Comic Book Rankings: 12/12/12-12/19/12

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 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: Batwoman
 No one can hope to match J.H. Williams III’s style and Batwoman as a series benefits greatly whenever he steps up to the plate to draw. Words alone can’t do this series justice as his panel transitions and outside the box thinking are truly revolutionary.
Last Week’s Rank: #4

Rank #5: 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: #5

Rank #6: 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 #17 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: #6

Rank #7: Justice League
Geoff Johns writing the DCnU Big 7? What more could you ask? We just finished experiencing a two-parter drawn by Tony S. Daniel and are set to kickoff the “Throne of Atlantis” crossover with Aquaman.
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: 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: #9

Rank #10: 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 addition of Ed Benes on art and Batgirl and the Joker interacting with one another once again, this book looks poised to climb. Simone was fired from this book and now she is not. Good news indeed and I applaud DC for fixing their mistake.
Last Week’s Rank: #10

Rank #11: 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! This issue climbs a spot due to its’ phenomenal last issue starring the Joker and Damian. It was simply great and if this series can continue with the momentum built here it will be climbing up even higher.
Last Week’s Rank: #12

Rank #12: 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. This series falls a spot due to the awesome issue of Batman & Robin that came out.
Last Week’s Rank: #11

 

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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’m thankful that 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 five issues so far, those five 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. Hawkeye is poised to take the top spot on the chart and that may well happen as soon as Aja returns to art duties.

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: 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. The latest issue that came has been very decisive, but regardless of what side of the fence you are on you have to admit you can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Last Week’s Rank: #4

Rank #5: 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 perfect blend of action and drama with the occasional dark comedy thrown in, solidifies this series’ spot on the chart.
Last Week’s Rank: #5

Rank #6: FF
This series debuts pretty high due to the fantastic quality of the first issue. The better of the two Fantastic Four related books by far.
Last Week’s Rank: #6

Rank #7: Iron Man
So far it seems to be a suitable successor to Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man in its’ young life. The reason? Kieron Gillen has delivered memorable dialogue and an interesting story with every issue released. The latest issue was more of the same quality work, hence the climb.
Last Week’s Rank: #8

Rank #8: 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? X-Factor continues to slide down the chart and falls victim to Iron Man this week.
Last Week’s Rank: #7

Rank #9: All-New X-Men
  Bendis’ foray into the X-Men universe has been nothing but exceptional. I love the premise and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for it.
Last Week’s Rank: #9

Rank #10: Deadpool
The new direction of this series is a breath of fresh air and it’s doing its’ best to remove the sour taste from my mouth that the previous volume left there. Thank you Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, Deadpool’s new dynamic duo in the writing area.
Last Week’s Rank: #10

 Rank #11: Fantastic Four
Fraction’s era on Fantastic Four has begun and it keeps the same general feel and dynamic of Hickman’s run. That’s a real good thing if you were wondering.
Last Week’s Rank: #11

Rank #12: Indestructible Hulk
Waid has done it again! Just like with Daredevil, I’ve never been a fan of the Hulk but if the first issue is anything like the rest to come I’m sure to be swayed. I wasn’t even going to pick this up but after a recommendation from my LCS I picked it up and I’m sure glad I did.
Last Week’s Rank: #12

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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: 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. Get ready to hear this a lot: with Atomic Robo ending, this series climbs up a spot.
Last Week’s Rank: #5

Rank #5: 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. With Atomic Robo ending, this series climbs up a spot.
Last Week’s Rank: #6

Rank #6: Mudman
Another instance where the wait between issues is too long, Paul Grist sure delivers when they do come out. With Atomic Robo ending, this series climbs up a spot.
Last Week’s Rank: #7

Rank #7: Idolized
Aspen’s first foray into superheroes brings us a mix of American Idol and superpowers. Idolized has certainly exceeded my expectations with every issue that has come out so far. With Atomic Robo ending, this series climbs up a spot.
Last Week’s Rank: #8

Rank #8: 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 last arc involving a rival organization of Ghostbusters called the Ghost Smashers has breathed new life into this series just before it looks to be rebooted. With Atomic Robo ending, this series climbs up a spot.
Last Week’s Rank: #9

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. With Atomic Robo ending, this series climbs up a spot.
Last Week’s Rank: #10

Rank #10: Masks
The Shadow. Green Hornet and Kato. Zorro. The Spider. Alex Ross on art. Need I say more of why this series is here? With Atomic Robo ending, this series climbs up a spot.
Last Week’s Rank: #11

Rank #11: 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. And one last time: with Atomic Robo ending, this series climbs up a spot.
Last Week’s Rank: #12

Rank #12: Doctor Who
Doctor Who returns to the Rankings on the back of the excellent last issue by Seifert and Philip Bond. This is the type of issue that is worthy of putting the Doctor Who name on it and the good news is that it is only Part 1. Here’s to more of the same!
Last Week’s Rank: N/A

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

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6 thoughts on “Comic Book Rankings: 12/12/12-12/19/12

    • I could scarcely believe my eyes. Instead of the world ending on 12/21/12 we got the return of Simone. Did not see this happening but I’m glad DC saw the error of their ways. Now maybe if they throw another book her way as an apology I will be even happier!

      • I strongly believe that the Internet has the power to radically change the fate of the series the bloggers and commentors talk about, and this is a perfect example. Green Arrow getting a good writer after months of complaints by his fans is another good example. Thank you for your reply! : )

        • “I strongly believe that the Internet has the power to radically change the fate of the series the bloggers and commentors talk about, and this is a perfect example.”
          I could only imagine how many fans told their shops to cancel their orders of Batgirl after hearing the news. It was a strange turn of circumstances but I’m glad it worked out for Gail Simone. DC dodged a massive bullet here.

          “Green Arrow getting a good writer after months of complaints by his fans is another good example.”
          That was only compounded with the fact that the TV show has been doing terrific numbers for them and when the viewers decided to try out the comic they were met with an inferior product. DC learned that in order to capitalize on this renewed focus on the character they had to step up their game.

          • “DC learned that in order to capitalize on this renewed focus on the character they had to step up their game.” You’re right. The problem is, I’m afraid they put Lemire on Green Arrow too late.

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