Written PostJosh’s Favorite Comic Book Series and Graphic Novels of 2019 — Part One!

Josh’s Favorite Comic Book Series and Graphic Novels of 2019 — Part One!

Welcome back! I  hope you enjoyed reading my look back at my favorite TV shows of 2019, and my favorite movies of 2019.  Here now is my list of my favorite comic book series and graphic novels of 2019…!

There were a LOT of great comic books in 2019.  Let’s start with my lengthy list of honorable mentions.

I’ve included Amazon links to all of these books at the bottom of this post.  (Please remember that if you click through to Amazon from any of the links on this site, I’ll get a tiny percentage of the price of any purchase you make on Amazon for the next 24 hours.  You don’t have to purchase the specific item I linked to!  Just use one of my links to get to Amazon, and then purchase whatever you normally would.  This is a big help to me, so thank you!!)  OK, onwards…!

Marvels: Epilogue Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross reunited for this short story set after the events of their brilliant Marvels series (which retold the first several decades of Marvel Comics’ history from the point of view of photographer Phil Sheldon).  This tale adapted the events of Uncanny X-Men #98, and it was a delight seeing the classic X-Men team brought to life by Mr. Ross!

Superman: Year One this three-issue, large-size limited series from DC Comics’ Black Label was a weird new version of Superman’s origin story, written but Frank Miller and illustrated by John Romita Jr.  Those two had previously collaborated on the magnificent Man Without Fear, the definitive Daredevil origin story.  This is not Man Without Fear, not by any stretch of the imagination.  But it’s such an out-there version of Superman that I enjoyed reading it even though my eyebrows were raised throughout.

X-Men: Grand Design — X-Tinction Ed Piskor’s wonderful X-Men: Grand Design issues each take years of continuity from the multi-decade-long history of X-Men comic books and attempt to condense and synthesize those stories into a unified narrative.  The two-issue X-Tinction mini-series brought this grand experiment to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion.  It made this long-time X-Men fan very happy.

Marvel Comics #1000 (and #1001) — this lengthy one-shot special featured a plethora of one-page stories written and illustrated by a variety of different creative teams that looked back at Marvel Comics’ lengthy history while also introducing some new characters and concepts that I expect will feature in future stories.

Ghosted in LA Written by Sina Grace and illustrated by Siobhan Keenan, this tells the story of a young college student, Daphne, who discovers a manor filled with ghosts.  Daphne winds up feeling closer to those ghosts than to the flesh-and-blood people in her life.  I enjoy this strong Jewish protagonist.

Firefly This new comic-book incarnation of Joss Whedon’s beloved, cancelled-way-before-its-time series is a lot of fun.

Justice League Scott Snyder’s run on the title is drawing to a conclusion with the Justice/Doom War.  I’m not sure I ever quite understand what’s going on in this story, but I’m enjoying the ride.

Batman: Last Knight on Earth Speaking of Scott Snyder, I also enjoyed this three-issue, prestige-format mini-series illustrated by Greg Capullo.  The series was a rather more confusing than it needed to be, but I enjoyed the twists and turns.  There have been several previous great “last Batman stories,” but this one stands tall in the pantheon.

Batman: Damned Speaking of great “last Batman stories,” this was another terrific three-issue, large-format mini-series from DC’s “Black Label.”  Batman: Damned was written by Brian Azzarello and gorgeously painted by Lee Bermejo.  The series begins with Batman investigating the events of the Joker’s murder, apparently at his own hands, and it gets weirder from there.  I loved the pairing of Batman and John Constantine, and Mr. Bermejo’s artwork was jaw-droppingly gorgeous.

November Written by Matt Fraction and beautifully illustrated by Elsa Charretier, this graphic novel tells the story of three women whose lives are unexpectedly connected through a series of bad things.  I don’t know what the hell was going on in this story — perhaps that will be clarified in the next two planned volumes? — but I enjoyed the heck out of it nevertheless.

Mark Millar’s series — The prolific Mr. Millar wrote quite a few new series this year, including a second volume of Chrononauts, new series Space Bandits and Sharkey the Bounty Hunter, and an unexpected return to American Jesus. His “Millarworld” shingle also published new stories, written by others, featuring Kick Ass and Hit Girl.  Nothing published this year equals the best of Mr. Millar’s writing, but I nevertheless got a lot of enjoyment from all of these stories!

Faithless Written by Brian Azzarello and illustrated by Maria Llovet, this weird and sexy horror story was a lot of fun. (But beware: risqué content!!)

Trees: Three Fates I was delighted by the return of Warren Ellis and Jason Howards’ wonderful series, Trees, with this new mini-series!  This bizarre and endlessly fascinating sci-fi story brings me a lot of joy.

Batman Universe Brian Michael Bendis has been writing Superman for DC Comics, but he also demonstrated his skill at writing Batman this year, with this six-issue mini-series.  This story took Batman on a wild quest across the DC universe.  It was a great yarn and very funny, and a deep dive into many obscure corners of the DC universe.  Nick Derrington’s spectacular artwork kept me lingering on every page.

Holy cow, that was a lot of great comics, and I haven’t even started my official list yet!  C’mon back tomorrow as I dig into my very favorites…!

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