Panel Surfing: Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga

Have you ever been lost in a sea of comic books, looking for something new? Something exciting? Something hidden? Our new feature, “Panel Surfing,” explores the abyss of the comic book industry, giving you a spoiler-free look at books we feel deserve some shine.

There are two types of comic book fans: those who love Saga, and those who just haven’t read it. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have created their own world. It’s part romance novel, part intergalactic sci-fi thriller, and consistently one of the best books on the market. The book follows Alana and Marko, each former militia on opposing sides of an intergalactic war. The story starts simply enough; the two have found true love with each other and made a child, a life which is (whether they like it or not) is the metaphorical olive branch that the higher-ups of their respective sides do not want around.

The story gets deeper, with a cast of well-rounded, complex characters that have the capacity for love, evil, and humor. While Alana and Marko are the true protagonists, they are each capable of poor or selfish choices at any given time – the same way that even the “bad guy” Prince Robot IV is capable of virtuosity. Oh, and yes, there is a Prince Robot. He’s a guy with a television for a head. There are also anthropomorphic spiders and trees, a disemboweled ghost babysitter, and all other types of ill shit.

Saga is drawn by Fiona Staples. That name might sound familiar because of her acclaim from Saga, various variant covers in the industry, or the role of lead artist on the upcoming Archie reboot with Mark Waid. Whatever the reason, she’s worth your devotion. Her art style is both classical and modern, harsh and delicate. It’s perfectly suited for capturing the beauty and exotic nature of Saga, while still being able to show some really gross and violent – especially in some of the more detailed full-page spreads.

There isn’t a specific demographic for Saga because it’s for everybody. If you’re not a fan of sexually crude material, it might not be for you. It’s not that it’s constantly explicit, but there is definitely “adult content” in there. It’s like the comic book fan’s equivalent of those softcore porn romance novels your mom reads, with a cast of characters designed by a really creative high school student and plot points written by Joss Whedon on LSD. If you’re not reading Saga right now, I won’t judge you. You have to let go of your excuses and just dive in.

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Comic Book Reviews 07-01-15

Review Scale:

The mythical A+: Classic comic book material. Belongs next to your copy of The Notebook and The Joy of Cooking.

A: Would definitely recommend to all comic book readers. Even more so to fans of the genre or characters

B: Enjoyable read. Fans of the genre or characters will especially like.

C: Non-essential read. Can be enjoyable for fans of the genre or characters, but likely for only one or two events in the books.

D: Unenjoyable book. Read at your own risk. Might find satisfaction if major flaws are overlooked.

F: Please don’t buy this book. Donate your money to a local comic book writer’s workshop instead to inspire future generations to write something better than this trash.

Pick of the Week:

we stand on guard 1 POTW panel 07.01.15
We Stand On Guard #1 – A
There’s nothing worse than showing up late to the freedom fighter party. In this book by Brian K Vaughan, the writer for Image’s Saga (yes I’m going to say that every time, because it’s always a relevant statement), Canada – or at least what appeared to be Canada – bombed the crap out of the White House. America, as it’s well-known for doing, retaliated by taking Teddy Roosevelt’s big stick and jamming up Canada’s ass. Well Jesus Christ on a cracker, that was horrifying. In just one issue, Vaughan manages to turn Superman into an entirely Anti-American sentiment and prove that DARPA’s got some explaining to do with those terrifying drones. Great book, solid art by Steve Skroce, and likable, diverse characters throughout the premiere issue. This is how you start a new book! – Sherif

Other Reviews: 

Bongo Comics:

Futurama #75 – B
There is no better feeling in the world to me than holding new Futurama merchandise in my hands. It just makes it ten times better when that Futurama content is good. This series has definitely had some low points along the way, as anyone would expect, but with issue #75, the ideas are still just as fresh and inventive as Futurama episodes. This issue deals with the crew being ship-jacked while in space and having to enlarge Bender and use him as a personal ship for the time being. Ian Boothby writes this issue much like an episode and less like a comic. James Lloyd covers the art; these comics are always spectacular and you got to love the Voltron cameo! If you are a fan of Futurama, you probably have read this by now; if not, though, grab a brain slug, say your prayers to the Space Pope and enjoy! – Jacob

