2017 has been such a great year for comics. We saw the 1 year anniversary of Rebirth, the start of Doomsday Clock, the beginning of Marvel Legacy and a slew of new indie titles hitting the shelves. With all of this coming out, it was really hard to narrow it down. I took a few things into consideration while compiling this list but a big one was the consistency issues were being released. Southern Bastards would have cracked my top five had it had more than three issues come out but ultimately it found its way to my honorable mentions for the year. There were a few pleasant surprises this year and I hope this list maybe turns some people on to some things they may not have thought to check out before.
- Kill Or Be Killed – Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
- Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips reunite to bring a supernatural vigilante story to life through Image Comics. Mental illness, demonic imagery, and an unorthodox approach to anti heroism coupled with the famed creative team make Kill or Be Killed the best thing that came out this year.
- Batman – Tom King and Various Artists
- Tom King took a character like Vision, someone that didn’t have a following, and wrote one of the best stories in recent years. I couldn’t wait to see what he would do with the Dark Knight and I was not disappointed. This is a series rooted in humanistic issues that break down the characters of Gotham and make them more personable. Any series that can take something as trivial as a dinner conversation and make an entire issue out of it is something special.
- The Flintstones – Mark Russell and Steve Pugh
- When DC acquired the Hanna-Barbera properties, no one expected much from them. I figured we’d get a few more kid friendly comics but this Flintstones book came out of left field and blew me away. I was skeptical of the content but everywhere I looked, I was seeing extremely positive reviews and I learned after two issues how well deserved they were. The book takes a more adult and contemporary approach to the Modern Stone Age Family while still keeping them in Bedrock. Issues such as religion and faith, post traumatic stress disorder, traditional marriage and racism set the backdrop for this satirical take on our own time. This is definitely the best example of don’t judge a book by it’s cover.
- Moon Knight – Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood
- Jeff Lemire was single handedly producing the best content for Marvel Comics this year and his take on Moon Knight was no exception. This was my first introduction to the split personality, crime fighting, ancient Egyptian world of Marc Spector and I have to say that Lemire made me a fan. The art compliments the often chaotic story by grounding it enough to where the reader can keep up.
- Briggs Land – Brian Wood and Mark Chater
- This book was optioned for a series by AMC, the network that brought to life the Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Mad Men, before the first issue even hit the stands. To say that this had a lot to live up to is an understatement, but Brian Wood knocked it out of the park with his tales of the Briggs family and the inner turmoil on their rural compound. If you’re interested in off the grid living or the Branch Davidians then this will satisfy that itch. The story centers around a family who runs a secessionist compound the size of a small city out in the middle of nowhere. On paper it sounds pretty run of the mill but the inner workings of the characters and their struggle for power really brings this story home.
Southern Bastards – Jason Aaron and Jason Latour
Redneck – Donny Cates and Lisandro Estherren
Violent Love – Frank J. Barbiere and Victor Santos
Batman: White Knight – Sean Murphy
Moonshine – Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso