Starting our Year End Review off with the best comic books from 2016. Now, again, I must clarify that this is my list and I know there are a lot of great comic books out there that I do not read. I read exclusively Marvel Comics (basically) so there will be plenty of other lists that would include such comics as DC, Image, etc. But this list is only those that I read, and those will only be Marvel. I apologize to no one. It is just what I like.
Honorable Mention: Spider-Woman ( with Jessica Drew has been consistently solid all year), Death of X gave a very good pay off to the character of Cyclops, Daredevil has been very good after returning to New York (especially recently with the awesome new villain Muse). Nova, despite the hate this gets online, is one comic that I really have enjoyed. I like Sam Alexander.
What to look for in 2017: In particular, Champions, which I have seen issues #1 and 2, looks to be fantastic. I loved issue #1 of Unworthy Thor, by Jason Aaron. Mosaic has been a really solid first couple of issues as well. It will be interesting to see if any of these comics makes next year’s top 10.
Top Ten for 2016:
10. Pasty Walker aka Hellcat. I did not think I would like this, and the art is a little too cartoony for my taste, but the story has been very solid, and the characterization of Patsy Walker and her supporting cast is top notch. This is something original. That will be a theme on this list.
9. Thor. Jason Aaron has been telling a great story with Jane Foster, cancer patient, as our new female Thor. We also got an origin story this year for Mjolnir. This felt like a stunt when it first happened, but the tale weaved by Aaron has been worthy of a Thunder Goddess.
8. Nighthawk. One of the series that was cancelled too soon. It featured a new version of an old character dealing with very topical subjects. Yes, I prefer my heroes to be non-killers and Nighthawk is certainly that, but the stories are the most important aspect of a comic, and Nighthawk was excellent every issue.
7. Spider-man. Miles Morales entered the 616 universe and took his place as a Spider-man. Now, mind you, I think that he should be called something else, since Peter Parker is still running around also going by the name, but that is beside the point. Miles Morales has been a breath of fresh air in the Spider-man universe and big things are going to happen with him (will he kill Captain America?)
6. Squadron Supreme. The group of anti-heroes coming from earths that had been destroyed was a weird concept. Then, they killed Namor. Squadron Supreme has a great mix of character development and teamwork, as this is the highest team book on the list. With the soon return of Namor, it sounds as if the team might be taking a more heroic turn, which is welcome to me.
5. Dr. Strange. The Dr. Strange Last Days of Magic story was very well done, but I will admit it felt like the Thor God Killer storyline. However, similar though it may have been, Dr. Strange was shown better in this series than he had ever been shown before. It was a book that you could not miss and when was the last time that the Sorcerer Supreme was in that boat?
4. Amazing Spider-man. Spidey will always be near the top of this list. Spider-man is my favorite character and, although I am not overly fond of making him “Tony Stark-lite”, the stories involving Spidey have been well done. And the return of Doc Ock is overdue.
3. Civil War 2. This event series has been epic. There have been a ton of shocking moments that make you think twice about the Marvel Universe. The conflict between Carol and Tony feels natural and both characters faced big problems from their involvement. I have not yet found out what is the resolution of the story, but it should be something that brings chaos to the Marvel Universe for years to come.
2. Moon Knight. I enjoyed the last Moon Knight series, but the new series with Marc Specter in an asylum, not sure what is real and what is not, has been amazing. We still aren’t sure just what is going on and what is real. I love that sort of intrigue. We have known for years that Marc Specter was crazy. Taking that and playing with reality is a brilliant move and created one of the best comics of 2016. It would have been number one if it had not been for….
I loved this series. I am still really pissed at Marvel for cancelling it. I loved what Chelsea Cain created for Bobbi Morse. This series was as creative and original as anything I have read in years. The story was told in Bobbi’s POV and that meant that she might be making things up as she went. Perhaps the story is told with Hunter in skimpy shorts because that is how Bobbi sees it. Brilliant. The first five issues were told in a format in which you could read them in any order and you might find something new. Then the final 3 issues of the book delved back into Bobbi’s history and her relationship with Slade Wilson. It was constantly funny. It was dramatic. It had strong characterization and a strong female led character that was not just a rebooted version of another hero. It is a crime that Marvel Comics did not continue with Mockingbird past issue eight. It was easily the best comic I read this year, and it is one of my favorite comic series from the last ten years.