Comic Book Power Rankings – August 2015

Nobody here at Hush Comics loves sports metrics more than I do. A die-hard NBA fan, I frequently rank players, teams and track stats every night to see who I should be picking up on the waiver wire (a term I know, but still do not understand at all) in our fantasy basketball league. It’s not really to be the best, but largely because I love the processes behind it; I love spreadsheets and systemic processes in how I arrive at these decisions. I even made a House of Quality together in order to break down which qualities I value in comic book series. This was all inspired by the creation of our Best of 2014 Comic Books collection of articles (which you should check out! A lot of hard work from our team went into those articles), when I realized that we had not been keeping track of which books were the best throughout the year.

Below is a list of what I consider the Top 20 comic books of the previous month. The opinions of these rankings is solely mine (unless noted), although they are influenced by the weekly review grades that our team doles out. I’m no expert on the ins and outs of the comic book industry, and I admittedly can’t read every book out there, but as long as I have this awesome platform to force my opinion on readers, why not use it? As always, we LOVE sparking conversations about the things we love, or even the things we don’t, so commentary is encouraged!

Rank Book Title Publisher Issues In Previous Movement
1 Hank Johnson: Agent of Hydra Marvel 1
  He’s just a normal family guy, trying to cut it in the blue collar goon industry. Trying to place the normal within the insanity that is Battle World creates comedy gold.
2 Prez DC 3
  As far as political satires go, Prez is hands down the funniest, and is so hyperbolic that the fact that it’s relatable at all is appalling. Root for the little guy in one of DC’s rare non-cape books.
3 Rasputin Image 8
  Rasputin is my favorite comic at the moment. So far it’s the only book that’s compelled me to send fan mail. It’s a well written narrative, beautifully drawn, and spectacularly colored. I get something out if every issue I read and feel satisfied. Totally in love with this series. – Jené
4 Ms. Marvel Marvel 17
  Although Kamala briefly got caught in the web that is Secret Wars, her last issue, a heart-warming team up with Captain Marvel herself gave this book a special place on my shelf.
5 The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Marvel 8
  Three of the top five books are led by young women. Coincidence? Hell no! Squirrel Girl is hilarious and relatable – which says a lot since… ya know, she’s a squirrel.
6 TMNT IDW 49
  Not even shell-shock could stop Donnie! Things are getting heavy as a battle royale contest between the turtles and Foot knock down the door of the upcoming #50 spectacular.
7 Justice League DC 43 5 -2
  This is the best JL story since Forever Evil, and the most desparate time we’ve seen the team in of all New52. Geoff Johns continues to write an amazing book.
8 Batman DC 43 2 -6
  This is not the same book we read with Endgame. Bruce is in identity crisis mode and Gordon has taken over as Batman. Wacky story aside, Snyder/Capullo produce.
9 We Stand On Guard Image 3
  With the right creative team, even Canadians can be interesting. Brian K Vaughan’s new title makes you hate America more effectively than Donald Trump’s presidential run.
10 Bizarro DC 3
  Bizarro no am good book. Bizarro am very bad book. Book no am funny. Art is very ugly. Bizarro very normal, and Jimmy Olson (Bizarro’s worstest enemy) never wear disguises. Bizarro no am have hijinks. – Montgomery
11 Superman DC 43 8 -3
  We finally learned how Lois spilled the beans about Superman’s identity, and it’s refreshing to see Superman fight an enemy he can’t defeat by punching.
12 Old Man Logan Marvel 4
  While I love seeing an out-of-place Wolverine wander around Battle World in a confused rage, it’s Andrea Sorrentino’s panel layout that really keeps me engaged.
13 Groot Marvel 3
  As much as I loved the recently-retired Skottie Young Rocket Raccoon book, Groot is just as adorable. It’s good for all ages, with feel-good lessons in friendship and kindness. Aww.
14 Deadly Class Image 15 5 -9
  While the Remender/Craig tag-team reigns champion, I can’t get over just how scathingly manic-depressive this book got this month. It’s a downer for sure.
15 Nailbiter Image 15 16 +1
  The deeper we keep falling into the mystery, the further the bottom seems to be. It’s a phenomenal book, but I feel just as lost now as I did at square one.
16 The Walking Dead Image 145 4 -12
  I still look forward to this book every month, but the more I read it, the more I realize that Robert Kirkman is becoming George Lucas 2.0. There’s just too much TWD in the world for me right now. That being said, this new threat is gonna bring back the funk.
17 E is for Extinction Marvel 3
  Thank you, Chris Burnham, for making unsexy comic books cool. His raw art is perfect for this post-Morrison, Morrison-style book, which is as awesome as it is awkward.
18 Giant Sized Little Marvel AvX Marvel 3
  This book makes me feel like vomitting rainbows with each issue. It can be formulaic, but it’s just so darn cute – how could anybody not love this??
19 Postal Image 19 11 -8
  Mark, the autistic one-man Scooby gang, is tearing this conspiracy wide open. Although, just because it’s getting bigger doesn’t mean it’s getting better…
20 Batgirl DC 43
  It can be silly at times, but that’s part of the charm. Babs Tarr’s art has definitely grown on me. I’m fully on-board after some post-Gail Simone withdrawals.

