Tag Archives: harbinger wars

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Action Comics #1001 (DC Comics) – There’s fires being set in Metropolis and Superman may be behind them. This series focuses on the Man of Steel who’s now a bachelor…

Bone Parish #1 (BOOM! Studios) – There’s a new drug that involves grinding up corpses. There’s some mob aspects and a hell of a twist towards the end.

Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #1 (Valiant Entertainment) – The first volume was fantastic and we’re expecting no less from this brand new volume.

Doomsday Clock #6 (DC Comics) – An issue devoted to adding depth to the series’ two new villains and what happens when they meet the villains of the DC Universe.

Harbinger Wars 2 #3 (Valiant Entertainment) – Valiant can do events and this is no exception.

Hellicious #1 (Starburn Industries Press) – An over the top laugh for those who enjoy I Hate Fairyland. Little demonic girl… nuff said.

Infinity Wars Prime #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s cosmic event continues as it moves to the next phase.

Justice League Dark #1 (DC Comics) – There’s a new Justice League focused on the fallout of Justice League: No Justice and magic getting all wacky.

The Long Con #1 (Oni Press) – A disaster has befallen a major geek convention but are there survivors in the quarantined zone? A fun goof on con-life.

Mr. and Mrs. X #1 (Marvel) – Rogue and Gambit are married… lets see where that goes.

The New World #1 (Image Comics) – Ales Kot’s new series about the United States after the Second Civil War. This should be a good one!

Shanghai Red #2 (Image Comics) – The series is fantastic so far following a young woman’s revenge against the men who kidnapped her and threw her on a boat. It’s a brutal revenge tale.

Teen Titans #20 (DC Comics) – Damian is leading a new team of heroes with some interesting members and a hell of a dynamic.

Transformers: Unicron #2 (IDW Publishing) – The major event continues as Starscream attempts to step up and lead his Decepticons against Unicron!

X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis #1 (Marvel) – Ed Piskor continues his take on the X-Men with this remixed history. Absolutely fantastic.

Preview: Harbinger Wars Compendium TPB

HARBINGER WARS COMPENDIUM TPB

Written by JOSHUA DYSART and DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
Art by KHARI EVANS, MANUEL GARCIA, CLAYTON HENRY, and PERE PÉREZ with PHIL BRIONES, MATTHEW CLARK, CLAYTON CRAIN, LEE GARBETT, TREVOR HAIRSINE, BARRY KITSON, LEWIS LAROSA, ARTURO LOZZI, JIM MUNIZ, and MICO SUAYAN
Cover by CLAYTON HENRY (MAR182017)

Presenting the best-selling crossover event that redefined the Valiant Universe for a new generation, now in the most complete collection yet. From the first salvo all the way to the very last shot, follow the complete saga from its beginning in the first issues of HARBINGER and BLOODSHOT and see what set them on the road to a collision in the pages of HARBINGER WARS!

When an untrained and undisciplined team of super-powered test subjects escape from Project Rising Spirit and onto the Vegas Strip, Bloodshot and the Harbinger Renegades will find themselves locked in battle against a deadly succession of opponents – and each other. As the combined forces of the H.A.R.D. Corps, Generation Zero, and omega-level telekinetic Toyo Harada all descend on Las Vegas to vie for the control of Rising Spirit’s deadliest assets, the world is about to discover the shocking price of an all-out superhuman conflict…and no one will escape unscathed. Who will survive the Harbinger Wars?

From acclaimed writers Joshua Dysart (HARBINGER) and Duane Swierczynski (BLOODSHOT) and an all-star cast of artists including Clayton Henry (ARCHER & ARMSTRONG), Khari Evans (IMPERIUM), Manuel Garcia (Black Widow), Barry Kitson (Fantastic Four), and more!

Collecting HARBINGER (2012) #1-14, BLOODSHOT (2012) #1-13, and HARBINGER WARS #1-4.

$59.99 | 768 pgs. | T+
TRADE PAPERBACK | ISBN: 978-1-68215-261-4

The Colossal Event of 2018 Rages On in Harbinger Wars 2 #3 – In Stores This July!

All hands on deck!

Valiant has revealed a first look at the covers for Harbinger Wars 2 #3 (of 4), the third chapter in the SEISMIC SIX-PART EVENT that will push Valiant’s most powerful heroes past their breaking points and beyond! On July 25th, New York Times best-seller Matt Kindt and breathtaking artist Tomás Giorello – the creative team who waged war against the galaxy in the best-selling X-O Manowar series – advance their new campaign deep into the heart of the Valiant Universe towards an unstoppable, continent-shattering climax!

