The comics industry went through a lot of growth in 2017, some of it good and some of it bad. Through shifts in-universe, massive story events such as Marvel’s Generations and Legacy initiatives to DC’s Doomsday Clock, and questionable PR decisions from most of the big publishers, comics as a whole seemed kind of shaky.
Luckily, the year also saw a bevy of new and old voices, many of whom find themselves on our list of top comics of 2017. We left off ongoing series and chose to focus on new stories and creative teams, all of which you can find at your local comic store! In no particular order, here are our top 10 comics of 2017!
Art: Caspar Wijngaard
Story/Art: Daniel Warren Johnson
Extremity is so damn special. Most issues leave me in my feelings, or swearing while holding my head in my hands, but it’s definitely one you MUST pick up. It’s Mad Max Fury Road meets Avatar the Last Airbender. It’s kinetic and brutal. I actually don’t want to say too much about it because it’s that good and I don’t want a single bit spoiled for you. Bonus: it’s only $10 for the first trade!
Story: Melanie Gillman
Art: Katy Farina
Fans of the Cartoon Network show, rejoice! This ongoing series perfectly captures the voices of the characters and it’s episodic, meaning you can pick up any single issue off the shelf and have a complete standalone story. It’s great for little ones who may want to get into comics and hardcore show enthusiasts as well. There’s currently one collected softcover out too, just in case that’s your preference!
Batman: White Knight
Art/Story: Sean Gordon Murphy
Yes, I know a lot of you are tired of rehashed Batman stories featuring the same old formula of Batman beating up the bad guy and saving the city of Gotham. HOWEVER, the Batman: White Knight mini-series turns it all on its head in a refreshing, dark way. The series is about halfway through, but it makes a very big impression every issue. Be sure to pay close attention to those busier panels; Murphy tucks details in every corner. Issue #1 may be a little elusive to track down if you’re intent on a first printing, but it will definitely stay on your mind for a while after reading it.
Story: C.S. Pacat
Art: Johanna the Mad
If you need something to fill the Yuri!!! on Ice shaped hole in your heart, I can’t suggest Fence fast enough. As you may be able to infer, Fence is about a group of young fencers in a private school. There’s definitely going to be some drama, and there’s definitely going to be some romance. Granted, I have some bias as I love stories about tension filled high school slice of life experiences and I have a soft spot for fencing itself, so this was up my alley. Either way, if you enjoy attitude filled boys fighting with swords, check it out!
Story: Simon Spurrier
Art: Jonas Goonface
This was probably my favorite book out of 2017, if I had to choose one from this list. It’s also one of the hardest to try to summarize. In this universe, every person has a god assigned to them, usually bestowing some sort of skill or power. The story centers around Ennay, a queer “shaper” – which is to say, they change the shape of a person’s god. Those without a god are pariahs, like Ennay. It’s a fresh take and beautiful in every way.
Story: Saladin Ahmed
Art: Christian Ward
This is another title where I have some bias, as I am a hardcore Inhumans fan. That aside, holy crow, please pick up a copy just to look at the art by Christian Ward. The man is a master as space psychedelics and his style is a pretty perfect complement to Saladin’s storytelling. Because Black Bolt can decimate everything ever if he so much as whispers, the dialogue can be a little light, but a glance into the inner workings of the Silent King is always pretty bomb.
Dead of Winter
Dead of Winter is a popular survival horror board game where you have to complete scenarios and make tough decisions as randomized characters with different abilities. The comic it is based on takes these characters and runs with them in a free-for-all hilarious look at the end of the world. It’s a 4-issue series of pure fun, but I definitely think you’ll enjoy it more if you’ve played the board game! I almost always draw Sparky, a golden retriever who can withstand zombie bites, and there’s plenty of Sparky in this series, thankfully.
I’ve missed The Runaways and they’re back in a perfect return of my favorite Marvel teenagers. While I wouldn’t start with this series because spoilers for the television show, I would suggest definitely, DEFINITELY, picking up the 2004 Brian K. Vaughan series first and going from there! Expect some angst because it picks up immediately where we last saw everyone. The creative team perfectly captures every single character and all their hang ups. Hmm, as I reach the end of this list, I realized most of these have some personal bias, but YOU KNOW WHAT, I READ A LOT OF COMICS AND I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THEM AND LIKE, 94 OF THEM ARE ABOUT THE GODDAMNED RUNAWAYS.
HONORABLE MENTION: The Family Trade
This is going to be a slow, delicious burn and I know those aren’t for everyone. That’s the only reason it didn’t make my top 10 list, but if you find yourself with a couple extra bucks, definitely pick up a really neat story about a family of assassins, particularly one clumsy one who finds herself in quite the pickle.
That wraps up my list, and it’s pretty varied if I do say so myself. I hope you find a couple of new favorites among them and feel free to tweet my way to discuss them (except Runaways cause inevitably I will CRY and that’s no fun for anyone!). Be sure to check out our other comics reviews and lists!