Best Comic Books of 2019 (Best #1, Under the Radar Series, Mini-Series, Shocking Moment, New Series)

The Comic Frontline crew throughout the month of December discuss the best comic books of the year! This week they cover Best #1, Under the Radar Series, Mini-Series, Shocking Moment, New Series.

Best #1

 

5. Dead Eyes #1

 

 

As a big fan of Gerry Duggan’s character driven style of storytelling, I was looking forward to his new indie title, and Dead Eyes completely blew me away. It reminded me of the likes of Image’s The Violent and Kill or Be Kill – both titles I absolutely loved. It’s grounded, gritty with infectious characters.

 

4. Second Coming #1

 

 

Second Coming #1 has the perfect balance of satire and heart as Mark Russell brings the unlikely but brilliant pairing of a Superman-esque superhero and Jesus Christ to life. Russell’s social commentary on religion is extremely poignant and relatable, which grounds this fantastical tale. I was also blown away by the diverse/unique stylings of Richard Pace’s visuals as he perfectly balanced the world of heaven and earth from inspirations from the New and Old Testament.

 

3. Dial H For Hero #1

 

 

Sam Humphries and Joe Quinones sucked me straight in from just the opener of this title as Miguel wholeheartedly dives into his emotional connection to Superman. Miguel is a great point of view character to explore this cult DC classic with a tale that new and old comic books fans can equally enjoy.

 

2. Naomi #1

 

 

Naomi #1 completely sucked me in with Brian Michael Bendis, David Walker, and Jamal Campbell’s extraordinary world building as they create a mystery not only surrounding their lead but the town itself. Campbell’s artwork is absolutely stunning for this debut, as he continues to deliver some of the best visuals currently on comic book stands.

 

1. Valkyrie: Jane Foster #1

 

 

Jason Aaron, Al Ewing, and CAFU deliver a premiere issue that is pure superhero fun! It has all the classic superhero tropes we know and love with a new modern twist as Jane Foster brings an important unique perspective to the Marvel Universe.

 

 

5. Avengers: No Road Home #1

 

 

 

I wasn’t expecting to like this event, but the issue took me by surprise with great characters and crisp dialogue, and an interesting story that captivated me from start to finish.

 

4. Wailing Blade #1

 

 

This title from ComixTribe hit the ground running and introduced us to a character that’s kind of the bad guy but at the focal point of everyone else in the book’s story. It’s interesting storytelling with beautiful art and an impossibly huge but glorious sword!

 

3. Dial H For Hero #1

 

 

I was never a huge fan of the Dial until this issue and the introduction of Miguel and his supporting cast. Coming into the story from his perspective made all the difference, combined with the witty and heartfelt dialogue, gorgeous art and great overall story made this one a winner in my book.

 

2. War of the Realms #1

 

 

Fantasy and superheroes. This was right up my alley from the jump, and the strongest Marvel event we had seen since Original Sin! The breadth and scope of this alone was enough to hook me, but the brilliant artwork and fantastic storytelling and character building we got with all the shock and awe landed this immediately on my short list for best single issues.

 

1. Marvel #1000 (technically a #1, right? Ruling please?)

 

 

Al Ewing stole the show with this book as he folded in this continuous tale of the enchanted mask that would bring us a new character and event coming in 2020 featuring the Masked Raider. Seeing the mask woven into various points throughout Marvel history was genius and really elevated this book beyond what it already was, which was a fun and thoughtful look back at key moments over the years in Marvel Comics.

 

 

4. Batman/Superman #1 

 

 

 

3. X-Force #1

 

 

 

2. X-Men #1

 

 

1. Young Justice #1

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Valkyrie: Jane Foster #1

 

 

 

4. X-Force #1

 

 

 

3. Dead Eyes #1

 

 

 

2. Absolute Carnage #1

 

 

 

1. X-Men #1

 

 

 

Best #1

Dead Eyes #1
Second Coming #1
Dial H For Hero #1
Naomi #1
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #1
Avengers: No Road Home #1
Wailing Blade #1
War of the Realms #1
Marvel #1000 (technically a #1, right? Ruling please?)
Batman/Superman #1
X-Force #1
X-Men #1
Young Justice #1
Absolute Carnage #1
Created with QuizMaker

 

Best Under the Radar Series

 

5. Dead Eyes

 

 

I wish more people were talking about this title. It gives a new definition to the anti-hero character!