Divided but not yet conquered, Livewire and the Harbinger Renegades are making their last stand for the fate of their fellow psiots! Targeted by X-O Manowar and the governmental forces of the H.A.R.D. Corps, the most powerful players behind the cataclysmic conflict that has torn America asunder are about to converge in a violent conflict where the ultimate fate of the Valiant Universe will be decided… And Ninjak and Bloodshot are about to get a crucial new role in the heart of it all!

Featuring covers by J.G. JonesMico SuayanJuan José Ryp, and Felipe Massafera!

Matt Kindt & Doug Braithwaite Declare Harbinger Wars 2 #0 – Shipping in December!

Valiant has released a first look inside Harbinger Wars 2 #0 – an exclusive, limited-edition prelude to the publisher’s powerful 2018 crossover event that will only be made available EXCLUSIVELY to fans that redeemed mail-away coupons in Harbinger Renegade #1-4! This December, the march toward the biggest and most ambitious Valiant event ever attempted starts right here with a standalone introduction from New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt and explosive artist Doug Braithwaite that will set the stakes for next summer’s seismic comics conflict!

Available only through a coupon redemption, Harbinger Wars 2 #0 will lay the foundation for the bloodied future that has been foreseen by the world’s most high-powered threat: Alexander Solomon, Toyo Harada’s former protege and the Renegade’s newest adversary! But there are those that even Solomon fears… And, as the march toward Harbinger Wars 2 builds over the coming year, a new and terrible force is about to reveal itself to the heroes of the Valiant Universe!

Featuring the Harbinger Renegades, H.A.R.D. Corps, and surprise guests assembled from throughout the Valiant Universe, Harbinger Wars 2 #0 has been produced as a reward for Valiant’s most ardent longtime fans and the events of the issue will be entirely self-contained. As such, Harbinger Wars 2 #0 will enhance, but not directly impact comprehension of, the primary Harbinger Wars 2 comics event coming soon to comic shops everywhere.

Sony Pictures and Valiant Announce Five-Picture Deal

BLOODSHOT_001_COVER_LOZZIValiant Entertainment and Sony Pictures today announced a deal to bring two of Valiant’s award-winning comic book superhero franchises—Bloodshot and Harbinger—to the big screen over the course of five feature films that will culminate in the shared universe crossover film, Harbinger Wars.

Bloodshot, arriving in theaters in 2017, will kick off the five-picture plan leading to Harbinger Wars and will be directed by David Leitch and Chad Stahelski from a script by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer. Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe from Original Film and Dinesh Shamdasani from Valiant Entertainment will produce the film. Matthew Vaughn and Jason Kothari will serve as executive producers.

Harbinger will follow shortly thereafter from a script by Eric Heisserer. Sony and Valiant rHARBINGER_012_COVER_REEDERemain tight-lipped about potential directors. Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe from Original Film and Dinesh Shamdasani from Valiant Entertainment will produce.

Both films will be followed by sequels before the title characters confront each other head on in Harbinger Wars—a motion picture directly inspired by Valiant’s critically acclaimed 2013 comic book crossover of the same name. Andrea Giannetti will oversee the five-picture HARBINGER WARS initiative for Sony Pictures.

In March, Valiant announced that it partnered with Beijing-based entertainment company DMG for nine-figures of film financing capital for the production of theatrical films and television programs based on Valiant’s library of iconic superhero characters.

Valiant Heads to Farrago Comics for FREE Digital Comics

farrago comicsWe’re got the scoop and breaking the news that Farrago Comics will now be offering comics from Valiant Entertainment through their digital app. Valiant will be offering issues #1 and #2 of the popular X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong, and more, all for free.

The Farrago Comics app, allows individuals to read comic books for free with revenue generated from full-page ads. In January, Farrago announced a partnership with IDW Publishing where they offered ten #1 issues. This also marked the apps move out of beta. In February, the company launched into original comics through a Kickstarter for Rob Kutner’s Shrinkage which is illustrated by John Lucas.

The app is available for iPad and Android.

Check out the complete list of what’s on, or coming to the app:

Valiant Entertainment comics now available on Farrago:

  • Archer & Armstrong #1 & #2
  • Harbinger #1 & #2
  • X-O Manowar #1 & #2
  • Bloodshot #1 & #2
  • Eternal Warrior #1
  • Shadowman #1
  • Harbinger Wars #1 (of 4)

Valiant Entertainment comics coming to Farrago on March 18, 2014:

  • Eternal Warrior #2
  • Quantum and Woody #1
  • Unity #1
  • Shadowman #2

Valiant Comes to Humble Bundle

VALIANT_HUMBLE BUNDLE_front pageHumble Bundle and Valiant Entertainment are proud to present the Humble Valiant Bundle – the ultimate digital comics collection featuring more than 120 issues of some of the most critically acclaimed titles anywhere in comics today!

