A great month of comics, with more events than you can shake a stick at! From Death of the Family (which had a very good month at the polls) to Rotworld to the end of Avengers vs. X-Men and more! Several of you thought AVX was no good, but many others of you thought it was great. As usual, let us know what you think!
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
- DETECTIVE COMICS #13 – So much to love about this issue. Chew’s John Layman takes over on the writing and it’s so clear that he’s in his own league. The back-up story ALONE could have won best book of the week when it came out. Not just a poll winner, a poll DOMINATOR.
- BATMAN #13 – As you may have heard, Joker’s back! And he’s gonna take out Batman’s whole family. Poor Alfred. Not just a poll winner, a poll DOMINATOR.
- HAWKEYE #3 – Yet another runway poll victor! And an absolute blast of a comic book. A car chase… trick arrows… time jumps… witty banter. It all adds up to the funnest book of the month.
- PUNK ROCK JESUS #4 (OF 6) – Punk Rock Jesus has officially arrived! And by the way, he hates you. With each successive issue, we say, "This is the best issue of the series so far." And so it is with this one.
- BEFORE WATCHMEN DR MANHATTAN #2 (OF 4) – "This seems WAY high on the list," sez you. But we loved this issue. All about how every future possibility depends on each decision you make. Did you see Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow? Kind of like that, except instead of catching his spouse cheating on him, he finds out he is responsible for nuclear devastation.
- CHEW #29 – Though "Space Cakes" hasn’t been the best Chew storyline to date, a so-so Chew story is still heads above most other books! Plus, we could have easily nominated this issue on the strength of this page alone.
- AVENGERS VS X-MEN #12 (OF 12) – It could definitely be said that what happened in this one wasn’t exactly a shocker. But it was still very, very well done. The Phoenix has been dispersed and now mutants are popping up all over the place!
- AVX VS #6 (OF 6) – This was the first issue of AVX Vs. that I genuinely loved. Scarlet Witch vs. Hope! Plus so much more! Just a thoroughly enjoyable read.
- SWAMP THING #13 & ANIMAL MAN #13 – Rotworld begins! Turns out Animal Man and Swamp Thing have been trapped in the Rot for a year. And things haven’t gone so well topside. A great start to this crossover.
- MASSIVE #5 – A very cool "day in the life" feel to this one, as Mary and Ryan search for fresh water in Antarctica. Naturally, it doesn’t go as planned and they are thrown into a bore hole. Add in some back story for both characters and you have the best issue of the series!
- WALKING DEAD #103 – This issue had to happen. We had to see Negan bring Lucille to the Community and exercise his new found rights over Rick and Co. It’s just gonna make the moment when Rick returns the favor that much more delicious.
- COBRA #18 – As expected, the Oktober Guard stole the show! And it was great.
- AMERICAN VAMPIRE LORD OF NIGHTMARES #5 (OF 5) – Another chapter in the American Vampire saga comes to a close. And it was fantastic. Apparently, all you have to do is blow up the bad guy!
- I VAMPIRE #13 – We loved how this issue totally changed things up in the world of I Vampire. I like that Crazy Mary is now on the side of good… but did she have to put clothes on?
- NIGHTWING #13 – Lots going on in the Nightwing universe, from Amusement Mile to Lady Shiva, but one thing you need to know is this: Joker’s back! Yep, this one followed right along with Death of the Family, even if it didn’t have the die-cut cover.
- DAREDEVIL END OF DAYS #1 (OF 8) – Sort of a What If? story featuring some of the biggest names in Daredevil history. What if… Daredevil died in a most brutal fashion?
- UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 – This is the book you need to read if you want to follow what happens after Avengers vs. X-Men! It picked right up with Prof. Xavier’s funeral. (If you haven’t finished reading AVX… Whoops! Spoiler.)
- TALON #1 – A fine start to the Talon series, with the title character making good and setting his sights on those who made him bad. Sidebar: this one further solidifies a recent trend of the Batman books really setting themselves apart for quality and coherency.
- NATIONAL COMICS MADAME X #1 – Exactly as advertised. Madame X is the resident psychic of the New Orleans PD and they use her tarot skills to get to the bottom of a good old fashioned swamp mystery! A thoroughly enjoyable one and done.
- MARVEL ZOMBIES HALLOWEEN – See my full write-up on this one from earlier today!
The Best Current Series
- CHEW – You may think I was a little hard on Chew in the list above, but don’t get it twisted: Chew is still hands down the first book I reach for every single time it comes out. (TPBs)
- AMERICAN VAMPIRE – We only saw the final issue of the mini-series this month, but next week promises the penultimate chapter of "Blacklist." You’re telling me it’s NOT gonna be awesome? (TPBs)
- SAGA – No Saga this month! Too bad, so sad. But the trade came out a couple weeks ago and people have definitely been picking it up. At $9.99 it is easily one of the best buys on the shelf right now.
- RACHEL RISING – Actually comes out this coming Wednesday, so it misses out on the list. We won’t punish Rachel for that! (Jet would probably kick our butts if we did.) (TPB)
- BATMAN – Batman was obviosuly awesome this month and we expect it to continue being awesome as "Death of the Family" progresses. (TPB)
- PUNK ROCK JESUS – Can’t believe I’d neglected to put this series here before!
- AVENGERS VS. X-MEN – Comes to a fine ending. And I’m sure this will be a major topic of discussion for the Cosmic Comix Conversation panelists.
- CONAN THE BARBARIAN – The Border Fury arc comes to an excellent ending, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for them to return to the boat and raise some Hell on the open ocean!
- WALKING DEAD – This is the first Best Book of the Month column since the third season of the show debuted! And the comic book is still excellent. Did anyone else notice the similarity between Rick’s offer to the prisoners on the TV show and Negan’s offer to Rick in the comic? (TPBs)
- DETECTIVE COMICS – Chew’s John Layman comes aboard as writer! There’s only been one issue so far, but all signs point to it being excellent for the duration.
- I VAMPIRE – We had a pretty major shift in I Vampire this month. The bad
guygirl is now good and the good guy is now bad!
- BEFORE WATCHMEN – Another strong month for the Before Watchmen titles, even if we didn’t see one for two weeks in a row. (More!)
- FABLES / FAIREST – New storylines began in both Fables and Fairest this month! (TPBs)
- DAREDEVIL – Didn’t make it up top, but got several votes in the poll this month. The people love Daredevil! And you can’t blame them. (TPBs)
- COBRA – Just keeps on keepin’ on! And as long as it does it will always have a spot right here. (TPBs)
- HAWKEYE - Three issues in and it’s time to acknowledge the power of Hawkeye. Fraction and Aja have nailed the vibe in this one.
- X-MEN – It appears that Brian Wood’s run on X-Men is now over. Often overshadowed by AVX, which is too bad because it was fantastic.
- NIGHTWING – We love how consistent this title is, both within itself and within the Batman family as a whole.
- WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN – Glad to see that this title is continuing on through Marvel NOW!
- THE MASSIVE – Just keeps getting better and better. Brian Wood doing his thing.
Others receiving votes for the Best Current Series: