… Our ten favourite comics of 2016
The Wicked + The Divine, Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
The Wicked + The Divine is a great comic for people just getting into the genre, who aren’t looking for the full superheroic experience. The comic, set in a world where the Gods return to earth every 90 years as some form of celebrity, mixes classical mythology with the modern day, and explores the relationship between the Gods (as world famous musicians) and their fans. Even if you aren’t ready to invest in the comics completely, the special issue entitled The Wicked + The Divine 1831, takes the premise and shows us a previous pantheon, who are all eerily similar to some of the most well known writers of the time.
Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, Shawna Benson, Julie Benson, and Claire Roe
I could try and convince you to read this comic because of the fantastic art and writing. I could try and tell you how amazing Batgirl, Black Canary, and the Huntress are. Instead I will tell you one thing and hope you realise how quickly you should run out and buy this. They make a Golden Girls joke. If that doesn’t convince you to throw your money at these creators, nothing will.
Lucifer, Holly Black and Lee Garbett
Black and Garbett’s Lucifer may be a continuation of the character’s story from where the last volume, but they manage to make the character completely their own. While there is some background reading required to understand some of the situations that appear in the comic, it is very accessible for new readers. Even if you think you know the devil, this will teach you something new about everyone’s favourite fallen angel.
All-New Wolverine, Tom Taylor and David Lopez
Everyone and their mother knows Marvel Comics Wolverine, even if they haven’t read a comic before, but this isn’t the Hugh Jackman Wolverine of the movie franchise. The old Wolverine is dead and buried (well, encased in Adamantium), and his replacement is Laura Kinney, his female clone, and frankly she makes a much better superhero than her predecessor. New readers will be able to get into the story easily, while those with some background knowledge will appreciate the fresh take on the character. Plus, there is an actual wolverine sidekick called Jonathan, obviously.
Faith, Jody Houser and Pere Perez
Faith made a big splash when the comic first came around; the first plus sized female superhero in… well ever. But the character is so much more than that, and the series explores what it’s like to not only be a woman, not only be plus sized, but what it’s like when a comic book geek gets the chance to actually become one of the people she has always read about and admired. And with the special appearance of Hilary Clinton in issue #05, she reminds all of us that we can achieve whatever we want, as long as we remember to fight for it.
X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever, Max Bemis and Michael Walsh
Taking part in the larger X-Men universe, but disconnected from it, Worst X-Man Ever tells the story of the newest team member Bailey. Everyone has had that daydream about what superpower they would love to have, but this addresses the question “what happens when your power sucks?”. You don’t need to know anything about the vast history of X-Men to understand this comic, so anyone could enjoy it. Give it a chance and think to yourself, at least you’re not Bailey. Although I’m sure you’ll find a couple of times that you wish you were.
Clean Room, Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt
Clean Room explores the world of cult religion, and it will give you nightmares. Simone, most known for her time writing Batgirl and Wonder Woman, has one of the most twisted imaginations in comics. The series will terrify you, make you question your sanity, and have you checking under your bed every night, but trust me, you’ll keep reading.
Plagued, Gary Chudleigh and Tanya Roberts
Written by Glaswegian writer Gary Chudleigh, Plagued is set in a post-apocalyptic Glasgow and full of witches and witch-hunters. The comic itself is great for all ages, so can be enjoyed by kids and parents a like, and once you start reading you’ll appreciate all the little nuances it offers. You’ll get glimpses of a Glasgow you might know, and meet characters you can’t wait to read about again and again.
Red Thorn, David Baillie and Meghan Hetrick
Another comic set in Glasgow, although this time in the modern day, Red Thorn takes a contemporary setting and fills it will old and new mythology to explore Scotland’s past. There is nothing better than being able to see a city you love through someone else’s eyes, and the Glasgow shown here is one of wonder and as well as a dark path. Red Thorn is well worth the read, even if it is just to admire the scenery.
Inhumans vs. X-Men, Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire, and Leinil Francis Yu
Okay, hear me out. In all of the previous comics mentioned here I’ve tried to find ones that are accessible to everyone, maybe with a little background reading required. Inhumans vs. X-Men is not like that at all. You’ll need to take a deep dive into Marvel Comics from the last few years to really appreciate the beauty of this book, but once you do… you’ll never want it to end. I may be biased, one of my favourite characters is front and centre in this event, but it is amazing. Read it, even just to give me someone to talk to about it. Alternatively, just come to one of our events in 2017 and ask me about it, and I will never shut up.
Words by Andrew Smith.