ComicSpectrum Reviewer Favorites of 2014

Favorites2014

Photo CREDIT: Bob Bretall

Every site on the web out there seems to have a “Best of 2014″ feature, so we felt obligated to step up and provide our own feature.  That said, it’s pretty presumptuous to call your list the “Best” when what ALL these lists are providing are opinions based on what their favorites are.  Here at ComicSpectrum, we’ll call it what it is, a list of our favorites for 2014 selected across a variety of standard categories and maybe a couple of categories unique to us.

There were 7 of us doing the selecting:  The main comics review crew of Adam Alamo, Al Sparrow, Bob Bretall, Gabe Bustamantez, and Shawn Hoklas, along with guest reviewers Hank Johnson and Kevyn Knox.  If you follow our reviews, you should recognize the names, so let’s get on to our favorites from 2014!

Favorite Publisher

Image

Image was chosen by Bob, Kevyn and Shawn.   Gabe & Hank both favored perennial “big dog” Marvel, while Adam gave the nod to Valiant and Al chose relative newcomer Titan Comics.

I’m consistently amazed by both the variety and quality of material published by Image. Throughout the year I’ve been getting more different series each month from Image than the next 2 or 3 publishers combined. They are #1 based in the sheer quantity of entertainment they delivered to me in 2014.
— ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

Image seemed to come out with a fantastic new series almost every other week! Nailbiter, Tooth and Claw, The Fade Out…then take all their exiting series that never seem to let up like Saga, Walking Dead, Chew just to name a few and it’s as if Image could do no wrong this year. I can’t wait to see what’s next for this publisher, and it’s hard to imagine them having a better year than they did in 2014, but with the creative talent they have in their stable, I’m confident that they will.
— ComicSpectrum Sr. Reviewer Shawn Hoklas

I chose Valiant, even if none of my favorite writers/artists/books came from the Valiant crop. I find Valiant’s output to be consistently great overall and there’s definitely a cohesiveness there with not only their comic universe, but between the writers, artists, editorial, branding, and marketing.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Adam Alamo

Titan makes the kind of books that, to me, raise the bar and put all other books on notice. Though not as lengthy as most trades, they’re gorgeous books with incomparable artwork and stories I just don’t get from other companies. These are the books I’m proud to display on my bookshelf, not that they ever get there because I’m usually re-reading them or studying the details in the artwork on books like Weirding Willows, Death Sentence, or the first volume of the four-part Elric saga (easily the best version of the albino emperor I’ve seen yet!)
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

Marvel has spent a large amount of 2014 introducing new and exciting female characters, many of whom are starring (Kamala Khan, Female Thor), or will star (Spider-Gwen, Silk), in their own titles. As well as shining a huge spotlight on existing female characters (Storm, She-Hulk, Elektra, Black Widow).  Add to this Marvel’s Unlimited Digital subscription and it shows that Marvel is aware of the current trends in our comic community and is staying ahead of the curve serving its fan base.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

Favorite Writer

This category was all over the map, none of us had the same favorite.   Adam went with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Al picked Brian K. Vaughan, Bob was keen on Matt Kindt, Gabe thought Mark Waid was best, Shawn was very taken with Jason Aaron, Hank favored Greg Rucka, and Kevyn loved Jeff Lemire.  The fact that we all have different favorites is a great sign of the strength and diversity of comics in 2014.

Brian K. Vaughan wins for me in a tough field because I also rank Jeff Lemire, Greg Rucka and Brian Bendis’ output this year as some of their finest. The simple fact of the matter is that Saga is the first book I go to when a new issue comes out. Nobody builds worlds…or in this case whole universes…quite like Vaughan does. I’m usually pretty critical of him because he never seems to stick the landing and give me a satisfactory ending, but I have high hopes that Saga will break that trend. Either way, with Vaughan’s work, the ride is ultimately the most satisfying aspect of his work, and he continues to deliver on that front.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

Mark Waid is one of comics most well rounded creators and has written for a number of publishers in 2014. Daredevil and Hulk are among my favorite Marvel titles and Waid also owns and writes for Thrillbent.com, a digital first comics site.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

Matt Kindt has been writing one of my favorite creator-owned series, Mind MGMT, as well as helping re-invent Valiant with both Unity and Rai (which was also in my top 10 in 2014) and even managed to write one of the few Star Wars series from Dark Horse that I read/enjoyed, Rebel Heist.  When I see his name attached to a project I’m going to give it a try.
— ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

I absolutely love what Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is doing with the Archie universe, whether it’s Afterlife, Sabrina (which probably would have made my list somewhere if more issues were released this year), or any other Archie related projects he’s working on.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Adam Alamo

Favorite Interior Artist

SagaInterior

Fiona Staples came in as the favorite interior artist of Bob, Hank, and Kevyn.   Adam went with Francesco Francavilla, Al with Q Hayashida, Gabe loved Chris Samnee, and Shawn favored Greg Capullo.

