Andy wrote this before he went on vacation. You might think I have more input into this list than I do. I nominate. I best book. I chat. But Andy unilaterally decides. My thoughts? Andy was ready to go on vacation. Rachel Rising is totally absent from any mention for best current series. Mistake! Batman (and family) got totally dissed this month. Andy’s on the American Vampire and Conan bandwagon. As am I. AVX and Before Watchmen are heavily and properly represented. The first three picks for best book of the month are totally correct. But Walking Dead #100 comes in fourth. And although an illegal pick, Batman Earth One was great. We will talk about it all on the podcast tomorrow! – Rusty
Welcome to the Top Twenty! Where we here at Cosmic Comix tell you our favorite comic books of the month, which either A) gives you food for thought on what to check out next time you’re in the store, or B) gives you reason to tear us a new one for what is clearly a lack of good taste!
In case this is your first time, the Top Twenty is an ongoing monthly look at two ordered lists comprising A) The top twenty single issues of the month and B) the top twenty current series in comics. How did we come up with the lists? Well, the Cosmic Comix Top Twenty Committee took several things into consideration: Best Book nominees, poll winners and poll votes, sales numbers and general buzz levels surrounding each book. Yes, your input is not only appreciated but also counts toward the rankings. So let us hear it!
Top Twenty Comics of July 2012
The Best Single Issues
- CHEW SECRET AGENT POYO #1 – Pfff. GET REAL. An entire issue devoted to bad-ass secret agent Poyo? The most foul fowl you’ll ever come across?? A shoo-in for best book of the month. And it won the poll!
- RACHEL RISING #9 – Now THIS book was something else. You might not be reading it, but trust us: this issue took it to the next level. Demons, possession, the dead still rising, little girls being 10 years old for 47 years… Amazing!
- SAGA #5 – The saga of Saga continues! And continues wonderfully. What we liked about this one is that there were a few surprises, including the hornhead dad kicking some tail and a brutal last page. We have a spider-woman down! Repeat, a spider-woman is down!
- EARTH 2 #3 – With this issue, Earth 2 goes three for three in the poll! That series must have some serious supporters out there! (Not to mention a few detractors.) But we liked it, too. A great Flash/Hawkgirl battle, a little Green, a little Black, and a great ending to the issue. Can’t wait to hear the discussion about this one on the podcast…
- CONAN THE BARBARIAN #6 – Quite possibly the best issue of the series to date. Conan is on the run through Messantia and spares no man (or horse) in his escape! Plus, it was a great love story. Two thumbs up for Conan and here’s to a rise in the Best Series rankings.
- WALKING DEAD #100 – Was it one of the best books of the month? Absolutely. But how good was it? Lots of talk about it and, as we mentioned on Twitter, it’s the best-selling single issue since 1997! But my goodness it was brutal.
- BATMAN EARTH ONE HC – It’s been a long time coming, but I think we can say it was worth the wait. Just about as solid a Batman story as you’re gonna read.
- BEFORE WATCHMEN OZYMANDIAS #1 (OF 6) – A tinybit of disagreement here at the store on this one, but I’ll give way to the folks out there (and there were many of you) who said this was a great comic. Well-written, beautiful artwork, and the complete origin of Ozymandias.
- I VAMPIRE #11 – The battle between the vampires and Van Helsings rages on in unbelievable fashion! Look out for a raging herd of mummy vampire vampire hunters! I kid you not!
- PUNK ROCK JESUS #1 (OF 6) – This one totally knocked us out. An unbelievably strong start to the mini-series from Sean Murphy, whose artwork we know from Joe the Barbarian. Cloning, a futuristic society, religion and much, much more.
- AMERICAN VAMPIRE LORD OF NIGHTMARES #2 (OF 5) – Such a cool story going, especially since it now involves Dracula and his ability to control all other Carpathian vampires. Quite possibly the best ending of the month.
- NEW AVENGERS #28 – Whoops! I might have spoken too soon about that whole "best ending" thing, because this book had an unbelievably good ending! Still hesitant to spoil anything, but it does involve Spider-Woman’s attempt to escape from imprisonment on Utopia. Read it!
- AVENGERS VS X-MEN #7 & 8 (OF 12) – Another solid pair of issues in a solid event. Wanda is really starting to make her presence known and the Avengers are clearly afraid of her. As they should be! But Namor found them. And took them all on!