A special one-time offering loaded with collections of Valiant’s best-selling series and online debuts, customers purchasing the Humble Valiant Bundle can choose to benefit three vitally important charities – Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Hero Initiative, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF).

The Humble Valiant Bundle features a longbox-busting digital library of 24 graphic novels and collections, and spans all of Valiant’s most popular superhero titles – including X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Harbinger, Bloodshot, Quantum and Woody, and more! With a total retail value of more than $420, the Humble Valiant Bundle is the single biggest comics offering ever presented by Humble Bundle.

Featuring work by an all-star cast of top talents – including writers Joshua Dysart, Matt Kindt, Bob Layton, Jim Shooter, Fred Van Lente, and Robert Venditti, alongside artists Doug Braithwaite, Clayton Crain, Cary Nord and more – the Valiant Humble Bundle is the perfect place to discover why Valiant continues to win over fans and critics around the world with high quality storytelling and outstanding artwork.

Fans can name their price to receive the first TWO volumes of X-O Manowar, Archer & Armstrong, Quantum and Woody, Harbinger and Unity. Plus: get the classic Shadowman video game as an extra-added bonus!

Contribute more than the average price to get even more of Valiant’s blockbuster publishing line with the first two volumes of Bloodshot, Shadowman and Eternal Warrior – plus the first volume of Rai and Harbinger Wars!

For $15 or more, Valiant will open the vaults and unleash the entire Valiant Masters digital series, showcasing the legendary origins of one of the greatest universes in comics. Re-presenting the original adventures of Ninjak, Rai, Bloodshot, Shadowman, and H.A.R.D. Corps – plus a Humble Bundle-exclusive Valiant Masters volume of classic X-O Manowar not available in print – the Valiant Masters series celebrates Valiant’s historic legacy, and include dozens of pages of rarely seen bonus materials and special features.

The Humble Valiant Bundle runs for two weeks beginning Wednesday, September 17, 2014 and ends Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 11 a.m. PDT.

VALIANT_HUMBLE-BUNDLE_logo

Valiant in May 2014

RAI #1

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CLAYTON CRAIN
Covers by CLAYTON CRAIN, BRYAN HITCH, STEPHEN SEGOVIA, and RAUL ALLEN
Variant Cover by KHARI EVANS
Variant Cover by TREVOR HAIRSINE
Variant Cover by DAVID AJA & RAUL ALLEN
Blank Cover also available

VALIANT FIRST begins in force this May with an  all-new vision of the future in RAI #1 – a new monthly series from comics superstars Matt Kindt and  Clayton Crain!

The year is 4001 A.D. – led by the artificial intelligence called “Father,” the island nation of Japan has expanded out of the Pacific and into geosynchronous orbit with the ravaged Earth below. With billions to feed and protect, it has fallen to one solitary guardian to enforce the law of Father’s empire – the mysterious folk hero known as Rai. They say he can appear out of nowhere. They say he is a spirit…the ghost of Japan. But when the first murder in a thousand years threatens to topple Father’s benevolent reign, Rai will be forced to confront the true face of a nation transformed…and his own long-lost humanity…

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE MAY 7th!

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RAI #1 PULLBOX PLUS EDITION

Written by MATT KINDT
Art & Cover by CLAYTON CRAIN

For the very first time – pre-order to get 15+ extra pages of 4001 A.D. action!

For Valiant’s dedicated pullbox customers, celebrate the launch of VALIANT FIRST with a special expanded edition of RAI #1, featuring more than 15 pages of in-story bonus features and dedicated looks inside the world of 4001 A.D. that won’t be collected for the trade paperback!

Retailers please note: this item will come polybagged and will be limited to initial orders only.

$4.99/T+/48 pgs.
ON SALE MAY 7th!

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X-O MANOWAR #25

Written by ROBERT VENDITTI with PETER MILLIGAN and JUSTIN JORDAN
Art by DIEGO BERNARD with J.G. JONES, BRYAN HITCH, and RAFER ROBERTS
Covers by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC and BRYAN HITCH
Armors Variant by ARTURO LOZZI
Throwback Variant by SEAN CHEN
Variant Cover by TERRY DODSON

VALIANT FIRST delivers another must-read milestone this May with a blockbuster, 48-page celebration of X-O Manowar’s 25th issue…and an essential introduction to the comic book event of 2014 – ARMOR HUNTERS!

Find out why the galaxy’s most feared team of hunter-killers have journeyed across the stars to destroy the X-O Manowar armor and the Earth along with it in ARMOR HUNTERS: PART ZERO by Robert Venditti and Diego Bernard. Then, revisit the roots of Aric of Dacia’s transformation from Visigoth conqueror into the 21st century’s alien-armored guardian, as told by Robert Venditti and J.G. Jones! Plus, all-new tales of X-O Manowar from Peter Milligan & Bryan Hitch, Justin Jordan & Rafer Roberts, and much, much more!

