2014 was a wonderful year for comics. Whether they were on-going or just beginning, there was always something good every week. With all of the comics to pick from, it’s overwhelming to figure out which ones are really amazing. There are many other great comics, but this list is just a handful of some of the best ones.
Even though “Saga” began in 2012, it is still one of the most popular and well-written books out there. One cannot join a group of comic book fans without hearing something about “Saga.” The narrative is strong, the art is unique, and the characters are well-written. While the story may sound cliché when simplified—two lovers from warring alien races try to escape with their infant daughter during a never-ending war—it
goes much deeper than that. The narrative covers many different issues, such as racial tensions, drug abuse, and familial relationships.
The art on its own is also wonderful. Fiona Staples has a very vibrant art style that is beautiful. Everything is colorful and eye-catching, but there are some very strange and adult panels to be seen. It is definitely a comic that is not to be read in a very public place or around children.
This series centers around twelve gods who are reincarnated as humans every 90 years. After every reincarnation, though, they can only live for up to two years before they die again.
Many of the characters are based on mythologies, religions, and urban legends from different cultures such as Roman, Japanese, and Egyptian. Some of the characters include Amaterasu, Minerva, Lucifer, and Baal.
Jamie McKelvie’s drawing style helps the gods seem perfect in every way imaginable and Matt Wilson’s coloring is bright and vivid that makes everything pop. Sometimes the colors may seem very obtrusive or soft, depending on which characters are on the panels. The outstanding artwork alone makes “The Wicked + The Divine” one of the best comic books from last year.
Published by Boom! Studios
Written by Grace Ellis and Noelle Stevenson
Art by Brooke Allen
“Lumberjanes” made this list because it has all-female characters, is a generally fun and positive comic, and the art style is downright adorable.
The story follows five friends who are at a summer camp called“Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types,” where the motto is, “Friendship to the Max!” After
witnessing an elderly woman turn into a bear, the five of them try to solve this supernatural mystery and go on wonderfully crazy adventures.
Overall, it is a fun, easy, and clean read. Even though it is all-ages appropriate, it is written in a way that is still entertaining for adult readers.
Published by Marvel Comics
Written by Warren Ellis/Brian Wood
Art by Declan Shalvey/Greg Smallwood
“Moon Knight” brings one of our favorite but lesser-known vigilante heroes, Marc Spector, back onto the comic book scene. For those not familiar with who Moon Knight is, it may be confusing at first, but Warren Ellis does a pretty good job at describing who he is. At the very beginning, the reader learns about Spector’s past and about his DID, dissociative identity disorder.
During the first six issues, there is not much of a continued narrative; instead, they are self-contained stories. It is very much Ellis’ style, and it shows us how Spector ticks when he’s fighting crime.
“Moon Knight” also has very muted colors in its art, which helps Spector’s costume be more noticeable. Spector wears an all-white suit with a white mask when he is out fighting crime. It may seem strange for a crime fighter to dress like that, but it is exactly what Spector is aiming for. He wants his enemy to notice him.
“Southern Bastards” takes place in Craw County, Alabama, and follows a man named Earl Tubb, whose upbringing
and time in the Vietnam War left him with some deep scars. He returns to his hometown over 40 years after leaving and finds the town is corrupt and everyone answers to one man in the community, Euless Boss.
“Southern Bastards” has a generally dark tone. The characters are morally gray and seem torn on where to stand. Readers may even find themselves thinking about their own opinions or morals.
The creators of “Southern Bastards”, Jason Aaron and Jason Latour, are also Southerners themselves. This makes the story feel much more authentic than if it were written by someone who has never lived in the South. It also helps make everything in the narrative feel familiar.