 

Notably absent:

Most of the Secret Wars: I’m burnt out on Secret Wars. Marvel must be murdering DC in sales as of late, but their long game is tiring fans out.

Shutter and Birthright: For books that started as two of my favorite Image titles, the convoluted stories in both books have derailed their momentum significantly. I don’t expect that too last, though, as both books have the creative teams to handle it.

Wonder Woman: David and Meredith Finch have been a refreshing addition to the book, but the last couple issues have been noticeably lacking in substance or style. Plus, Donna Troy is completely one-dimensional and incapable of independent thought.

Retired books/ Hiatuses (Hawkeye, Saga, Bitch Planet, Sex Criminals): Some of the best books in the biz took the month off, making way for some newcomers to really shine this month!

Mark Hamill will Reportedly Voice The Joker in ‘The Killing Joke’

Image of The Joker from The Killing Joke, image courtesy and property of DC Comics.
Image of The Joker from The Killing Joke, image courtesy and property of DC Comics.

Everything you’ve ever dreamed of is now a reality: Mark Hamill will play The Joker in the upcoming animated movie, The Killing Joke. Reportedly.

I must try not to get too carried away with this story since the confirmation available is a little sketchy. After the story broke last week that Mark Hamill would love to come out of Joker retirement to voice the villain in The Killing Joke, apparently “sources reached out” to confirm that Hamill already recorded his voice work for the film. Hamill hasn’t publicly confirmed his role, and neither has Warner Bros.

The Killing Joke is the quintessential tale of The Joker for many Batman fans, and the same goes for how many people feel about Hamill’s voicing of the character. The two things coming together would likely be one of the best animated features of the year and within the Batman Universe.

Source:  Collider

‘Gotham’ Casts its Silver St. Cloud

FOX’s Gotham is gearing up for a season full of over-packing characters from Batman that have ever existed.

Case in point: Silver St. Cloud.

Natalie Alyn Lind of The Goldbergs will play the debutante. The show, per usual, seems to be taking liberties with her character. St. Cloud will introduce Bruce Wayne to her rich uncle, Theo Galavan, who also happens to be running for Mayor. The release also mentions that St. Cloud may not have the best intentions with Bruce.

While I believe the introduction of the rich uncle is a valid plot line for the shake-ups in Gotham, it seems like it will be more of a “let’s make Selena jealous” plot device. I don’t really care about young teenagers being jealous of one another.

Also, in the comics, St. Cloud wasn’t ever bad. When she and Bruce dated, they were adults. While she was a debutante, she was also smart enough to figure out Bruce’s alter ego. You can read more about her here.

Gotham returns to FOX September 21st.

Source: EW

SDCC 2015 – ‘Batman v. Superman’ Promo Photo Released

If you wanted more Batman v Superman out of San Diego Comic Con this weekend, you got it. Warner Bros. just released a sick new promo photo specifically for SDCC and it looks awesome.

bvs-promo-e1a1e

Following the trailer that was also released at SDCC this weekend, fans are super excited to see even more BvS promotions.

An epic, shrouded by darkness stare down features Ben Affleck’s Batman glowering at Henry Cavill’s equally pissed off Superman.

The film will be directed by Zack Snyder. It will feature Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.

