Welcome to the Top 10 Comics of the Week. Where I countdown my choices for the best comics that were released.
The world may be on fire but at least we have good comics to read. This was a jam packed week. A few disappointments and a few surprises as well. Books like Giga #1, The Autumnal #1, Department of Truth #2, and X of Swords: Stasis #1 barely missed making the Top 10.
With that said let’s take a look at what did make the list…
10. Transformers ’84: Secrets and Lies #4
Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Guido Guidi
Description: The epic conclusion to Secrets and Lies! On Earth, Grimlock stands alone against… Megatron? Meanwhile, on Cybertron, The Wreckers take on their very first mission! The secret history of Earth and Cybertron is revealed!
Why it Made the List: When it comes to this list expectations do play a role. I try to avoid that but it is nearly impossible. I jumped into this issue not having read any of the previous and was massively surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Much of that was due to the incredible art of Guido Guidi and John-Paul Rove. As I mentioned in my Best Comic Panels article they captured that 80’s Saturday Morning Cartoon feel yet with more of a modern execution. In my limited experience reading Transformers comics this was easily the best-looking one. Highly recommend for any Transformers fan.
9. The One You Feed #1
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Dylan Burnett
Publisher: Panel Syndicate
Description: One day, long ago, and for no reason whatsoever..the moon rose in the night sky, and every human being on the planet began to violently change into the demons that live inside of their souls. Some of these monsters were good. Most…were not. Now, after hundreds of years of these nightly horrors, a young prince, armed only with a mysterious sword named Attum, must journey into the night to face the monsters under the stars, and meet the wolf that lives in his own heart…
Why it Made the List: Donny Cates and Dylan Burnett pulled Robert Kirkman and surprised the entire comic book world with a brand new series this week. It was an achievement they were even able to keep it a secret considering how easily things leak in the comic book community. What worked about this issue was how it set the stage for exactly what this story is going to be about. How the world has gone to hell and now a young prince has to try to survive it. A classic journey tale told by a proven creative team. I am in. Burnett’s style lends itself well to this concept. With all the different types of monsters and creatures, he is going to get a chance to allow his creative spirit to flourish.
8. Colonel Weird: Cosmagog #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Tyler Crook
Publisher: Dark Horse
Description: From the world of the Eisner Award-winning Black Hammer series comes a bizarre sci-fi adventure origin story! Wacky space adventurer Colonel Randall Weird leaves Black Hammer farm and embarks on a strange journey through space and time for something that he’s long forgotten with his sanity and life at stake!
Why it Made the List: Another number one although from a character and world we have seen a great deal. Going into this I had no idea Tyler Crook was on art duties so that was a pleasant surprise. As a major fan of Harrow County, I am excited to see what he can do with the Black Hammer universe. The amount of chaos that exists in this issue would not make for a very compelling series. For a first issue though, it is getting that out of the way to bring us to the beginning of Weird’s life. Simply it is confusing but it is designed to be that way. Knowing how strong the Black Hammer mini-series have been I have high hopes for what is to come. Really looking forward to getting answers to many of Weird’’s wacky questions.
7. Canto II: The Hollow Men #3
Writer: David M. Booher
Artist: Drew Zucker
Description: The calm before the storm. Canto and his friends take what they found in the town of the Hollow Men with them on their quest, though wonder if it’s worth what they left behind. With a monster pursuing them and their own ticking clocks against them, the Tins must seek what refuge they can as they move forward to their goal.
Why it Made the List: Canto has everything you want in a good fantasy tale. Starting with the quest of noble warriors that gets more and more difficult with each step. A straightforward receive that has executed to great effect. You care about these characters because they care about one another. So when you get an issue like this where a major death occurs that matters. Not only because we will no longer get that character but also because of what the loss means for those left behind.
6. Killadelphia #9
Writer: Rodney Barnes
Artist: Jason Shawn Alexander
Publisher: Image Comics
Description: “BURN BABY BURN,” Part Three. The second arc of the critically acclaimed, bestselling series continues! From RODNEY BARNES, the writer behind such hit shows as Marvel’s Runaways and STARZ’s American Gods, and Jason Shawn Alexander, the artist who redefined SPAWN, comes a modern horror tale that will leave you speechless!
Why it Made the List: Jupiter is proving to be the best character in this entire series. In this issue, we got a lot of his back story and tragic past. What we are seeing though is he is not allowing that tragedy to define him. Villian is too limiting of a word. How could anyone who has lived his life view humanity any differently than he does? That is what makes great characters. Unique stories that provide moral dilemmas for the reader to digest. No easy answers. Just great drama.
