Aron’s Top-10 Comics of 2017

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Posted January 5, 2018 by Aron Pohara in Comic Books

2017 was an odd year for comics. We had some very interesting independent stories pop up. We had Marvel continue to flounder and not know what kind of identity it wants to have let alone convey to its readers, and then DC continued their story dominance that they have started with Rebirth.

2017 was also the year of Jack Kirby’s 100th birthday and DC managed to give the King of Comics more than satisfactory celebration, releasing not just some one-shot specials, but alsowith Kamandi Challenge, Mister Miracle, and a Demon mini-series. Moreover, DC released or announced the entire Kirby’s catalogue in trade paperback or omnibus status. DC celebrated King Kirby more than Marvel did this year, who only managed to do some variant covers and the occasional True Believers book, of which we did not see a Fantastic Four #1. Which I find to be a travesty.

But I digress, this is an article about the best ten books of this year, so without the further ado here is my list!

 

#10 Paper Girls

Written by: Brian Vaughn

Art by: Cliff Chiang

Published by: Image Comics

Paper Girls is Stranger Things in a comic book format. That alone should get you to read this book, but its execution and the style of writing, combined with fantastic art by Cliff Chiang, is what makes this book one of the year’s best even though it did not start this year.

 

#9 Deathstroke

Written by: Christopher Priest

Art by: Various

Published by: DC Comics

A lot of you are going to raise an eyebrow at this choice, but this particular book manages to reinvent Slade Wilson as a character and Christopher Priest makes him more than just a hired gun. Deathstroke is a character that I honestly did not believe would ever work as a solo book for an extended period of time, yet this run truly shows us why Slade Wilson is one of the most interesting bad guys.

 

#8 Superman

Written by: Tomasi, Gleason, Various

Art by: Gleason, Various

Published by: DC Comics

Superman would probably be much higher on my list if Tomasi and Gleason had remained on the book throughout. Whenever the two of them were working, or whenever the book was concentrating on the Superman Family relationship, it shined. Whenever it was not, it faltered a bit. There are some really cool arcs here. Son of Superman, the first arc, is just fantastic. Then it was followed by homage to Darwyn Cooke. Then that was followed up by the introduction of Super Sons. Needless to say, the first 12-13 issues are stellar. Despite a few misteps along the way, the book has always maintained a high quality throughout–for the most part.

 

#7 Royal City

Written by: Jeff Lemire

Art by: Jeff Lemire

Published by: Image Comics

Royal City is one of those rare books that comes out and shakes up the normt. The unique story-telling and art style of Lemire really manages to show us that comic books are not just for kids; they can also be the conduit for philosophical discussions. Royal City is a story about family; it’s about fitting in and finding your way. It truly is one of those books that everyone can find something they like, they can find themselves in, and they can ultimately enjoy.

 

#6 Descender

Written by: Jeff Lemire

Art by: Dustin Nguyen

Published by: Image Comics

Here’s another one of those series that did not start this year but continued a fantastic run through 2017. It should be a testament to Jeff Lemire that he is able to have multiple books in top ten lists, but this story of a young robot is one of the most heartfelt and best written sci-fi stories in recent comic book history. Lemire’s touch of family drama along with a futuristic setting is what  sets it apart.. Nguyen’s art is also stellar here, his water colors able to bring this whole universe to life.

 

#5 Super Sons

Written by: Peter Tomasi

Art by: Jorge Jimenez, Various

Published by: DC Comics

Super Sons is one of those series that snuck up on me. I had no idea what to think about it when it was first announced–Robin and Superboy having their own book is not something I ever imagined would happen. What Tomasi and Jimenez manage to do is give us a Saturday Morning Cartoon in the comic book format. It knows exactly what the boundaries of the book are, and it has a right amount of action and humor where it can appeal to both younger audiences as well as adults.

 

#4 Wildstorm

Written by: Warren Ellis

Art by: Jon Davies

Published by: DC Comics

This book never had any business being as good as it has been. Ellis managed to bring back a property from the 90’s which has been maligned by comic book fans as part of the dark ages of comics. The original Wildstorm was somewhat of a bright spot during that time, but that’s not saying much. What Ellis has done is modernized a 90’s comic book and made it relevant for this socio-political climate. This is Homeland of comic books. All the characters are written well, and everybody serves a purpose. The story is never boring and always engaging. If you have not checked this series out, you are certainly missing out.

 

#3 Batman

Written by: Tom King

Art by: David Finch, Mitch Gerards, Various

Published by: Dc Comics

Tom King’s Batman run is maybe one of the most unique and most interesting takes on the Dark Knight. But the most interesting part about it was the fact that even though all of the issues up to issue #32 (which was the end of the “War of Jokes and Riddles”) had different arcs, it was really all one giant arc since the beginning of the Rebirth. That and King’s unique ability to write in Easter eggs throughout the chapters and then give us pay off with those Easter eggs is genius in its own right. Looking at you, Kite-man! The fact that DC was able to follow up a successful Batman run in New 52 with even better one with in Rebirth is only telling how strong of a character Batman is and how interesting and well developed stories about him can be in the hands of a skilled writer that understands human psychology.

 

#2 Mister Miracle

Written by: Tom King

Art by: Mitch Gerards

Published by: DC Comics

Mister Miracle is. One of the Fourth World characters and probably one of the most unique of Kirby’s creations is finally given another chance at life. Back in the 90’s, Mister Miracle was regulated to a comic relief character such as Plastic Man or DC Editors. Tom King has taken the character and given us an introspective and epic story between good and evil. But Darkseid is. But what is good and what is evil? How is this quantifiable? What is worth fighting for? These are all questions that are explored in this book. Darkseid is. Same as King has with Batman and Vision, he is giving us a different look at one of the most interesting Kirby creations. On top of that, we have art done by Mitch Gerards whose is stellar at his craft, conveying all of the emotions portrayed by all of the characters. This is a must read book for the fans of Kirby and fans of just stellar storytelling.

 

#1 God Country

Written by: Donny Cates

Art by:  Geoff Shaw

Published by: Image Comics

How do you explain God Country? It’s about an old man that finds a magical sword and finds strength he never had? You would be accurate. Is it about an elderly man that is losing a way to communicate with his own family and he finds a way to do so through the power of a god? You would be accurate as well. With all of the the top books on my list, I find God Country to be a psychological thriller that has a touch of fantasy peppered throughout to make it just mainstream enough. Donny Cates has managed to write a book that everyone can connect to. Everyone can find their own magical sword. Everyone can reach out to their own family and try to protect them. The story of God Country is the one that we all have that power within us. We just have to reach in and be willing to use it. Our power is family, and once you lose that you lose what it actually matters.

 

Honorable mentions:

Wonder Woman

Greg Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman was one of the most stellar since the George Perez run. After he has left the book it, was all downhill from there, which pushed the entire trinity making the top 10 list.

Doctor Aphra

Creating a brand new character in Star Wars universe is always a challenge; however, Gillen manages to give us another interesting but more than that unique Star Wars hero that we can get behind. That alone is worth at least mentioning!


About the Author

Aron Pohara