Still incredibly late, but I will catch up soon. I read 30 comics in June, and these were the best.
5. Astonishing X-Men #34
And it’s back! There’s a reason why Ellis himself referred to this run as a “doomed work,” but it’s the best damn doomed work ever! Ellis cleverly marries madcap ideas with beautiful character work. Who will forget the giant, Sauron-Brood-Beast, and the following embarrassment Emma inflicts on the poor beast? Phil Jimenez handles it all beautifully, conveying Ellis’ madness and emotionality.
4. American Vampire #4
My collected thoughts are here. I wrote more than enough there to convince you of this series’ brilliance.
3. Punisher MAX #8
Everything plays out almost as expected, but with impeccable craft. How many other words can you find for “perfect”? Apply them all to Aaron, Dillon, and Hollingsworth. Hell, the issue even functions episodically.
2. Batman #700
Great, after all that hype I have to defend my higher choices. Well, Batman #700 certainly isn’t perfect. It’s a mess in the artistic department, with Daniel, Kollins, and the tacky anniversary material bringing it down. Overall, however, it’s a wonderful story from Grant Morrrison, who laces the tale with all sorts of complexity. The best of which being a love-letter to Batman and all his future forms, most notably Batman Beyond and Dark Knight Returns. And, of course, the callback to my favorite issue of Grant’s run, Batman #666, with Andy Kubert returning in perfect form to render Damian kicking all sorts of ass. This thrill, coupled with Frank Quitely drawing Frank Miller’s Mutant Gang, gives you one hell of an issue.
1. SHIELD #2
Naturally, my #1 blends the success of my #2 and #3 together. Hickman marries innovative ideas with nearly-consummate craft. Only two issues in and this comic has already succeeded in being different than any comic that’s come before it, with Leonardo da Vinci acting as a superhero, here to spank the young whippersnappers who have bastardized his dreams. Dustin Weaver, though new to the medium, is already bringing some wonderful linework and layouts to the table, succeeding in giving SHIELD its deserved unique look. Second issues don’t get much better than this.