 

4. Dial H For Hero

 

 

Dial H is truly one of the best and most inventive titles on stands from script to visuals. I hope to see this comic studied for years to come!

 

3. West Coast Avengers

 

 

A title that was way too short lived and I wish went on to live a much longer life! Kelly Thompson created a new dynamic from a set of characters that really shouldn’t work well together become one of the most infectious/entertaining team dynamics on Marvel’s roster.

 

2. Runaways

 

 

Every single month Rainbow Rowell, Kris Anka, and Andres Genolet hit it out of the ballpark, but I feel like the overall comic book community just doesn’t talk about this title enough. It’s a perfect road map to comic book storytelling – don’t sleep on this!

 

1. Invisible Woman

 

 

I can’t hype this title enough from Mattia De Iulis stunning artwork to Mark Waid’s expert scripting. This is a perfect showcase on why you shouldn’t underestimate one of Marvel’s most overlooked characters.

 

 

5. Outpost Zero

 

 

This series just ended and was one of the books that found its way to the top of my pile each month. It was a slice of life, down to Earth story of a group of kids who lost one of their own framed on an alien planet and a mystery that keeps growing and growing as the story progresses. There was so much to love here, but the characters shone brighter than anything else and invested me in their story.

 

4. Invisible Woman

 

 

This series was a brilliant use of what Sue is truly capable of and allowed readers to see her (or not see her, I suppose) in an entirely new light. The photo realistic art style, the clever use of elements like rain and snow to create her invisible form, the emotional energy felt in every expression… I could go on and on, and that’s just the art! Intelligent writing with key plot twists featuring a superhero as a super spy being pulled back into the world of espionage only to uncover the unexpected was a fantastic (pun fully intended) way to bring about this tale to astonish!

 

3. Middlewest

 

 

This book is like comfort food. It’s a lingering story that purposefully follows young Able in a quest through the countryside on the run from his abusive father. As he travels, he encounters all manners of imaginative beings and situations. The story isn’t afraid to dig deep into larger issues like the aforementioned abuse, child trafficking, attempted murder and so forth. It’s deep and, at times, dark, with a storybook paint job and just works.

 

2. Quincredible

 

 

I will never stop singing the praises of this mini-series and the character it introduced us to in Quin. The newest hero in the Catalyst Prime line from Lion Forge, this series took us on the journey of an everyday teenager suddenly gaining powers and not knowing how to use them or what to do with them. It’s Spider-Man and Invincible wrapped together and thrown into an urban setting with the political and societal issues of New Orleans as a backdrop and impetus for action.

1. West Coast Avengers

 

 

This series was cancelled far too soon and the relationships established within discarded far too haphazardly for my liking. I felt like this team of individuals came together beautifully, forming a makeshift family that on paper shouldn’t work, but did. Gwenpool and Kid Omega were a perfect pairing of absurd proportions, and new characters like BRODOK and of course, Jeff, the Baby Land Shark were just some of the highlights of a phenomenal series gone too soon.

 

 

4. Books of Magic

 

 

 

3. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

 

 

2. Birthright

 

 

 

1. TMNT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Middlewest

 

 

 

4. Vampire State Building

 

 

3. Gideon Falls

 

 

 

 

2. Deadeyes

 

 

1. Dollhouse Family

 

 

 

 

 

Best Under the Radar

Dead Eyes
Dial H For Hero
West Coast Avengers
Runaways
Invisible Woman
Outpost Zero
Middlewest
Quincredible
Books of Magic
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Birthright
TMNT
Vampire State Building
Gideon Falls
Dollhouse Family

 

Best Mini Series

 

 

 

5. Jughead’s Time Police

 

 

If you miss Archie’s slice of life style of storytelling, Jughead: Time Police is the series to pick up. Sina Grace and Derek Charm have fun with the story device of time travel to deliver a plain old fun Jughead adventure.

