Comic Book Rankings 10/31/12-11/07/12

Welcome all to my weekly ranking system! I’ve broken the comics into three groups (DC, Marvel, & Independent). Only comics that I purchase are included in the rankings. I’ll provide an explanation for each comic’s ranking (updates in blue) and highlight the movers and shakers on the list in green (moved up) and red (moved down).

Rank #1: Batman
 Ever since his run on Detective Comics (pre-DCnU), Scott Snyder has been hitting a home run. Since switching over to Batman (DCnU), Snyder has delivered such fantastic concepts as the Court of Owls and Harper Row. The epic “Death of the Family” arc has just started but looks to be another sure-fire success. The man in charge of DC’s most successful franchise deserves his spot atop the pile and if I did an overall comics ranking this would be #1 on that list as well.
Last Week’s Rank: #1

Rank #2: Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman has increased in quality since the DCnU was born. The reason: Brain Azzarello and Cliff Chiang. The story is engaging, the art is fantastic. I look forward to each issue this duo provides and enjoy her portrayal in her solo series much better than in Justice League. My main complaint: why isn’t Azzarello writing more DC comics?
Last Week’s Rank: #2

Rank #3: The Flash
Francis Manapul. Isn’t that really all I need to say? His art is amazing. I read each issue twice: once for the story and then again to stare again at his gorgeous art. He, along with Brian Buccellato, have held their own after Geoff Johns left Barry Allen in their capable hands. Flash Fact: This series is awesome!
Last Week’s Rank: #3

Rank #4: Justice League
Geoff Johns writing the DCnU Big 7? What more could you ask? Right now we are experiencing a two-parter drawn by Tony S. Daniel before we kickoff the “Throne of Atlantis” crossover with Aquaman. The future looks bright indeed.

Last Week’s Rank: #4

Rank #5: Batwoman
Issue #13 was simply a masterpiece with mind-blowing art by J.H. Williams III. No one can hope to match his style and Batwoman as a series benefits greatly whenever he steps up to the plate to draw.

Last Week’s Rank: #5

Rank #6: Batman Incorporated
Grant Morrison ending his run on Batman is sad to think of. Though sometimes hard to follow, he nonetheless delivers a quality story each time he steps up to the plate and will sorely be missed.
Last Week’s Rank: #6

Rank #7: Action Comics
If you only read one Superman family title, this is it. Grant Morrison has done wonders for the character and I dread Issue #16 when he is leaving. You can always count on him delivering high concepts and quality writing. I sure wouldn’t want to follow him.

  Last Week’s Rank: #7

 Rank #8: Green Lantern
  Geoff Johns’ run on Green Lantern (pre-DCnU and post) has been legendary. He has brought the character into the limelight setting him up to be mentioned in the same sentence as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. His current arc revolves around the new lantern Baz. So far I’m not feeling the love for this new character, but maybe he’ll grow on me like Guy Gardner has.
Last Week’s Rank: #8

Rank #9: Batman and Robin
Batman and Robin has thrived because of the portrayal of Damian Wayne. In fact I wish they’d just drop Batman from the main title and just make this a solo Robin title. Listen up DC!
Last Week’s Rank: #9

Rank #10: Smallville Season 11
Bryan Q. Miller wowed me on his pre-DCnU run of Batgirl. He continues to wow me with the best Superman related book not named Action Comics. The first arc introducing the “Cyborg Superman” was a solid start but his latest arc finally introducing Batman to the Smallville universe is even better. The dialogue pops off the page and he has certainly demonstrated that he truly “gets” the essence of these characters. It’s like watching a brand new episode of Smallville but in comic book form.
Last Week’s Rank: 10

Rank #11: Animal Man
I had never read an issue of Animal Man before the DCnU. I decided to take a chance when I heard Jeff Lemire was writing it as I was a big fan of his Superboy run. I glad I took that risk. The family dynamic, the twisted visuals, and a thrill-a-minute ride was what I was met with. Now we’ve entered into Rotworld and the sky’s the limit for this book’s potential.

Last Week’s Rank: 11

Rank #12: Batgirl
 I was at a loss for words when Bryan Q. Miller’s Batgirl run was over and Stephanie Brown was sidelined in the DCnU but Gail Simone’s run is finally coming together, slightly lessening the blow. With the recent addition of Ed Benes on art and the upcoming confrontation with the Joker, this is one to watch.

  Last Week’s Rank: 12


Rank #1: Wolverine & the X-Men
Since its’ inception, this series has been consistently Marvel’s best month to month. Jason Aaron is doing a bang up job with his portrayal of the students and has been teamed-up with excellent artists. His arcs are always interesting (even making AVX seem good) and I can’t wait for the second year to start especially after that shocking conclusion in the last issue. Thank god Marvel didn’t feel the need to send this back to #1 for Marvel NOW with a new writer to boot.