Batman v. Superman will be in theaters March 25, 2016.

Photos by Warner Bros.

SDCC 2015 – Batman’s ‘The Killing Joke’ to Get DCU Animated Treatment

Bruce Timm just loves making fans happy. During the premiere of Justice League: Gods and Monsters at San Diego Comic-Con, Timm, in response to a fan’s question, said that Alan Moore & Brian Bolland’s The Killing Joke would be the next animated adaptation for the DCU.

For those not familiar with The Killing Joke, it’s one of the darkest and most profound stories ever written about Batman… or anyone, really. The story is about how one REEEEALLY bad day can turn even the sanest person crazy. Some of Batman’s most popular lore is portrayed in The Killing Joke – even though it isn’t part of the Batman monthly series. Joker’s origin story, Barbara’s paralysis, and the intimate relationship between the Joker and Batman are all explored here.

DC Animated has gotten more and more brazen with their animated films, which have increased in violence and adult content since 2008’s Justice League: The New Frontier. If DC wants to stay true to the source material, and so help them they better, they’re going to have to break a lot of the unspoken rules about their animated movies; nudity, torture, and nude torture are all apparent in The Killing Joke.

Also announced were:

“Batman: Bad Blood” — An original Batman story that features the introduction of Batwoman to the new line of animated films.

“Justice League vs. Titans” — Another original story and the first of the DC Universe Original Movies to feature the Teen Titans.

Mark Hamill (who has “retired” the Joker… then lied about it and returned to Arkham Knight) has taken it upon himself to campaign to play the Joker in this adaptation via Twitter. Who wouldn’t want to see he and Conroy team up for this classic tale?

The film won’t be released until sometime in 2016. While you’re wiping the drool off your chin, remember that DCUA’s next film, Justice League: Gods and Monsters, will be released in just a few short weeks (July 28th).

SDCC 2015 – Batman/TMNT Crossover Coming November 2015

Holy cowabunga, Batman! It looks like the Dark Knight and the Heroes in a Half-Shell will be teaming up this fall in a six-issue mini-series run, announced yesterday at IDW’s San Diego Comic Con panel.

Let’s forget for a second that this is every fanboy’s fantasy. Or that it will be written by bonafide Batman writer James Tynion IV (Batman Eternal, Talon) and drawn by Freddie Williams II (Robin, Flash). Or that Kevin Eastman will be doing mother effing variant covers. This is the convergence of two of the biggest and most loved fandoms ever.

This is the second DC-IDW crossover to be announced, just days after the first issue of Stark Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War launched into stores. Hint: it was great. Thanks to IDW’s wide breadth of publishing rights, new doors are opening in the crossover world. Think about what this could mean going forward. Cyborg meets Transformers? Deathstroke takes on the G.I. Joe? Jonah Hex tries to tame My Little Pony??

Lucky for us, TMNT is a franchise with a track record proving that they play well with others (GhostbustersX-Files), so the ninja beat em up style will be a natural fit for the two to work in tandem. Below is the official synopsis from DC of the upcoming mini-series:

In the ongoing power struggle between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, General Krang, and the Foot Clan, allegiances have shifted and the battle lines have been drawn. Krang concocts a plan to rid himself of both the Turtles and Shredder by transporting them to another dimension, where they land in the dark and dangerous streets of Gotham City. It isn’t long before they encounter Gotham’s most famous resident, Batman.  The Caped Crusader may be their only hope of overcoming their enemies and getting back home. But not before they encounter a whole cast of Gotham’s most infamous rogues.

Look for the Batman/TMNT six-part series to hit stores this November.

Source: DC Comics

SDCC 2015 – Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson Join The Dark Knight Rises III: The Master Race

dk_header

The Dark Knight Rises is arguably one of the best graphic novels of all time. Since its release, Frank Miller has revived the iconic story once in 2001 with The Dark Knight Strikes Again and he then announced the conclusion to the trilogy in April. The Dark Knight Rises: The Master Race will be out later this year in an eight issue limited series, and well-known artists Klaus Janson (The Dark Knight ReturnsDaredevil) and Andy Kubert (Batman and SonMarvel 1602) will be working with Miller to bring it to life and give the game changing series an epic ending.

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