DC/Vertigo Comics:

Bizarro #2 – A
Me am super not impressed by dumb Bizarro book with no humor and no cool cameos. Bizarro read like least fun DC title and is much worse than what did not happen in Convergence and its spin-off titles. As much fun as it is to talk in Bizarro voice for each review to confuse people – and as confusing as his speech is in the actual book – this title has to be one of my favorite monthly comics on the shelf right now. This issue continues with all of Metropolis under hypnosis to buy cars and Bizarro, with help from Colin the Chupacabra, frees everyone from the spell and they immediately travel again with funny short panels showing Bizarro and Jimmy in different famous DC cities, with plenty of jokes and actually awesome art panel for when they run into Batman and Flash! So this goes without saying that I really enjoy the art done by Gustavo Duarte with guest artists Kelley Jones, Michelle Madsen, and Francis Manapul. I would say pick this up now if you can because Heath Corson is finally making Bizarro #1. – Jacob

Action Comics #42 – B+
Somebody – the right somebody – must have been taking notes at DC, because both of the Superman books they have running right now are freaking good. They focus on using the Man of Steel as a symbol of the people instead of thinking of bigger and badder monsters to watch him destroy. Grounding Superman is turning out to be one of the smartest decisions they’ve made recently. In this book, he is taking the activist approach, and trying to impart peaceful resistance on the citizens he’s protecting – and Jimmy Olsen is getting the whole thing on tape. The art is good, too, with Aaron Kuder’s art looking like the Chris Burnham (Batman, Inc.) of Superman books. It’s a breath of fresh air to a character whose books have pretty much sucked lately. – Sherif

Midnighter #2 – B
This is another comic I was surprised by. I was expecting a straight (pun not intended) vigilante narrative, what I got was something different. I’m glad it wasn’t what I expected. I honestly wasn’t going to give it a try as superhero/vigilantes stories haven’t grabbed me in a long time. I’m not familiar with the original iteration with this character, but I appreciate who the writer is introducing him for a fresh audience. For me, it’s like reading an entirely new story. Overall solid narrative and wonderful balance between secret life and finding love out in the world. The art isn’t my favorite but it works for the medium and it doesn’t take away from the narrative. Just a great good ol’ vigilante narrative. – Jené

Batman Beyond #2 – C+
I still don’t really have clue what is happening in this story. I almost would like it better if it didn’t have anything to do with Batman Beyond. However, considering Tim Drake doesn’t really know what is going on either, I am not going to totally hold it against this book quite yet. I am certain there will be smatterings of explanations for the first 10 issues or so, and I am willing to hang on. This series is very dark, much darker than the animated series, which is pretty rare for DC. I don’t know yet how I feel about this; I’ll be more certain when this arc is over. The whole future apocalypse sci-fi thing is a cool concept, but like i said, perhaps more likable if it wasn’t attached to something with such a strong fan base already. – Adrian
Green Lantern #42 – C+
It’s really hard for me not to give this book a good score. The thought of a lone wanderer-type Hal Jordan finding out the truth behind what wiped out the Corps is super intriguing – especially when we get to explaining exactly whatever type of Bezerker rage he’s hiding in that gauntlet of his. Buuuut it’s a really slow build. Whatever horrible force is controlling the universe is also afflicting Black Hand’s ability to raise the dead. Multi-Lantern events always take forever to build momentum, so we’re either looking at a drawn-out borefest, or a convoluted and rushed arc. – Sherif

Detective Comics  #42 – C-
This little experiment isn’t going as well as I had hoped. While Snyder & Capullo are making a decent stab at Jim Gordon being Batman on his self-titled book, the Detective Comics book is losing steam. Fast. Harvey Bullock is an interesting enough choice for the main protagonist, but without anything to necessarily do besides follow Batman around, his character is severely under-utilized. I understand that we have to spend some time showing how JimBat sucks compared to Wayne, but it feels like it just dottles around, looking for a reason to exist. – Sherif

Dynamite Entertainment: 

