I had to make a few alterations to the list post this year. Not a lot of one-shots, even fewer mini-series, and no anthologies. As always, Best Ongoings is limited to books which shipped at least 6 issues during the year, which. . . does not narrow the field much. Favorite Trade is among things I bought this year, whether they were released in 2014 or not. Favorite Artist is restricted to the people with at least 110 pages, though others are eligible for Honorable Mention.
Best Ongoing Series:
1. Ms. Marvel
3. (tie) She-Hulk/Deadpool
5. Superior Foes of Spider-Man
A new champion! For the first time since Darkwing Duck won in 2010, Daredevil is not in the top spot. Reasons include DD having an Original Sin tie-in, I didn't really love how the Shroud was portrayed, and I felt like restarting at issue 1 was an unnecessary move designed only to provide an excuse to jack up the price. In contrast, Ms. Marvel has no negatives against it, only good things that I enjoy, and that's why it's the winner!
A lot of good ongoings this year. She-Hulk and Deadpool are both real close to Daredevil, good writing on all three, which means DD maintains the edge on the strength of a stronger art team. Superior Foes is just a bit below that, because, even accounting for the entire story being told by an unreliable narrator, it kind of makes normally competent characters look like total morons. At least it does it with a twinkle in its eye, unlike say, when Mark Millar is writing something.
1.Atomic Robo - Knights of the Golden Circle
Yep, the only mini-series I bought all year. I suppose you could think of all these Marvel series that only run for a year as mini-series of sorts. They really aren't all that different from the 12-issue "Welcome Back, Frank" mini-series Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon did with the Punisher back in the day. Except those ongoings could in theory continue beyond twelve issues, so I don't count them. Have I padded this out sufficiently?
1. Deadpool Annual #2
2. Empowered Special - Internal Medicine
3. Atomic Robo Free Comic Book Day 2014
Those are the only options, and none of them are standouts. Three solid, but not exceptional stories. So the Annual wins for that 'Spider-Man is a champion against dumb!' line. Hey, Deadpool wasn't wrong.
1. Deadpool Volume 3: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
2. Arsenic Lullaby - The Devil's Decade
3. Locke and Key Vol. 4 - Keys to the Kingdom
4. Adventures of Dr. McNinja Omnibus
I didn't buy as many trades in 2014 as 2013, not as strong a year overall. I could have put any of the first 4 volumes of Locke and Key in there, or either of the subsequent two Dr. McNinja trades. Take the inclusion of one as a blanket vote of support for the others. Anyway, I mentioned that Deadpool trade as the early frontrunner when I did this series of posts last year, and here it is, still on top. To be fair, nothing was going to top that panel where he proclaims, 'I'm Deadpimp! You dumb grocers better have my money!' I laugh at that every single time, partially for his outfit, partially because the grocers are Luke Cage and Iron Fist, wearing aprons over their superhero outfits.
1. G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel)
2. Brian Clevinger (Atomic Robo)
3. Charles Soule (She-Hulk)
Could probably put Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn in there as well, but I'm not sure how you break down credit for Deadpool between the two.
1. Adrian Alphona
2. Chris Samnee
3. David Lopez
4. Javier Pulido
5. Todd Nauck
I went to 5 because I wanted to get Nauck on the list. I don't like his artwork as much as the people above him on the list (obviously), but his work on Nightcrawler really has been better than anything of his I've seen previously, and I wanted to give a nod to that. Also, I vastly prefer Alphona's looser style on Ms. Marvel to his work on Runaways back in the day, which is how he got ahead of Samnee.
Honorable mentions: Kev Walker, Javier Rodriguez, Jacob Wyatt, Skottie Young
Let's see, tomorrow is the final episode of Invisible Man, and then on Monday, we actually start reviewing all those comics I got earlier this week.