I read 17 comics in January, and these were the best.
5. Fantastic Four #575
If there’s one thing Hickman’s mastered in his short time as a comic book scribe, it’s compression. This marks the start of a four-part arc, and yet the events within could’ve easily sustained four issues on their own. This type of storytelling is perfect for a comic that still lovingly reminds us of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Their comics were always compressed, so it’s nice of Hickman to stay true to their spirit. And the artist, Dale Eaglesham, does as well. There’s plenty of Kirby within his lines. Fantastic Four is at its best right now, and this issue is another example of that.
4. Kick-Ass #8
This comic speaks for itself. If you’re onboard, you’ll find plenty to love here. Make sure you read the whole series in one sitting, as there are numerous callbacks. However, even judged on its own merit, this is one enjoyable comic. There’s plenty of laughs and killing to be had, and even the delays haven’t dulled JRJR’s childlike exuberance, an old master finally getting a chance to totally cut loose.
3. Green Lantern #50
As disappointing as Blackest Night is to myself and others, Green Lantern has stayed strong, excluding last issue, and this oversized extravaganza is probably the apex in quality for Johns’ entire event. Are there still flaws that the ravenous Johns haters will complain about? Absolutely, but the power and skill of Doug Mahnke easily makes up for it. His images of over the top sci-fi action are a delightful joy to look at. And, from a story standpoint, the events within are extremely important, some of which mark the culmination of years of storytelling.
2. Irredeemable #10
Mark Waid is literally at the top of his game. And why shouldn’t he be? With decades of superhero work under his belt and complete creative freedom, Waid proves he’s one of the best in the biz. This issue juggles three different plotlines, each one memorable and supplying a cliffhanger. Three cliffhangers! If I don’t read the next issue soon, my head will explode!
1. Joe the Barbarian #1
No comic was more fascinating this month. For a comic that could’ve been so simple, it was anything but. The obvious is well-known, that being Murphy’s beautiful artwork. But, it’s the little things enthrall me. The use of decompression from a writer who’s openly against the technique. Joe’s self-aware response about predictability. The 70’s decor. The nostalgia of familiar toys. The use of benday dots. All of these pique the interest. Oh, and this comic’s price of a dollar doesn’t hurt.