Best of 2016- Comic Books

Best of 2016- Comic Books

best-of-2016-comicsAnimosity, Love: The Lion,  Black Hammer and more round out the Top 5 Comic Books of 2016

By Nolan P. Smith

2016 is now just a memory, but for the comic book world, it holds plenty of great books to enjoy. The year saw DC take control of the market with Rebirth, Marvel went to war with Civil War II, but that was just the beginning. For this year’s choice for our Top 5 comic books of 2016, we look outside of Marvel and DC and find some books that amazed and inspired us. Here’s our choices for the best of 2016:

britannia_004_cover-b_gorham-640x984Britannia (Valiant Entertainment)

Valiant knows how to tell a story, and this past year was no different. With quite a few contenders for Best of 2016, including Divinity II and 4001 A.D., I had to go with the story of the first detective in Britannia. Written by Peter Milligan with art by the hyper detailed Juan Jose Ryp, Britannia was a four-issue series that told an amazing, complete story. The hero of the book is Antonius Axia, a Roman soldier turned detectioner: having the ability to spot clues, motives, and more and tie them to a resolution. We saw Axia fight nightmarish monsters to heavily armed men, and by the end of the series, I felt satisfied with outcome, and await the hero’s return hopefully in 2017.

reborn-01_cvr-2Reborn (Image Comics)

Huck wrapped up in 2016, but Millarworld still had some amazing books to show for the year. After reading the first issue of Image Comic’s Reborn, I was instantly hooked. Mark Millar and Greg Capullo crafted an excellent start to the series that begs to answer the question: where do we go after death? Heroine Bonnie ends up in a fantastical land upon her death, reunited with her father and the family dog. But she is also faced with more questions and threats, more so than she could imagine. Only three issues deep so far, Reborn is one of the most memorable books for me this year.

love-the-lion-1-600x897Love: The Lion (Magnetic Press)

If you haven’t read an entry from the Love series of graphic novels, brought to readers by Magnetic Press, then you are really missing out. The all-silent graphic novels tell fantastic stories with specific wildlife with zero dialogue or text. This year saw the release of Love: The Lion, which continued the series’ standard of excellence. The different interactions with the various wildlife is always great to see, and with the Lion, we get more of this pure form of sequential art storytelling. This felt like a real life lion adventure, but don’t expect a Disney happy ending there. We look forward to next year’s Love: The Dinosaur, which is bound to be spectacular as well.

12-7-2016-20Animosity (AfterShock Comics)

What if animals could talk? That’s the question that is answered in AfterShock’s Animosity. But this isn’t a friendly romp with talking pets: oh no, this is a blood thirsty survival trip in a land where you are food to pretty much everything around you. Marguerite Bennett and Rafael de Latorre create something very special here. Young girl Jessie and her trusty canine companion Sandor are two against a very dangerous world, and see death and destruction on their path across the land. The artwork here is top notch, and the story will tug at your heartstrings. This is not only the best book AfterShock released this year, its one of the best across the board.

black-hammer01varlemire-607x934Black Hammer (Dark Horse Comics)

Take the world’s greatest heroes and leave them stranded in a small town that they cannot escape, and see how they survive: that’s the premise of Dark Horse’s Black Hammer. From Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston, we get a very grounded look at superheroes trying to adapt to slow, everyday living. From Abraham Slam, who is flourishing in such a setting, to Golden Gail, who is trapped in more prisons than the simple town, the mystery haunts each and every member. How did this happen? Why? What’s going on in the world outside their town? Lemire and Ormston craft a very different superhero book with Black Hammer, one that absolutely should not be missed.