Bob’s Burgers #1 – B-
I was a little skeptical of this comic when I first saw it was coming out, but as a huge fan fo the show, I decided to give it a shot. For the most part, I enjoyed it. The writing was just as good as the show and made me laugh. The only thing that bothered me a little was the art style. In many of the stories, it was just off enough from the source material that it irked me. It’d be another story if the art was totally different and they were going for some sort of other style, but even then, it might have bugged me. When you have a brand like Bob’s Burgers, it’s hard to deviate from that specific style and make it work. Through most of the comic I was thinking, “Her nose is wrong.” “Her eyes are weird.” “This isn’t how it is in the show.” Still, it was a nice comic that I’ll continue to read. -Charlotte

Will Eisner’s The Spirit #1 – D-
Okay y’all, I’m about to go on a bit of a rant. So if you enjoyed this comic, or don’t want to hear me bitch a whole lot, simply move on to the next review. Ready? Okay, here we go…Oh my lord, this comic sucked. I’m genuinely upset that I cannot get back the time wasted reading this. It was long, boring, pointless, and overall very stupid. It took everything in my power to continue reading this book. Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this comic. After reading it, I have zero interest in the story line, zero interest in any of the characters, and frankly I could give a damn about what happened to The Spirit…oh yeah, they already answered that question in the first ten pages. After that, there is no way I’m coming back for more. – Evan

IDW Publishing: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #47 – A-
Now THIS is the TMNT I fell in love with. Casey Jones’ showdown with the disgraced Hun is one of the better climactic battles of the series, with the whole community getting on in the action. It’s not without its bittersweet moments, but seeing the neighborhood work together to push out the Purple Dragons was a big “hell yeah” moment for me. Things on the Turtles’ end weren’t so eventful, but they do pave the way for whatever will happen next. We knew Dexter and Shredder working together would be a major suckfest for the Turtles, but there’s gotta be a way out of it somehow, right? As always, the creative team of Tom Waltz & Mateus Santolouco put out another solid issue of a series that everybody needs to be reading. – Sherif

X-Files: Season 10 #25 – B
The truth is out there, and the end is here – well, for Season 10 at least. Next month, we have an X-Files Annual, then we jump straight into Season 11 the following month! The conclusion to season 10 is a whopper of a story and has major implications in the X-Files world for just about every character you know. It starts with Gibson Praise, showing off his army of Cigarette Smoking Men to Scully, all the while Mulder makes his way to a computer and uploads the files of what is happening with the Elders and Gibson to The Lone Gunmen and this leads everything into a downward spiral… It all ends up with Gibson taking Scully for a ride, which ultimately ends up with her finding Mulder and ending in a confrontation that will change Scully deep down to her core. Ending this season on a open note while also resolving a lot of what has come up really rounded out this series well and has me excited for the start of season 11! As always Joe Harris does a great job with the writing and Matthew Dow Smith ends this series with the art style that has carried this series smoothly since issue #1. – Jacob

Mickey Mouse #1 – B-
Finally, the comic based on everyone’s favorite main Disney character after months of Ducks. Despite Scrooge and Donald making good comic books, Mickey brings his friend Goofy into the ring and has side stories for Ellsworth the Crow and Pluto after the main Mickey story. The main story sees Mickey and Goofy teaming up with a young girl Eurasia to find Eurasia’s Uncle’s old traveling companions who were lost years ago. As far as the Disney books go, I like the layout of this one the best with one very long story and then three short unrelated stories with separate characters at the end. With Donald and Scrooge basically including the same characters it is nice to see so much variety and characters among the pages of Mickey. – Jacob

Image Comics:

Nailbiter #14 – B+
Nailbiter is the number one book I recommend to people when they ask me what they should read. I want to start with that because I still really love this series. It is smart, funny, and disturbing. This month, we finally started to get some answers as to why Buckaroo has produced so many serial killers. I was a little underwhelmed with the answer. Granted this answer leads to more mini mysteries. The end of the issue brought back two characters we haven’t seen for a bit, and while it was a surprise/cliffhanger, I felt underwhelmed with this twist as well. It’s still a great issue, it just wasn’t what I was looking for. – Adrian

