2020 is in the rearview but there’s still a few things to say about it. While there are plenty of things we’d like to forget about the previous year, there’s also some great comic books we’ll always remember. Last week on Geek Hard’s Best of the Best of 2020 episode, we revealed our picks for the #1 comic series of the year. Go give that show a listen for some great picks in t.v., movies and comics from our panel of judges. Right now, I thought I’d personally count down the Ten Best Comics of 2020. There’s been a lot of great stuff that kept us entertained while staying indoors. So let’s take a look at my picks for the Ten Best Comics of 2020:
10 – CROSSOVER (Image)
This one is a bit of a last minute add as the book only launched in November. Had there been more than 2 issues, Crossover might have ranked higher on the list. But 2 issues in and it’s already doing great. Imagine if every character from every comic came to life and had a huge battle in the middle of a major city. Now imagine the battle got far too out of hand and one of the “heroes” decided to raise a giant dome around the city, cutting the fight off from the rest of the world. That happens in Crossover and the world will never be the same. Witness the fallout of this “crossover” event and how it’s affected the people. They say when reality is dead, anything’s possible. This book might prove it to be true.
9 – LAZARUS: RISEN (Image)
This is another series that only had 2 issues out this year. Unlike Crossover, though, it packed 5 issues worth of material into just two prestige format comics. Greg Rucka’s dystopian future where the world is fought over and run by the wealthiest families on the planet continues to enthral its audience while raising interesting questions about our current situation. The war between the family rages on all over the planet. Forever gets to know herself better….literally. We also see the hardships and sacrifices of war for the Carlyle family and those who serve in their ranks. With the global pandemic and civil unrest looming for most of this year, it was either the best time to read Lazarus or the worst. Either way, it was a marvel to behold.
8 – HAWKEYE: FREEFALL (Marvel)
It’s been proven over the past decade that Hawkeye is at his best when his life is at its worst. He’s the most underrated Avenger who makes poor decisions and has a disastrous love life. Matthew Rosenberg leans into all of these traits in this six issues series that pits Clint Barton against a villain suffering from similar insecurities: The Hood. Hawkeye makes it his mission to take down The Hood at all costs. These costs include his reputation as a hero, the lives of partners and friends, and even his latest relationship. Otto Schmidt shows why he’s the best at drawing archer characters and provides some great fight scenes involving Ronan, Bullseye and more! This book kicks Hawkeye while he’s down which makes him all the better for it.
7 – MONEY SHOT (Vault)
Our first series to return from last year’s list! The story of sexy scientists that fund their expeditions into outer space by providing the planet Earth with a new type of porn had a great showing in 2019. They upped the ante in 2020 by saving a galaxy or two, liberating an enslaved populous, and taking more than a few jabs at an anti-science administration. Tim Seeley and Sarah Beattie further fleshed out the characters that won our hearts in the previous year. We got to see them naked, both emotionally and physically. Their interstellar travels provided the laughs while slipping in a couple of heartfelt moments here and there. Rebekah Isaacs gave us some illustrations of sex and violence that were sex positive and never alienating. It’s an adult series that knows it’s strengths and plays to them so well, you want to follow the xxxplorers to infinity and beyond!
6 – BLACK WIDOW (Marvel)
This series from Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande was originally set to be released in the Spring to coincide with the release of the Black Widow film in theatres. But the pandemic caused that movie to get postponed and the comic release got moved later in the year. This book was definitely worth the wait. Natasha Romanoff is taken down on a mission and disappears….only to reappear on the west coast with a whole new life, complete with a husband and child. She has no memory of being the Widow. Some very bad people with a vendetta against her have placed her in this unknowing prison. Now she’s got to find her way out with a little help from her friends. Thompson was on Geek Hard at the start of the year saying she wanted to do right by Natasha with this series. So far, she’s doing exactly that!
5 – THE DEPARTMENT OF TRUTH (Image)
Any lie can become the truth if enough people believe in it. That’s the premise behind this new series from James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds. If there are enough true believers, any and all conspiracy theories can become real. But there is a group to combat this phenomena: The Department of Truth! In a world full of coverups, these people are the masters. These people live their truth….which is making sure people’s lies don’t actually become true. Tynion’s tale hooks the reader right away. The Truth is out there…and in this series.
4 – SUPERMAN’S PAL, JIMMY OLSEN (DC Comics)
If you listened to Back Issue Bloodbath‘s Best Comics of 2020 episode, you know that I proclaimed Jimmy Olsen as the Hero of the Year! When you read this series, it’s hard to argue. The dude faced off with aliens trying to kill him, uncovered a conspiracy, outsmarted millionaires like his brother and Lex Luthor, and still had time to create great content for the Daily Planet website. There are those that scoff at Olsen and see him as an ordinary guy who just happens to be friends with Superman. Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber proved once again that this cub reporter is indeed extraordinary!
3 – STILLWATER (Image)
This was great year in comics for Chip Zdarsky. Stillwater, the new Image series drawn by Ramon Perez, is exhibit A. Chip took the creepiness of small town living and gave that eerie feeling a reason for being. When a disgruntled young man is invited to the town of Stillwater, he finds out that not all is as it seems. Time stands still in this town. No one ages. No one dies, as long as they remain in the city limits. Ramon Perez kicks the eeriness up a notch with some pretty and chilling drawings that subtly showcases the oddness of the community. It’s the Twilight Zone meets an HBO series. Don’t get left behind in Stillwater.
2 – STRANGE ADVENTURES (DC Comics)
A couple of years back, Tom King and Mitch Gerads brought us a comic masterpiece with Mister Miracle. It appears the duo is at it again and this time, they’ve brought Doc Shaner along for the ride! Adam Strange is a man of two worlds, Earth and Rann. The story is a murder mystery, a war tale, and a dissection of the Adam Strange character. But that’s not the only character showcased in the series. It’s the best depiction of Mr. Terrific I’ve ever read. The same can be said for Alana Strange. It feels like an epic action on one page, then a claustrophobic indie flick on the next. Every issues reveals a new piece of the puzzle. To be a hero in the light, you sometimes have to get your hands dirty in the dark. There’s a distinct difference between fair play and foul play. Strange Adventures explores it all.
1 – DAREDEVIL (Marvel)
Like I said, this was a great year for Chip Zdarsky. Number two from last year’s list is this year’s NUMBER ONE! And just as the series dived deep into the psyches of Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk in 2019, it did the same for Elektra in 2020. Chip continues to pull from the storied past of these characters and uses it to push them to places they’ve never been before. Marco Chechetto created haunting pictures of Hell’s Kitchen on fire with bitter rivals teaming up to take out even bigger threats. If that wasn’t enough, issue 25 took the series to greater heights revealing a new career path for Elektra Natchios. This run continues to surprise and has marked its place among the likes of Frank Miller, Ann Nocenti, and Brian Michael Bendis. The Devil was given his due this past year.
So there you have it. My picks for the Ten Best Comics of 2020. Let me know what your picks are by leaving a comment. Or tweet to @geekhard with your picks for the Ten Best Comics of 2020! Would love to see your picks!
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!