 

4. Jessica Jones: Purple Daughter

 

 

I liked Kelly Thompson’s voice for Jessica, but I have to say I LOVED Emma Frost’s guest appearance and Thompson’s voice for her. The Emma/Jessica team up made this mini-series for me! On artwork, Mattia De iulis does a beautiful job at using Michael Gaydos style as inspiration, while simultaneously creating his own unique for the title.

 

3. War of the Realms

 

 

It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a comic book event this much! It had the perfect balance of action, character work, and universal consequences.

 

2. Spider-Man Life Story

 

 

What if heroes actually aged in the time span they were being published? Chip Zdarsky and Spider-Man veteran Mark Bagley delivers enough twist and turns all while celebrating Spider-Man’s milestones helping this Spidey tale to quickly become a modern classic.

 

1. Invisible Woman

 

 

It’s hard to make a great mini-series, creating a satisfying full story in the span of only a few issues, but Invisible Woman knocks it out of the park by having a clear focus and theme with splendid emotional beats to propel this to the top of my list.

 

 

 

5. Smooth Criminals

 

Such a fun buddy flick told in the four color world. A time displaced thief and a lonely and shy hacker becoming best buds and performing a heist together, while forces try to thwart them at every turn. At the heart of this story, though, was the building of a beautiful friendship that surpassed all boundaries in the most endearing way.

 

4. Meet the Skrulls

 

 

Villain led books are not easy to do in a way that presents those characters as likable heroes of their own story, but this series did that in spades. Even though the Skrulls had an agenda, you understood their plight and their reasoning, and you saw how each of them in their own ways began to adapt to the lives they had built. It was like taking Coneheads from SNL and playing it like a serious drama with evolving and complex characters you couldn’t help but root for.

 

3. Quincredible

 

 

See above in Best Under the Radar Series, but I’ll add that if you are looking for a new superhero character you can relate to, this is a great place to start!

 

2. Jessica Jones: Purple Daughter

 

 

The Purple Man has plagued Jessica Jones as long as we’ve known of Jessica Jones. He is her Lex Luthor, her Joker, her Green Goblin. And even when he’s thought to be dead, his reach finds its way into the most frightening of places: Jessica’s baby daughter! Jessica has to use all her detective skills and connections to figure out why her daughter suddenly has purple skin, and in the meantime try to keep her marriage together considering the obvious implications this brings. Stunning art, brilliant writing.

 

1. War of the Realms

 

 

You can refer to Best #1 for more, but aside from what I said there, this series truly changed the status quo for a lot of characters, and had ramifications we still feel today. Jane Foster and Thor chief among them, but the fact that this type of feat was possible opens up all kinds of potential future stories. It also illustrated how an entire universe of heroes can band together to take on any threat that comes their way.

 

 

 

4. House of X and Powers of X

 

 

 

3. DCeased

 

 

 

2. Batman/TMNT 3

 

 

 

1. Shredder in Hell

 

 

 

 

3. War of the Realms

 

 

 

2. House of X/Powers of X

 

1. DCeased

 

 

 

 

Best Mini-Series

Jughead’s Time Police
Jessica Jones: Purple Daughter
War of the Realms
Spider-Man Life Story
Invisible Woman
Smooth Criminals
Meet the Skrulls
Quincredible
War of the Realms
House of X and Powers of X
DCeased
Batman/TMNT 3
Shredder in Hell
Created with Quiz Maker

 

Best Shocking Moment

 

 

 

5. Betty and Veronica Become a Couple in Archie Vs Predator

 

 

 

I’ve been waiting for this forever, and I hope this is Archie is testing the waters for more! I was shocked to see it happen in a Predator book of all places.

 

4. Moira is a Mutant

 

 

This changed everything, and truly sucked me into Hickman’s era of X-Men.

 

3. Roundhouse is a Villain

 

 

I did not see this coming, but it was a brilliant move for the character.

 

2. Betty Becomes Harpy

 

 

What a brilliant twist for the character to put Betty back into the narrative as more than just Bruce’s love interest.

 

1. Jane Foster Becomes Valkyrie

 

 

What a wonderful new chapter for the character!

 

 

5. Laufey Eats Loki in War of the Realms

 

 

I mean it’s Loki so we knew he wasn’t staying dead, but I was not expecting his own father to just pick him up like a mozzarella stick and chow down!

 

4. Roundhouse Turns Villain

 

 

Roundhouse is one of my favorite new characters and is such a fun, energetic and loving character. To see him go dark and betray his friends and team was such a nice contrasting twist. He was on the list, so it wasn’t out of left field, but still the unlikeliest of them all, which made it the sweetest turn.

 

3. Moira is a Mutant

 

 

Wow! I mean the one character in X-Men history you wouldn’t think is a mutant would be Moira MacTaggert, right? But then Hickman turns all we know about the X-Men on its head with this revelation. And not only is she a mutant, but she’s a mutant that keeps getting reborn and has been manipulating events all along! Mind. Blown.

 

2. Duke is Killed in G.I. Joe

 

 

As a lifelong G.I. Joe fan, seeing this happen in a main Joe book stopped me in my tracks. I had to go back and re-read to make sure I was understanding correctly that it was in fact Duke getting shot in the head here. I couldn’t believe it! One of the leaders of the G.I. Joe team taken out to kick off the series was definitely one of the shocks of the year for me.

 

1. Bane Kills Alfred

 

 

This was one of those things where I had an initial reaction to it, and then my mind started working through the possibilities of how this could be a ruse or undone. It wasn’t until issues later that it set in that wow, Alfred really is gone!

 

 

 

5. The End of The Walking Dead

 

 

 

4. Thomas Wayne is Alive

 

 

 

3. The Omega Rangers Revealed as Jason, Trini, Zack

 

 

 

 

2. Professor X dies…Again

 

 

 

1. Superboy (Conner Kent) Returns

 

 

 

 

 

4. Alfred gets killed in Batman

 

 

 

3. Roundhouse is a Villain

 

 

2. Moria is a Mutant and Her Ability

 

 

 

1. Wonder Woman rips Cyborgs head off at the end of DCEASED

 

 

 

Best Shocking Moment

Betty and Veronica Become a Couple in Archie Vs Predator
Moira is a Mutant
Roundhouse is a Villain
Betty Becomes Harpy
Jane Foster Becomes Valkyrie
Laufey Eats Loki in War of the Realms
Duke is Killed in G.I. Joe
Bane Kills Alfred
The End of The Walking Dead
Thomas Wayne is Alive
The Omega Rangers Revealed as Jason, Trini, Zack
Professor X dies…Again
Superboy (Conner Kent) Returns
Wonder Woman rips Cyborgs head off at the end of DCEASED
Created with QuizMaker

 

Best New Series

 

 

 

 

5. Ghost Spider

 

 

As I’ve said in my previous Best of Entries for this title – it’s a hard challenge to take over a book after the original creative team ends their chapter, but Ghost Spider does it in stride! The creative team gives the title their own flavor while still embracing all the things that made the character popular in the first place.

 

4. Second Coming

 

 

I loved issue 1 and the series continued to meet my expectations from the series spectacular first installment.

 

3. Dial H For Hero

 

 

For all the reasons I mentioned in my under the radar and #1 section.

 

2. Naomi

 

 

A real refreshing take on the classic superhero tale, and welcomed new voice to the DC Universe.

 

1. Jane Foster: Valkyrie

 

 

This is just the beginning of hopefully a long chapter for Jane Foster.

 

 

 

5. Young Justice

 

 

 

It took a little while for this book to find its footing, but once it did it has become one of the most anticipated reads for me each time it comes out. Now that we have our characters in place and we’ve learned a bit more about some of them we didn’t know before, the team is starting to truly form and reconnect and learn more about each other. Combine that with universe jumping, weird alternate versions of themselves and breathtaking artwork and you have a pretty solid series here.

 

4. G.I. Joe

 

 

 

The idea of Cobra winning and taking over the government, relegating the G.I. Joe team to an unsanctioned, underground rebel movement is enough of a hook alone to pull me in. Kick it off with killing one of the most beloved leaders in Joe history in Duke and you have my attention! In the short time this particular series has been running, it has already won me over fully. It’s like Star Wars but on our planet in present day!