8House #1 – B
My only complaint is that this book was too short. I was not expecting what I read. A lady knight travels with her mistress to the outskirts of a glistening city. The tree-like creature she is with is investigating some odd alien presence. Using some sort of blood magic, she is able to transfer a creature from one body to the next and off they go back to the city. I’m intrigued by the magic system that has been introduced. Blood magic isn’t used often, and when it is, it’s usually wielded by a villain of the story. Right now neither character seems like a villain.  As first issues go this one is pretty good. It’s just enough to pull me in and keep me interested, but not so much that my expectations are high for the next book. I like the art style, it’s rather different than a lot of books I’m reading whimsical and somewhat alien, which helps to set up the fantasy/sci-fi like world that’s being established. I’m looking forward to more. – Jené

Deadly Class #14 – B-
Wow, Marcus is a real nutcase. He’s completely unraveling after the “disappearance” of Maria, and the fact that he’s a trained killer doesn’t put me any more at ease than the rest of his destructive behavior in this issue. For a while, you forget that this is even a book about an assassin’s academy. It’s almost like reading The Basketball Diaries as Marcus’ life spirals deeper into despair. Yet, he does some really messed up stuff that keep you from ever feeling sorrow for him. It’s a tough spot to be in as a book, and a major lull in action. Wes Craig & Lou Loughridge continue to produce amazing art, and while #14 wasn’t as eventful as the series has been as a whole, look for it to “rebound” next issue. – Sherif

Marvel/Icon Comics:

Groot #2 – A
This month’s Groot is hands-down the best story I have read of Groot and his best pal Rocket. This issue continues where issue #1 left off, with Rocket kidnapped and Groot left alone and needing to save his friend. We not only see Groot trying to follow Rocket and save him, but we get to see a flashback of when Rocket and Groot first met and how they cemented their relationship and exactly why each of them means so much to the other. Plus, on top of that great story, it opens with a Groot dream where we see tons of Marvel characters in Groot form; who doesn’t want to see that? Jeff Loveness is taking us into one of the most meaningful stories for Rocket and Groot and it makes it even better to have Brian Kesinger bring his highly Disney-influenced style to the series, making it both a kid and adult-friendly series. This definitely is one Marvel series to read that has nothing to do with Secret Wars… at least yet. – Jacob

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7 – A-
I just love how much this book makes me laugh. Every month, I look forward to laughing out loud through out every page. This month’s issue did not disappoint. The plot was a littleBuffy Season 4-esque, which I like, because Buffy is the best, and Squirrel Girl is the closest thing I have to it now. The constant Millennial jokes mixed with relatable themes and plots make this a constant winner for me. And it turns out that chick you are jealous of? Yeah, she really is evil. – Adrian

Future Imperfect #2 – B+
First thing’s first: all the women in this book have the exact same face. If they didn’t, I think this book would have the best art of all the Battle World books. With that out of the way, I like the inventive route this book takes: The Thing is Ross (dad of Hulk’s former love), his conflict with The Maestro, and a slowly simmering civil war within the kingdom. I also like that, what should be true to this event’s mission statement, this whole thing comes out of a legit alternate timeline. I’d actually forgotten how much I look forward to this specific book and this specific iteration of the Hulk. Should be an A, but I had to deduct points because all the women share one face, and when a woman says, “I’m a girl,” you’ve gotta deduct points because obviously a dude wrote that. – Montgomery

X-Tinction Agenda #2 – B+
Man, first two pages are all about time travel, which kind of mondo confuses things. Go back far enough (in different directions) and aren’t 616 and 1610 still embedded in the universe’s time code? And Beast talks it about all biz-cazh style. Meanwhile, I’m feeling like Doom should be putting a stop to this. There are already people in other kingdoms who suspect the shallow nature of their worlds, and wouldn’t time travel just wreck the whole game? Anyways – Havoc and co. lead a raid on Mutopia and nab a guy by the name of Triage to cure the plague. But then, it turns out the doctor in charge has ulterior motives. – Montgomery