Fiona Staples has been knocking it out of the park doing full-service interiors on Saga: pencils, inks, colors and letters.  The organic look of Hazel’s narration adds a special quality to every issue.
— ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

Anything Francesco Francavilla illustrates is a pleasure to read.  That includes Afterlife with Archie for sure, but any other number of projects he’s worked on, which seems to be a lot lately.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Adam Alamo

There are very few artists in comics today who are able to keep up with a monthly comic and still deliver constant beautiful art work. Chris Samnee is one of those artists, he seems to grow and improve his skill with every issue of Daredevil.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

Q Hayashida is technically a touch off for 2014 because while her book Dorohedoro is being published in installments over the past few years (and is ongoing) what I read in 2014 was likely first printed a few years earlier in Japan. Still, she remains one of my favorite manga artists…or comic artists in general. Her loose, chaotic linework flies in the face of everything we’ve come to expect from our books over the past few years with crisp, clean computer-enhanced lines or lush, beautiful color work sometimes overpowering everything else. Hayashida’s black and white assault on every page takes those conventions and throws them away with wild abandon, and I love her for doing it. Her work has a beauty all its own and shows a darkly humorous and macabre side to what one woman with a brush and some pens can do (Bee and Puppycat this ain’t!). Every issue of Dorohedoro is a visual feast for my eyes, and I’m fortunate to get to dine a few times each year.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

Favorite Cover Artist

Darwyn Cooke

Another varied field and very important to comics fans since a great number of books are sold based solely on the strength of their cover image.  Adam favored Francesco Francavilla, Al and Shawn loved Amanda Conner, Bob was partial to Darwyn Cooke, Gabe was crazy for Andrew Pepoy, Hank dug Rodin Esquejo, and Kevyn was cuckoo for Michael Allred.

I’m not normally a variant person but the Andrew Pepoy variant covers for the Afterlife with Archie series are the perfect mix of horror and really cute and sexy Betty and Veronica, but with a traditional Archie style. These are the only covers that actively look for.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

If I see a Francesco Francavilla cover, I buy it.  It doesn’t matter whether or not it’s a book I normally get.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Adam Alamo

Darwyn Cooke got me to buy a whole month’s worth of DC comics in December and if I see his art gracing a cover, if it’s not an uber-expensive chase cover, I’ll buy it.
— ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

Favorite Overall Comic Series

Afterlife7We each picked our top 3, the theory being that some commonality would arise and indeed, Afterlife With Archie stood out by appearing on three of our lists (Adam, Bob, and Kevyn).  Beyond that there was very little agreement between the seven of us with 17 different series named among the 21 total choices!  Another example of variety being the spice of life and the fact that Favorite does NOT equal Best.  There was a different title in the #1 slot for each of us:
Adam: Afterlife with Archie (Archie), by Robert Aguirre Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla
Al: All-Star Western (DC), by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Grey, and Moritat
Bob: Alex + Ada (Image), by Jonathan Luna and Sara Vaughn
Gabe: Daredevil (Marvel), by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee
Hank: Lazarus (Image), by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark
Kevyn: Sex Criminals (Image), by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky
Shawn: Black Science (Image), by Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera

Afterlife with Archie 7 definitely helped to cement this series as my favorite of the year.  It is also the gateway that led me to the world of Archie, of which I now suffer a slight obsession.  I think with all the new changes coming out next year, they may be a contender for favorite publisher of 2015, but not quite yet this year.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Adam Alamo

In Black Science, Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera continue their science fiction saga that combines Lost in Space, the Fantastic Four and the multiverse into something that stands completely alone. Although I read most of Image by trade these days, this is a series I need to read monthly.
— ComicSpectrum Sr. Reviewer Shawn Hoklas

All-Star Western was cancelled this year, but it was consistently one of my favorite books to come out of the initial New 52 stable from DC. Jonah Hex is brilliant when played off against one of the elder Arkhams in Gotham City’s early development. Moritat has redefined how I wish I could draw women. Playful, sultry, dangerous, and desirable…everything you’d want to see in a Wild West gal, he’s managed to capture. There are many New 52 series I didn’t shed a tear when they went away. All-Star Western was one that I was very sad to see end this year.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

