The Best Comic Book Runs of the 2010s

As we near the end of the 2010s, for my final look back at the decade in comics, I’m going to be looking at the best comic runs of the 2010s. This decade had some of the best and worst comic series, but I’m here to celebrate the best runs. The 2010s had a lot of good runs that were somewhat unappreciated, that I feel deserve acknowledgement. This is the decade that I got into comics, so I followed a lot of these when they were ongoing. Yet, there is enough distance from most of these runs — most of which are complete — that I feel comfortable judging them as a whole.

For comic runs, the amount of creators and issues varies, but the general idea should be obvious — a bunch of comics where at least one creator has a big presence in the creative process. To qualify for this list, the run needs to have had most of its issues released in the 2010s. That means Grant Morrison’s Batman and Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern, both of which started in the mid-2000s but ended in the 2010s, are out, but Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four, which started in 2009 and ended in the 2010s, is allowed on. Essentially, the runs will have started in the 2010s, with a small handful of exceptions that had very few issues in the previous decade. The key part of it is that this is “runs” as opposed to a series — I’ll be copying a bit of CBR’s rules and say that miniseries do not count as “runs”, unless it’s a group of miniseries in some way; this is for the the best runs on a comic, not sprints. But it can be one ongoing series, something that had multiple series, or just a specific chunk of a series for whatever reason (maybe the creative team lost the artist or something). To keep things manageable, I’ll be focusing on writers and pencillers — not that inkers, colourists and letterers aren’t important, but it’s hard enough to get every artist down for some runs, and I’ll probably miss some, that this is just the compromise I have to make.

Anyway, with all the rules out of the way, let’s get on with it. Here, arbitrarily ranked, are the best comic runs of the 2010s!

(That I read).

Continue reading “The Best Comic Book Runs of the 2010s”

The Best Comic Book Story Arcs of the 2010s

As I’ve made clear in previous posts, the 2010s were a good time for comics. I’ve looked at the best comic runs, but now I’m taking it a step down and going into the best comic arcs. These aren’t entire series — unless it’s a miniseries or an ongoing that was cut short — or runs, but arcs. Naming these is a bit weird because some writers don’t really name their arcs, but luckily trades exist, and you can usually tell when something is an arc.

To qualify, the first issue of the arc needs to have been released in the 2010s. That limits my options enough while setting strict rules. Hopefully this makes it fair. Also, this is more of a superhero comic thing, so be warned if that bugs you.

Anyway, get your six (most likely) bag and boards ready, because we’re going to be looking at the best comic book story arcs of the 2010s!

Continue reading “The Best Comic Book Story Arcs of the 2010s”

The Best Comic Book Moments of the 2010s

So far, I’ve looked at the biggest shake-ups in comics status quos in the 2010s. Of course, I think those were important. They’re paradigm shifts that allow for different stories. But sometimes, you need to go smaller, and that’s what this is. This time, I’m going to be highlighting specific moments in comics that I feel were the best in the 2010s.

These can range from a single scene to a single panel, but they’re what I consider the best the 2010s have to offer. They might stand on their own or be the payoff for years of storytelling, but these are the ones that had the biggest impact on me as a reader. As a rule: it can’t be an entire issue. I’m also trying to avoid placing similar scenes on this list. So yes, it’s a loose criterion, but it’s mine. Anyway, let’s see what we have for arbitrarily ranked my personal best comic book moments of the 2010s… Continue reading “The Best Comic Book Moments of the 2010s”

Venom #18 Review — A Fun and Intriguing Treat

Written by Donny Cates
Pencils by Iban Coello
Colours by Rain Beredo
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics
Cover price: $3.99 USD

The Venom series has found a way to stand out during the Absolute Carnage event. While some series would have it feature the lead character, whereas the core miniseries would not, with Eddie Brock heavily featured in Absolute Carnage, Donny Cates has taken the opportunity to focus on Eddie’s supporting cast. While Absolute Carnage is dripping with 90s nostalgia and a gritty atmosphere, Venom has found a unique role, being a fun adventure, albeit one steeped in the sinister machinations of twisted characters and an undertone of horror.

Continue reading “Venom #18 Review — A Fun and Intriguing Treat”

Venom #17 Review — Smaller and Scarier Wins the Week

Written by Donny Cates
Pencils by Iban Coello
Colours by Rain Beredo
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics

Cover price: $3.99 USD

Event comics spinning out of ongoing series can be a double-edged sword. They increase the scope of the story and allow for further exploration of the concept, but what happens with the ongoing can be awkward, where it can feel unimportant or necessary, or even both. Venom #17 does not fall into that category, instead expanding on the supporting cast of Venom‘s role in the event, which feels important while not completely inseparable from the events of the Absolute Carnage miniseries. Continue reading “Venom #17 Review — Smaller and Scarier Wins the Week”

Absolute Carnage #2 Review — Slow, Somber and Better for It

Written by Donny Cates
Pencils by Ryan Stegman
Inks by JP Mayer
Colours by Frank Martin
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics

Cover price: $4.99 USD

The Absolute Carnage event has been a wild ride. After the visceral explosion of a first issue, I wasn’t sure what Donny Cates would do to maintain momentum for his now 5-issue event. With Absolute Carnage #2, Cates hits the brakes on the action to deliver a great little breather issue. While the plot certainly progresses and there are some great twists and turns thrown into the story, this issue is a slower burn of escalation and setup, avoiding the pitfall that many event comics fall into of being unrelentingly plot-focused and losing sight of characters. Continue reading “Absolute Carnage #2 Review — Slow, Somber and Better for It”

Absolute Carnage #1 Review — A Bloody Good Time

Written by Donny Cates
Pencils by Ryan Stegman
Inks by JP Mayer
Colours by Frank Martin
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Published by Marvel Comics

Cover price: $7.99 USD

Donny Cates’ stellar Venom run has been a treat to read, expertly weaving a tale of cosmic horror, character drama and shocking revelations. Now, the Absolute Carnage crossover promises to take things up to eleven and this first issue does just that, with Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman making Carnage a threat again while providing great character work, although the shocking revelation isn’t as shocking as it was probably intended to be. Continue reading “Absolute Carnage #1 Review — A Bloody Good Time”

Best New Comic Series of 2018

Here’s a list that I actually really enjoy doing. Unlike the top issues, it’s not hard to recall — I can remember a good series much easier than a good issue. With this list, the series is judged as a whole, not by one single standout issue. At the same time, it’s a very positive list, unlike me lambasting the worst of the year. The main condition is that the series needs to have started in 2018 and had at least an arc or so; meaning anything with less than that by the time 2019 came around isn’t allowed on the list. I will make note of those newer series, however, since, quality is quality and should be praised. So without further delay (yes, this list is fairly late), here are my best new comic series of 2018. Continue reading “Best New Comic Series of 2018”