Welcome to WCBR’s year end comic book industry report card. In essence, this report card is a list of offerings the the team enjoyed (and shook their heads at) for the entire year 2013. There will probably be a lot to debate about– who got snubbed, or who really deserved it… So don’t forget to let us know below if we’re out of our minds, or if you can see where we’re coming from. Thank you all again for your continued support, and we hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year! -Ray

The Best On-Going Series

Saga – If comic book writers were unionized, they would have broken Brian K. Vaughn’s fingers for making everyone else look bad.  There isn’t another series that has as many richly realized characters as Saga. -Dean

Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye – There were a good deal of candidates for this position, but I have to say that this series more than surprised and delighted me on many occasions, which is something truly remarkable for a series that could have been a mere cash-grab. Great characters, great art and a superb handle on storytelling, this series has it all. –Hugo

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man -Strange as it may be to think that a low tier Marvel title would be taking this spot in a year full of excellent comics, Superior Foes is everything that a great comic need be. Compelling characters make even simple heist stories endlessly engaging, clever use of the form makes it a pleasure to read and reread, and the book is funny – really funny. Nick Spencer’s unique humor is simply delightful and gives the book the spark it needs to not only survive, but flourish, filling in those beloved gaps in Marvel’s world. Marvel is probably kicking itself for making this one of its rare $3.00 comics. –Noah

The Worst On-Going Series

GI Joe and Matt Fraction’s Fantastic Four– I’m reading most of my comics digitally, so I’m not subjected to anything I don’t want to read.  If it sucks, I just stop buying it.  That being said, my biggest disappointment is IDW’s GI Joe books.  The plotlines are always somewhere between “acceptable” and “really good”, but the art is just a disaster.  It’s impossible to enjoy comics when the art is this poor.  A close second would be Matt Fraction’s Fantastic Four.  It’s amazing how quickly we went from the stupendous highs of Jonathan Hickman’s epic run to a series that nobody talks about anymore, because it is boring and the art is mediocre. -Dean
Morbius The Living Vampire – I reviewed the first issue and then stopped, but I did read the whole thing afterward. With a rather uninteresting direction, some bland characters and some middle-of-the-road art, this series committed one of the capital sin in terms of entertainment: it was boring. -Hugo
Teen Titans – Once the crown jewel of DC’s offerings, the Teen Titans have fallen onto a bit of a rough patch. Though the start of this year provided a brief resurgence for the title, in the end it only served to make the return to confused mediocrity more bitter. Though I think the man gets more hate than he should, especially for the wrong things, it is a wonder that DC hasn’t taken Scott Lobdell off this title. His plots can be compelling, but he’s yet to find a strong antagonist for the Titans and the character work is just generic. The Titans are the breeding ground for the next generation of DC heroes, but I doubt there are many fans of Lobdell’s take on Beast Boy or Wonder Girl, much less Skitter – yeah, remember her? As if that wasn’t enough, this is the only place in the New 52 to get a monthly dose of Tim Drake. Especially with the boom of nostalgia that’s come over our culture, that’s a huge waste. But at least Tim has Batman: Eternal to look forward to, the rest live at DC’s mercy. Come on, Scott, you can do better. -Noah
The Best New Series
East of West – With incredible world-building and some astounding art, this new series by Hickman, Dragotta and Martin was clearly off to a great start this year and went on to become something I always look forward to. -Hugo
Lazarus – I love, love, LOVE the plausibly dystopian near-future that Greg Rucka and Michael Lark have created.  Everything about this world fits and the pieces all click together.  It’s so nice to read a story that doesn’t feel like the creators are making it up as they go along. -Dean
Batman Beyond Universe – Though it remains a digital-first comic, the print edition of Batman Beyond Universe is more than able to go toe-to-toe with the big hitters at DC. It may not have the freshness of Wonder Woman or the gravitas of Batman, but with people still complaining about the New 52, Universe is there to provide a taste of old-fashioned DC goodness. On their own, Batman Beyond and Justice League Beyond each would have been strong contenders for this category, but together they bring an unstoppable consistency to the stands every month. Beautiful art, strong writing, and an essential knowledge of when to end a story have made these series two of the unsung heroes in the world of capes. It’s two great comics for the price of one! If you have any love for the DCAU classic, you owe it to yourself to check this out. -Noah
The Worst New Series
Guardians of the Galaxy – I am aware that there are worse comics out there, but this one is a huge personal disappointment. I absolutely loved the last volume and this one is simply way too simple in comparison. With no direction, bad characterization and a focus on Earth instead of the whole universe, it soon became a mess for me. The art may be rather great at times, but it doesn’t save the title for me. -Hugo
Uncanny X-Men – After the huge success of All-New X-Men, I was jazzed for Cyclops to get his due in the latest relaunch of Marvel’s biggest title. I waited months, hoping it would show up this week, but when it arrived it was not the hit I was expecting. Far from the novel-esque complexity that made All-New special, Bendis meandered around the New Xavier School, spending lots of time to underdevelop his characters. Chris Bachalo and Frazer Irving gave the book a stiff but refreshing visual identity, but it often felt like it looked cool just for the sake of looking cool. Thankfully the series has started to recover, post-“Battle of the Atom”, and the past two issues have been fabulous, but when it comes down to it, 2013 was a rough year for the strangest heroes of all. -Noah
Best Mini Series
Fashion Beast – If you didn’t read this, make sure to track it down.  Alan Moore shows that even his discarded ideas from 30 years ago pack more of a wallop than most contemporary works do.  You won’t find a better work on the concept of appearance/image versus reality. -Dean

