The year is winding to a close, which got us to thinking…what were the best comics of the year? The Comicosity staff has gathered and submitted their top picks of 2013, today being Best Writer:
Charles Soule (Swamp Thing, Red Lanterns, Superman/Wonder Woman, Thunderbolts)
A close competition between the two most meteoric rises in comics writing this year. Soule pulled ahead simply based on the volume and variety he wrote this year. Outside of his impressive 4 monthly series, Soule had stories in both the Superman and Batman digital first series, creator-owned Letter 44, and the OGN Strange Attractors.
Runner Up: Tom Taylor (Injustice, Earth 2)
Jonathan Hickman (Manhattan Projects, East of West, Avengers, New Avengers, Secret, Infinity)
Let’s look at the facts –between Manhattan Projects, East of West, Avengers, New Avengers, God Is Dead, Secret and Infinity (arguably one of the best events we’ve had from Marvel in quite some time), writer Jonathan Hickman has been challenging how we view science-fiction in comic books and 2013 provided him with the perfect podium to do so.
Runner-Up: Ed Brubaker (Velvet, Fatale)
Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble, Pretty Deadly)
Kelly Sue DeConnick writes some of the deepest, most relatable characters in comics. She’s also an amazing gateway writer. This year, I came to Marvel Comics for the first time. In Captain Marvel, DeConnick gave me characters that I didn’t need a PhD in Marvel continuity to understand, characters that I genuinely cared about after only a few issues. She can do humor as effortlessly as action; thrillers as easily as sci-fi; and Pretty Deadly has shown her grasp of weird fantasy to be just as strong as her grasp of superheroes. What really sets DeConnick apart this year, though, is the rise of the Carol Corps. Fans of Carol Danvers, many of them new to comics and many more of them female, formed a community around what DeConnick and the entire creative team had done with Captain Marvel. Marvel really couldn’t ask for a better welcome wagon for new fans, or a better ambassador for what comics can and should be all about than Kelly Sue.
Runner-Up: Cullen Bunn (Fearless Defenders, The Sixth Gun, Deadpool: Killustrated, Deadpool Kills Deadpool, Helheim)
Robert Venditti (Green Lantern)
I struggled with this one. A lot. And it will mirror my ‘best single issue’ decision. I’ve been a Green Lantern fan for some time, the Sinestro Corps War got me into comics, and I fully credit Geoff Johns’ portrayal of Hal Jordan (and Sinestro for that matter) for hooking me. Johns’ last issue on the series is one of my all time favorite single issues. I thought it was an incredibly satisfying ending to his epic run. But then Venditti stepped up to take the reins for my favorite character. And man did he thread the needle. Not only did he write it as a clear jumping-on point for new fans, but he proved that while Johns created the definitive voice for Hal, he wasn’t the only one who could speak with that voice. So Venditti edges out Johns because while I think both performed admirably in their tasks, I ultimately conclude that it was harder to follow up a fantastic near-decade long definitive run than it was to end such a run. But my thanks go out to both writers for their critical role in my comics life.
Runner-Up: Geoff Johns (Green Lantern)
Jonathan Hickman (Avengers, Infinity, New Avengers, East of West, Manhattan Projects)
In many ways 2013 was the year of Hickman. He dominated almost every aspect of comics, as he tackled Marvel’s flagship Avengers books, spearheaded one of the best event comics ever with Infinity, launched the creator owned smash hit East of West, and continued his critically acclaimed Manhattan Projects. Not only was Hickman prolific in 2013, but all of these books have been among the best to be released this year. Most writers at any point of their career, would love to have one book that is as successful as any of Hickman’s 5 (not including his co-written God Is Dead or chronically late Secret) books have been this year. In other words, years like the year Hickman had in 2013 are extremely rare, and because of this combination of prolific output and quality, he gets my vote for Writer of the Year.
Runner Up: Jason Aaron (Thor God of Thunder, Wolverine and the X-Men)
Tom Taylor (Injustice: Gods Among Us, Earth 2)
Wow. Give this guy a universe to play in and he’ll go nuts. Give him two and audiences everywhere will have their minds blown. From the deep destruction of the Superman/Batman friendship in Injustice to the already entertaining introductions he’s making to the landscape of Earth 2, Tom Taylor is seemingly an expert at making every issue or chapter a big event in itself, and not losing track of characterization in the process. I adore Harley and Green Arrow together, a combination I never would have thought would work. Lois Lane resurrected as the Red Tornado? Yes, thank you. Taylor has me running to my shop when his books arrive, making Wednesdays even more exciting than they’ve been in years.
Runner-Up: Gail Simone (Batgirl, The Movement, Red Sonja, Leaving Megalopolis)
Jonathan Hickman (Infinity, Avengers, New Avengers, East of West)
Has there been an event as epic as Infinity and it’s 20 issue build up in the past decade? Past 2 decades? This was the year of Hickman as he churned out over 40 issues of Infinity, Avengers and New Avengers while also delivering quality creator owned work in East of West. The volume isn’t the only thing that is impressive: it’s the quality. Hickman is writing several of the best comics in the industry and managed to tie the Avengers books together into the strongest event I have rad in years. His name is currently synonymous with quality and epic storylines, and I can’t get enough of his work in the Marvel Universe and the creator owned theatres.
Runner-Up: Geoff Johns (Aquaman, Green Lantern, Justice League, Justice League of America, Shazam, Forever Evil)
Check Comicosity again tomorrow to see more “Best of 2013” lists! Happy Holidays from the staff at Comicosity!