Favorite New Series

GA2 MsMarvel6

There was more agreement on our favorite new series for 2014.   Women ruled 2014 with Bob, Gabe, and Shawn all picking DC’s Gotham Academy, Hank & Kevyn going with Marvel’s new Ms. Marvel with Adam choosing Archie’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Gotham Academy is my favorite first issue from DC Comics in recent memory. It is a completely different type of comic book from anything else I’m reading, and we were given a finely tuned and polished story. This issue was an absolute pleasure to read. Every element of the story, from those stated outright to those that are just hinted and teased at, seemed to be given to us on purpose and with intent.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

For me, this comic is miles above most others on the stands right now and I think that it has the potential to stand the test of time and read as well years from now as it does right now “in the moment”. I am going to not only continue to buy the issues, but double dip and get the trade as well.
— ComicSpectrum guest Reviewer Hank Johnson

Favorite Limited/Mini series

Very little repetition among the seven of us, although it was surprising to me to see Gabe and Shawn both choosing Aliens: Fire and Stone from Dark Horse:

Adam: Delinquents (Valiant), by James Asmus, Fred Van Lente, and Kano
Al: Forever Evil (DC), by Geoff Johns & David Finch
Bob: Sheltered (Image), by Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas
Gabe: Aliens: Fire and Stone (Dark Horse), by Chris Roberson and Patric Reynolds
Hank: Avengers & X-Men: Axis (Marvel), by Rick Remender and various artists
Kevyn: Multiversity (DC), by Grant Morrison and various artists
Shawn: Aliens: Fire and Stone (Dark Horse), by Chris Roberson and Patric Reynolds

FE7
I followed just enough of the Trinity War saga to be dangerous, but the Forever Evil series with all the bad guys taking care of business (after the Justice League all but disappears) shows that there’s a deep enough villain roster in the New 52 to keep things interesting. Yes, we’ve seen the criminal version of the League before (Ultraman, Owlman, etc.), but we get a chance to see some of the other members of the team get a bit of time in the limelight this time around. Johnny Quick and Atomica make a truly horrifying Bonnie and Clyde duo, and Lex Luthor hasn’t been this awesome in ages! Indeed, this was his moment to really shine, at least in the New 52 universe.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

Aliens

With Aliens: Fire and Stone, Dark Horse has taken pride and care with one of my favorite film franchises and has created a creepy horror tale that would fit right in as a film.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

Sheltered

I’m stretching the “limited series” part of this category to the limit because I discovered that Sheltered is actually reaching its planned ending soon.  On one hand I’m loving this pre-Apocalyptic tale about kids taking over their preppers compound and running afoul of the rest of society by Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas.  On the other hand, I love that this story has a beginning, middle, and soon-to-be definitive end without dragging on and possibly becoming diminished as a result.

Favorite Digital 1st/Digital-Only Comic

Bob and Kevyn both selected D4ve from Monkeybrain.  Hank went with Brian K. Vaughan and Marcos Martin’s self-published Private Eye.  Gabe was keen on DC’s Batman Beyond Universe, and Al went with Phil Foglio’s Girl Genius.

d4ve1
Not every robot revolution has to go the way of James Cameron’s “The Terminator” and end up in a stark mechanical reality with marauding death machines standing over piles of human skulls. Well, that’s not exactly true. Any good robot revolution ends up with all the humans dead, so it’s not good for us in any event. As D4ve narrates it “Call it an uprising all you want. It was a good ol’ fashioned man-meat ass-kicking.” D4ve was a breath of fresh digital air and got me to buy a digital series.
— ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

With Batman Beyond Universe Kyle Higgins has taken one of the most beloved Batman series and turned it on its ear with the return of the Phantasm storyline.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

ggmain20141112

Don’t call it Girl Genius a comeback – Studio Foglio have been doing this for years. While I was happy to support (and continue to support) their crowdsourcing efforts to get their individual books into print, the fact of the matter is that the entire story is sitting there online waiting for me, or anybody, to go soak it in for free online at http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

Favorite Manga

Not many of us read manga, those of us who did, love the manga we read!