Six-Gun Gorilla – This was a weird, but utterly awesome little story. With a sci-fi/western/social vibe around it, Spurrier, Stokely and May went all the way to provide something unique and memorable with this one. -Hugo

Worst Mini Series

X-Men: Battle of the Atom – Some people liked it and I can understand why, but this 10 chapter story didn’t do much for me. With an uneven and mostly slow pacing and a conclusion that felt awfully forced, this was something that wanted to become big but went small in every way that counts. It’s not horrible, but it was a disappointment. -Hugo

Best Story

The Wake: Part 1 – This was really splendid.  Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy laid out a classic underwater monster story.  The tale was tense and gripping and the art was mouth-watering.  Part I ended on a tremendous high and I can’t wait for Part II to hit this coming year. -Dean
Daredevil: End of Days – This might not have ranked in the best mini-series section for me, but I have to say the story behind Mapone and the whole research Ben Urich went through was something I really liked to read. It was big, mysterious and it was Bendis and Mack in their best writing environment. -Hugo
Nightwing: Movin’ Out (Anthony Zucco’s Song) – While I was as excited as anyone to see Dick Grayson back in the Nightwing suit, his series was a little bit hit-or-miss at the start of the New 52, often too caught up in whatever crossover was brewing over in Scott Snyder’s Batman. How appropriate then, that Nightwing really came into its own once Dick left Gotham City behind him. Kyle Higgins was playing with fire when he revealed that Tony Zucco, the man who killed Dick’s parents, was still alive, but he’s handled the transition to Chicago with such grace that it hardly matters. Higgins has given DC’s Chicago a real sense of identity and returned the title to the kind of character-driven stories that drove fans to Nightwing in the first place. He also crafted a great villain reboot for the Prankster and made us care for a character who’s effectively Joe Chill-lite.
Any fan of Dick Grayson is bound to be pretty worried these days, but for the moment we still have Chicago, and thank goodness for that.

Worst Story
Threshold – I’m not going to lie, I had a lot of hope for this series. Keith Giffen going cosmic can give readers absolute gold, but in this case this story never got off in a way that actually felt satisfying. Too many plot threads and characters with absolutely no real conclusion killed this thing and it felt a bit like a waste. -Hugo
The Zero Year Inversion – I easily could have given this to Trigon’s incursion, but I’ve spent enough time thinking about what’s wrong with Teen Titans. Instead I’m going to do something weird and give this to “Zero Year”. From the moment I picked up the first issue of “The Black Mirror”, I knew Scott Snyder was something special. However, while every Snyder story begins brilliantly, most of them fall apart by the end, at least somewhat. So imagine my distress when Snyder stumbled on his replacement for Batman: Year One. “Zero Year” began as a long, boring tale that severely overcomplicated a rather simple story. There were fun moments in each issue, nothing so bad as Teen Titans, but when the cover reads Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, you’re not wrong to hold a book to higher standards. By October, when the crossover was pushed aside for four of the least interesting Villain’s Month tie-ins – Riddler being the exception that proves the rule, there was a dangerous level of tedium associated with the event, which was only growing larger and more bloated. But somehow, this story has a happy ending. Snyder knocked it out of the park with Batman #24, utterly inverting his normal patterns and reminding us all why he’s one of the most respected writers in the biz. It’s true that “Dark City” hasn’t held on to all of that momentum, but with the promise of a big Riddler story ahead, I’m eager to see where the story goes now. -Noah
Best Artist

