As a reader, it is rare that there is something more exciting than a good new series. Packed with so much promise, new titles come with incredible expectations and when they hit them, we’re left with one of the best feelings we can get as new readers. The trick is to continue that momentum, and the following five books that ranked as our favorites for the year have undoubtedly done that past their first issues. Interestingly enough, they’re also all from Image Comics, and they find creators we’ve enjoyed previously taking their game to new levels in many ways.
Take a look, and let us know which new books you loved the most this year, as there certainly were a lot of great new titles to pick from.
Note: our ranks are created by all Multiversity staffers sharing personal top five lists, with their #1 pick earning 5 points and #5 pick earning 1 point. From there, all lists are added up, and this is the result.
5. Pretty Deadly
Why it made the list (Zach Wilkerson): There are a surprising number of good western comics on the stands, but “Pretty Deadly” has set itself apart in just two issues. This enigmatic and mesmerizing title is shaping up to be a “Sandman” for a new generation, thanks to Kelly Sue DeConnick’s poetic narrative and Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire’s otherworldly art. There’s an obvious level of detail and dedication, even outside of the main story itself. DeConnick’s heartfelt afterwords, the Twitter-fed letter column, and the evocative prose back up story make each issue feel like a bizarre social anthology, an experience rivaled only by the likes of “Saga.” Some might find the plot a tad obtuse or even impenetrable, but it’s obvious this series is meant to be slow burn. It’s hard to predict a title’s success so early on, but it seems likely that “Pretty Deadly” is destined for greatness.
Why it made the list (Drew Bradley): When a new Image book from Greg Rucka and Michael Lark was announced, everybody knew it would be a winner. Amazingly, it still surpassed expectations. The dystopian future felt rich and fully developed from page one. After only four issues, the book had introduced more intriguing ideas than a whole year’s worth of stories from some of the better selling capes and tights books. In addition to the great pages of comics, every issue also includes an extended letter column, a piece of the book’s fictional timeline, and brief pieces on the latest developments in science related to the plot. In a year downright crowded with great new books, these extras made the difference and earned Lazarus a spot in our Top 5 list for 2013.
3. East of West
Why it made the list (Brandon Burpee): Coming off of some more than excellent work on Marvel’s FF, Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta’s “East of West” was a book I had lofty expectations for. I can honestly say the book has exceeded every one of those expectations in spectacular fashion. Whether it is the deft scripting and art or the stylish way in which the book is packaged this is not only one of the best new books of 2013, it is also one of the best books of 2013, and a book to keep an eye on in 2014.
Why it made the list (David Henderson): Ales Kot didn’t just break into comics last year, he blew down the door, waltzed in and now has the whole room hostage and at his bidding. “ZERO” is changing comics. This is a series people will look back in the future as we do now to early Vertigo stories like “The Sandman”. Ales Kot is one of the most versatile writers I have ever seen not just in terms of how to work genre and tone and character, but in how he can construct each issue of “ZERO” with a different artist and along with Jordie Bellaire, make them feel like a concise whole. Ales Kot will change comics.Continued below
1. Sex Criminals
Why it made the list (David Harper): This is a book that has had three issues so far, and each one has been our top book of the month. Given that each month features a different person putting together the Month in Review lists, that’s pretty damn incredible and speaks to the power and appeal of this book. I mean, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky certainly have their fair share of bawdy humor in here, but there’s also a ton of heart, two of the best new characters in comics, and some of the most pitch perfect art in comics. I wouldn’t want anyone else in the world drawing ET boners, and bless him, Zdarsky just crushes moments like that.
This is a book that is unlike anything else on the stands, and unlike anything else in any form of storytelling. It’s about sex, it’s about criminals, but it’s also about humanity, the human condition, our relationship with sex, our relationships with each other, porn in the woods, the power of Freddie Mercury, gleeful text sprees, sex ed in bathroom stalls, exploration, and perhaps most importantly, cumworld.
More than anything, it’s about life and all of the things that make it such a wonderful, bizarre and incomprehensible journey.
Fraction and Zdarsky may be banned from Apple, but here at Multiversity, we’re shouting about it from the rooftops and handing this book out on the streets.
But never to children. What are you, nuts? Seriously.