Last Week’s Rank: #1

Rank #2: Hawkeye
Let’s do some math: Matt Fraction + David Aja = Must Buy. Though there has been only three issues so far, those three issues were simply phenomenal. Every time you open an issue you know you’re in store for both a visual pleasing and beautifully written chapter in the life that is Clint Barton.

Last Week’s Rank: #2

Rank #3: Daredevil
If you want to talk about consistency then look no further than Mark Waid’s Daredevil. I had never been into Daredevil until Waid came along but he has me for as long as he stays.
Last Week’s Rank: #3

Rank #4: Avengers Academy
Thank you Christos Gage! The last issue involving a flag football game between Avengers Academy and the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning was another home run issue. Only one issue remains of this awesome series and that makes me terribly sad. Hopefully whoever handles these characters next shows the same love and support that Mr. Gage has shown them. I salute you!
Last Week’s Rank: #4

Rank #5: Amazing Spider-Man
No matter the artist, Dan Slott delivers the goods. The series is ramping up for its’ conclusion at #700 which has promised to be a whopper. Also Spider-Man is my favourite Marvel hero. Just thought you should know.
Last Week’s Rank: #5

Rank #6: Uncanny X-Force
Rick Remender is bringing this series to a close. I don’t know if I’ll follow the new one that emerges or not. Regardless this is the series that made me a fan of his and I can’t wait to see how he finishes it. The latest issue was a master lesson in how to write Deadpool that put his solo title to shame. The perfect blend of action and drama with the occasional dark comedy thrown in, solidifies this series’ spot on the chart. This series climbs up a notch due to FF ending and it subsequently being removed from the rankings.
Last Week’s Rank: #7

Rank #7: X-Factor
Peter David is forever linked with X-Factor. You can always count on quality stories from him. Why aren’t more people reading this? This series climbs up two notches due to both FF and Invincible Iron Man ending and them subsequently being removed from the rankings.
Last Week’s Rank: #9

Rank #8: X-Men: Legacy
Sometimes overlooked and lost in the shuffle, I’ve been a fan of X-Men: Legacy even before Christos Gage took over. This Rogue-centric title is yet another series being rebooted due to Marvel NOW!, a reboot that I will definitely not be following (Legion does not interest me one bit). This series also climbs up two notches due to both FF and Invincible Iron Man ending and them subsequently being removed from the rankings. With the last issue coming out this will be this series’ last week on the rankings.
Last Week’s Rank: 10

Rank #9: New Avengers
After having Avengers and New Avengers tied last week, I’ve made the decision to rank New Avengers as the better of the two. The reason? The storyline running in New Avengers is more captivating and the dialogue seemed crisper with more standout moments contained within.
Last Week’s Rank: 12

Rank #10: Avengers
Bendis’ swan song on this title reunites us with a classic Avengers character. Now I won’t spoil who it is but let’s just say it was overdue. He’s putting the “toys” back in the chest where he found them before passing them off to the next writer. 
Last Week’s Rank: 12

Rank #11: Uncanny Avengers
So many series coming to a close has opened the door for Remender’s Uncanny Avengers to debut on the chart. It’s still too early to tell but if this series is anything like Uncanny X-Force it should be a winner.

Last Week’s Rank: N/A

Rank #12: Dark Avengers
What really should have remained as Thunderbolts is about to undergo a drastic change in cast with all the “Thunderbolts” taking leave and completing the book’s true transformation into Dark Avengers. When that takes place I am out of here but there’s still one last issue by Jeff Parker to give these characters we love a fond farewell. Who know’s where we’ll see them next?
Last Week’s Rank: N/A


Independent Comics

Rank #1: Morning Glories
Just as one question is answered another pops up as Nick Spencer has created the comic book equivalent of Lost. Been a fan since the first issue and can’t wait to see how it all turns out. Definitely keeps you guessing!
Last Week’s Rank: #1

Rank #2: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
IDW’s reboot of TMNT has been nothing short of brilliant. Dan Duncan leaving as artist was a serious roadblock but they managed to overcome it without missing a step. Cowabunga!
Last Week’s Rank: #2

Rank #3: Mind The Gap
Jim McCann’s Mind The Gap has been an engrossing mystery from the first page. “Everyone is a suspect. No one is innocent!”
Last Week’s Rank: #3

Rank #4: Atomic Robo and the Flying She-Devils of the Pacific
Atomic Robo is awesome! Brian Clevinger is awesome! Scott Wegener is awesome! So go out and buy this series. Then when you’ve done that go out and buy all the previous volumes.
Last Week’s Rank: #4

Rank #5: Angel & Faith
With Avengers Academy ending, I can at least still get my Christos Gage fix with this title. Hands down it is the best of the “Buffyverse” books that Dark Horse is producing.
Last Week’s Rank: #5

