Week two of our single issue top fives from last year! This week is John's selections.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
In terms of a single, free standing graphic novel, this was the best thing I read all year. Normally I don’t do in for jagged drawing styles, but Noelle Stevenson is very much an exception. Nimona features one of the most innovative storylines I’ve ever read in a graphic novel. I will just say that Noelle Stevenson is just about the most interesting thing happening in comic art today.
Copperhead #10 by Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski
With the exception of Velvet (about which I’ll have something to say in my Honorable Mention section), Copperhead was my favorite series of the last two years. Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski have combined to produce a sort of Wild West in space series about a woman sheriff in a frontier mining town. Well written and beautifully drawn, it ticks a lot of boxes for me. The final issue in the arc was superior, and really moving.
Black Widow #18 by Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto
Pretty much all of Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto’s run of Black Widow was excellent. That said, the last volume was not the strongest, but the next to last issue was among the best in the whole series. It looked back into Romanov’s past with some really eye-opening panels. Phil Noto’s art is expressively beautiful, using color to express mood to excellent effect. This particular issue highlighted Noto’s skills in their greatest possible range.
Death Vigil #8 by Stjepan Sejic
The final issue of Stjepan Sejic’s stellar Death Vigil title. An interesting story and Sejic’s (typically) compelling artwork made this whole series one of the very best that I read all year. The finale was startling, both in its artwork and its storytelling. It left room for another run, and this is something to look forward to.
Rat Queens #10 by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Stjepan Sejic
Yes, I have one of the same ones as Meredith on my list. It was that good. One of the last issues before this series was taken over by a different artistic team (with a rather unfortunate effect on overall quality). This issue was all you’d ever want from this title. The brilliance of the whole product is that it rejigs the traditional, dude-centered swords and sorcery conventions with excellent effects.
Honorable Mentions: I might have included Velvet by Ed Brubaker on this list, as it’s pretty much the best thing I’ve read in, oh, the last decade, but I couldn’t really pick out an individual issue and I didn’t want to slight any of the ones not selected. For similar reasons I didn’t pick out any of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’s Saga. This title has kind of lost its way, but the early issues were too excellent to pick just one. Finally, I might have picked an issue of Vaughan’s new title Paper Girls, but I didn’t start reading the individuals until after New Year’s, so there’s that.
Next week we'll have Marilyn's top five picks, so check back to see what made her list!