It’s been a busy month here at Cosmic Comix! Not only did we have the Baltimore Comic-Con, but I was off for a few days for jury duty and the Whiz Bang’s — featuring hardcovers, variants and more — were hotter than the Twitter hashtag #Thingsbetterthanreplacementrefs. As for the comics, it was Zero Month at DC Comics, so we got a lot of New 52 origins, but many other companies decided to jump in on the origin action, too! Let’s see what the best was…
In case this is your first time, Best Books of the Month is an ongoing monthly look at two ordered lists comprising A) The top 20 Best Single Issues of the month and B) the top 20 Best Current Series in comics. How did we come up with the lists? Well, the Cosmic Comix Best Books of the Month Committee (comprised of Andy B. and basically no one else) 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!
The Best Single Issues
- PUNK ROCK JESUS #3 (OF 6) – This one almost had an Akira feel to me, which is a total compliment to Sean Murphy. Breakneck pace and JC2 is all growns up! Crushed the poll and won your (and my) vote for Best Book of the Month.
- HAWKEYE #2 – An incredibly good follow-up to the first issue. Cirque du [French] comes to town and tries to rob the bad guys of the Marvel U. Clint and Kate Bishop try to stop them, only to have Kingpin declare, "Clint Barton of the Avengers has robbed us all!"
- FABLES #121 – Cubs in Toyland comes to an unbelievably good finish. Therese has been through a lot… and now it shows. A very dark tone in this one, not for the feint of heart, but totally exhilarating and a fantastic addition to the Fables canon.
- BEFORE WATCHMEN SILK SPECTRE #3 (OF 4) – Excellent once again. Silky is way messed up on acid and out to get the people who did it… including Frank Sinatra. Comedian (who is popping up everywhere) pays a visit to her boyfriend and gives him a tough choice… goodbye, my sweetheart, hello, Vietnam!
- RACHEL RISING #11 – So much to like about this series and, now, this issue. That convo in the snow was downright epic. As were the carnivorous bunnies.
- BATMAN AND ROBIN #0 – Along with Teen TItans #0, Nightwing #0 and Red Hood and the Outlaws #0, you got all the Robin origins you could handle this month! And this one, starring the one and only Damian, totally stood out. It was outstanding.
- WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #16 &17 AVX – Maybe I’m a total pansy, because I thought #16 was pretty brutal. Kade Kilgore’s origin. But many of you out there (including a certain persnickety owner) loved it. And #17 was great, too! Doop!
- CHEW #28 – Exploding meat! Could be used by terrorists if they can figure out the science. No matter, just sic Poyo on ‘em!
- AVENGERS VS X-MEN #11 (OF 12) – It’s everyone against Scott! With Professor X brought out to lead the charge. Bad news for him. The news wasn’t so great for Emma Frost either.
- AMERICAN VAMPIRE LORD OF NIGHTMARES #4 (OF 5) & AMERICAN VAMPIRE #31 – Twice the American Vampire equals twice the goodness. Dracula is running the show in the mini-series (via his own version of Cerebro) while the Pearl-Henry drama continues in the regular series! Poor Henry.
- BEFORE WATCHMEN OZYMANDIAS #3 (OF 6) – It’s a big fight with the Comedian. And plans are put in motion to take down Dr. Manhattan. Once again, just a beautifully executed issue.
- JUSTICE LEAGUE #0 – Poll winner! He was relegated to the back-up story in Justice League for the past few months, but in this one Shazam got his moment in the sun. And it was great. I, too, could use some cash…
- SWAMP THING #0 – Look out for Anton Arcane! He’s killing Swamp Thing’s left and right in this issue! And he is a bad, bad man. If you’re a horror fan you NEED to check this one out. Personally, my favorite book of the month.
- ANIMAL MAN #0 – Look out for Anton Arcane! He’s killing Animal Men left and right in this issue! Before the Red even had a chance to make a new one! So much explanation really helped the understanding of this series as a whole. Loved it.