Rank #6: Danger Club
Walker and Jones have teamed-up to create a fascinating take on teen heroes. My only complaint: it doesn’t come out often enough.
Last Week’s Rank: #6

Rank #7: Mudman
Another instance where the wait between issues is too long, Paul Grist sure delivers when they do come out.
Last Week’s Rank: #7

Rank #8: Idolized
Aspen’s first foray into superheroes brings us a mix of American Idol and superpowers. Idolized exceeds my expectations with every issue and it delivered another excellent issue to catapult it past two series that are stalling in my opinion. 
Last Week’s Rank: #10

Rank #9: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 9
Buffy has had its’ ups and downs this season. Some questionable decisions are still overcome by these iconic characters Whedon has created but overall the stakes feel too low in my opinion. The prospect of more “Billy the Vampire Slayer” doesn’t have me excited.

Last Week’s Rank: #8

Rank #10: Ghostbusters
I love Dan Schoening’s art ever since he posted his take of the Sinestro Corps on Deviant Art. I’d follow him no matter where he goes and his art is the perfect fit for this series. The current arc involving a rival organization of Ghostbusters called the Ghost Smashers is breathing new life into this series and giving it a second life after the aimless “Road Trip” arc.
Last Week’s Rank: 11

Rank #11 :The Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom
Interestingly not enjoying it as much as I did the previous two volumes of Rocketeer Adventures. I don’t know what it is but this series has been a disappointment for me while other comics deliver the goods. I’ve seen others give it really high reviews but except for a few parts it’s done nothing for me hence the drop. 
Last Week’s Rank: #9

Rank #12: Green Hornet
For a series that I was on the verge of dropping, Jai Nitz’s new direction has impressed me and made me glad I gave this series one last chance. I don’t know if he is going to continue on or end his run once Waid’s Green Hornet comes out but I’ll enjoy it while I can.
Last Week’s Rank: N/A


Did your favourites make the list? Agree/Disagree with their placements? Feel I should be reading a particular series? Comment below!

4 thoughts on “Comic Book Rankings 10/31/12-11/07/12

  1. At present, Snyder is probably the most acclaimed living comic book writer. Well, I’m sure this won’t spare him the trouble of getting death threats too, if he kills a character in the Death of the Family story arc, no matter which one Snyder chose.
    I recently had a long conversation about comic book characters getting killed or discarded. I’ll make a copy and paste of the most interesting parts:

    Blogger: Sometimes it bothers me that comic book universes are always a game of addition and never a game of subtraction. The very second you strip something away (from either Marvel or DC), the questions is always “when is ______ coming back?”

    Me: In my opinion, it depends on the fact that each character, even the most hateful one, or the less known one, has a fan base, so, each time one of them gets discarded, there will always be someone waiting (and asking) for his return. For example, it is clear that most readers don’t give a damn about Blue Beetle and Grifter, or their solo series would have gone on, but I wholeheartedly love them.

    Blogger: Yeah, but this also speaks to the weird expectation of infinite content. I’m not asking when Cheers is coming back or when LOST is coming back (AND FUCK ANYONE CONSIDERING BRINGING THEM BACK). I care deeply about those characters and their worlds, but nothing’s stopping me from revisiting their adventures.

    What do you think about it?

    • “Well, I’m sure this won’t spare him the trouble of getting death threats too, if he kills a character in the Death of the Family story arc, no matter which one Snyder chose.”
      Not Damian, not Damian, not Damian…

      “What do you think about it?”
      If you are going to kill a character make it mean something. If it adds nothing to the overall mythos or has little lasting impact forget about it. Death for death sake is pointless. Look at Marvel who has gone a little kill crazy these last few years, even having the same characters they killed come back 1-2 years later. Avengers Arena is shaping up to be more of the same needless killing. “Look we have all these great young characters. What do we do with them?” “Put them in team book? Bring back Runaways? Cross-pollinate them over our other books?” “No. We kill them!” “Sounds great to me!” Hopefully that series turns out to be one giant video game and not real life…

      “In my opinion, it depends on the fact that each character, even the most hateful one, or the less known one, has a fan base, so, each time one of them gets discarded, there will always be someone waiting (and asking) for his return.”
      Truer words were never spoken. There’s people out there that probably even like Vibe…

      • “Not Damian, not Damian, not Damian…” Now that you make me think about it, it would make a lot of sense. If I understood the reviews I read properly, Joker wants Bruce to suffer as much as possible: well, then killing his only son would be much more painful than killing a character Bruce barely cares now, like Nightwing or, most of all, Red Hood. But then what DC would do with “Batman and Robin”? No, I don’t think Damian will be the one.
        “There’s people out there that probably even like Vibe…” Hahaha! I’m sure there are! Thank you for your replies! : )

        • “No, I don’t think Damian will be the one.”
          I hope you’re right, though I’ll still fear for his safety until Morrison completes his Batman, Inc. run as well. I simply love his character!

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