Last blog entry was the most Pessimistic you will ever see from us, we strive to keep this a very optimistic portion of the comic community. So today we want to celebrate the best of 2020, yes believe it or not 2020 was not all gloom and doom. Some great comics came out in 2020 and here we will name our top ten ongoing comic books from the year despite delays and cancellations due to the pandemic.
A quick disclaimer before diving into the list, we have not read every comic book released this year. For example an obvious omission from the list is Chip Zdarsky’s Daredevil, a series that we regretfully have not read yet. If by chance Zdarsky and team read this, we have bought the first two volumes of the series to read at least, also thank you for checking us out.
10) Star Wars: Darth Vader by Greg Pak and Raffaele Ienco
We are so excited to add a Star Wars comic to this list, both the main title and Darth Vader have been constantly good this year. At times I find myself losing interests in the middle of a Star Wars story but Darth Vader has become a comic that I find myself excited to read. Greg Pak’s script adds new layers into a character that we are already familiar with. It’s not only Pak’s writing that provides growth in the character but Raffaele Ienco’s artwork extends that growth. We already know that Darth Vader is a badass character but Ienco’s artwork, shows us how badass the character can be. It’s a great team that creates an action packed character study and that’s why this is this the best ongoing Star Wars comic right now. 2021 looks bright for Star Wars comics with the continuation of Darth Vader and the main title, as well as the introduction of the High Republic (also, Doctor Aphra, she deserves some love too)
9) Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
After reading the first 4 trades of Monstress, it was hard to not get lost in the world-building that Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda create. Sana’s artwork alone is so engrossing and beautiful. It’s a mix of fantasy meeting steam-punk in a world of discovery for Maika, the main character and going along with her journey and continuing story. Nora has been trying to get Kyle to read it, hopefully eventually, but there is still time to get caught up as the sixth arc is starting in the new year.
8) Once & Future by Kieron Gillen an Dan Mora
Dan Mora’s artwork is a beauty to stare at. Yes, stare at. Kieron Gillen crafts a fun horror fantasy joy ride. Every Wednesday that this book is scheduled to come out, it is among the first we read. The main characters of ex-monster hunter Bridgette and her grandson Duncan have this dynamite relationship that we cannot help but love. This is certainly a comic series that we could see turned into a television series.
7) Thor by Donny Cates and Nic Klien
Much like 2019, 2020 was dominated by Donny Cates. Spoiler alert, we will have one more series by Cates on this list. Thor by Jason Aaron is a run that we plan on reading eventually, as it is a hole that we need to fill, but this run by Donny Cates and Nic Klien has been one of the best series by Marvel this year. Between the Black Winter storyline and the current story arc with Donald Blake, the series is never boring and always a pleasure to read. If you lack knowledge or background in Thor lore, you won’t feel lost and that makes this a great read. Cannot wait to see 2021 has in store for Donny Cates and Thor.
6) Aquaman by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Various artists
WHY???? Why did this amazing story have to come to an end? We are not sad over the ending, it was a beautiful ending. We are sad that the most recent issue was the final issue of a well-written and stunning artwork throughout. Definitely a must-read series.
5) Seven Secrets by Tom Taylor and Daniele di Nicuolo
We did not expect to love this series, but Tom Taylor had a killer year with all of his books. Seven Secrets has the feeling of a new age James Bond blended with an anime feeling. Throughout the first five issues, Seven Secrets is filled with twist and turns and we itch for more each time the issue ends.
4) Something is Killing The Children by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’edera
James Tynion IV continues to bring the heat in his creater-own series. Neither of us expected this to be so engrossing. From the first issue, the artwork and story pulled us in and left us wanting more. What really is killing these children? The mystery behind it all is so well laid out, and Erica’s character continues to be mysterious and revealing each issue. Definitely a series we would recommend to anyone, even if they don’t read or like horror comics.
3) Killadelphia by Rodney Barnes and Jason Shawn Alexander
Amazing!!! That’s the best way to describe this great horror vampire series that mixes current issues and historical figures. Jason Shawn Alexander produces some of the best artwork in 2020.
2) Venom by Donny Cates and various artists
Truth be told, #2 an #1 on this list are the same from last year if we were to rank series. Donny Cates has been the main writer for Marvel in 2020 with Thor and Venom. The King in Black storyline is currently going on bringing back the amazing Ryan Stegman, who continue to produce greatness together in a comic. But, that being said, Venom continued to be great when Stegman was not doing the artwork. Seriously never thought Venom would be among the best comics.
1) Bitter Root by David F Walker, Chuck Brown and Sanford Greene
Best ongoing series has to be Bitter Root. It’s one of those series that each issue just stays with you days after reading, from the social commentary to the insane artwork from Sandford Greene. Not many things can be entertaining and provide you with knowledge, yet Bitter Root does that with ease. Cannot wait to see what the future of Bitter Root consists of and if 2020 is any indication, it will be hard to replace Bitter Root as the #1 book in 2021. Also, we were able to meet Sandford Greene at C2E2 (the only big con this year) and he was the nicest and friendliest person we’ve met.
After naming these ten great ongoing series, here are a few that we think could be among the best in 2021.
Iron Man by Christopher Cantwell and Cafu
Crossover by Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw
Stillwater by Chip Zdarsky and Roman K Perez
The Department of Truth by James Tynion IV and Martin Simmonds
With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker coming out today, it has caused a moment of reflection and even a confession, that confession being that I like Jar Jar Binks.
I was at the young age of seven when The Phantom Menace was released and the excitement that my father was exhibiting for the film was contagious, I found myself wanting to see this film. The Phantom Menace was the perfect storm of pod-racing, light saber battles, and awesome creatures, but the one thing I loved the most about the film was Jar Jar Binks. I loved that damn gungan. Jar Jar was entertaining and goofy, it was everything I wanted from a character.
Looking back on it, I can see why I loved Jar Jar, it is the same reasons why my baby nieces like me. The pure stupidity and goofy demeanor was enough to have me want more from this character at that age. It was hilarious to see this computer generated character act like a cartoon with his lumpy style of walking and goofy voice. I was the right demographic for the character and I was loving every moment of it.
When The Phantom Menace was released I thought it was brilliant, same with Attack of the clones but I would never forget the moments after seeing Revenge of the Sith. The third entry in the prequel series is by far my favorite and I think its due to the feeling of viewing it with my father. On the way back home from the theater, we could not stop discussing it and we had to tell my mother about that Darth Vader scene. This was the moment I realized how special Star Wars was, its a science fiction soap opera that brings the family together.
Over the years, I would become more fond of the original trilogy and realize the greatness of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back would become one of my all time favorite films. That love I had for the prequels would disappear, especially when The Force Awakens was released.
Today, I have to force myself through Attack of the Clones, but I still love Star Wars. Although now I root for the villains such as Kylo Ren in the recent trilogy and Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace and the animated shows. Rarely do I find myself liking the cute supporting characters like Porgs (except Baby Yoda, so damn adorable). I have to look at Jar Jar Binks and not hate the character. If it was not for my fondness of Jar Jar as a child, I would not be looking forward to the finale of this galactic saga.
So this is a thank you Jar Jar! If it was not for your goofy ass, I would never realize how special Star Wars is. It could be said that Star Wars is the reason we created Noggin, because our first date was The Force Awakens.