- BEFORE WATCHMEN SILK SPECTRE #2 (OF 4) – Totally, 100% enjoyable, just like the first issue. And with this issue we moved into the plot, which, without revealing too much, involves Evil Frank Sinatra trying to brainwash the kids! Reminded me a little of Josie and the Pussycats (the movie).
- AMERICAN VAMPIRE #29 – I don’t usually like to include two issues from the same series in the Top Twenty, but this is American Vampire and it deserves all the kudos we give it. This one was part two of the Blacklisted story and it was, unsurprisingly, excellent.
- BEFORE WATCHMEN COMEDIAN #2 (OF 6) – While the first issue felt a little clunky to us, this one was much, much better. Comedian in Vietnam! And if you remember anything about that from the original series, you have some idea how it goes down here. Though of course there’s much more!
- ACTION COMICS #11 – A solid vote count cemented Action Comics’ place in the Top Twenty this month. And it’s definitely deserved. So much happened! Clark Kent is history and Superman gets set up with a new secret identity… with a little help from the Dark Knight. Plus… look out, Lois!!
- BATMAN #11 – The Court of Owls comes to its conclusion! Lincoln March may or may not actually be Bruce’s brother! Was it good? What did you think?
- HIT-GIRL #2 (OF 5) – I wanted to make sure this issue made the cut because it had several moments that made me laugh and the ONLY moment of the month that made me actually laugh out loud. "Who wants a f***ing sandwich?!"
- NATIONAL COMICS ETERNITY #1 – A totally enjoyable first installment for DC’s seriesof one-shots about lower profile characters… like Kid Eternity! A great detective story with lots of cool little story details from Jeff Lemire.
Top Twenty Titles of July 2012
The Best Current Series
- CHEW – Regains its rightful spot at the top of the charts thanks to a one-shot about a rooster. THAT’S how good Chew is. (TPBs)
- SAGA – Says Rusty: "If it was the best current series in the Top Twenty last month, after reading this issue, I see no reason why it should not hold on to its coveted position at the top of the charts this month. Every issue so far has been outstanding." There’s only one reason it wouldn’t be at the top and that reason is Poyo!
- AMERICAN VAMPIRE – It’s become one of the most consistently good comics out there, from ongoing series to mini-series… basically anything they put out with American Vampire on is fantastic. (TPB)
- BATMAN – The Court of Owls was a solid ride, but we’re definitely ready for some new business! Batman retains its position as the best of the New 52, as it has for 11 months straight. (TPB)
- AVENGERS VS. X-MEN – The saga continues! The Phoenix Five are down to the Phoenix Four!
- CONAN THE BARBARIAN – As promised, a rise in the rankings for Conan! Brian Wood has done an unbelievable job telling fresh stories in a genre that doesn’t usually lend itself to freshness. Look for a new storyline next month!
- WALKING DEAD – 100 issues! Milestone achieved! Walking Dead marches on and who knows where it’s gonna end up. Or who’s on the chopping block. (TPBs)
- I VAMPIRE – This comic has more single moments and pages that make me say "Holy *&@$!" than anything else out there. Vampire battles on a ginormous scale!
- WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN – Though you didn’t see it in the list above, it still got a nomination this month and remains one of the most — if not THE most — unique voices in the X-Men family.
- BEFORE WATCHMEN – Still a lot of haters on this event, but the fact of the matter is this: these are some darn good comics! (More!)
- NEW AVENGERS – The past few issues have all been nominated and its proven itself as an integral aspect of the Avengers vs. X-Men story.
- DAREDEVIL – Could be pound for pound the most enjoyable superhero book on the market. (TPBs)
- COBRA – We’re still very much down with Cobra and it continues to be excellent. But it has definitely been outshined in recent months (TPBs)
- SCALPED – A delayed shipping schedule will not drive Scalped from our list! Unless it keeps on getting delayed. (TPBs)
- UNCANNY X-MEN – The Mister Sinister storyline has been thoroughly enjoyable, even if only somewhat related to AVX.
- EARTH 2 – I guess it’s time we officially gave Earth 2 its break into the Top Twenty current series! The people have spoken!
- INVINCIBLE – Gets nominated every single time without fail. That’s gotta count for something! (TPBs)
- BUFFY / ANGEL – Both Angel and Buffy continue to move forward in compelling ways. Even if you’re not necessarily a Buffy-type fan, we highly recommend these books!
- FAIREST – Got dissed last month, but I made sure to include it this month because it really is an excellent series. It just got edged out in the list above.
- X-MEN – Good on Brian Wood for taking this title and making it a worthwhile and excellent read!
Others receiving votes for the Best Current Series: