Welcome to the second “Year In Review” post for 2018. As we end our first year of existence, we at PopCultureSquad.com want to take a moment and recognize some of the great comic books that we seen this year. The first YIR post highlighted the best Limited Series of the year, and you can find it here.
In this post, we will take a look at the best new ongoing series that debuted in 2018. Due to the marketing and economics of modern comics. Many series are rebooted to a new number when there is a change the creative team, and we try not to include those as new ongoing series. For example, the primary superhero team books re-launched for both Marvel and DC this year, but they are not included on this list. They are both fine series for the most part, but we are looking for exceptional innovation here.
This category has a very good mix publishers that contributed some very good new series. The publishers that are represented in the list include DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Image Comics, Boom! Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, a, and Abstract Studios. We are not going to rank the series against each other. The purpose is to highlight what we felt was special this year, not to disparage or point out were things came up short.
Here is the list in alphabetical order:
By David F. Walker, Chuck Brown, & Sanford Greene
This series is only two issues in, but it is a fantastic story. The instant world building, strong plot lines, and gorgeous images of this series make it an immediate hit. This book is centered on supernatural characters and the Sangerye family’s responsibilities to protect the world from them. We expect great things from this series in the future.
By Simon Spurrier & Matias Bergara
This series is an underrated story that took us by surprise. It is a story based in a world that has lost the magic that was relied upon heavily. It feels very much like a western at times, due to the setting and characters, and there is a very real love story at the center. The art in this book is wild and perfect for the tone of the story. We keep coming back to see where this wonderful story goes.
Death or Glory
By Rick Remender & Bengal
The main character in this book was instantly sympathetic. A young, tough woman who is fighting time and long odds to save the life of her father. That is the simple one line description of this book, but it is much more than that. Bengal and Remender fill the story with mind bending chase scenes, interesting characters, and surprising plot turns. It all adds up to a great series.
By Gail Simone & David Baldeón
The fist new series on this list that is for an existing character is Domino. Gail Simone has created a fun and exciting comic series here with the help of Baldeón’s wonderful art. The main character and her posse are dangerous and adorable at the same time. Gail is at her best when she plays in the grey area and that is exactly what she is doing here.
Justice League Dark
By James Tynion IV & Alvaro Martinez Bueno
This series is the best series to come out of the “No Justice” event. The “Witching Hour” event cross-over with Wonder Woman is a significant part of this series as well. Tynion has crafted coherent and compelling stories with sometimes unwilling participants to perfection. There is real terror in a book that could simply be a superhero mashup, but it is more than that. The long story that is building in this series is intriguing as well. We hope this book will last a long time.
The Lone Ranger
By Mark Russell & Bob Q
Mark Russell is a master at speaking through the façade of a simple plot. This story, while only three issues in, appears to be the tale of the most famous lawman of the west. It is not that. There are real socio-political issues that are highlighted just below the surface of Bob Q’s stunning action sequences and beautiful western landscapes.
By Chelsea Cain & Kate Niemczyk
There have been three issues and a special for this series released this year. It is an unapologetic commentary on gender roles and issues set within a alternate world with women who turn into vicious large cats when they menstruate. Um, Yep. It is wonderfully written and the art is fantastic. Chelsea Cain is shining bright with this series, and we cannot get enough of it.
By Sean McKeever & Alex Tefenkgi
This was another series that caught us off-guard. It is truly an excellent series. The concept of Earth colonization for survival as seen through the eyes of people who never knew Earth is fascinating. McKeever’s characterizations are excellent. There are real emotions evoked in the events of this book. The story moves at a nice pace. It is a hit from our perspective.
Strangers in Paradise XXV
By Terry Moore
Terry Moore writes, pencils, inks, and letters his creator owned books under his Abstract Studios label. Each story has been lovingly crafted for decades now. This series is an absolute tour de force. Moore is at the top of his game in the visual aspect of this series and is pulling the threads of multiple stories together for a fantastic ride through the wonderful universe that he created. It is filled with real and compelling characters dealing with difficult issues. This is a joy to read.
By Jeff Lemire, Evan Shaner, & others
DC launched several new series from the aftermath of the “Dark Knights: Metal” event. This was our favorite. The forced interaction of very different characters is a highlight of the series. There have been a few different artists on this book, but all have done a great job of keeping a similar tone and feel to the book. The storyline has been interesting and evolved in good ways.
The Wrong Earth
By Tom Peyer & Jamal Igle
Ahoy Comics burst on the scene in the second half of 2018 with high quality and innovative comics. This book is the best of them. We are enthralled by the universe switching nature of the main conflict. Each issue is full of beautiful images, smart dialogue, strong plot development, and humor. That is a winning combination that cannot be beat. We have been surprised by sources of positive comments and praise for this book. It means that it is crossing readership niches, and that is great. We will continue to root for this series and the new publisher.
By Mariko Tamaki, Juann Cabal, & others
X-23 is really the only series on this list that is a reboot of a previous series. When All-New Wolverine ended X-23 began. Mariko Tamaki took over where Tom Taylor left off with the female cloned sisters of Logan. The familial relationship combined with their willingness to stab people and things make this a treat on a monthly basis.
By Tom Taylor, Mahmud Asrar, & others
This series will end in early 2019. However, it was not listed or billed as a limited series, and that is why it is on this list. There was a long form story that has been told and the ending of the series is not for lack of quality writing or art. There are editorial decisions in the X-Men universe of titles that make this book no longer an option. With that being said, this was the best X-book month in and month out all year.
Please let us know where you agree or disagree in the comments section below.