Well I had to do it. Its that time again. Another decade has passed and its time to look back on all the thousands of comic books that have been released between 2010-2019. Now I’ll preface this article by saying how much I usually dislike these “best of” list. so many of them tend to be the best selling, or most awards, or most publicized series listed. THIS IS NOT THAT. As you’ve no doubt noticed by now, here we talk about the Comfort Food Comics. These are not the best or the most successful comics. These are the comics that elicited the most emotional response from me. These are the comics that stuck with me during the leadup to their release, on release, and years after their release. These are the comics with the best memories attached to them. These are the series that I will always go back to and read to feel good. The comics that need to be on my essentials shelf.
10. Age of X: By Mike Carey, Clay Mann, Steve Kurth & More. This series as well as Mike Carey’s run on X-Men Legacy were a true bright spot in the last decade of X-Men comics. Nothing got me more hyped than this radical re imagining of the Mutants a la the Age of Apocalypse event. I loved this unique dream world Carey made. He created such fun alternate versions of our characters. Cannonball in the lead X-Men spot usually occupied by Cyclops. Cyclops in this world a very different man who had been tortured & used, his eyelids removed and forced to wear a protective mask. He was far from the usual stalwart man we knew. Everything about this event was amazing to me- from the Olivier Coipel & Leinel Francis Yu promo and cover art to Clay Mann’s beautiful pencils and redesigns. Carey built an entire world, much of which we werent even privy to. ComicBookResources had several articles where Carey gave unique backgrounds to certain characters (linked here: https://www.cbr.com/tag/age-of-x-communiques/ ) that were so interesting. Theres just so much to unpack in this one. I remember being extremely hooked by all the promo leadup up for this one and it did not disappoint. Its a wonderful story full of crazy twists and turns. Some of the New Mutants issues of the crossover arent as good, and the story is not without its faults. For me though, it will always ring true as a very strange, unique event that I had unparallelled anticipation for and I really applaud them experimenting with and trying.
9. Convergence: Shazam by Jeff Parker, Doc Shaner & Jordie Bellaire. Convergence is the epitome of a comic book event that didnt need to exist. A flimsy story built to end a bizarre weekly series, fill a gap in the company’s publishing schedule and satisfy reader’s nostalgia of past era and characters makes it a huge mess. But the one true bright spot of this event was Convergence: Shazam. The absolute dream team of Parker & Shaner work their magic on a world where the classic Marvel Family exist. In a two issue story we get a glimpse of what a Parker/Shaner ongoing of the Marvel Family would be like. We get cameos of their various villains, the charming characterization of the Family, fun old Fawcett era plots all while tying into the Convergence setup of Worlds Colliding with the appearance of Gotham By Gaslight Batman. You would think it would be an overstuffed mess but it just works SO WELL. The art will just melt your eyeballs. Shaner’s rendition of all these characters is almost a perfect mental image of what you’d imagine they should look like, while Bellaire’s colors fit the mood & plot of the story brilliantly. This is to me, the best Captain Marvel/Shazam comics weve had in decades, maybe even since the original Fawcett run. This team of creators seem made to work on these characters. Everyday I am sad they arent on an ongoing Marvel Family comic.
8. Batman Inc.: By Grant Morrison & a whole bunch of illustrators. Batman Inc. defined an era for me. This was the culmination of Morrison’s years long epic run on the Batman books. I still think the idea of using Batman as a brand, an international group of various Bat characters located all around the world, is one of the smartest ideas ever and a perfect way to tell new exciting stories in that franchise for years to come. Now it didnt really last, but the pure excitement during that era was palpable. This was one of those series where, if a new issue was coming out, life needed to stop so I could sit down and devour an issue of it. This series was definitely marred by the New 52 changeover which kind of killed its momentum and foundation. Even with that, its still one of my favorite titles and Ive rarely ever had so much fun with monthly comics. Morrison wrote to me the best, all encompassing Bruce Wayne & Batman we’ve ever had. The globe trotting, hero expansion mission statement of this run was the perfect, logical next expansion of the Batfamily. This was everything I ever wanted for the Batman books.
7. Godzilla:Half Century War: James Stokoe’s 5 issue series detailing 50 years of Godzilla’s reign as King of the Monsters. Stokoe drops us in from the point of view of Lieutnant Ota Murakami, who ends up locked in a cycle of war to begrudging acceptance to cooperation with Godzilla. Stokoe distills the entire history of the Godzilla franchise into a coherent, beautifully illustrated series. Its never a greatest hits of monsters, or regurgitating old movie plots, or Godzilla mindlessly rampaging. Its a smart, captivating story each issue. People who have never even watched a Godzilla movie can enjoy this book. Stokoe is one of the best artists to ever exist and he brings his trademark insane detail and crazy coloring to the Godzilla franchise and its a match made in heaven. I randomly pick this book off the shelf just to marvel at the artwork, its that great.