$4.99/T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE MAY 21st!

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ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #20 (NEW ARC!)

Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by PERE PEREZ
Covers by SHAWN CRYSTAL and MICHAEL WALSH
Variant Cover by MICO SUAYAN

ALL-NEW ARC! START READING HERE!  “AMERICAN WASTELAND” begins here!   

His whole life, Obadiah Archer has been lied to about his true heritage – but when he and his pal Armstrong arrive in L.A. to meet his real parents, they find them in the clutches of the CHURCH OF RETROLOGY! What insidious plans does THE LIZARD KING, the head of the favored religion of the Left Coast’s rich and famous, have for the Valiant Universe’s premier conspiracy busters? And what lurks in the Hollywood Hotel? (Hint: You can check in anytime you like, but you can never leave!)

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE MAY 7th!

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SHADOWMAN: END TIMES #2 (of 3)

Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art by VALENTINE DE LANDRO
Cover by JEFF DEKAL
Variant Cover by TREVOR McCARTHY

The return of Master Darque!  

Only one man can help Shadowman now…his worst enemy! Forced to confront the greatest shock of his lifetime, Jack Boniface speeds down a self-destructive spiral he may never recover from. Exterminating the wild and evil loa spirits that haunt New Orleans at any cost, Jack has left himself with nothing to lose…in this world. By crossing the veil into the dark world beyond – the Deadside – will Jack save his own soul…or destroy himself?

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE MAY 28th!

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UNITY #7

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CAFU
Covers by TREVOR HAIRSINE and RAUL ALLEN
Variant Cover by DAVE BULLOCK

The final deathtrap of Dr. Silk!

Ninjak’s ultimate enemy has drawn his web tight around X-O Manowar and the rest of Valiant’s unbreakable all-star superteam…and now they’re about to find out how the globe’s most brilliantly depraved mind doles out revenge. “Trapped by Webnet” cuts to an action-packed conclusion…and no one will escape Dr. Silk’s grasp unscathed!

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE MAY 21st!

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HARBINGER #23

Written by JOSHUA DYSART
Art by CLAYTON HENRY
Cover by MICO SUAYAN
Final Interlocking Variant by ZACHARY MONTOYA
Variant Cover by KHARI EVANS

Dead. Means. Dead.

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE MAY 28th!

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BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS #22 (NEW ARC!)

Written by CHRISTOS GAGE & JOSHUA DYSART
Art by AL BARRIONUEVO
Covers by LEWIS LAROSA and ROBERTO DE LA TORRE
Variant Cover by RILEY ROSSMO

ALL-NEW ARC! START READING HERE!  Bloodshot VS. H.A.R.D. Corps! 

The one-man army known only as Bloodshot is forced to turn his guns on his own people!  Project Rising Spirit, the private military organization that created Bloodshot, enlisted him to fight on their side – and Bloodshot, seeking his own secret justice, agreed. Now his agenda comes to light, and Bloodshot turns around to destroy Rising Spirit once and for all…but he has to go through Major Palmer and his own ragtag team of men and women to do it! Our hero versus our heroes in a bloody battle with life-or-death stakes to save or destroy an evil corporation…and whoever wins…everyone loses!

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE MAY 14th!

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QUANTUM AND WOODY #10

Written by JAMES ASMUS
Art by KANO
Covers by KANO and RUSSELL DAUTERMAN

Quantum and Woody – against the world…or against each other?! 

Woody always had a weakness for the ladies…and when an old flame lures the goofus into a gang of mad-science super-crooks, Woody flips back to his old lawless ways! Where does this leave Woody’s sweet clone girlfriend? And now it’s up to his own brother Eric, who isn’t that sure he even wants to be a superhero, to bring Woody in! Don’t miss this bro-down for the ages!

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE MAY 14th!

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SHADOWMAN VOL. 4: FEAR, BLOOD, AND SHADOWS TPB

Written by PETER MILLIGAN
Art by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE & AL BARRIONUEVO
Cover by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE

Master storytellers Peter Milligan and Roberto de la Torre present an all-new new beginning for New Orleans’ mysterious defender.  

When a troubled young man with a history of violence and a penchant for blackouts meets an overwhelming source of power with a mystical scythe, the results are doomed to be destructive. A voodoo loa has possessed Jack Boniface – or so he believes. But after Jack awakens in an alleyway covered in blood, he embarks on a journey across lands of shadows and death to discover if he can expel the dark force that’s seized control of his life…and which may be responsible for a violent rampage throughout New Orleans…

Collecting SHADOWMAN #13-16 by comics icon Peter Milligan (Hellblazer, X-Statix) and visionary artist Roberto De La Torre (Daredevil), start reading here as Shadowman begins a brand new era…and Jack Boniface gets dragged to his blackest depths yet!

