I read 20 comics in November, and these were the best.
5. Batman/Catwoman: Follow the Money
What’s up with DC screwing over the legends? First Wrightson’s long lost Batman last month, and then Chaykin’s not-so-long-but-still-awhile lost Batman this month. At least they’re getting to see the light of day. This special was supposed to be two issues of Brave and the Bold, but it’s been combined and released and it makes for one hell of an entertaining read. Chaykin’s having a lot of fun here, writing about Batman, Catwoman, and that dastardly Cavalier. Chaykin tells an amusing enough story, with the Cavalier being a good joke himself, and some wonderful dueling narrations between Bruce and Selina. But Chaykin’s art is the star, of course. He employs a brilliant repeated layout technique, which helps add melody to a story that involves quite a bit of melody. It’s unfortunate that this should come out in the same month as Batman Inc. Otherwise, this would be the best Batman/Catwoman story in years.
4. Detective Comics #871
You can find my full thoughts here. After reading only one issue, you can tell that Scott Snyder and Francesco Francavilla are going to go far in this business. Those cats have talent.
3. Secret Warriors #22
To accuse Jonathan Hickman of sacrificing character development to service his ideas is a valid criticism. However, those who make such accusations really should read Secret Warriors. This issue succeeds almost entirely because of Hickman’s character development. If you’ve been along for the whole ride, it’d be nearly impossible not to have a strong emotional response here. This concludes “Night”, an arc where all the proverbial chickens came home to roost. The only unfortunate business here are Hickman’s collaborators. Vitti isn’t bad at all, but this isn’t his best work. He came in to do this and half of the previous issue at the last minute, so he’s rushed. On top of that, the book is being colored by a John Doe at a studio. Both Caselli and Gho have moved onto greener pastures, and that’s unfortunate, especially since the book’s finale is imminent. So, Marvel may’ve abandoned Secret Warriors, but Hickman sure as hell hasn’t.
2. Deadpool MAX #2
This is the best that Deadpool can be. Sure, it’s a bit juvenile and hollow, but if it wasn’t, that’d be an injustice to its protagonist. Lapham and Baker bring their best to the table. You may not find all the depth and innovation of Young Liars, but you can sure find its wit, creativity, and spirit. Baker’s the genius that he always is, pioneering a new style for this particular project. Hell, this particular issue. He gives the flashback scenes specific treatment, and all of the romance in this issue definitely sings a different artistic tune than the last one. And, perhaps most importantly, this Deadpool comic is genuinely hilarious.
1. Batman Inc. #1
Why yes, Selina’s ass is an All Star Batman and Robin reference. I doubt it’ll cause half the stir, but it’s a testament to Morrison’s playful nature in this issue, and perhaps the entire series. Truly, November was the month for Morrison’s Batman. Everything culminated and began anew. Each issue is deserving of a spot on this list, except perhaps Finch’s, but Inc. is certainly my favorite of the four. It feels as fresh and new as Batman and Robin #1, and it’s about as pretty to boot. What it beats Batman and Robin #1 in is density. This comic feels so layered and complete. Hopefully, this is the start of the finest chapter in Morrison’s epic.
Nice list, Castle. I’ll be reading Snyder’s Detective run and Morrison’s Batman, Inc. in trade, but I had to buy the first issue of each just to see how it looks.
And they look pretty good.