The Best Comics Of 2018

The Best Comics Of 2018
Image: Marvel Comics, Boom Studios, Black Mask Studios, and DC Comics

As the dust settles on both the year that was and our piles of comic books, it’s time to take stock of the series we’ve loved the most this year. From sci-fi epics to mindbending superheroism, these are our 10 favourite series we read in 2018.

ImageThe Hulk is a truly frightening creature in his latest solo series. (Image: Joe Bennett, Ruy José, and Paul Mounts, Marvel Comics)

The Immortal Hulk (Marvel Comics)

Al Ewing’s horror-tinged take on the Incredible Hulk is one of the biggest surprises of the year. Coming off the back of what’s been a very weird time for Bruce Banner (what with him being killed off a couple years ago), The Immortal Hulk not only deftly utilises that springboard to tell a haunting tale of dominance and fear, but tie the gamma-radiated characters of the Marvel Universe together in some remarkably dark ways.

The Hulk has always worked best as an unpredictable anti-hero, one that is guided by a sense of justice that’s not quite in line with his frequent allies. The Immortal Hulk extrapolates that in fantastic ways, as the battle for control between Bruce and the Hulk within plays out in a manner far more disturbing than we’ve seen in years.

Creative Team: Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, Ruy José, Paul Mounts, and Cory Petit

ImageEsperanza getting herself psyched up to do some death magic. (Image: Becca Farrow, Harry Saxon, Black Mask Studios)

Sex Death Revolution (Black Mask Studios)

It was, overall, a banner year for stories about witches and their magical crafts—but the thing that really made Magdalene Visaggio, Becca Farrow, and Harry Saxon’s Sex Death Revolution stand out was the thoughtful, novel approach the series had to its conceptualization of the supernatural. As much as the series was about the transformative power of self-actualization, Sex Death Revolution also took the time carefully build out the rules and logic of its world’s take on magic in a way that made it feel real and concrete.

Where so many magical stories treat magic as a somewhat dead, codified sort of science, Sex Death Revolution envisioned it as something living, dynamic, and in the constant process of being rethought and innovated upon.

Small as a detail like that might seem, it makes Sex Death Revolution and its plot about having agency over the arc of one’s life and one’s place in the world that much more significant. All of the comic’s characters are intimately aware of how much your life can change if the will to enact said change is strong enough.

Creative Team: Magdalene Visaggio, Becca Farrow, and Harry Saxon

ImageThe Moth and the Whisper. (Image: Jen Hickman, Aftershock Comics)

Moth & Whisper (Aftershock Comics)

There are nowhere near enough comics featuring queer, gender-nonconforming characters as their central heroes, and Aftershock Comics’ Moth & Whisper makes clear just how much we’ve been missing out. Oftentimes, when people think of comics centered on queer characters, they mistakenly assume that the stories are solely focused on things like coming out or relationship issues. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with comics like that (they’re actually quite important), but Moth & Whisper demonstrates just how much more there is to queer storytelling—and the ways in which a character who isn’t a cisgendered straight person can make a story infinitely more novel and fascinating, when approached with the right sort of creative vision and care.

Creative Team: Ted Anderson and Jen Hickman

ImageT’Challa and his fellow Wakanda warriors. (Image: Daniel Acuña, Marvel)

Black Panther (Marvel Comics)

It’s normal for comics publishers to give characters an elevated profile in their books following the release of a live-action adaptation of their source material, but it’s rare that a comic continues to push the narrative envelope in the way that Ta-Nehisi Coates’ current Black Panther run does. After years of being a story about one of the most fascinating, dynamic characters in Marvel’s comics, Black Panther finally nudged T’Challa and the kingdom of Wakanda into a new direction. It felt at once like the most logical thing in the world, and also like something bold, unexpected, and refreshing.

The Wakandans have always represented humanity’s greatest potential for technological excellence, and after years of being primarily Earth-bound, the nation finally made it into the far reaches of deep space. It’s a decidedly futuristic take on a cast of characters who’ve always been defined by the power of their technological brilliance, but it also feels very much like the beginning of a new chapter in Black Panther’s larger mythos that’s years overdue and sure to develop into even more dazzling stories going forward.

Creative Team: Ta-Nehisi Coates and Daniel Acuña

ImageSnagglepuss watching a rehearsal of one of his plays. (Image: Mike Feehan, Sean Parsons, Paul Mounts, DC Comics)

Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles (DC Comics)

DC’s The Snagglepuss Chronicles can be somewhat difficult to describe to people because of how out of left field its plot seems at first. A comic about a gay, anthropomorphic mountain lion fighting against the evils of McCarthyism just as he’s trying to get a new show off the ground doesn’t exactly sound like something you’d expect from a mainstream publisher. And yet, as you give into the conceit of the comic, it makes absolutely perfect sense—and it really fells like the Snagglepuss story that was always meant to be understood as being a core part of the character’s identity.

Creative Team: Mark Russell, Mike Feehan, Sean Parsons, and Paul Mounts

But Coda also shines as one of the most visually inventive and gorgeous-looking comics on shelves, with Matias Bergara’s painterly artwork delivering some of the biggest, most lush vistas you could possibly imagine in a fantasy comic that’s a little bit Lord of the Rings, a little bit Mad Max, and a little bit glam rock. It’s rare to find such a surprising combination of genre-subverting writing and expectation-subverting art, but Coda is a creative match made in heaven.

Creative Team: Simon Spurrier, Matias Bergara, Michael Doig, Jim Campbell, and Colin Bell

ImageStorm defending Wakanda. (Image: Mahmud Asrar, Ive Svorcina, Marvel)

X-Men: Red (Marvel Comics)

After years of languishing in Marvel’s comics, the X-Men really recharged this year, between Jean Grey’s epic return from the dead and the original five X-Men reconvening in their proper time. As all of that was happening, though, Marvel’s X-titles really struggled to find a specific voice and vision that felt designed with a contemporary audience in mind.

With X-Men: Red, however, that all changed. Not only did the book finally put Jean in charge of a proper flagship X-Team, it also gave its mutant heroes a villain whose drive and goals embodied the kind of evil that Charles Xavier’s students have always sworn to defend the world against. In doing so, X-Men: Red reminded us that the true insidiousness of racism lies in the fact that it’s purely senseless, misguided hatred—and when left unchecked, it can become a destructive force capable of irreparably harming society.

X-Men: Red was a story that brought out the very best in its characters, and served as a timely reminder of why Marvel’s mutants will always be some of the publisher’s best when it comes to telling human stories about what it means to live in a world that doesn’t understand you.

Creative Team: Tom Taylor, Mahmud Asrar, and Ive Svorcina


  • I’ll give you Imortal Hulk, the rest I’ve either not read or they just weren’t very good. Honestly X-Men Red wasn’t very good. the same song and dance we’ve seen 1000 times and ending involving a good guy resorting to rewiring someones brain for wrong think. a story where deleting comments on forums is considered a heroic act. It just wasn’t anything new and done much more poorly than it’s predescesors.

    Better comics would include Green Lanterns which this year has been a blast. it’s been really fun. I’d also say Green Arrow and Aquaman have been particularly good this year.

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