$14.99/T+/32 pgs.
TRADE PAPERBACK
ISBN: 978-1-939346-27-8
ON SALE MAY 7th!

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HARBINGER WARS DELUXE EDITON HC

Written by JOSHUA DYSART and DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
Art by CLAYTON HENRY, PERE PEREZ, BARRY KITSON, TREVOR HAIRSINE, KHARI EVANS, CLAYTON CRAIN, and MICO SUAYAN
Cover by CLAYTON CRAIN

Re-presenting Valiant’s best-selling crossover event in complete chronological order, the acclaimed Harbinger Wars saga gets the deluxe oversized hardcover treatment – with more than 20+ pages of bonus content and rarely-seen special features! 

When an untrained and undisciplined team of super-powered test subjects escape from Project Rising Spirit and onto the Vegas Strip, Bloodshot and the Harbinger Renegades will find themselves locked in battle against a deadly succession of opponents – and each other. As the combined forces of the H.A.R.D. Corps, Generation Zero, and omega-level telekinetic Toyo Harada all descend on Las Vegas to vie for the control of Rising Spirit’s deadliest assets, the world is about to discover the shocking price of an all-out superhuman conflict…and no one will escape unscathed. Who will survive the Harbinger Wars?

Collecting HARBINGER WARS #1-4, HARBINGER #11-14, BLOODSHOT #10-13 and material from the HARBINGER WARS SKETCHBOOK, the Harbinger Wars Deluxe Edition HC is the only place to find the complete story of the groundbreaking crossover that IGN calls “one hell of a ride.”

$39.99/T+/368 pgs.
OVERSIZED HARDCOVER
ISBN: 978-1-939346-32-2
ON SALE MAY 28th!

HWARS_DELUXE_HC_COVER

Best Comics of 2013

It’s the first day of a new year and so that means we’re doing our “best of” listing of the top comic books for 2013. Generally these are comic books that came out in 2013, though some are from earlier times and I got around to reading them, or limited series that continued. Keep in mind, this is what I have read. If it’s not on here, I just might not have read it.

Best Super Hero Comic – Hawkeye

Hawkeye_2_CoverHawkeye, Marvel Comics’ least likely hit is as cool as the minimalist covers by David Aja. Written by Matt Fraction with art by Aja among others, Hawkeye follows the Avenger and shows him not as his cockiest (as portrayed elsewhere), but instead as a character who isn’t totally sure of himself. The series is a deconstruction of this hero, putting him at the street level, as likely to take on Hydra as his is some petty street thugs who say “Bro” a lot. For that, among many reasons, the comic repeats as the best super hero series out there.

The series has a pulp sense about it, but there’s something with Hawkeye’s simple story telling that makes it stand above the rest. The art, the story, the covers, it’s all there blending perfectly. It doesn’t hurt the series also boasted some of the best single issues this year.

There’s a fantastic mix of action, humor and simple human interaction that pulls together to make it the best super hero comic I’m reading. While last year it got recognition, that seems to have grown this year, with the series earning a devoted following and it’s place on not just this list, but many others.

Runners Up:

  • All-New X-Men – This series seriously shouldn’t work, but somehow it did. Writer Brian Michael Bendis has take an idea, pulling the original X-Men to the present, and gave us a solid series that actually spun into Marvel’s best event of this year.
  • Daredevil – A strong contender for this year’s top spot, and past winner, this series is still one of the best comics on the market. Mark Waid’s writing is fantastic as he took Matt Murdock down further holes (literally and metaphorically), and gave him the struggle of dealing with a real life situation, his best friend’s fight with cancer. Next year will shake up the series, here’s hoping it doesn’t suffer.
  • FF – The art, the writing, this series is one of the craziest superhero comics out there and one with amazing heart.  Not shockingly it’s also written by Hawkeye‘s Matt Fraction.
  • The Superior Spider-Man – Much like All-New X-Men above, this series is a concept that shouldn’t work. Dan Slott has switched Peter Parker with Doc Ock and given us the struggle of a villain trying to be a hero. We all know it won’t last, but it’s been one hell of a fun ride so far.

Best Non-Super Hero Comic – Saga

saga15_coverIt shouldn’t be shocking this Image series by writer Brian K. Vaughan with art by Fiona Staples is in this spot. It’s one of the most decorated comics both this year and last, dominating “best of” lists and it’s well deserved.

The comic is a mix of science fiction and fantasy, following two individuals from opposite warring sides who fall in love, have a kid, and go on the run, pursued by both those sides.

The writing and art are just superb with characters and settings so creative no description does it justice. This is the series I’d hand non-comic readers to show them how amazing the medium can be.