Giant-Sized Little Marvel: AvX #2 – B
As far as formulaic comic books go, this book is the same thing each issue. Now, whether or not that’s a bad thing, I have no idea. I absolutely love Skottie Young’s Little Marvel stuff. I think he’d be super successful if he did any grown-up fandom in Little style. The premise of the series is simple; the Avengers have an intense playground rivalry with the X-Men. Hilarity ensues when one side pushes enough buttons on the other to start a fight. Lather, rinse, repeat. I’m not at all bored or dissatisfied with it, but you have to know that this is what you paid for, and it’s exactly what you’re going to get. Totes adorbs. – Sherif

Red Skull #1 – B-
I’m never going to feel anything but disgust for Red Skull, but I’m more or less on board with this comic. The writing is good, the team they’ve assembled is complex and interesting, and the concept is working so far. I love the inclusion of Bucky and I can’t wait to see how his character flourishes in this. (I’m also thrilled to see him kick Red Skull’s racist ass.) I’m not excited for Red Skull himself. I don’t care if he tries to redeem himself or not. He’s a Nazi and that’s all he’ll ever be to me. I hope Marvel doesn’t try to humanize him, because I’ll be severely disappointed if they do. I’m weary of a comic devoted to this bastard, but we’ll see what they do with it. – Charlotte

Secret Wars Journal #3 – B-
“Who Killed Tony Stark” Wolverine is a noir style detective legit out of the 40’s investigating the murder of Tony Stark by Pepper Potts. As he investigates, he discovers that several people he encountered in the investigation are different, dopplegangery. The Punisher shows up and says the same: tease image of the Age of Apocalypse. The story was OK, certainly rushed, and the big reveal wasn’t all that satisfying because it lasted a single page. “The Smashing Cure” A toxic cloud of gamma radiation has floated by the Greenlands and now everyone is a hulk. And the city is slowly cannibalizing itself in anger. Kind of a funny premise, but these short anthology stories are so hit and miss. This one ends on a pretty pat note, though it has at least one cool reveal. – Montgomery

Darth Vader #7 – C
I’m still coming down from the events of the last Darth Vader issue.  This month’s entry took a diversion from the “Who wants to be The Emperor’s new number two?” contest and focused on a new scheme by the crafty Lord Vader.  Why Vader is spending time busting up underground crime organizations is unclear, but no doubt it ties into the bigger picture somehow.  I like the Bounty Hunter dynamic Gillen is creating.  A Wookie that willing hops into a mandingo style fighting pit for the sport of it?!?! OOOkay… You’ve got my attention.  The score is lower this week, but that’s mostly because it’s a buildup issue.  Darth Vader is still the hottest Star Wars comic out there today.  – Taylor

Secret Wars #4 – C-
Doom finally intervenes in the actions of those valiant enough to survive the end of the universe(s). And he SPOILER ALERT kills the Phoenix Cyclops, which is disappointing. But if anything about the previous thirty years in comics have taught us anything, it’s that the Phoenix force cannot be killed. SPOILER OVER. Steven defies Doom and instead of allowing him to kill the Spider-Mans and the Reeds and the whatnot scatters them to mysterious segments of Battleworld. I feel like cracks in the Secret Wars concept are starting to show: Doom built this world, credits himself with saving what he can of the universe, but the problem is most of what comprises Battleworld are not alternate realities, but just different periods in the history of the same character. But then somehow, and he makes note of this, Reed is so special there exists no other Reed anywhere on Battle World. I’ve said it before, but it bugs me when you pull the whole thing together in one book: the construction of this place is beginning to feel highly arbitrary. – Montgomery

Funniest Panels:

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Panels with the Most Awesomeness:

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That about wraps it up for our reviews this week! Look for next week’s previews coming soon. Any comic books you didn’t see reviewed that you want reviewed? Any grades you didn’t agree on? Let us know in the comments!

All images taken from ComiXology app and the credit for them goes to the respective publishers; thanks to all the publishers for putting out great books.