Sean Murphy – Nobody mixes cartooning and realism as well.  Toss in an obsessive attention to detail and you get the best artist working in comics today.  Amazing that it was only 3 years ago that we all wondered, “Who is this Sean Murphy guy who is doing Joe the Barbarian with Grant Morrison?” -Dean

Nick Dragotta– Have you seen the absolutely killer pages he did on East of West? That man can be an absolute beast of an artist when he wants and the issues he did there were an absolute proof of that, with an impressive amount of details and restraint at the same time. -Hugo

Patrick Gleason – When thinking about who I should give this category to, I wanted to find an artist who had made consistent contributions of real quality all throughout the year. There were plenty of greats who had delivered a single amazing issue or who had had a couple of big wins and a few losses, but in the end I knew who I had to give it to. Patrick Gleason is the primary artist on Batman and Robin (now more accurately Batman and ___). Gleason’s been doing solid work since the new 52 began, but I first really noticed him in Batman and Robin #15. Though it was hardly my favorite work of his, one sequence featuring Damian and some hyena kind of blew my mind, and when he delivered the entirely silent Batman and Robin #18, it became clear what we were dealing with. Gleason managed a slew of different stories as he and Peter Tomasi walked Bruce through the grief of losing his son and then turned his attention to a gorgeous Two-Face story. Through it all he’s consistently shown a mastery of shadow and line density. It can be tempting to point out the few weaknesses that Gleason displays or to his weaker work in the latter half of 2012, but especially considering that Gleason does sometimes have weaker issues, the strength of his work in 2013 is astonishing and worthy of some recognition. The final page of issue #18 is a classic to me.

Worst Artist

Jefte Palo – I had the luck of having a selection of books with rather great or at the very least tolerable artists attached to them, but Jefte Palo sure made me cringe when opening close to every issue of Thunderbolts. Palo can be a good artist, but here he was rushed and clearly not in the game, which made his style a crutch rather than a strength to the title. -Hugo

Best New Artist

Nic Klein – He’s not technically a new artist that debuted in 2013, but he really did catch a big break by working on Winter Soldier, with more work from him coming soon at the house of ideas. One of my personal discovery and one of my favourites this year.

Best Writer

Jonathan Hickman Not a bad year.  I mean, he is writing the best Avengers story of the last ~10 years and also did the best Marvel event ever.  Seriously, what event has been so good?  On top of that, he continued the madness that is The Manhattan Projects and launched the delectable East of West. -Dean

Jonathan Hickman – This is the man responsible for many personal favourite and some of the high points of this year for me, with stuff like East of West, Manhattan Projects, New Avengers and Infinity being rather great to read. -Hugo

The Snyder School – I admit that I’m kind of cheating here, but when you look at the contributions of this group it’s hard not to give this answer. Though Snyder had a rough patch in 2013, even his worst stories contained a spark of his genius. His handling of the Riddler was superb and he proved that he’s not a one trick pony by taking on the Man of Steel, himself. Meanwhile Kyle Higgins and James Tynion IV really came into their own this year. Higgins earned mentions from me for both of his ongoings while preparing a fascinating creator owned series that’s currently set for release next year. Tynion continued to write exceptional backups for Batman, but also graduated to two excellent ongoings, Red Hood and the Outlaws and Talon. Both series were strong, clever dark horses within the Batman universe, and proved that the supporting cast, as an institution, is alive and well. Though they came to prominence through the Batman stories, the Snyder School made it clear that, as strong as they are as a team, they have plenty to offer as individual writers. They even added a new member to their distinguished ranks… -Noah

Worst Writer

Geoff Johns – It’s rather sad to see that one of my previous favourite went down in a big way this year, with Trinity War being a dud, Justice League of America being merely setup and Aquaman being rather slow in most of its run. Not everything he did was bad, but he sure went down a few levels in my opinion. -Hugo