Runners Ups:

  • Imagine Agents – Take Ghostbusters and mix it with Men in Black and you get this series of agents dealing with imaginary friends. The series has been fantastic and I can only want more of it! A feather in the cap for publisher BOOM! Studios’ stellar year.
  • Mind MGMT- Matt Kindt is an amazing writer and this series involving mind controlling secret agents is trippy and exciting as they come. The art is his usual water color like style, unique and recognizable in today’s comics. The comic feels like Ah-Ha’s Take On Me music video, with psychics and world traveling, aka, it’s awesome and the best comic you’re most likely not reading.
  • Revival- Did you hear zombies are still big in entertainment? This new series follows a town locked down by the CDC after the dead come back to life. What’s the cause? What exactly is going on? Little by little we’re finding out, but the focus is really the realistic characters dealing with this strange world.
  • Think Tank – This series deserves more attention. Published by Top Cow and written by Matt Hawkins with art by Rashan Ekedel, it’s real world take and well thought out scenarios and technology make it eerily prescient and a reflection of what the world might really be like when it comes to war in the near future.

Best Limited Series or One Shot – The Wake

The Wake #4 coverScott Snyder is a hell of a writer and the first part of this maxi-series wrapped up recently, leaving me with my jaw on the floor. A story that spans centuries, to say more would be to ruin the shock.

What I can say is the series’ first part evokes classic horror movies and spins out into something completely different by the end. It’s just so good and I don’t want to ruin it.

Snyder is backed up with art by Sean Murphy whose gritty pencils add to Snyder’s scary (good) scripts. Catch up on it now before the next volume begins.

Runners Up:

  • The Black Beetle – Francesco Francavilla, he alone is the reason this series is on this list. The Black Beetle is a return to fun pulp comics of the past, and Francavilla’s writing and his amazing artist (my favorite of the year) make this an amazing read. Can’t wait to see, and read, more.
  • Buzzkill – Don’t know this one? This limited series deals with a hero who only gets his powers through drugs. The problem is, he’s trying to get clean. A solid series full of ultra violence. I’m hoping for a second volume, which would be interesting considering how this one ended.
  • Demeter – The final release of Becky Cloonan’s indie comic trilogy, it’s just creepy. I’d include The Mire and Wolves which round out the set, but those came out before this year. This shows how many of the best comics are independent comics.
  • Trillium – A max-series from Vertigo covers love across time and space. It’s trippy in ways I can’t describe. The series mixes heart and sci-fi in awesome ways. Luckily we have many issues to go over the next year.

Best Graphic Novel/Trade Paperback – March Book One

March-cover-100dpi.105340March is a brilliant accounting of Congressman John Lewis’ story for new generations and those with similar struggles around the world. This amazing biographical graphic novel is written by Cong. Lewis in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell. The result is one of the best graphic novels in recent memory and an amazing depiction of history that’s accessible to all.

This graphic novel is a piece of history, capturing the Congressman’s experiences testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations. This isn’t just a graphic novel for folks to pick up and enjoy, it’s a work of art and history that should be in every school teaching about our country’s modern struggles.

Seeing as it’s only the first book in a trilogy, expect it to be on a few more lists to come.

Runners Up:

  • Battling Boy – Comics should be fun and Paul Pope’s throwback series featuring a hero sent to Earth as a test is modern Jack Kirby. Just an amazing read with fantastic art, it was a pleasant surprise. The worst part was, I wanted to read more than just this first volume.
  • Boxers & Saints – Covering the Boxer Rebellion, this dual graphic novels take the perspective of the Chinese rebels and the Christian missionaries. Again, an excellent look at history, it’s two books that can be read apart or together.
  • The Fifth Beatle – The only book so far to look at the life of Beatle’s manager Brian Epstein, it’s writing is terrific and art amazing. It was a tough decision as to which would be the top graphic novel, and this one was a close second. Just a fantastic read for comic fans, history fans, music fans and Beatle fans. It’s both uplifting and touching. It’s being made into a movie, so expect buzz about this for many more years.
  • Red Handed: The Fine Art of Strange Crimes – Matt Kindt’s graphic novel follows a series of crimes and the detective who deals with them. There’s a twist at the end that makes this amazing. Add in Kindt’s unique and beautiful art, and it’s easy to see why this makes the list.

Best New Series – The Superior Foes of Spider-Man

SuperiorFoesOfSpiderMan_1_CoverMarvel’s “superior” line of comics has been just that and stands out as Marvel’s best line of comics and this series is a challenger for the best one of the line. Following Spider-Man’s C-list (ok maybe D-list) villains, we get to see things from their perspective.

The series so far has been amazing with writing that’s entertaining, fun, funny and witty. These are bad guys, and for some reason, each issue, I come out rooting for them to succeed. I also feel bad for them, because they’re just not all that good at their jobs.

