2020 has been a very different year for everyone due to the Covid-19 worldwide pandemic. With a shortage of new TV and Movie content I found myself reading more and more comics each week and I would even go as far to say I believe I have read more comics in 2020 than any other year in my life.
During my comics exploration in 2020 I also reached out further a field from the big names like DC and Marvel and read series from Vault, Image, IDW, Dark Horse, Valiant, 2000AD, ONI, TKO and backed a number of independent Kickstarter campaigns so without further ado I present my top 10 comics from 2020.
10. Black Widow from Marvel Comics
Writer: Kelly Thompson Artist: Elana Casagrande
I was drawn to this series as a filler for the delayed movie and found an incredibly fresh take on our favourite Russian spy. Four issues in and I’m hooked on a clever story of espionage, mystery and action while building more anticipation for the movie.
Why read this? First of all it’s written by Kelly Thompson who in my opinion wrote the definitive run on Captain Marvel and once again is potentially crafting what people may call the definitive run on Black Widow. It’s a good spy story set in the world of Marvel but not reliant on super powers, so its familiar enough to people who enjoy the Marvel movies but more grounded in realism.
9. Detective Comics from DC Comics
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi Artist: Various including Kenneth Rocafort, Bilquis Evely, Brad Walker, Sumit Kumar
This has been easily the most consistent long running comic book series this year. Securing Peter J. Tomasi to write the series all year is a huge reason behind its success. The Joker War event and the return of villains like Two Face and Killer Croc made 2020 a solid year for the Dark Knight. Issue 1027 making it 1000 issues including Batman was a spectacular anniversary issue also.
Why read this? Its Batman, need I say more? Ok if you want a little more, its Batman at his best, solving mysteries, catching bad guys while looking awesome.
8. Star Wars: Bounty Hunters from Marvel Comics
Writer: Ethan Sacks Artist: Paolo Villanelli
This is a series I’m surprised I don’t hear more noise about because it’s a dream for Star Wars fans and especially with the current hype around the TV series The Mandalorian. Bounty Hunters is a true Star Wars tale with adventure, action and heroics at its core surrounding the main characters Valance, Bossk and Boba Fett.
Why read this? 2021 will be a big year for Star Wars across all formats. Disney are soon to announce big plans and universe expansions so this is a great time to get in early and read a mini series centred on some of Star Wars most deadly characters.
7. Money Shot from Vault Comics
Writers: Tim Seeley and Sarah Beattie Artist: Rebekah Isaacs and Kurt Michael Russell
I have raved about this comic a lot on social media and hope more people give it a read because it’s a great example of how much fun comics can be for adults. A group of scientists travel through space having sex with different species while being live broadcast on intergalactic TV. Trying to raise money to fund their travels, the sexsplorers find themselves dealing with all kinds of conflicts along the way.
Why read this? Money Shot is hilarious which is something I rarely say about comics. Its daft, it’s funny, its mature, its sexy and it’s good to try something a little bit different.
6. The Green Lantern Season Two from DC Comics
Writer: Grant Morrison Artist: Liam Sharp
A masterclass in comic book story telling as we follow Green Lantern Hal Jordan and his struggles with being a Super Hero. For me this has been Morrison’s best work in a while as it oozes with his classic style of mixing heroism with morality and all the emotions in between.
Why read this? Almost the forgotten member of the Justice League, this brings Hal back to the forefront with a complex story by Grant Morrison and exquisite art from Liam Sharp. This series is a great adventure in space and would be a good refresher for people awaiting the upcoming TV Series.
5. Judge Dredd: False Witness from 2000AD/IDW
Writer: Brandon Easton Artist: Kei Zama
Judge Dredd was some of my earliest comic memories but found myself drifting away over the years so I made a point of getting back in Dredd in 2020. I started with the 100 page special edition with the Jock variant cover before moving onto the mini series False Witness and all those memories came flooding back. Action, drama, chaos and crazy fill every page in the graphic telling of one of pop cultures greatest heroes.
Why read this? Its Judge Dredd doing what he does best, laying down the law any way he sees fit.
4. Daredevil from Marvel Comics
Writer: Chip Zdarsky Artists: Marco Checchetto, Jorge Fornes, Mike Hawthorne, Franchesco Mobli
I was drawn to Daredevil at the turn of the year when Jorge Fornes took over the art as I believe he is one of the best artists in comics right now and the series sucked me in straight away. Chip Zdarsky has now written 25 issues in this run and I recommend starting with volume 1 Know Fear because it just gets better and better. If you’re an old school fan of the Devil in Hells Kitchen or new to the character from the TV series this is a perfect series to jump into.
Why read this? With people campaigning for the TV show to return or for Daredevil to appear in Spiderman 3 proves there is a lot of love for this character. This series is the modern age definitive Daredevil story and offers everything its live action counter part does and more.
3. Shadow Service from Vault Comics
Writer: Cavan Scott Artists: Corin Howell & Triona Farrell
This is a series that hooked me from the first few panels in issue 1. As a big fan of magic and dark arts this series is right up my street as it explores elements of supernatural magic blended with the perfect touch of humour. The graphic art is a feast for the eyes on every page and I like the fact it’s set in England.
Why read this? The magic and dark arts of Constantine, the brutality of Swamp Thing, the class of Doctor Strange all wrapped up in a slick story of mystery and espionage.
2. Batman: The Three Jokers from DC Comics
Writer: Geoff Johns Artist: Jason Fabok
Two Batman comics in my top 10 is not a biased list based on my love for the character. It’s a credit to DC Comics for ensuring their flagship character gets the commitment he deserves. The Three Jokers is a brilliantly crafted and executed story which plays out incredibly well for the reader. It’s a mystery in which you genuinely can not predict the ending until you get there and the way it does bring the story to its climax is a work of genius. Every Batman fan must read this series.
Why read this? This was the Best Batman and Joker story in a long time. It encapsulates everything about Batman being the greatest detective and it encapsulates everything about Joker being a crazy, twisted person hell bent on messing with The Batman.
1. Heavy from Vault Coimics
Writer: Max Bemis Artists: Eryk Donovan & Cris Peter
This series has just got better and better with every issue. The premise to this story is that when you die you go to a waiting place and you have to work to decide if you go to Heaven or Hell. That in itself is not new but the idea behind Heavy is completely original and it gives the story endless places it can take us in space and time. This is a comic which genuinely makes me to talk to myself. I remember the cliffhanger in issue one when I said “Oh shit” and I remember laughing a few times during the second issue during the exchanges between our two main characters. When a comic can make your emotions change from page to page like this you know you are reading something special.
Why read this? Its just brilliant. A comic book for grown ups who haven’t fully gown up inside yet. There is obscene humour and cheesy jokes all layered within a unique, interesting and moving story about love, revenge and everything in between.