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 2015, today being Best Writer:
Black Canary, Gotham Academy, Batgirl
Brenden’s voice has helped carve out a less dour, more stylish corner of the DCU. He shares his writing duties on two of his books, but his contributions are clear. His love of the classic (does it count as classic yet? I DON’T WANT TO BE OLD) Batman: The Animated Series cartoons and anime shine through in each issue – the artists that work with him clearly speak his language. He knows how to build a story with a team, and he’s great at a fast paced narrative while still having a gift for emotional pathos.
Most of all, his books feel vibrant, new, and fun. Gotham Academy mixes Lovecraftian horror with Scooby-Doo Mystery and high school drama; Batgirl combines the importance of your BFF squad with crime-fighting; and Black Canary blends punching ninjas and punk rock music. Karl Kerschl, Babs Tarr, and Annie Wu are very different artists on the page, but all three bring the perfect compliment to whatever story Fletcher is telling (along with Becky Cloonan and Cameron Stewart, respectively). For those readers who love Gotham but like to see the sun once in a while, Brenden Fletcher is more than capable of making the light shine.
Runner-Up: Steve Orlando (Midnighter, Virgil)
Grayson, The Vision, The Sheriff Of Babylon, Justice League: The Darkseid War: Green Lantern, Robin War
There’s no doubt in my mind that Tom King is a future superstar. Just the other week he became the first writer to have three entries on the Comicosity Hot Five in a single week. That was the least of his accomplishments in 2015. He continued his partnership with Tim Seeley on the amazing Grayson, wrote one of the most beloved Darkseid War one shot, is currently helping to spearhead the Robin War crossover, helped bring Vertigo back to prominence with the launch of The Sheriff of Babylon, and even walked across the aisle to Marvel to launch one of the absolute best titles of All New All Different Marvel with The Vision. The man did it all in 2015. I don’t think this will last you see of him on these lists over the next several years, as I believe he is just getting started. If Scott Snyder ever leaves Batman, I hope DC realizes they have his heir apparent right in front of their face.
Runners-Up: Rick Remender (Deadly Class, Tokyo Ghost, Low, Black Science) and Jason Aaron (Star Wars, Thor, Thors, The Mighty Thor, Southern Bastards, The Goddamned)
We Can Never Go Home, S.H.I.E.L.D.: Quake
So, here’s the thing. It doesn’t take a lot to please me when reading comics. I enjoy everything from a naughty joke to wordless, heartbreaking scenes. But even the most scrutinizing reader would be hard-pressed to find a better writer (especially considering the early career) than Matthew Rosenberg. Rosenberg (along with Patrick Klindon) is responsible for my most recommended series, We Can Never Go Home. This series made it so apparent what I love about comic books, and that was thanks to Rosenberg’s honest and heartfelt style of writing. I also loved his Quake one-shot, as part of the SHIELD anniversary event at Marvel. Rosenberg is going to go far in this industry, and he’s completely deserving of the praise he has been getting. I expect big things, Mr. Rosenberg.
Runners-Up: Kelly Sue DeConnick (Bitch Planet, Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel), Michael Moreci (Roche Limit, Transference), Jason Aaron (Thor, Southern Bastards), Justin Jordan (Luther Strode, Deep State, John Flood, Spread), Matt Fraction (Hawkeye, Sex Criminals), Ryan Browne (God Hates Astronauts, Blast Furnace), and Rick Remender (Deadly Class, Tokyo Ghost, Black Science)
New 52: Futures End, Batman Beyond, Superman: Lois & Clark, Bat-Mite
I always look for contrasting story styles in my Best Writer and this was a year where Dan Jurgens stretched.
Jurgens was part of the writing team on Future’s End, guiding the Superman portion of the story. He was also one of the planners of the two-month Convergence event and helped bring those two tales together.
As well as writing post-Convergence breakout hits Batman Beyond and Superman: Lois & Clark, Jurgens also fit in the brilliantly-funny satire mini-series Bat-Mite.
Add in a couple of the highlight mini-series of Convergence, and this was a packed year for my Best Writer winner.
Runner-Up: Ed Brisson (Mantle, Cluster, Captain Canuck)
Southern Bastards, Star Wars, Star Wars: Vader Down, Thor, Weirdworld, Doctor Strange, The Goddamned
Jason Aaron has had an impressive arsenal of comic books unleashed under his written tutelage in 2015. From continuing to elevate the grittiest comic books with elegance in Southern Bastards, to helming one of the most controversial and highly anticipated cliff-hangers of 2015 with Jane Foster being worthy of Mjolnir to becoming Thor.
Let’s not forget that Aaron was able to trail-blaze the new Star Wars relaunch to the satisfaction of franchise fans and comic book readers alike. Just when you thought the writer could have been complacent, he forges even further with the sublimely strange Weirdworld, develop another thought-provoking series in The Goddamned, and breathe new life into the long stagnant Doctor Strange series at Marvel. Aaron has long cemented his position as an acclaimed comics writer in my eyes, and it looks like the world will finally be taking notice.
Runner-Up: Jeff Lemire (Hawkeye, Plutona, Descender, Bloodshot Reborn)
Black Canary, Batgirl, Gotham Academy
The sensibility that binds the “Fletcher-verse” books at DC Comics is like lightning in a bottle as far as I’m concerned. Each one feels young, fresh — alive with energy in a way a lot of other mainstream super-hero comics can’t touch. Fletcher (and his collaborators) isn’t afraid to break the mold on what characters can be, but at their root, each one is indelibly perfect.
Black Canary focuses on family and self-work as clearly as the classic Dinah did in Birds of Prey, albeit from a soundstage and her own version of the Hard Traveling Heroes. Batgirl captures the heart of the original Silver Age daredoll while making it clearer than ever Babs Gordon is an intellectual threat to villains (and mansplainers) everywhere. And Gotham Academy returns the Batman mythos (FINALLY) to an all-ages realm without dumbing down story or simplifying character. This is the heir to Batman: the Animated Series. And what’s more, these are the books that are drawing in the next generation of DC Comics readers — young and old, female and male, queer and straight — with their focus on racially diverse casts, strongly written female protagonists, and overall fun!
Runner-Up: Tom King (Omega Men, Grayson, Sheriff of Babylon)
Star Wars, Vader Down, Thor, Doctor Strange, Southern Bastards, Weirdworld, Thors
Mr. Aaron, you are one hell of a writer.
Jason Aaron is my writer of the year because not only did he produce a ton of work in 2015, he crushed it with damn near every single issue he wrote. From the superhero Thor/The Mighty Thor/Doctor Strange to writing the flagship Star Wars title and co-writing the first Star Wars crossover to going straight up dark and gritty with Southern Bastards and The Goddamned, it seems like Aaron couldn’t miss. Whatever he wrote, it just worked. His superhero tales are top tier books, his Star Wars comics are amazing and made me love reading comics in that universe again and his creator owned books are like venturing into a dark part of this mad writer’s mind. He is one of the biggest names in the industry and rightfully so, as the quality of work he produced in 2015 is unparalleled in the industry.
Runner-Up: Tom King (Robin War, Omega Men, Vision)
Don’t miss the rest of the best of 2015: