto Alburquerque, Tonci Zonjic, Will Robson, Mike Hawthorne, Mark Bagley, Brahm Revel, Craig Yeung, Wade Von Grawbadger, Brian Reber, Triona Farrell, Ian Herring, Andres Mossa, Jordie Bellaire, and Dono Sanchez-Almara.
Get your copy in comic shops now and in book stores January 15th! To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook or digitally and online with the links below.
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site
Without further ado, these are my favorite comics of 2018. This was the year I fell back on series that I had been checking out for years and found some new faves in the worlds of newspaper comics, symbiotes, gamma irradiated beasts, and maybe even a choose your own adventure game. Marvel seriously did a 180 this year, and I went from picking zero of their comics on my last year end list to three so well done on their part, and Donny Cates and Al Ewing should receive hefty bonus checks. But, honestly, this list should show you that visual humor, character driven narratives, and weirdness are my things, and I can’t wait to read more comics in that vein in 2019.
Honorable Mentions:Sex Death Revolution (Black Mask), Runaways (Marvel), Assassinistas (IDW/Black Crown), Punks Not Dead (IDW/Black Crown), That one really good issue of Peter Parker, Spider-Man that Chip Zdarsky wrote and drew (Marvel), Gideon Falls (Image)
10.Modern Fantasy (Dark Horse)
Modern Fantasy is a miniseries about a data entry worker named Sage of the Riverlands, who secretly wants to epic hero or maybe just a curator at a cool museum, and has a penchant for smooching handsome elves. Did Rafer Roberts and Kristen Gudsnuk have access to my most secret thoughts while writing this book? In all seriousness, this comic marries millennial angst and struggles (Dead end jobs, mooching friends, annoying co-workers) with all kinds of fantasy tropes, including urban, high, and good ol’ Lovecraftian. Gudsnuk’s art is both humorous and touching and filled with background details and jokes that reward a close reading. But what makes Modern Fantasy a great comic is the awkward friend group dynamic that Roberts and Gudsnuk craft filled with drama, jokes, a touch of romance, and a final showdown with a fire demon.
9.The Wicked + the Divine (Image)
Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matthew Wilson’s story of young gods and fandom hit some dark bits in 2018 and had plenty of surprises to go with the formalism and “glimpse behind the curtain” of the “Mothering Invention” arc. However, at its best, WicDiv is the story of the girl, who thought she wanted something, and then painfully realized that she didn’t really want it. That girl, of course, is Persephone whose personal journey along with McKelvie’s amazing facial expressions, Gillen’s clever quips, and Wilson’s majestic color palette keeps me returning to this series as it is about to hit its fifth year. Also, the specials were spectacularly glorious in 2018 from the illustrated prose story/murder mystery in 1923to 1373’s dark piety. Then, there was the absolute bonkers nature of The Funnies where we find out the origin of Laura’s cracked phone and the Pantheon gets to solve a Scooby Doo mystery courtesy of Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris.
8. Nancy (Go Comics)
I’ve been doing year end comics lists for five years, and this is the first time I’ve put a newspaper strip on one. However, Olivia Jaimes’ work on Nancy is one of the most hilarious things to come out of 2018. There are her “millennial” gags (Even though Nancy and Sluggo are definitely Generation Z.) about Nancy’s overuse of the Internet or swapping streaming service passwords with Sluggo, who is also “lit”. But she also has a firm grasp on meta-gags and the uniqueness of the comics medium like playing with panel layouts, lettering styles, reusing panels, and then having Nancy make a joke about it. Nancy is truly a ray of sunshine in a dark landscape while still being sarcastic and self-deprecating as hell and shows that even the proverbial old dog of the newspaper comic can learn some new tricks.
7. “Milk Wars” (DC Comics/Young Animal)
“Milk Wars” really brought the best of DC Rebirth and Young Animal together and was the only Big Two crossover I kept up with in 2018. The series brings together the Doom Patrol, Mother Panic, Shade the Changing Girl, and Cave Carson to fight warped versions of DC Comics heroes, who are under the control of the Retconn corporation. The story is a literal metaphor for how corporations sanitize characters and go for the retread instead of taking risks with iconic characters as Wonder Woman becomes a submissive housewife in her tie-in story from Cecil Castelluci and Mirka Andolfo. “Milk Wars” shows that it’s okay to be a little weird as milk goes bad if it’s left in the bridge past its expiration day. It also features some gorgeous layouts from Aco in the crossover’s first chapter, which was co-written by Gerard Way and Steve Orlando, and he and the artists did an excellent job of melding an indie and mainstream sensibility throughout “Milk Wars”. Also, the story had a real effect on Mother Panic, Cave Carson, and Shade in their solo titles and introduced Magdalene Visaggio and Sonny Liew’s wonderful, yet depressed Eternity Girl character.
Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman, and Iban Coello’s Venom ongoing series is filled with all the fun excesses of the 1990s (Especially in the Venom Annual where James Stokoe shows him going toe to toe with Juggernaut.) and none of its toxicity. The first arc of the series is about Eddie Brock and his symbiote going to war against Knull, god of the symbiotes and a symbiote dragon. This has a terrible effect on him, and Cates carefully uses the symbiote as a metaphor for PTSD while freeing Stegman to draw unhinged heavy metal battles. And this series wasn’t just a one arc wonder as Cates, Coello, and Stegman explore the after effects of the battle with Knull on Eddie’s symbiote and have him confront his father. Plus one of the most underrated Marvel villains, Ultimate Reed Richards aka the Maker pops up for a little bit. This series work because it explores the psychological effects of the symbiote as well as the oozy, shoot-y violent bits.
Crowded is a wicked bit of satire with a side of mismatched buddy adventure from the beautiful minds of Christopher Sebela, Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, and Triona Farrell. It is about an obnoxious woman named Charlie, who has a $2 million price on her head on an app called Reapr that is basically crowdfunded murder. Luckily, there’s an app called Defendr where Charlie hires a badass, meticulous, and noble woman named Vita to protect her. Stein and Brandt fill each page with oodles of panels, but you are able to follow every action scene, conversation, or Charlie ending up at the club or a bachelorette party even if she has a price on her head. The bounty hunting drives the plot while Sebela uses the quieter moments to develop the personality and relationships of Charlie and Vita as well as some of the “professionals” hunting them. Crowded is a thrill ride, but also looks at the dark, not so altruistic side of human nature through the Internet and constant connectivity.
4. You Are Deadpool (Marvel)
Al Ewing and Salva Espin’s You Are Deadpool was some of the most fun I had reading a comic book in 2018 beginning with Kieron Gillen showing up in the “tutorial” brandishing a sandwich as a weapon. It’s a combination spoof of different eras of Marvel Comics along with a pretty damn fun and addictive Choose Your Own Adventure Game. In some cases, you don’t even read the issues in order. Ewing and Espin also take cues from some not so table top RPGs and have the moral choices that Deadpool makes effect your reading and playing experience. Having Deadpool interact with both heroes and innocent passerbies during the Silver Age, horror/kung fu/blaxploitation, the edgy 80s, and of course, the good ol’ 90s is hilarious and shows Espin’s versatility as a cartoonist.
3. Archival Quality (Oni)
Archival Quality is a spooky graphic novel by Ivy Noelle Weir and Steenz about a young woman named Cel, who gets a job as an archivist at a medical museum. The comic tenderly explores Cel’s anxiety and depression and unexpected connection with a woman named Celine, who was a patient at the sanatorium that preceded the museum. It isn’t caught up in a fast paced thriller plot, but slowly unveils the mystery while focusing on Cel’s interactions with her boss Abayomi, super rad co-worker Holly, and her declining relationship with her boyfriend Kyle. Archival Quality has real atmosphere, and Steenz creates some fantastic spaces as Cel begins to explore her workplace with its skulls and lack of cellphone service. It is a fantastic story about mental health and relationships through the mystery genre.
2. Giant Days (BOOM! Studios)
Giant Days continues to be one of life’s true blessings thanks to John Allison, Max Sarin, Liz Fleming, Julia Madrigal, and Whitney Cogar. At this point, we know the characters and their quirks are on fully display, especially when Sarin draws the title because she is a real pro at expressive eyes and touches of surrealism to break up the slice of life. 2018 was full of drama to go with the Giant Days’ comedy as Daisy broke up with her a little too footloose and fancy free girlfriend Ingrid, and Esther missed her shot at being in a relationship with Ed when he begins a romance with Nina, a girl he met while recuperating from a pub related injury. Nina being Australian is the subject of this year holiday’s special, which was a special treat drawn and written by Allison as Ed fends for himself Down Under. Giant Days shows that it’s one of the pre-eminent slice of life comics as it enters its fourth year, and Esther, Daisy, and Susan’s relationships continue to ebb and flow.
1. Immortal Hulk (Marvel)
I will preface this by saying that the Hulk is one of my least favorite Marvel characters because he’s often used as a simplistic Jekyll/Hyde metaphor. Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Ruy Jose, Lee Garbett, Martin Simmonds, and Paul Mounts blow that up in Immortal Hulk, which resembles an intelligent horror story rather than a superhero beat ’em up. It’s a road story with Bruce Banner on the run from the monster that comes out, wrecks, and kills when the sun goes down before morphing into a government conspiracy thriller and something more malevolent towards the end. Through cutting narration, Ewing reveals exactly what is going through Banner’s head while Bennett’s art shows the often gruesome effects of his rages. I also like how Ewing humanizes the supporting players from Walter Langkowski, who is struggling with his own monstrous nature to honest reporter Jackie McGee and even his opponent the Absorbing Man.
Immortal Hulk is the best comic of 2018 because it has a compelling plot, is a searing character study of an American pop culture icon, and is an homage to Jack Kirby and Bernie Wrightson while breaking new ground. (See issue 10’s final page.)
