Comic Book Rankings: 12/19/12-12/24/12

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 is yet another success to add to the pile of accomplishments. 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: 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. Batman Incorporated rises due to my dissatisfaction with the last issue of Batwoman and the momentum that this book is building as it journeys to its’ conclusion.
Last Week’s Rank: #5

Rank #5: 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. No J.H. Williams III on art and a story that was basically filler interrupting the epic team-up that was taking place causes this series to fall down a slot.
Last Week’s Rank: #4

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 last arc which finally introduced Batman to the Smallville universe was 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.
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!
Last Week’s Rank: #11

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.
Last Week’s Rank: #12

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Rank #1: Hawkeye
Let’s do some math: Matt Fraction + David Aja = Must Buy. Though there has been only six issues so far, those six 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. There’s a new number one title in town and that is Hawkeye. The combination of Aja returning to art and a far more interesting last few issues has earned this book the crown. The two series may be trading it back and forth the next couple of months depending on the content but a healthy competition is welcomed.
Last Week’s Rank: #2

Rank #2: 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 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. This book falls down to second place for the first time since the Rankings debuted. The reason? Hawkeye is proving to be its’ superior compared to the less than stellar “Circus” arc currently going on in this title. Will it rebound? Only time will tell the answer.

Last Week’s Rank: #1

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: Uncanny X-Force
Rick Remender has brought this series to a close. It was the perfect blend of action and drama with the occasional dark comedy thrown in which, with combined with his Venom run, really made me a fan of his. The final issue succeeded in tying up all the loose threads and set everyone up for the reboot. Will it be as good as this series? They’ll be hard-pressed to try. Regardless, on the back of the finale and for its’ last week on the chart, this series moves up a slot.
Last Week’s Rank: #5

Rank #5: FF
With the second issue coming out, this series has established itself as not only the better of the two Fantastic Four related books but also as one fantastic Marvel produced series overall. It earns this spot regardless of its’ young life and, if the first two issues are any example of what we can expect going forward, it is poised to climb even higher.
Last Week’s Rank: #6

Rank #6: 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. This book falls down two slots because it is simply being eclipsed by two superior series. And no, when I wrote that last line I didn’t intend for the pun.

Last Week’s Rank: #4

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.
Last Week’s Rank: #7

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?
Last Week’s Rank: #8

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

 Rank #12: Avengers
Hickman’s Avengers cracks the Rankings chart with the release of its’ second issue. This series looks to take what worked on his Fantastic Four run (great characterization, captivating storylines, and outside-the-box thinking) and take it to an even greater level. That is manages to knock off Fraction’s Fantastic Four from its’ spot on the Rankings speaks volumes on Hickman’s writing prowess.
Last Week’s Rank: N/A

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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.
Last Week’s Rank: #4

Rank #5: 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. This series climbs up two spots thanks to the quality of last issue and the fact that its’ former higher ranking competitors can’t seem to release their next issues.
Last Week’s Rank: #7

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. Danger Club falls a spot due to the quality of Idolized and it not having an issue come out in over two months.
Last Week’s Rank: #5

Rank #7: 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. This series climbs a spot not because an issue came out but due to Mudman never releasing one.
Last Week’s Rank: #8

Rank #8: Mudman
Another instance where the wait between issues is too long, Paul Grist sure delivers when they do come out. It’s been 4 months since the last one came out causing me to drop this series two spots down.
Last Week’s Rank: #6

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.
Last Week’s Rank: #9

Rank #10: 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. Masks was disappointing enabling this series to climb up a rank.
Last Week’s Rank: #11

Rank #11: Masks
The Shadow. Green Hornet and Kato. Zorro. The Spider. Need I say more of why this series is here? This series drops a spot due to the departure of Alex Ross from art duties, a very serious blow indeed and one it will have trouble recovering from.
Last Week’s Rank: #10

Rank #12: Doctor Who
 Doctor Who takes the last spot 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: #12

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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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2 thoughts on “Comic Book Rankings: 12/19/12-12/24/12

  1. I’m a follower of the tag “comics”. This means that, each time a post tagged “comics” is published on a WordPress blog, I know it. That’s how I discovered your blog, by the way.
    Being a follower of such a generic tag, of course I bump into a lot of posts every day (even if it’s a smaller number than you could think). Some of them are reviews of an issue or a trade, some others are about cosplay.
    Why am I telling you all this? Because I noticed that, when a girl chooses a character for a cosplay, sooner or later she picks Zatanna. She’s by far the most popular comic book character among female cosplayers. I’m sure that a solo series of Zatanna would be a hit. But I’m going off the point. The question is: why is she so popular among cosplayers, in your opinion?

    • “I’m sure that a solo series of Zatanna would be a hit.”
      Her last one with Paul Dini was excellent!

      “The question is: why is she so popular among cosplayers, in your opinion?”
      One: she’s a smart, strong, sexy character. Two: her outfit isn’t overly complex to replicate and could be done quite easily. That’s what I think at least…

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