Top 5 Best Comics of October 2010

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I read 26 comics in October, and these were the best.

5. The Walking Dead #78

This comic is continually good, of course, but it usually takes a culmination to make it feel like a great issue. That big showdown brewing between the enemy survivors and Rick’s clan occurs here, but it’s over and done with in a few pages. During the ruckus, you’ll be reminded yet again that it’s the humans that always bring about their own downfall at the decaying hands of the undead. Rick’s leadership is justified here, as it was in the last issue, and by the end, it appears things will finally start going Rick’s way, just as everything falls apart. It’s great storytelling, all rendered in glorious black & white by the reliable hands of Charlie Adlard.

4. Hellboy/Beasts of Burden

This Dark Horse crossover is the antithesis of a Marvel or DC crossover. It lasts one issue, and occurs naturally. You may not read Hellboy’s comics, and you’re probably unfamiliar with the Beasts of Burden, but that shouldn’t stop you from picking up the issue. The one-shot builds upon what’s come before, while remaining self-contained. Even with Jill Thompson’s endearing watercolors, this achieves just as effective horror as The Walking Dead. Thompson’s just that good, and Dorkin orchestrates a startling enough plot with characters you actually care about. It’s completely coincidental that two horror comics make this list in October, and completely appropriate.

3. Deadpool MAX #1

This is a comic that will disappoint many, and is great partly because of that. It mocks all of your expectations. Lapham writes a Deadpool comic with Deadpool as a powerful demon that all of the character gravitate around. This Deadpool is seriously insane, and his insanity ruins the good intentions of his teammates. Kyle Baker, too, seems to upend all your preconceived notions of a MAX comic. Sure, there’s gore and nudity, but the gore is vibrant and playful, while the nudity is distorted and grotesque. And Baker makes even the lewdest of ideas seem charming. Did you have any idea that there’s a penis smack-dab in the middle of the above image? All of this makes for a Deadpool comic that’s genuinely funny, and actually worthwhile.

2. Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #5

I could’ve just as easily put Batman and Robin #15 here. Both are well-written, well-rendered, and present echoes of Batman RIP. They also conclude similarly. But I prefer this issue. It’s good to see some Sook interiors, and surprising to see his work followed so ably by Pere Perez. It’s also nice to see a coherent and narrating Bruce Wayne at the helm,  even aware of the noir tropes that are threatening his life. The Seven Soldiers and Jack Kirby allusions are delightful, making this series feel like Final Crisis again. This issue sort of ties everything together, setting the table for some conclusions occurring in comics this month.

1. Casanova #4

This is the height of these reprints’ powers, this being the combination of Casanova’s rare two-parter. But it’s all here, and it also concludes the first arc. All of the themes and references are in full force, too, all providing a more-than-satisfying conclusion to Casanova’s first album, while simultaneously paving the way for an even better album! Those true fans can notice some major changes in the reprint here,including complete word balloons being cut for effect, as well as God’s inclusion, of course. This is my last Casanova plug for awhile, and the trade’s release has been announced. So, it’s not too late! Buy, buy, buy!!!

-Bruce Castle

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