6. Archie Vs. Predator: By Alex De Campi & Fernando Ruiz. WOW! Talk about an absolute perfect crossover. Its a crazy idea that manages to REALLY work. Archie is one of those great franchises thats set up to basically work in any genre you want. Throwing Predator into their universe while ramping it up to an R rating while still being in that classic Archie style and innocent setting is just glorious. The reason this book works so well is that its in on the joke with you. It doesnt try to be edgy or try to hard to meet some false expectation. It is exactly what you would want it to be, which is the Predator hunting down and brutally killing the Archie gang in that classic, cute Archie style while they think of zany ideas to fight back. This book is perfect
5. Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe: By Tom Scioli. Another insane crossover that has no right being as amazing as it is. When this was coming out, it was the best ongoing comic. Scioli’s skill blending years of history of these toy & media giants into a bizarre amalgam universe that tells one of the strongest stories Ive ever read is awe inspiring. Each issue has multiple writing and art experiments that push the entire medium. Im not joking. The reason this one works so well is that it is NOT what youd expect. Scioli does something new. He never falls into old recycling plots of either franchise. He homages a wide swathe of both while building something wholly new and exciting. Its not a simple fight comic or a series of fan favorite characters dropping in. It goes into crazy subplots while using characters in ways theyve never been done before. Scioli does what HE wants, never dumbing it down into a fanservice book. Youve never experienced a Transformers or G.I. Joe story like this. Its such an impressive series
4. Klaus: By Grant Morrison & Dan Mora. Talk about a series literally ripped from my dreams. I am a HUGE Christmas guy. I love the Holiday. I love Santa Claus and the various stories and background of each gift giver that every country has. This comic gives me everything that a Christmas comic should. Morrison, my favorite comics writer, takes Santa Claus and views him through the insane creative prism only he has. Started as a miniseries, but quickly became an annual one shot release of his continuing adventures, Klaus is a yearly Holiday treat. An epic re configuring of the Santa legend into basically a magic cosmic superhero, Klaus has it all. It combines all the various tropes of the Holiday with any type of crazy comic plot Morrison can dream up. He battles the Krampus. He has his own Santa Bat-Cave. There is an international Justice League of Santas from every country. He battles the Pola-Cola corporation who tries to co opt Christmas using the souls of children with the help of a Werewolf Klaus from the Dark Multiverse. He fights in the Lunar Civil War. He battles the Ice Queen. This comic has every insane Christmas superhero idea you could ever want. And the art, oh man the art. Dan Mora gives us a truly heroic Santa in a Superman vein of a strong, powerful man who radiates kindness and empathy.
3. The Multiversity: By Grant Morrison and a huge team of collaborators. One of modern comic’s great experiments. An unfathomably huge story told in a series of 2 main issues, 6 unique one shots and a Guidebook. Its the insane type of publishing plan only someone like Morrison could make work. The great thing about The Multiversity is that each one shot stands as an amazingly well crafted issue you can enjoy independent of the entire series’ narrative. Dont care for the Morrison heavy themes of the whole thing? Just enjoy this Marvel Family oneshot or the brilliant Watchmen homage issue. Not in the mood to think so much? Enjoy a world where all the 90’s DC heroes all live in hedonistic paradise. Each story is so tonally different that theres something here for everyone. The Guidebook itself is full of so many ideas for alternate worlds that could have their own publishing line while never being boring and also working as a piece of the larger story. After The New 52 relaunch had pretty much killed most of my excitement and wonder of the DC Universe, The Multiversity hit and really reinvigorated in me my passion for the medium and this company with all of its wonderful characters. The Multiversity pushes the medium to grown and change. It contains a multitude of ideas while showing how many genres, tones and stories work with this company. It creatively demands more of every other comic being published. It sticks with you and makes you love comics.
2. House of X & Powers of X: By Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz & R.B. Silva. This story ranks so very high on my list because it is the literal answer to my prayers. This decade has been one of the X-Men line’s worst of alltime. Mired in stories I personally mainly disliked while caught in a constant cycle of stagnant creative decisions with no big new ideas or growth. I have yearned for a new linewide change full of bold ideas. Hickman did just that, keeping to the thought of being additive while using the existing characters, he changes the X-Men forever. Explosive retcons that add to the franchise! Every mutant is alive! Nobody dies for long! A Mutant Nation- but for real this time! This is a love letter to the entire history of the X-Books while also finally evolving them into a new status quo that should have happened years ago. And its just a great series! Everything now just works for the X-books while also giving so many launchpads to new series & ideas for the next foreseeable decade. Few relaunches have ever worked so good in comics while also packing such a punch and being so smart. And it did it WEEKLY!! This comic got me back into shops to buy every issue after about a decade of reading digitally or buying online. This comic got me into the X-Twitter community. This comic got me excited about comics again in a certain way I havent felt for about 15 years now. Its one of a select few series that have made such a considerable impact on me as a person and my life. I will treasure this series for the rest of my life.
- Copra: By Michel Fiffe. Ok so wrap your head around this. A relatively unknown indie comics creator takes his extreme love of The Suicide Squad and blends it with his love of Steve Ditko and other comics to make an homage series that he self publishes a small print run of it to sell to people who may know his stuff or bought his Suicide Squad fancomic Deathzone (I did!). This comic ended up being one of the greatest books ever made and my personal favorite comic of the 2010 decade. I hopped in early on in the print run when Fiffe was making these himself for us select rabid fans. Its an homage comic that somehow ends up being as good as what it was influenced by while being something unique and different. You can feel the love in every panel of this book. Fiffe is doing this for himself, for the artform. There is no need to make money or keep busy, this is his personal passion, his magnum opus. He blends everything hes ever loved in this medium into a stunningly great book. For a very long time this was the only book I was getting single issues of and on each release Id clear my schedule to read & reread and really absorb it into my brain. This is a creator single handedly making the comic he has wanted to make since he was a little kid. Thats a very very unique thing in this industry. The level of craft for Fiffe doign everything himself is on another level. Fiffe excels at making interesting plots & characters that take on a life of their own. I could gush about this series forever. It is an extremely special comic that fills a personal niche for me. I cant think of a single comic that does what Copra does so successfully. I absolutely adore this book. Its one of all time favorites
Bonus! – Years ago I had the beginning of Copra bound into a big hardcover. Michel graciously accepted my request to send the book to him so he could put a sketch into it for me. Im a very lucky person