Eventually Spider-Man will stop being superior, and I hope when that time comes, we don’t see the end of this, because the comics stands out as one that lives up to it’s title, it truly is superior.

  • Afterlife With Archie – I live an Archie comic! In fairness I dig Mega Man, but this is the first that features the Riverdale cast. That cast is now dealing with a zombie outbreak, but this adult Archie Comic has shown the publisher is willing to try things and the series is boosted by the art of Francesco Francavilla.
  • The Bunker – I had to include this digital series which comes to print next year. It’s apocalypse meets Lost story is beyond amazing and art is fantastic. More individuals will hopefully see what the buzz is all about when it comes to print next year, published by Oni.
  • The Fox – The second “Archie” comic in the list is a throwback character that’s fun and entertaining. This is a superhero comic that’s great for the family.
  • Letter 44 – Charles Soule is the hardest working many in comics, writing so far 7 comics a month in 2014. This is his creator owned series that mixes politics and science fiction. Two issues in, I want more!

Best Single Issue – Hawkeye #11

hawkeye #11 coverHawkeye is the top superhero comic of the year, and this issue alone would qualify it to be on any “best of” list.

The issue is told from the perspective of Hawkeye’s dog Lucky, who is now also known as Pizza Dog. The issue is from the dog’s perspective using iconography and muffled dialogue instead of the normal dialogue we’d expect.

I like the fact the comic is original and switches it up from the main character as quite a few issues in this series did this year. But, it’s a pretty high profile comic series focused on a dog! Gutsy and fun at the same time how can you not like that? To say the issue was unique this year is an understatement.

Overall, it’s a brilliant issue on so many levels, it’s just an amazing comic and one of the best for many years. The fact that it spun out a fanbase for the dog says enough.

This was a top issue of a series that had many stand-outs.

Worst Single Issue of the Year – Avengers: Endless Wartime

Avengers_Endless_Wartime_Vol_1_1Marvel announced it was releasing new original graphic novels and this was the much-hyped first release from the creative team of Warren Ellis and Mike McKone. If it’s goal was to gain new readers, boy did it fail.

While the comic has an interesting start, the set-up is much more impressive than the follow through. Underneath the shallow exterior, there’s a greater debate about modern war, both the outsourcing of the battles fought and the pressing a button to kill your enemies thousands of miles away through drones. Overall, the disconnect and dissociation of modern war is a recurring theme throughout the comic. That’s great, if it was discussed more than some glancing dialogue here and there. Unfortunately, that very important discussion and worthwhile exploration is presented with bad guys that seem like something out of a kids cartoon and in a narrative that at times doesn’t make much sense.

The art is average, matching a blah story. I think the character designs are a bit off from what we’ve seen and not always consistent throughout the book and the monsters that are battled aren’t quite clear as to what they are.

It’s the only purchase this year I’ve wanted my money back.

Best Event of the Year – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: City Fall

180px-TMNT_25AI’ll admit I generally ignored TMNT for much of the year, but this event made quite a few lists and I sat down and read it all over the holiday and holy crap did I miss out. The series follows Shredder’s power grab of New York City and the Turtle’s attempt to stop them.

But the best thing was all of the moments that just made it awesome for long tim TMNT fans. With the appearance of Bebop and Rocksteady, Leonardo turning evil, and so much more, this was the culmination of a long time build up.

This has drawn me back in and has me reading the series now each month to make sure I don’t miss out.

Runners Up:

  • Battle of the Atom – Marvel has been not doing it for me when it comes to events so this one which brought X-Men from the future to deal with the X-Men from the past was a pleasant surprise.
  • Forever Evil – DC has been hit and miss, but this event has been pretty solid. Especially when you look at it as commentary between the dark and gritty villains of modern times versus the cleaner villains of yesteryear
  • Harbinger Wars – Valiant’s major event was full of damage, destruction and set the universe off in a whole new direction. this is how you do an event right.
  • Transformers: Dark Cybertron – IDW’s Transformers series have been awesome and this is the culmination of long going stories. Thankfully we have much to go to enjoy.

Best Genre of the Year – Indie Comics

Is it a “genre”? We can argue about that, but lets face it, 2012 was a year we saw major creators shrug off the big two, instead launching creator owned series at other publishers, digitally or through Kickstarter. We saw more comics, in more varieties, on more subjects and more ways to consume them, than any time before. It really wasn’t the year of the Big Two, this was a year that we as consumers could continue to find something that’d fit our tastes.

With more channels for distribution and more ways to produce comics, we’re in a golden age where the old ways of publishing no longer hold back the creativity that abounds.