Brian Michael Bendis – I strongly considered the first arc of All-New X-Men for a number of categories, only to find that only one issue came out in 2013, leaving it cleanly in 2012 in my opinion. Once I realized that, it struck me just how disappointing most of 2013 was for Brian Bendis. All-New X-Men spent ten issues spiraling while Uncanny X-Men failed to impress. To make matters worse, both were caught up in the subpar “Battle of the Atom” crossover, though Bendis did pen an excellent introductory issue to the event. After rapidly learning to love Bendis in the tail end of 2012, I was deeply disappointed to discover where his detractors come from. Uncanny X-Men, as I mentioned above, is beginning to pull itself out of its hole, while All-New X-Men got a soft reboot from “Battle of the Atom”, so it would be nice to say that things are looking up for Bendis. Unfortunately issue #20 of All-New X-Men was by far the worst of the series. Bendis is hardly the worst writer of the year and has plenty of chances to redeem himself, especially with the “Trial of Jean Grey” crossover approaching, but it’s hard to say that he didn’t have more failures than successes this year and that scores him a spot on the wrong side of my Good/Bad list for 2013

Best New Writer

Marguerite Bennett – The latest addition to Scott Snyder’s rapidly growing army of talent, Marguerite Bennett is kind of a BAMF. In a matter of months she went from grad student to one of the first women to write Batman…EVER. She happily followed up by redefining Lobo and seemingly picking up every spare project DC had. What’s more, she’s totally got the skills and the attitude to back it up. Bennett excels at writing gripping, thoroughly fleshed out characters and can put the fear into scenes that you’d long since written off as child’s play.
I also admit that I’m biased towards her habit of tweeting awesome and relatable things, staying in touch with her inner fan, and being a woman at DC who will happily uppercut the glass ceiling. And if you have any doubt of her badass credentials take a look at this amazing interview she gave us. Marguerite hasn’t been announced on any ongoing series yet, but that has not stopped her in any way shape or form, and honestly, it’s becoming plenty clear that DC knows what a great asset they have on their hands. Expect to hear plenty more from her in the coming year. -Noah

Best Single Issue

Black Science #1 – This might be a case of recency primacy, but I really don’t remember any other single issue being quite as electric as Black Science #1.  Most of that was down to Matteo Scalera’s art and Dean White’s colors, but still……this was the type of #1 issue that we’re always hoping for when we try something new. -Dean

Thor: God of Thunder #12 – There were many astounding issues, but the one that has earned recognition for the fact that it told a single story with great writing and beautiful art is the issue done by Jason Aaron and Nic Klein. It’s big, it’s beautiful and it presents many of the subtleties of the titular character quite well. -Hugo

All-New X-Men #15 – I haven’t been terribly kind to Brian Michael Bendis on this list, giving him two significant bad marks , but that hardly means that I dislike his work. On the contrary, he penned a number of strong contenders for single issue worth mentioning. Uncanny X-Men #14 was excellent, and I desperately wish that issue #15 of that same series had maintained its quality throughout, for it would have almost certainly won had it done so. But in a world of six issue story arcs, Brian Bendis gave us this lovely little retro issue. All-New X-Men #15 is oozing with charm from the cover to the final word. It’s a different kind of X-Men comic and one that really does help to balance out some of the non-stop battling that plagues their titles. The X-Men have grown up, and we along with them, but every once in a while it’s good to remember that we don’t have to fight to be taken seriously, sometimes being an adult is just listening. Bendis’ script suits David Lafuente’s delightfully stylized art beautifully and the issue really feels like a return to those long ago issues before there were Wolverines or Days of Future Pasts. -Noah

Worst Single Issue

Superior Spider-Man Team-Up #3 – I’m sure there were worse things done this year, but the worst that I did read was this one. Idiotic characters, a rather dull premise, some overly stylish and unconvincing art with terrible colorization made for something that I could not enjoy in the slightest. -Hugo

Green Lantern #23.3: Relic – The Green Lantern Universe is still reeling from Relic’s impact, but along the way, he was rarely a particularly compelling character. Without Kyle Rayner or Hal Jordan to play off of, Relic can’t sustain an issue and the whole mess is made worse by the insistence on using exclusively splash pages. The reader gains no new insight from this issue and the resulting comic only draws attention to how shallow Relic was. The character wasn’t inherently bad, I actually quite enjoyed Relic over in Green Lantern: New Guardians, but while you can have fascinating stories about a pre-Batman Bruce Wayne, Relic lacks almost all of what makes him interesting before the death of his universe. Minimal storytelling and minimal plot made this decision easy and makes Green Lantern #23.3 seem like little more than an excuse to sell a hologram. –Noah

Best/Worst Original Graphic Novel

Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground – There were some good graphic novels released this year, but this one was the best. With a clear and direct story and a very good sense of visual storytelling, Darwyn Cooke sincerely impressed with another wonderful rendition of Donald Westlake’s books. -Hugo

Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground – It wasn’t so much that Slayground was bad, but it didn’t even touch the excellence of the first three books in the series.  I missed all the caper hijinks that the previous Parker books featured; yet Slayground seemed to end too soon… -Dean

Best Surprise

Rebirth of Vertigo – This time last year, we were giving Vertigo up for dead because “we” didn’t think it fit into the plans at the New DC.  But, a year later we have a slew of Sandman titles and also a few new ongoings.  They aren’t all great, but at least Vertigo is still alive and kicking as a place to get ~50 issue contained stories. -Dean

Rat Queens – I rather enjoy fantasy and I am someone who believes in strong female characters. Guess what kind of stuff we can find in this series? It’s a bit young right now, with only three issues released, but it has been definitely strong and superbly entertaining, which was a surprise that was pleasantly welcome in my pull list this year. -Hugo

Tim Gets Busy – Part of what made Scott Lobdell’s Teen Titans so miserable this year, and in general, was the spectre of what once was hanging over it. The reappearance of Raven piqued my interest enough to flip through in the comic shop, but I knew that I’d walk out with that issue once I saw Tim kissing Kieran. Imagine my surprise to see Tim “the eternal bachelor” Drake presumably losing his virginity to Cassie Sandsmark later in the same night. With dueling hints towards Trigon’s influence and Joker or Damian induced PTSD, I was fascinated by the mystery of Red Robin’s strange behavior and decided to pick the series back up for a spell. Inevitably it disappointed me, being largely shrugged off, but the initial issues reminded me what was best about the Teen Titans, Lobdell’s or otherwise. For all its soap opera ridiculousness, something in the writing rang true, making it seem like there might be a genuine connection between Red Robin and Solstice, as the book had frequently hinted with Wonder Girl. Some of you may wonder why this wound up on the good side of the list, but consider that it got me to read another six months of Scott Lobdell’s Teen Titans. –Noah

Worst Surprise

Cancellation galore – This may seem vague and general, but the cancellation of some titles came as a very disappointing surprise to me. Here’s to you, Dial H, Journey Into Mystery and Winter Soldier. –Hugo

DC’s Defensive Line Fails to Hold – I nearly gave this to Stephanie Brown for being a terrifically obvious surprise but I think I’ll cite another fairly obvious trick from DC. Before the New 52, DC proudly announced that they were “holding the line at $2.99.” This meant that a standard DC comic would cost $3.00, something made possible by the cancellation of a number of low-selling titles which were folded into other books as backups. These books would be the exception that proved the rule, priced at $3.99, rather fair mathematically. However, not unlike the titular Clown in “Joker’s Millions,” DC found themselves caught between the bank and their rather vocal pronouncements. I understand that prices rise, it’s not like I expect DC to be immune to changes in the global economy, but the way they tried to get out of this was a particularly bad joke. After September’s 3-D cover debacle, some readers returned to the comic store to discover that flagship titles like Detective Comics were 33% shorter, yet still bore the $3.99 price tag. DC did try to offer some added value in the form of higher quality covers, but the choice to sneak the price change in during Villain’s Month and DC’s boasting at NYCC only made it feel slimier. -Noah

Best Character

Negan – You couldn’t ask for a more charismatic character in comics.  Something about the melding of Kirkman’s Tarrantino-dialog and Charlie Adlard’s drawing of a big, bruiser in a black leather jacket makes this character demand attention when he is on the page.  He’s the bad guy and even though I’m not pulling for him, I certainly don’t want him to die because I need to know more about him. -Dean

Spider-Ock – I’m going to get a lot of hate for this, but I do have to admit that I’m really starting to like this character. The arrogance, intelligence and methods of Otto Octavius are definitely different from Peter Parker, which makes this series work just right in some ways. This may not be the web-slinger we know, but right now he succeeds at being utterly entertaining nonetheless. –Hugo

Hella Bad/Hella Good – This one isn’t necessarily the best character of the year, but definitely one who stood out. Unlike her fellow Supurbiantes, Helen “Hella” Heart gained comparatively little from the superhero in her life. Sovereign and Hella had a somewhat distant relationship and each was more interesting on their own than together. Nonetheless, Supurbia was a series of relationships and, though Hella had many, one of her most interesting was not with her current beau, but with her ex. throughout the series, Helen shared a complex relationship with Hector Hunt and the villainess he molded her into. Struggling against her sinister past, Hella shot to prominence in Supurbia #11 and quickly became a huge part of what made the series’ cancelation so hard to bear. -Noah

