13 COMICS I Loved in 2016

Happy New Year, Comic Peeps!

Sean Von Gorman


Instead of my usual LAST WEEK’S COMICS TODAY, I’m looking back at the whole year.

There were so many amazing comics in 2016, making a list of 13 is really difficult. I’m sure I’m missing some that I loved, but this year seems like it’s been forever so I may have forgotten a few here and there.

But the ones below were standouts for me. Maybe you didn’t love the ones I love, but that’s what so great about comics. There is something for everybody. This was a huge year of change for me in my personal life but the one thing that didn’t change was my love for comics. And comics rewarded me with a fantastic group of comic books. For me, comics are like my favorite blanket — always comforting, always there.

In no particular order, here are 13 COMICS I LOVED IN 2016:

Black Hammer, by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, Dave Stewart (Dark Horse). Retired superheroes all together in one place? This series is an homage to the Golden Age of Comics More than that, it’s all about trying to be a part of something and not fitting in. It balances nostalgia and the present.

Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda (Image). This is one of those books that comes along once in a blue moon. Actually, not even that often. It looks cute and has unicorns and adorable creatures, but it reflects real-world issues like human trafficking and war.

The Vision by Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Jordie Bellaire, Michael Walsh and Clayton Cowles (Marvel). My favorite book from Marvel. Maybe ever. I am a huge Vision fan and a huge Tom King fan so reading this was a no-brainer, but this take was something I didn’t see coming. If Vision starred in The ‘Burbs, this is what it would look like. I was so sad to see this book end. But King is writing an amazing run of Batman, so I’m kind of OK with it.

The Sheriff of Babylon, by Tom King and Mitch Gerads (Vertigo). Yeah, yeah. Another Tom King book. But this book is just WOW. This type of book isn’t normally in my wheelhouse so I was so surprised when I loved it as much as I did. It’s a smart book with a real-world feel. I am super-excited for the second series!

March: Book Three by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell (IDW/Top Shelf). I don’t think I need to say much about this that hasn’t been said elsewhere. It has done so much for the entire industry and the team should be more than proud. I am so proud of them.

Love is Love, by a Who’s Who of Comics and organized by Marc Andreyko (IDW/DC). Do not read this in public unless you don’t mind crying in front of people. This is a beautiful book written and illustrated by members of a beautiful community. Just get it.

Batman ’66 Meets The Man from U.N.C.L.E. by Jeff Parker, David Hahn and Karl Kesel — with covers by Mike and Laura Allred. (DC/Boom!). This book was just downright fun. Yes, I love The Man from U.N.C.L.E. so this was a no-brainer for me to read but it exceeded all expectations. I had so much fun with it and in a year where my beloved Robert Vaughn was taken, it is a book I completely cherish.

Darth Vader, by Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larroca and Edgar Delgado (Marvel). This whole series was incredible. It showed everyone just how badass Darth Vader really is — not that I needed to know that as he has been intimidating me since 1977, but some people don’t remember that. (Go see Rogue One to be reminded of that, too!). I was sad to see this series end but happy to see Doctor Aphra, fellow archaeologist, get her own series. However, I still miss Darth Vader.

Providence by Alan Moore, Jacen Burrows and Juan Rodriguez (Avatar). Alan Moore is one of my favorite writers. Ever. His Swamp Thing is my favorite series of all time. I was thrilled to hear of this book and its super-creepy Lovecraftian tale is superb! I love the back matter of the book too something that Alan Moore does really well.

Paper Girls, by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang (Image). Imagine that. I picked a book by Brian K. Vaughan — one of my favorite writers. I’m sure he’ll be on the list more than once, too. This is a fun book that anyone who likes the movie Super 8 will love. Or anyone that likes good stories with amazing art. This is a must-not-miss series that keeps getting better and better.

4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss and Thomas Mauer (Black Mask). Even though there are only three issues of this series out, it’s exceptional and I was hooked from Issue #1. Four kids talking shouldn’t be as interesting as this but it is. You have no excuse not to pick this book up. Just do it – you won’t regret it.

Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples OR, alternatively, Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan (Image). Yes, I know. This book has been on lists for a few years. However, it’s still one of the best. Maybe ever. I know it will eventually end but I hope it never does. It’s regularly one of the first books I read right when it comes out. The writing is amazing and the art is spectacular. This should be on the Best of lists for many years to come.

My final pick is This Year’s Comic-Book Movies: Captain America: Civil War was outstanding (I’m actually watching it as I write this and it still gets me when Cap throws his shield down because, I’m sorry Tony, he DOES deserve that shield). Deadpool was hilarious and I love that it introduced Careless Whisper to a whole new generation. I didn’t hate Suicide Squad. And I got to see Doctor Strange on the big screen. Did you read that? DOCTOR STRANGE was on the BIG SCREEN. And it was fabulous! I still can’t believe it. I have it preordered and am (im)patiently waiting for it to come out.

So that’s that. Until next time, Happy New Year and Toodle-Pip!

Author: Dan Greenfield

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