5. Superman: Man of Tomorrow Chapter #18
Writer: Brandon Thomas
Artist: Christian Duce
Publisher: DC Comics
Description: The Fortress of Solitude turns against Superman! Stripped of his powers, the Last Son of Krypton will need to use every piece of technology and mystery within the fortress to stay alive and find the criminal who broke in and overtook it!
Why it Made the List: Superman as John Mcclane? What more could you ask for? After Superman is blasted with a kryptonite ray he loses his powers. Left with only his might, wit, and what ever weapons he can get his hands on he embarks to protect his home. This was just a fun one-off story that had a clear concept and went for it. For those who pass on the DC direct to digital books you really shouldn’t. Every so often you get a gem like this.
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin #1
Writer: Tom Waltz, Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman
Artist: Esau Escorza, Isaac Escorza, Kevin Eastman
Description: It’s the TMNT event of 2020! Springing from the minds of TMNT co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird comes an epic like you’ve never seen before! In a future NYC far different than the one we know today, a lone surviving Turtle goes on a seemingly hopeless mission to obtain justice for his fallen family and friends. Kinetic layouts from Eastman, moody inks from Andy Kuhn and a thrilling script full of surprises from longtime TMNT scribe Tom Waltz all combine to make this one of the most memorable TMNT stories you will ever read!
Why it Made the List: There were a number of new series debuting this week and none had more hype than this…at least for me. Unlike Transformers the Turtles were a big part of my childhood and knowing the original creators were coming back my excitement was up. Happily, it lived up to expectations, at least so far. Plotwise we did not get much. In fact, it is one massive action set-piece until the very end. Basically, it is TMNT: The Raid set in a dystopian future. Nothing to be against there. Art was great as well in making that idea work. Kevin Eastman did the layouts and you could tell. It was the closest thing to the original Turtles series that has come out in some time. Also, I was completely wrong with who I thought the Ronin was going to be.
3. Wasted Space #16
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Publisher: Vault Comics
Description: Legion’s cosmic origins revealed!
Why it Made the List: In this issue of Wasted Space some massive questions like what really is the meaning of life are explored. What would drive a being like God to create existence and allow for free will? Why are we here? What is the purpose? And what burden is laid upon the being that did the creating? Some really deep questions that are given proper artistic expression. When you walk away you stand a little taller knowing comics are willing to go deep like this. They are not afraid to ask the impossible questions. Oh, and there are a few boner jokes tossed in as well. That is what works about this series. It can be really ludicrous and thoughtful at the same time.
2. John Constantine: Hellblazer #11
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Aaron Campbell
Publisher: DC Comics
Description: A message from Clem Thurso, the most virulently bigoted politician in the UK, unexpectedly sends John on a journey deep into the heart of occult evil—and down into a chamber below Parliament where something truly unspeakable waits…
Why it Made the List: This was a week where the top two picks were ultra close. Both of these issues were far and above everything else that came out this week. As we near November there is no question for me that John Constantine: Hellblazer has been the best ongoing comic this year. This issue the gloves were off. As we near the US election it was refreshing seeing a comic that took on the social atmosphere of today with such a high level of craft. There is a level of anger here that is welled earned and let out. One that will call out those in power on their misgivings in extreme ways.
1. Sex Criminals #69
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky
Publisher: Image Comics
Description: SERIES FINALE in which we skip ahead 39 issues and check in with how it all ends up a few years down the line. SPOILERS: pretty okay?
Why it Made the List: If I am being honest Sex Criminals #69 (insert Nice Gif here) is probably not the most well-crafted comic of the week. Sometimes though it is about the right comic at the right time. This issue represents how much these characters and this series has evolved since it began. How this book that was a bit silly tapped into some genuine emotion. It works as an ending because it is not trying to do too much. Just leaving room for these characters to interact and remind you why they care for each other. How despite everything that has happened the past can still be the past. In a time and place where the world is on fire reading a book that makes you feel good about life is not something to take lightly. Sure you still had some gags. Shooting down paparazzi with an anti-aircraft carrier for one. Ultimately though it was people being people. No crazy sex powers. Just conversation and understanding about life and all its messiness. Endings are hard to get right. Some of the best comic series of all time do not end well. This stuck that landing with both feet…and hands.