Worst Character
Rocket Raccoon – This is one of my favourite character, so it’s hard to write this, but I currently despise the version of the character we’re seeing right now in Guardians of the Galaxy. With close to no personality beside being mean-spirited, violent and rather prone to insults, this characterization is very far off from the positive and very capable character we could see in the previous volume. -Hugo
Rick – There just isn’t anything more for Rick Grimes to DO in The Walking Dead, so Kirkman has decided to turn him into this great leader and uniter of tribes.  The only problem is that I don’t believe it for a second.  If Rick were the leader of my post-apocalyptic community, I would leave and go somewhere else. -Dean
Magneto – I’m afraid I have one last complaint with Brian Bendis and that’s his handling of Magneto over the last year. Magneto’s journey to the X-Men was a long and complicated one, but after “AvX” he could no longer count on Utopia’s sanctuary, nor anything else. When Marvel killed Professor X it was clearly to motivate Wolverine and Cyclops into more extreme positions, but the death of Charles Xavier should never impact anyone more than Erik Magnus Lensherr. While Bendis toyed with this concept significantly at the start of Uncanny X-Men, it feels as though that staggeringly important plot has been forgotten and Magneto continues to slink around the edges of the title, still serving his best friend’s murderer. It’s largely a consequence of Uncanny’s general reluctance to flesh out its characters, but few of them had as much potential in this strange new world as Magneto. -Noah
Best Cliffhanger
The Army of Darkseid – As Earth 2 rolled ever closer to all out war with Steppenwolf, the mad general of Apokolips released three new dogs of war, mysteriously satisfied without calling upon Fury. Though none of them stood out too much above the others, one, Brutaal, started to demonstrate some familiar powers. Flight and super-strength are pretty standard but his eye beams… Was it just a mark of his Apokoliptan heritage? Could this finally be the reveal of Earth 2’s Darkseid? Or was there a reason that they lacked the power of the true omega beams?
In the final moments of James Robinson’s run, Brutaal suddenly revealed his true colors, those of a blackened Superman. It was a nice twist, but we had all wondered about Superman’s ambiguous demise. No, that was just a feint. The real surprise came when he viciously murdered Steppenwolf and took command of his forces in the name of Darkseid. Especially with Robinson departing the title, I was desperate to see what would become of the title and that hunger to know more is what earned this moment a spot on my list. –Noah
Worst Cliffhanger
Permanence – There are many types of bad cliffhangers, but, strangely enough, the worst kind of all is a really good one. That was the case with the final installment of two of my favorite obsessions of 2013; Supurbia and “Young Justice”. While the final chapter of each story was an admirable end to the story at hand, they each did the job of a season finale and promised, with absolute confidence, that the fall out would be even more interesting. And then… nothing. You see, while the circumstances are rather drastically different, neither series was renewed for more stories. Truly the good die young… -Noah
What We’re Looking Forward To In 2014
Moon Knight – Warren Ellis writing? Declan Shalvey drawing? Jordie Bellaire doing the colors? A character I’m really intrigued in? Sold! -Hugo
Return of The Wake and American Vampire and Continued Strength From Marvel – Both of these Vertigo series are on temporary hiatus right now, but I can’t wait for them to return.  Both are written by Scott Snyder and show him at his absolute best.  Batman may pay the bills, but AV and The Wake are superior stories.  And the art in both (by Sean Murphy and Rafael Albuquerque) is divine.

Also, I so desperately WANT to be a post-superhero comic fan.  I just FEEL like I’m too old and mature for this crap and it costs a LOT of money.  But, I’ll be damned if Marvel isn’t hitting on all cylinders with every franchise (except for Fantastic Four) as good as it has been in a long time.  I don’t know what sort of event will spin from these stories, but whatever event it is… THAT is the event to follow in 2014. -Dean

She-Hulk – I’ve only read a small sampling of Charles Soule’s work this year but everything I’ve read and most everything I’ve heard about has been simply excellent. He’s got an excellent sense of character and he’s shown the capability to find the humanity, not only in his heroes, but in any character you give him. Oddly enough, he’s also a lawyer. So when you hand one of Marvel’s most underrated characters, who happens to be a lawyer over to a huge rising talent, you’ve got a recipe for success. Add in a talented artist and I don’t think anyone should be surprised that this is my series for 2014. -Noah