monstermusume1
Monster Musume 
is pushing the boundaries of harem manga dangerously close to ecchi (lewd or lascivious) territory, this book is nonetheless charming and a cut above the standard harem manga fare. Yes, it’s still hapless boring guy surrounded by women who for some reason adore him, but when the woman are a lamia, a harpy, a centaur, a slime monster, a mermaid, a giant spider, a Cyclops…well, you get the idea. The book gets points for being creative and not giving me the same boring situations while working within the basic harem manga constructs. I was told by a Seven Seas rep that this is the best manga they put out. He wasn’t lying. It’s one of the best series I’ve picked up in a long time.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

Kurosagi13

Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service was published fairly frequently when there was a backlog of material but seems to have slowed down, with only one volume appearing in 2014, but it’s still one of my favorites.  The series deals with the exploits of five young people each of whom have a skill somehow involving dead bodies (such as the ability to speak to the recently deceased and hear their last wishes).   Dark Horse’s English version has extensive translation notes and explanations in the back of each volume which I find particularly helpful in understanding the context and/or sub-text of the stories.
— ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

kodansha-comics-attack-on-titan-colossal-edition-soft-cover-1

I started reading Attack on Titan this year and I’m so glad I did. The writing and art makes the world they’ve created feel real. There’s some fantastic character designs, creative technology and monsters that are absolutely frightening! There’s a lot of material there (I purchased the gigantic omnibus collecting the 1st 5 volumes) and am excited to keep digging in.
— ComicSpectrum Sr. Reviewer Shawn Hoklas

Favorite OGN

For favorite Original Graphic Novel (longer fiction presented out of the gate in “collected edition” format, we have another variety of selections, no two the same!  We should note that 3 of our 5 OGN selections were published by First Second, so they’re worth keeping an eye on, they put out a lot of consistently good material every year.
Bob: The Wrenchies (:01 First Second), by Farel Dalrymple
Gabe: Thanos: The Infinity Revelation (Marvel), by Jim Starlin
Hank: Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business (Marvel), by Mark Waid, James Robinson,  Gabriele Dell’Otto and Werther Dell’Edera
Kevyn: Andre the Giant: Life and Legend (:01 First Second), by Box Brown
Shawn: Rise of Aurora West (:01 First Second), by Paul Pope, J. T. Petty and David Rubín

Thanos_The_Infinity_Revelation_OGN_Cover
In Thanos: Infinity Revelation Jim Starlin is back writing and drawing Thanos. This is the first in a small run of OGNs Starlin will produce for Marvel about the Mad Titan. I think Marvel’s cosmic is about to have an resurgence.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

TheWrenchies1
When I first saw Farel Dalrymple’s art on Marvel’s Omega the Unknown, I didn’t care for it.  This was part of a phenomenon where I personally won’t like a particular art style when used to illustrate mainstream super-heroes but I’ll absolutely love it when used on indie creator-owned work.  Clocking in at over 300 pages Wrenchies is nothing short of a masterwork, focusing on a plucky gang of kids battling the evil “Shadowmen” in a post-apocalyptic future.
— by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

Favorite Collected Edition (aka Favorite TPB)
Some people like to call these Trade Paperbacks (or TPBs) and the mainstream media loves to call them “Graphic Novels” in an attempt to distance them from their roots in the comics and make them seem more legit.  Fans of the medium know they don’t require a euphemism to make them cool, let’s call them what they are, collections of stories originally published as ‘regular’ comics. As with many of the categories, we each had our own favorite:

Adam: The Auteur (Oni Press), by Rick Spears and James Callahan
Al: 
Showcase: Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew  (DC), by Scott Shaw!
Bob:
Saga Deluxe Edition Vol. 1 (Image), by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Gabe: Hip Hop Family Tree 1975-1983 (Fantagraphics), by Ed Piskor
Hank:  X-Force: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 (Marvel), by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost
Kevyn: Ant Colony (Drawn & Quarterly), by Michael DeForge
Shawn: Kinski (Image), by Gabriel Hardman

capcarrot
Showcase: Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew
! I grew up on this title, and have most of the back issues, but to be honest it looks amazing in black and white – a testament to the inkers who worked over Scott Shaw!’s (yes, he spells it with an exclamation point, if you were wondering) pencils on this title. The good captain and his crew have a pretty solid cult following. Not on the level of a Howard the Duck or anything, but for some of us who grew up in the 80s and loved bad puns, this book was our Bible (alongside Marvel’s Groo the Wanderer). What was as surprising as the black and white artwork looking so good was how well those puns have held up over the years. A great trip down memory lane for this 80s-era DC fanboy. Now give me an Arion Showcase, DC!
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

kinski_tp_cover_900p
Kinski grabbed me and never let go
, making me feel the tension after each and every chapter. This was masterful storytelling and art with a simple premise and I think it should be on everyone’s must read list. It was first released digitally from Monkeybrain, but Image released the TPB in a small yet wonderful format. Highest recommendation.
— ComicSpectrum Sr. Reviewer Shawn Hoklas

