The Four Best Superhero Comics of 2015
This list is for readers who love the capes and cowls as much as I do.
What a great time to be a comic book reader! The movies are killing it in the box office, digital comics are coming into their own, and there are tons of great titles on the shelves.
Yes, superhero stories are dense. The years of continuity are enough to overwhelm anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the “creator owned” stories as much as the next guy. But if the rich and complex histories of superheroes is your thing, then let’s dive into my favorites of 2015:
This meta-textual “event” illustrates the infinite possibilities of the DC Multiverse. It’s the story of comic book characters discovering each other’s Universes through comic books. And yes, our earth is included in this insane tapestry. Designated Earth-33, we are a part of the story, and this comic has interesting things to say about ourselves.
How we go to extremes to protect our physical possessions, digital files, and homes; but barely think twice about what we let into our minds. This un-curated onslaught of modern media is the enemy in this story.
“The Multiversity” is helmed by genius writer Grant Morrison; who might also be a crazy person. And each issue is illustrated by the top talents in the DC roster including Ivan Reis, Chris Sprouse, Ben Oliver, Frank Quitely, Cameron Stewart, Doug Mahnke, and Jim Lee. If you pick up this book, prepare to not know the majority of the characters.
Spies are so in right now, but “Grayson” subverts the spy genre in an exciting new way. Formerly Robin, formerly Nightwing, formerly Batman; Dick Grayson has been assigned to infiltrate a spy organization that walks the line between good and evil.
Tom King and Tim Seeley plot this elegantly constructed book with a side of humor. Each issue tells a complete story, but the larger tale is dense and intriguing. Dick Grayson is a perfect leading man in a comic that upends what a superhero story can be. He is kind, he doesn’t kill, and is more often the eye-candy for the women (and men) in the story. Mikel Janin’s artwork combines realism with flare, and provides an excellent look at the acrobatic fighting style of Dick Grayson.
“Grayson” is a pretty complicated story that uses old threads from Grant Morrison’s cryptic “Batman” run. But if you can accept what is happening, “Grayson” is a wild ride.
“Secret Wars” is a massive event book from Marvel Comics. The main goal is to combine the regular Marvel Universe with the Ultimate Universe, making it all feel more like the Movie Universe. But this story is greater than a simple editorial decision. It’s an epic struggle on an imagined world that comes complete with deeply emotional resonance.
The universes are dying, so Doctor Doom becomes a God to save everything from destruction. He creates a world where all Marvel timelines, iterations, and universes can live together. Each has their own territory, and are policed by Thors. Age of Apocolypse, Weirdworld, Marvel Zombies, and many more all habit this world.
“Secret Wars” is the culmination of writer Jonathan Hickman’s over 6 year Fantastic Four and Avengers storylines. He doesn’t succumb to tired tropes and obvious plotting that we accept from modern “superhero events.” Hickman manages to create an awesome comic with a lot of heart. The final battle begins as a blockbuster action flick, but ends as a brilliant emotional dual.
The story is elevated by Esad Ribic’s magnificent artwork. He styles the pages with the painted realism of Alex Ross, but brings it to the 21st century by adding sci-fi to make it fantastical. “Secret Wars” is a comic with positivity and lessons learned. It’s an excellent achievement, and I couldn’t have asked for more!
The Omega Men
“The Omega Men” is a space opera written and illustrated in tense cinematic episodes. Each issue opens with a nine-panel opening credits, tells a uniquely original story, then ends with a William James quote to put it all into perspective. The characters are all unknown to most readers, but their epic struggle is universal.
Written by talent Tom King, “The Omega Men,” is the story of a group of rebels attempting to overthrow an empire. The art by Barnaby Bagenda looks like nothing else on the shelves. It’s trippy, and truly brings the DC cosmos to life. Also, look for the incredible propaganda inspired sci-fi covers by Trevor Hutchison.
I still don’t fully understand what is happening in this book, but each issue never fails to blows me away. It’s a beautiful and unexpected surprise from DC Comics.
Click the “heart” is you enjoyed this post, and join my email list for original writing about comics, movies, tech, marketing, and anything else on my mind!