Best of 2014: Comic Books – Best Creative Team

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Comic Book Creative Team

  • Brian K Vaughan & Fiona Staples – Saga (Image Comics)
  • John Layman & Rob Guillory – Chew (Image Comics)
  • Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard – The Walking Dead (Image Comics)
  • Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo – Batman (DC Comics)
  • Tom Waltz & Mateo Santolouco – TMNT (IDW Comics)

WINNER – Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples (Saga)

Saga is the best comic book series I’ve ever read.  Point blank. Hands down.  No debate.  Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples firmly have my heart in their grasp.  These two brilliantly talented individuals have crafted such an incredibly enchanting, detailed and (most critically) original universe.  The characters are relatable and dynamic – a pretty impressive feat considering the cast is composed entirely of odd alien life forms.  The surroundings and environments are beautiful.  The plot is layered and interesting at every level.  I even love how awkward this team can make me feel!!  Panels of the Fard and Stalk-sex belong in the comic book hall of fame.  In a time of sequels, remakes, and based-on works it’s a breath of fresh air – more like a tank of oxygen at the peak of Mt. Everest – to have Vaughn and Staples teamed up.  These two are unequivocally the most creative comic book duo out there.  Now if only they could get on a regular release schedule! – Taylor

Second Place – Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead)

The Walking Dead #128
The Walking Dead #128

These two creators have worked on over 100 issues of The Walking Dead together for over ten years. They are the Simon and Garfunkel of comic books, and they have one of the best relationships of any book out. Their creative direction syncs so well; minimal exposition means that the story is told through images often-times better than it is through words. It’s been a long journey, and one that does look to be slowing down anytime soon. – Sherif

Third Place – Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo (Batman)

Batman #32
Batman #32

Every month, when I read Batman, I feel so small compared to these geniuses.  They are the real deal, people.  After 37 issues into their book, they know how the other one works to a tee.  Snyder’s storytelling is compelling. Capullo’s art is top notch.  Together, their story is the best in the biz.  Each of them work incredibly hard to get out the quality of book they have, and one without the other would disrupt the whole process.  Gah!  I could gush over these two all day! – Adrian

RUNNER UP – Tom Waltz & Mateus Santolouco (TMNT)

creative team tmnt 39 best of 2014
TMNT #39


A lot of people tend to think the TMNT carry themselves and that it is easy to pull them off. With Waltz and Santolouco, however, their own take on the turtles includes additions from just about every incarnation of the turtles, appeasing all generations of fans. It’s not all just a jam-packed love story, though; the consistency of good story-telling has increased my love for TMNT so much more than is was – which was borderline insane in the first place. I find that even though I have enjoyed the issues in the TMNT series not written and drawn by Waltz and Santolouco to be fun and just as engaging at time these two have almost become the staple of this series for this year and have created some of the best stories for these characters I have ever seen, plus I have a soft spot for Herman the Hermit crab which debuted a couple issue ago, whom was designed by Santolouco. – Jacob


RUNNER UP – John Layman & Rob Guillory (Chew)

Chew: Volume 8
Chew: Volume 8

Chew is a juggernaut of awesome. Layman and Guillory have put together what is by far one of the most comical series ever created. We find this year that a bit of toe can go a long way. Layman proves his writing chops by not only having one of the most popular creator owned books on the market has recently been seen writing one of the most popular characters of all time, Batman. On top of doing Godzilla, paring up with a major motion picture release, I think we can all recognize John Layman as one of comics current top writers. Rob Guillory has one of the most definitive art styles of any artist currently working. The exaggerated character styles and even the little easter eggs he works into every panel make Chew more visually appealing than the majority of books currently on the market. Combined they become something on the power level of Captain Planet, BUT THERE’S ONLY TWO OF THEM! – Scott

Next Category: Best Comic Book Writer

Best of 2014: Comic Books – Best Series

Another year is in the books, and we here at Hush Comics couldn’t pass at the chance to rank our favorites of this year’s releases in all types of mediums. Some of the winners will surprise you; heck, some of the results surprised  us. The results are completely subjective, and therefore were chosen with infallible logic. We would love to hear your opinions on what we have chosen, or if you thought we missed anything. This should be a fun review before we gear up for 2015.

hush best of 2014
Click on the link to take you to the “Best of 2014” homepage.