Hip-Hop-Family-Boxset11-399x500
In Hip Hop Family Tree 1975-1983 Ed Piskor takes you through the early years of Hip Hop in a box set of 2 oversized collected editions housed in hardcover slipcase. Also included is a mini comic dedicated to Rob Liefeld and 90s comics.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

Favorite Collection of Archival Material

This category is mean to spotlight older material that’s a bit more then just a collection of regular comic books, ideally something that transcends being a straight collection of comics from recent memory.  IDW rules the roost in this category with their Artist’s Edition line (a format that has no been copied by Dark Horse, Dynamite, and DC/Graphitti), though they also do some great work collecting classic comic strips in their Library of American Comics line.

Adam: Wonder Woman: The Complete Newspaper Comics (IDW), by William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter
Al: Roy Thomas Presents Sheena:Queen of the Jungle Vol 1  (PS ArtBooks), featuring art by Robert Webb and Alex Blum
Bob: Joe Kubert’s Enemy Ace (IDW/DC)
Gabe: John Buscema’s Silver Surfer (IDW/Marvel)
Shawn: Marvel Covers Artist Edition (IDW/Marvel), by various artists

ByrneAE
IDW continues to release solid Artist Editions and the Marvel Covers AE stood out for me since I got to see so many different artist’s Marvel cover work all in one volume. Byrne, Starlin, Steranko, Brunner and more have a great selection of their Marvel covers showcased, of course in actual original art size!
— ComicSpectrum Sr. Reviewer Shawn Hoklas

Buscema_SS
John Buscema’s Silver Surfer Artist Edition is a 12×17 hardcover with over 100 pages of scanned original art Pages. A rare treat for anyone that loves John Buscema, The Silver Surfer or collecting original comic book art.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

Kubert Enemy Ace
Released in late December, Joe Kubert’s Enemy Ace Artist Edition snuck in just under the wire for 2014.  This is the series that got me into reading and collecting war comics, and Joe Kubert is certainly a master of the genre.
— ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

sheena-v1
Roy Thomas Presents Sheena: Queen of the Jungle Vol 1
from PS Artbooks. I’m a fan of jungle women. Nyoka, Jana, Shanna, Jane…but none hold a candle to the original Queen of the Jungle – Sheena. This archival edition (1 of a 3-volume set) does its best to reproduce Sheena’s original run (with some of the original ads intact!) on high quality paper with as much information as can be mustered. A fun intro about her creators, as well as the many actresses who’ve donned the leopard-skin loincloth and swung on a vine – from Irish McCalla to Tanya Roberts to Gena Lee Nolin – set the tone for a great book sure to satisfy any fan of action-oriented women, two-fisted men, and plenty of jungle action.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

Favorite Book About Comics

Bob and Shawn picked Taschen’s 75 Years of Marvel Comics, while Al and Kevyn chose the Secret History of Wonder Woman and Adam favored Dynamite’s Art of Ramona Fradon.

75YearsCover
75 Years of Marvel
is close to my heart since Taschen borrowed a lot of comics from my collection to photograph for inclusion in this weighty tome.  I go back and forth between loving the exploration of the “new to me” pictures and information from the Timely and Atlas eras (something that I’ve only scratched the surface on, so there are always new gems of information for me in these years of Marvel history) to my personal ‘Where’s Waldo’ exploration of “Hey, that’s a picture from one of the comics in my Silver/Bronze/Modern collection!” to the equally fun “Wow!  That’s a cool picture I’ve never seen before!” when it was something NOT from my collection (particularly pictures of original art, toys, or other ephemera).
— ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

Taschen

Taschen’s release of 75 Years of Marvel is impressive in size and scope. It’s tough to describe just how immense and beautiful this book is as it it will no doubt keep you turning the informative and gorgeous pages for months and months!
— ComicSpectrum Sr. Reviewer Shawn Hoklas

24BOOK-master495-v3
The Secret History of Wonder Woman
by Jill Lepore was a book I wanted to read from the moment I heard about it. Much is known about the legend of William Moulton Marston, the creator of Wonder Woman, but much of that legend is just that – legend. Lepore digs in deep and provides facts to give that legend a much firmer foundation. The book reads like a thesis, with nearly half of it devoted to footnotes and citations. If you were ever curious about the truth behind Wonder Woman, from her roots in the feminist movements of more than a century ago to her appearance on the first issue of Ms. Magazine, this book will help separate the lore from the actual facts. To be honest? The facts were more interesting than the lore ever was.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