(W) Gerard Way (A) Dan McDaid (CA) Nick Derington
In Shops: Oct 31, 2018
Something normal is happening to the Doom Patrol. Which means not weird, since their own normal is very weird. There are mysterious forces at work, unseen hands rewriting history, and the change is so gradual, the team doesn’t even necessarily see how much they are changing. The end of our second big DOOM PATROL arc leads into big things to come next month!
After Gerard Way and Jake Wyatt created SP//dr back in Spider-Verse, she was one of the most requested heroes. With Spider-Geddon on the horizon, SP//dr is back. Edge of Spider-Geddon #2 brings you the next chapter in Peni Parker’s life and set the table for the Spider-Event of 2018!
Too short, that’s the problem with Edge of Spider-Geddon #2. Based on a story by Gerard Way, Lonnie Nadler and Zac Thompson craft what is a very entertaining re-introduction to Peni Parker. But, by the end, we’re given a bit too little. This is an issue that could have benefited from about 25-50% more pages to flesh out some concepts and scenes. But, that’s also a good thing in a way in that the character and concepts are really good too. While the comic feels a little rushed as far as story, things are set up so well that, much like the first issue of this miniseries, we want to see more of this character and world.
Peni Parker and her Spider mech suit is a familiar concept and with the young age of the character and some of the concepts within, it’s hard to not be reminded of Mech Cadet Yu by Grek Pak (this character originated that series). Pak has had a dozen issues to flesh out his ideas though and Nadler and Thompson do their best giving us more Peni and introducing us to this world’s Venom. There’s also Peni’s Uncle Ben and Aunt May to meet, as well as another twist on a villain, and you can see how so much is there, it’s hard to do it all justice. It’s still entertaining though and left us wanting more.
The art by Alberto Albuquerque with color by Tríona Farrell and lettering by Cory Petit is good. There’s of course mechs running around but there’s also a horror aspect to it all later in the issue. What’s shown, while not explained fully, has a bit of a scariness to it all. It’s a mix of the organic and mechanic in a way that is a bit of a flashback to Superman III (you know the scene we’re talking about). With some solid action and character designs, this is a series that feels like it’s made for the tween set, and succeeds in look and story.
More. That’s the gist of it. We want more. This is a great concept with interesting characters and too few pages to explore any of it enough. If an issue gets you to that point and leaves you wanting more instead of frustrated, that’s a good thing right?
Story: Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson, Gerard Way Art: Alberto Albuquerque Ink: Alberto Albuquerque Color: Tríona Farrell Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit Story: 7.5 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Story: Lonnie Nadler, Zac Thompson, Gerard Way
Art: Alberto Albuquerque
Ink: Alberto Albuquerque
Color: Triona Farrell
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover: Jake Wyatt
Variant Cover: Cully Hamner, Morry Hollowell
In Shops: Aug 29, 2018
After Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance, The Umbrella Academy) and Jake Wyatt created SP//dr back in SPIDER-VERSE, she was one of the most requested heroes. With Spider-Geddon on the horizon, SP//dr is back. Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler are joining the team to bring you the next chapter in Peni Parker’s life and set the table for the Spider-Event of 2018!
The wunderkind brood returns in The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion! Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá will return to their Harvey, Eisner, and YALSA award winning and critically acclaimed series with colorist Nick Filardi, and letterer Nate Piekos signed on to bring more Umbrella Academy adventures to life! With a Netflix series soon to debut, the best-selling superhero series returns, stranger than ever—and our heroes’ pasts are coming back to hunt them.
The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion finds the Umbrella Academy scattered after Sir Reginald Hargreeves’ death. Number Five is a hired gun, Kraken is stalking big game, Rumor is dealing with the wreckage of her marriage, a rotund Spaceboy runs around the streets of Tokyo, Vanya continues her physical therapy after being shot in the head—and no one wants to even mention Seance until issue #2.
The Umbrella Academy fans don’t have to wait until October to reconnect with their favorite series! Dark Horse will debut two The Umbrella Academy convention exclusives at San Diego Comic-Con. The Umbrella Academy Hazel and Cha Cha Enamel Pin is a .125” enamel pin featuring the heads of Hazel and Cha Cha, the ultra-violent villains of The Umbrella Academy world. 1,000 enamel pins are available for $10 each. The Umbrella Academy Crest T-shirt will also be available at SDCC. This convention exclusive is a black cotton t-shirt featuring the crest of the Umbrella Academy on the front, and The Umbrella Academy logo on the back. Sizes include both women’s and men’s S-XXL. The Umbrella Academy Crest T-shirts retail for $25 each and are limited to a quantity of 400.
The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1 (of seven) goes on sale October 3, 2018, and is available for pre-order at your local comic shop.
DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and make a purchase, we’ll receive a percentage of the sale. Graphic Policy does purchase items from this site. Making purchases through these links helps support the site
(W) Gerard Way (A/CA) Nick Derington
In Shops: Apr 25, 2018
Featuring the conclusion of the “NADA” storyline the Doom Patrol fights Dada and someone becomes a mama. How did life and death become so intertwined? It’s Robotman versus a classic foe as Casey and Terry take us into a whole new territory we’ve never seen before. But could this newness also just be a whole lot of nothing?