Best of 2014: Best Single Issue

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 2014, today being Best Single Issue:

Roderick Ruth


Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Frank Quitely and Nathan Fairbain
Published by DC Comics

Not only did writer Grant Morrison and artist Frank Quitely effectively pay homage to the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen series, but they were able to assertively put there auteur interpretation into it. Morrison’s Multiversity has not only been a metaphysical tour of the DC universe, but it also embraces what DC has been known to do so well –multiverses. This issue champions all of those prior sentiments, while also creatively exploiting the comic books as a medium and even playing with timing, perspective, and orientation of how comic books can even be read. This issue featured some of Quitely’s best work to date and colorist Nathan Fairbairn truly brings his art to the next level that becomes more appreciative with each read.

Runner-up: Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (Jason Latour and Robbi Rodriguez)


John Ernenputsch


Written by Rick Remender
Art by Wes Craig, Lee Loughridge
Published by Image Comics

When I sat down to read the first issue of Deadly Class I was expecting a book about kids learning how to be assassins. I wouldn’t have been surprised if it was way too similar to Five Weapons (another Image title) to feel comfortable reading it. What I wasn’t expecting, and what did surprise me was the comic I read. It completely blew me away. It was brutal, unforgiving, beautiful, important, uncomfortable, and emotional, oh so emotional. Deadly Class #1 was released in January, and knowing I’d be writing this 11 months later, I measured every single comic I read in 2014 against this one. A few issues raised some internal debate, but in the end nothing could surpass Remender, Craig and Loughridge’s masterpiece.

Runner-Up: Southern Bastards #4 (Jason Aaron, Jason Latour)


Sam Marx

Lose 6

Created by Michael DeForge
Published by Koyama Press

Each issue of Lose is a standalone, so don’t be worried about continuity! Here DeForge delivers a powerful issue about a subversive aunt who joins a shadow gang and learns to kill in an effort to save her niece’s clarinet recital. The issue also features the short story “Dogs of Canada” and some extra comic strips. The black and white coloring really supports the eerie tone of the book, and while it might be weird as heck, this story will stick with you for a long time.

Runner-Up: The Fade Out #1 (Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips)


Alison Baker


Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Jason Latour
Published by Image Comics

Spoilers ahead if you haven’t read the first volume of Jasons Aaron & Latour’s amazing Image series about small towns, corruption, and football in the Deep South. The concluding issue to the first arc, “Here Was a Man,” delivered the punchline to a very cruel joke. The final confrontation between Earl Tubb and Euless Boss was as brutal as I expected it to be; however it was the ultimate outcome that knocked the wind out of me.. It upended my expectations going forward – sort of like the conclusion to Book 1/Season 1 of Game of Thrones. The emotional punch of losing such a strong character as Earl was compounded by the revelation that he has a daughter who is as yet unaware of her father’s fate – which at least gives me hope for a vengeance-fueled confrontation down the line. More than just a finely crafted single issue, Southern Bastards #4 defined the kind of series the book is – absolutely merciless and unexpected.

Runner-Up: Bitch Planet #1 (Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine DeLandro)


Keith Callbeck


Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Travel Foreman
Published by DC Comics

Jeff Lemire shared art duties with Travel Foreman for the final issue of Animal Man and closed out the series in his signature fashion. A last look at the family aspect of Buddy Baker’s life before Buddy heads off to space with the Justice League. An excellent ending to an exceptional run.

Runner up: Booster Gold: Future’s End #1 (Dan Jurgens)


J.A. Micheline


Written by Matt Fraction
Art by David Aja
Published by Marvel Comics

To me, Hawkeye #19 achieved excellence at levels that we don’t normally demand from comics but should. I’ll make this a top down thing. At the very top, we have social justice and awareness. I think there’s a strong argument to be made about the audience of Hawkeye #19 and how it is not the hearing majority. American Sign Language was given but not translated in many scenes, intentionally alienating anyone who didn’t know it—in the way that hard of hearing and Deaf people are often alienated themselves. Obviously it’s a far cry from the true experience of that sort of marginalization, but it’s an incredible and an important start. Then, there’s the level of visual storytelling—that is, in a certain sense, exactly what sign languages are. It’s amazing that no one has thought to do what this issue does before now. Comics are a perfect venue for sign language and other visual languages and I’d love to see that explored more in the coming year. Lastly, just on the level of a story—every single time (and I read this issue several times) I got to the end of Hawkeye #19, I was incredibly moved. Even knowing what was coming, the way that entire story of Clint, his hearing loss, his community, his brother is expressed is nothing short of incredible. Even if you never particularly liked this book, this single issue is more than worth reading.

Runner-Up: Grayson: Future’s End #1 (Tom King and Steven Mooney)


Nick Couture


Written by Rick Remender
Art by Wes Craig and Lee Loughridge
Published by Image Comics

Deadly Class #5 is a hell of a ride. An acid trip in Vegas turns into a horrific night of terror and violence, but boy is it pretty. It’s the one issue that unquestionably is the best of the year for me.


Matt Santori


Written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by Francesco Francavilla
Published by Archie Comics

Just a little story about a boy and his dog. Except that it’s heartbreaking and heroic and gorgeous and absolutely perfect. Afterlife with Archie is already an A+ book, but issue #4 took that perfect pairing of old-fashioned Americana and dark horror and escalated it to an entirely new level of awesomeness. How Vegas expresses his devotion to his master — through Aguirre-Sacasa’s internal monologue and Francavilla’s utterly soulful artistry — will make you weep. I guarantee it.

Runner-Up: The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1 (Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely, and Nathan Fairbain)


Aaron Long


Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire
Published by Marvel Comics

I continue to just stare at this one, in awe of the visual storytelling happening here. This is really a one-shot story but Ellis, Shalvey and Bellaire have cooked up something very special with this comic, showing Moon Knight at his vigilante best and delivering character defining work. I’ve never read a single issue quite like this one and it is the standout single issue of 2014.

Runner-Up: Thor: God of Thunder #23 (Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic)




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