Favorite Back Issue Purchase

All the ComicSpectrum reviewers are huge comics fans and we all have collections that include both new books and older comics we’re always on the lookout to add that will mean something special to us.  Here are the favorite purchases we each made in 2014:

AF15-400px
Amazing Fantasy #15 has been my “Holy Grail” book for as long as I can remember, the 1st appearance of my favorite super-hero and the single comic that complete my set of every comic starring Spider-Man.  I still need to do a blog detailing the extensive process that led me to obtaining this book, it was nowhere near as simple as just walking down to the local shop and buying a copy.  I need to thank my wife, Janine for her continued support and allowing me to make this major purchase!
— ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall

Sorcery 1
Chilling Adventures in Sorcery #1.  Obviously, this spawned from my new found interest in Archie comics and all the backup material thrown into Afterlife with Archie.  I’m definitely an old time horror movie fanatic and the series has all the related elements I loved in it, topped off by a narration by Sabrina.  Then one day I was perusing the wall at my local shop and there it was!  I couldn’t take out my wallet fast enough.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Adam Alamo

SS1
Silver Surfer #1 (in CGC 7.0) is a key issue for my collection. This great copy of one of my all time favorite characters. When this comic came into the shop I work at this year it left with me immediately. I think Stan Lee & John Buscema’s Silver Surfer series is one of Marvel’s greatest achievements, and I’m proud to have the first issue.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Gabe Bustamantez

X-Men 94
The X-Men were re-tooled after a long period of being a reprint comic with Giant-Size X-Men #1 and then that new team continued in new monthly adventures with X-Men #94. As an uber X-Men fan it was really thrill to get my hands on this one!
— Comic Spectrum guest reviewer Hank Johnson

X-Men 98
Although there were many Disney, Archie, Harvey, etc comics in my youth, it was when I was 8 that my love of comic books really took flight. It was issue #98 of X-Men that I picked up from a grocery store spinner rack (via my mom – I was only 8, after all), and it made me a comic book lover. I had no idea who any of these guys were. The guy with the claws. The big metal guy. The guy who shot lasers out of his eyes. All I knew is that I had to have more. That original comic book eventually lost its cover and was bent and creased beyond any sort of value. I was kind of a comic book heathen back then. But a few months back I got myself a replacement copy, in really great condition, off of eBay. It may not be my oldest or even most valuable comic book (if you worry about such things) but it is my new favorite copy in my collection.
— Guest Reviewer Kevyn Knox

Starfire1
Starfire (1976) #1 (and the whole 8 issue run) was one of the first books I ever remember seeing when I was just starting to read comics, this was in my older sister’s collection of books. For those of you scratching your head and wondering how Starfire from the Teen Titans was showing up in 1976, here’s a bit of history for you. This Starfire was a female space warrior, true, but with dark black hair (as opposed to Koriand’r’s flowing reddish-brown tresses), no starbolts shooting out of her hands (although she wielded a mean sword), and wasn’t quite as given to being part of a team as her better-known namesake. Think Red Sonja in space and you’ve got a pretty good idea. I was at a local small convention and saw the complete run for a fair price and decided to take a little trip down memory lane. Well worth it.
— ComicSpectrum Reviewer Al Sparrow

FF5
I was thrilled to add this Silver Age key to my collection this year, the first appearance of the quintessential Marvel bad guy, Doctor Doom!
— ComicSpectrum Sr. Reviewer Shawn Hoklas

That wraps us up for 2014!  

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Bob Bretall: bob@comicspectrum.com
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3 Responses to ComicSpectrum Reviewer Favorites of 2014

  1. Great list. Lots of fantastic selections. I have been calling my lists ‘favourites’ for the past couple years now for the exact same reason as every list out there is an opinion and nothing more. Really good job by all involved. 🙂

  2. Nice round up. That Marvel 75th book and Wonder Woman book by Jill Lepore I have been looking forward to reading for months. Can’t wait. Another good book about comics I just finished reading was “Soul of the Dark Knight: Batman as Mythic Figure in Comics and Film” by Alex Wainer, a great read for Bat-Fans.

  3. Pingback: 2014: Year in Review | ComicSpectrum Comic of the Week

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