 

3. Dial H for Hero

 

 

You can see more in Best #1 above, but this series has just continued to improve and provide us with some very creative and imaginative heroes all while building up the characters of Miguel, Summer and the Operator. Snapper Carr even plays a cool role in the series! This book is a breath of fresh air in DC.

 

2. Valkyrie, Jane Foster

 

 

 

As good as Jane was as Thor, this, Valkyrie, is her true calling in my opinion. It fits her personality, her desire to do good and help sick people, it feeds her hunger to be heroic after being Thor and allows her to have some semblance of a normal life. Well, as normal a life as you can have with a talking winged horse living in your apartment anyway! Not to mention the absolutely gorgeous art and the unique introspective monologue and skillset of Jane/Valkyrie that lends itself to some interesting perspectives in the stories so far. If you haven’t checked this one out yet you are doing yourself a disservice!

 

1. Ghost Spider

 

 

I was skeptical at first of putting Gwen in the 616, but the way her story has been structured where she jumps back and forth between the two universes has made the difference for me. We get to see her interact with Peter Parker and eventually other characters in this world while still seeing glimpses of her life back home as well. So you get to experience both supporting casts. And reintroducing not one, but two Jackals into the mix adds the drama and threat level to the series to elevate it even further. It will be interesting to see how a powered Gwen Stacy deals with the obsessive Miles Warren X2!

 

 

3. X-Men

 

 

2. Young Justice

 

 

1. Batman/Superman

 

 

 

 

 

5. Valkyrie: Jane Foster

 

 

 

 

4. X-Force

 

 

 

3. X-Men

 

 

 

2. Deadeyes

 

 

1. Dollhouse Family

 

 

 

Best New Series

Ghost Spider
Second Coming
Dial H For Hero
Naomi
Jane Foster: Valkyrie
Young Justice
GI Joe
X-Men
Batman/Superman
X-Force
Dead Eyes
Dollhouse Family
Created with Quiz Maker

 


Polls

 

Best #1

 

Best #1

Dead Eyes #1
Second Coming #1
Dial H For Hero #1
Naomi #1
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #1
Avengers: No Road Home #1
Wailing Blade #1
War of the Realms #1
Marvel #1000 (technically a #1, right? Ruling please?)
Batman/Superman #1
X-Force #1
X-Men #1
Young Justice #1
Absolute Carnage #1
Created with QuizMaker

 

Best Under the Radar Series

 

Best Under the Radar

Dead Eyes
Dial H For Hero
West Coast Avengers
Runaways
Invisible Woman
Outpost Zero
Middlewest
Quincredible
Books of Magic
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers
Birthright
TMNT
Vampire State Building
Gideon Falls
Dollhouse Family

 

Best Mini Series

 

Best Mini-Series

Jughead’s Time Police
Jessica Jones: Purple Daughter
War of the Realms
Spider-Man Life Story
Invisible Woman
Smooth Criminals
Meet the Skrulls
Quincredible
War of the Realms
House of X and Powers of X
DCeased
Batman/TMNT 3
Shredder in Hell
Created with Quiz Maker

 

Best Shocking Moment

 

 

Best Shocking Moment

Betty and Veronica Become a Couple in Archie Vs Predator
Moira is a Mutant
Roundhouse is a Villain
Betty Becomes Harpy
Jane Foster Becomes Valkyrie
Laufey Eats Loki in War of the Realms
Duke is Killed in G.I. Joe
Bane Kills Alfred
The End of The Walking Dead
Thomas Wayne is Alive
The Omega Rangers Revealed as Jason, Trini, Zack
Professor X dies…Again
Superboy (Conner Kent) Returns
Wonder Woman rips Cyborgs head off at the end of DCEASED
Created with QuizMaker

 

Best New Series

 

Best New Series

Ghost Spider
Second Coming
Dial H For Hero
Naomi
Jane Foster: Valkyrie
Young Justice
GI Joe
X-Men
Batman/Superman
X-Force
Dead Eyes
Dollhouse Family
Created with Quiz Maker


 

Kat’s Social Media
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Facebook: @kathryn.calamia
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Brant’s Social Media
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