Best Comic Book Series (Monthly On-going)

  • DC Comics – Batman (Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo)
  • Image Comics – Black Science (Rick Remender & Matteo Scalera)
  • Image Comics – Saga (Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples)
  • IDW Comics – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Tom Waltz & Mateo Santolouco/Ross Campbell)
  • Image Comics – The Walking Dead (Robert Kirkman & Charlie Adlard)

WINNER – Batman (Snyder/Capullo)


Let’s be honest; this year belonged to the Batman. Writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo put out a superior product every month. Not only has Batman been DC’s highest-grossing title every month, but topped the sales charts five months this year (Source: Comichron); the next highest selling on-going series is the rebooted Amazing Spider-Man with two months at the top. In 2014, Batman tackled one of the most mysterious and intimidating parts of the Dark Knight’s lore, the origin, and carved out a place among the Batman legendary tales. Then,  If you are reading this book, you are witnessing history as it is happening. – Sherif

Second Place – Saga (Vaughan/Staples)

Saga Best Book Best of 2014
Saga #22


Saga has been a continuing monthly book with one of the most interesting and original story lines ever to have been published. Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples continue to dominate the science-fiction realm in comics. Brian K. Vaughn continues to show that he is one of the most creatively functional writers in comics today. There are things in Saga that you are guaranteed to not see in any other book ever. Our favorite fugitive family gets mixed up with a wonderfully eccentric theater troupe and Prince Robot IV has a son of his own. Matched up with Fiona Staples’ artwork, there seems to be no real slowing down for Saga; it’s the most creative, original, and beautiful series of the last two years. – Scott

Third Place – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Waltz/Santolouco)

tmnt 41 cover
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #41


This year I have read plenty of different series and there have only bee two that have had me on the edge of my seat waiting for the next issue and the more consistent of the two has been TMNT. This series offers absolutely everything a Turtle fan could want, honestly, as it has dealt with characters and situations from the long history of turtle history, almost like a little bit of a flashback series while also offering something completely new and just as awesome. The main team of Waltz and Santolouco are amazing and of course all the other artists and writers have been just as good making this the most consistently good series of the year to me. But with the Mutanimals coming up in the new year, a giant war against the Krang on the horizon and their crossover adventure with the Ghostbusters not being over yet, I am sure TMNT will continue to be one of my top favorites into 2015. – Jacob

RUNNER UP – The Walking Dead (Kirkman/Adlard)

The Walking Dead #121
The Walking Dead #121

Kirkman’s still got it!!  More than 10 years and going strong!!  The first half of the year was so-so with the conclusion of the All Out War arc.  It was intense that’s for sure, but it was slightly formulaic.  Then came the New Beginning arc, and it blew my face away.  If you can call Kirkman anything, it’s unpredictable!  I buy issue after issue after issue primarily because I NEED to know what happens next!  The undead and the yet-to-be dead have found a happy equilibrium (if you can call it that).  Times are good, but a new foe has reared its head.  And that’s how we know shit is about to do down in a big way.  This constant torrential storm of calm and chaos brings with it an unshakable endearing quality.  I’m a nervous and sweaty wreck in the midst of any conflict or life-threatening situation (which is pretty much all the time) and I’m even more nervous and sweaty when nothing’s happening.  And all I want is more.  Because reading TWD is essentially an addiction now. – Taylor

RUNNER UP – Black Science (Remender/Scalera)

Black Science Book Best of 2014
Black Science #5


First, have you seen the art in this book? Oh my God, it’s good. It’s like something fell out of the ’60s and into the 2060s, then trickled back down to lowly 2014. Second, the story – on the surface it doesn’t seem like much. In fact, it even seems like it’d be hard to take seriously: a scientist builds a machine to visit alternate worlds, it malfunctions, and his team gets stuck. It seems like yet another variation on a story we’ve read a hundred times before, but like all great stories, character makes it stand out. Layers of intrigue slowly emerge: maybe characters aren’t as noble as they seem. Was the machine sabotaged? Why are his children (not even old enough to drive) with him? Did I mention the art? – JH

Next Category: Best Story Arc