Runners Up:

  • Zombies – Zombies have become a cultural phenomenon, lead marching shuffling along by The Walking Dead. Revival changed the genre a bit, with so many releases giving us so many other spins and perspectives. The genre has crossed over in to movies, television, books, toys and more. We’ll see how soon before it all comes grinding to a halt and rots away.
  • Digital Comics – Digital first. Digital exclusive. Web comics. This was the year digital comics began to break through. Lead by the platform comiXology, we also saw some creativity in how to sell digitally by Viz and Archie. This distribution method will only grow in 2014 as more ways to gain revenue from it are explored.

Best Surprise of the Year – Image’s continued come back

image comicsImage celebrated it’s 20th anniversary in 2012, and it came back in 2013 and kicked even more ass. It continued to do so this year, adding to the previous year’s hits with even more hot new series. Each release seemed to create bigger and bigger buzz with constant sell-outs. And should it be any shock this was the case?

Image drew some of the biggest talent in the comic industry as creators continued to throw off the shackles of the big two and instead released quality indie comic after indie comic. Pretty Deadly, Manifest Destiny, East of West, Black Science and more debuted in 2013 and that’s on top of The Walking Dead, Saga and many more of the hit comics they already published. It’s truly impressive how much quality and buzz the publisher generated with each release.

They also pushed the distribution envelope selling DRM free comics directly to fans, though questions do remain about that whole announcement.

There was something for everyone this past year from Image, and they continued to move beyond their reputation of big guns and pecks comics, instead bringing us varied titles that at times pushed the medium.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year – Kickstarter

KickstarterLast year’s “publisher of the year” showed its issues as projects were delayed, vapor ware, or not as advertised. Also add in issues on the creator end of folks pledging high amounts and then disputing the charges, at times getting the goods. Add in the platform’s unwillingness to step in to deal with either situation and you get a tech company showing off it’s greed. What was once the toast of the town has shown its cracks which will only get worse.

The crowdfunding platform became a way for creators to raise funds for projects, only to get picked up by publishers, at times delaying projects and leaving bad tastes in the mouths of fans. If all creators were held to the standards of some of the best users of the system, there’d be no issue, but over 90% of the projects I’ve pledged to have been delayed or non-existence only creating angry backers and fans.

These issues have lead this site to rethink what we promote and how we do so.

Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Publisher of the Year – BOOM! Studios

comics-boom-studios-logoA lot of thought has gone into this one and we discussed much of this on this week’s radio show. To me, the publisher of the year is BOOM! Studios and its imprints, KaBOOM!, BOOM! Box and Archaia.

For me a publisher should be more than just the comics it produces, and this one is, but lets start there. BOOM! has show diversity with it’s various lines, with interesting and fun series that span many genres and comics that are good for adults and kids. The publisher has licensed comics and original series that’s something for everyone.

Then there’s the fact they’ve expanded their market. The publisher merged with Archaia, adding to their impressive line-up and talent. Then there was the release of 2 Guns in theaters, a success for the first time movie maker. Then there’s the deal with 20th Century Fox that sees the comic creator as an IP generator for the movie studio. All solid moves that would be impressive to themselves.

Finally there’s the diversity of staff. The company has show diversity works. The amount of women working for the publisher in numerous positions is amazing and in an industry that has a bad reputation when it comes to inclusion, this was the publisher that showed it’s possible and leads to success.

It’d be hard not to applaud the company and they deserve recognition for their hard work that’s paid off.

Runners Up:

  • IDW Publishing – IDW is a publisher that thinks outside of the box when it comes to building it’s readership and that’s why they’re on this list. Not only did they make a fantastic move in including their comics in Transformers toys, an event first issue even, but they also used QR codes to get those toy collectors to check out their app. Also they’ve repackaged their My Little Pony comics to better sell in big box retailers, again something new and interesting as far as marketing. With this, plus some other moves when it comes to partnerships, expansion into tv and movies and games, the publisher is thinking bigger than the comic market.
  • Dark Horse – Conan, The Massive, The Strain, the Goon, Dark Horse Presents, Mind MGMT, Ghost, Buzzkill and I could go on and on. Dark Horse gave us some amazing monthly series, but also collections of modern comics as well as classic comic archives. Consistently some of the best comics out each week and some fantastic gems.
  • Monkeybrain Comics – The digital comic publisher is showing digital works and their move to collect series and get them into print second is a fantastic model I expect many others to try out. Add on top of that an expansive library with enough different titles to appeal to anyone, it’s not a surprise they’re getting accolades across the industry.
  • Titan Books – While none of their books made this list, this publisher would easily fill the 5-10 slots for most of these categories with amazing comics such as A1 (my top anthology), Death Sentence, Chronos Commandos, Tomorrowland and more. They have a second wave of books announced for 2014 that sounds like they’ll be competing for publisher next year and challenging for many of these categories.
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