- SPIDER-MEN #5 (OF 5) – A great ending to a surprisingly good mini-series. Peter heads back to his own dimension and all is right with the world. EXCEPT… Who is Miles Morales in the regular Marvel U?
- WALKING DEAD #102 – What’s the best solution for dealing with Negan? Giving up to Negan. Right? RIGHT?? Not right.
- COBRA #17 – Origin story! Major Bludd. One of my favorite GI Joe characters ever. He’s behind bars for most of the issue, but don’t worry, he’s got a plan.
- UNTOLD TALES OF PUNISHER MAX #4 (OF 5) – More on this one soon, when it comes to an In Case You Missed It near you. All you really need to know is that it’s Punisher done right!
- I VAMPIRE #0 – The origin of Andrew Bennett. And I Vampire retains its title as Most Beautiful Gray Comic on the stands.
- FAIREST #7 – Wasn’t a nominee in its respective, but I and many others totally loved it. A Sam Spade type story featuring Beauty and the Beast. Very, very cool
The Best Current Series
- AMERICAN VAMPIRE – Tough call putting American Vampire at the top, but it really does deserve it! Scott Snyder has woven some incredible tales over there. (TPBs)
- CHEW – Chew rolls on! Are you still loving it? WE ARE. (TPBs)
- SAGA – No Saga this month. Doesn’t hurt it in the rankings too much. And if the trend keeps up, it’ll be right back up to #1 in no time.
- RACHEL RISING – Over the past few years, Terry Moore has crafted some of the most incredible science fiction stories in all media. And Rachel Rising is officially one of them. (TPB)
- AVENGERS VS. X-MEN – The last issue comes out this coming Wednesday! What’s gonna happen?! Long shot prediction: Good will prevail.
- CONAN THE BARBARIAN – No representation up top, but this month’s issue was still excellent and the series as a whole continues to be one of the best Conan stories we’ve read.
- WALKING DEAD – Something to Fear comes to a close, but the ongoing story arc of Rick is a Maniac rolls on! The TV show comes back October 14! (TPBs)
- I VAMPIRE – The #0 issue totally added to our love of Andrew Bennett. For sheer cool factor, it’s hard to beat I Vampire.
- BATMAN – Overshadowed this month by its Bat-family brother Batman and Robin, but still overall the best book in the New 52. Go ahead: tell me I’m wrong! (TPB)
- WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN – We really give credit to the unique voices around here, and Wolverine and the X-Men is far and away the most unique title in all the X-Men. We love it each and every month. Always weird, always different, always good.
- BEFORE WATCHMEN – Silk Spectre and Ozymandias are more than enough to keep us on board with the Before Watchmen event. They have both proven themselves to be in it to win it. (More!)
- FABLES / FAIREST – Gave it a little boost in the ratings this month ont he strength of Cubs in Toyland and an awesome Fairest issue. May Fables live on forever! (TPBs)
- NEW AVENGERS – Curious to see where this one goes post-AVX, because I thought it tied into that event beautifully.
- DAREDEVIL – As Rusty said, Milla is back! Or is she? Things are only gonna get worse for Matt Murdock. He might rival Rick for craziness. (TPBs)
- COBRA – Still got that Cobra vibe to it, which is all we ask. (TPBs)
- UNCANNY X-MEN – Loved this month’s issue with Scott and Emma having dinner in their minds.
- X-MEN – We were just saying the other day how much we love the way Storm is written in this title. Brian Wood is killing it!
- NIGHTWING – Got lumped in with Batman & Robin in the list above, but rest assured it is excellent in its own right.
- BATMAN & ROBIN – It’s been wallowing in the "Others receiving votes" section for far too long! And looking now, Batman is very well represented here.
- ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN – What do you guys think of this one? It had two issues this month and they were both outstanding.
Others receiving votes for the Best Current Series: