Crimespree Top 9 Comics of 2013

2013 was a banner year for comics. Tons of great books hit the shelves from the Big Two to independent publishers. Fantastic stories starring corporate owned characters to creator-owned books. Dan, Jo, and Kate had a great time reading comics in 2013 and here are some of their favorites. They can’t wait to see what will hit the shelves in 2014.

Dan Malmon

VELVET #1 by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. Image Comics.

The spy book I didn’t know I was missing, but now I can’t live without. VELVET is the story of Velvet Templeton. Rooted in the very simple, yet incredibly genius idea of “What If… Miss Moneypenny was the superspy out in the field, instead the secretary behind the desk?”

As Velvet is drawn into the mystery of who killed super-agent Jefferson Keller, Brubaker captures the reader in his brilliant espionage thriller. Masterfully rendered by Brubaker’s long-time collaborator Steve Epting, VELVET is the most exciting Image book out right now.

HALF PAST DANGER #1 by Stephen Mooney. IDW.

The absolute cure for dull, boring comics. HALF PAST DANGER springs fully formed from the mind of writer/artist Stephen Mooney. Mixing dinosaurs, Nazis, and reluctant hero Tommy Flynn, the result is pure funny-book joy. Action, adventure, and wit. Everyone should be reading HALF PAST DANGER.

BATMAN 66 #1 by Jeff Parker and Jonathan Case. DC Comics.

Inspired by the classic TV show! What could have been a derivative mess BATMAN 66 is a joy. A digital first book, BATMAN 66 expands on the universe of the old TV show. With fun, upbeat stories that a joy to read, this is the book you should give anyone new to comics. Parker tells witty mysteries that are done in one issue and Case skillfully portrays the Batman characters as the actors that portrayed them in the 60’s

Jo Schmidt

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla. Archie Comics.

The absolute strangest, most unexpected and fantastic comic of the year is also one of the best. Never in a lifetime did anyone expect zombies to rise in Riverdale and boy am I glad they did. Francesco Francavilla, as always, kills it with the perfect horror-noir art to add even more depth to Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s terrifying words. Together they are going to destroy Riverdale and everything Archie holds dear. The book is rooted so deep in Archie lore you’re hooked to every page, genuinely scared about what’s going to happen next

YOUNG AVENGERS by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. Marvel.

Marvel has been experimenting with indie flare and the results are in; the trust in their creators not only works but raises the bar for super hero books. Titles like “X-Men: Legacy” and the “Infinity” crossover show there can be more to punching and posing. “Young Avengers” is the ideal example of a perfect modern super hero book. Kieron Gillen is a young comic god showcasing how to beautifully play with writing styles and acknowledging that artists are storytellers too. Jamie McKelvie is an unexpected wonder. At first glance you wouldn’t expect his art would work for heroes but after reading “Young Avengers” it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else. Thankfully, we don’t have to.

BATMAN by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. DC Comics

Scott Snyder continues his historic run with the Dark Knight and digs deep in to the past to grow a richer and bigger story than we could ever believe. After the jaw-dropping intensity that came with “Death of the Family” he took things back for a layered retelling of Batman’s origin with “Zero Year.” Greg Capullo, who’s been with Snyder since the beginning, is churning out the best work of his career. Snyder and Capullo have and had very big plans for Batman and there’s nothing stopping them any time soon. And who would want them to? Not with how they are able to keep us all on the edge of our seats each month.

Kate Malmon

BUDDY COPS by Nate Cosby and Evan Shaner. Dark Horse.

What happens when a straight-laced robot cop is paired up with a drunken space cop? Hilarity of course! Since this is a one issue special, the story telling is concise and straightforward. The origin story is covered in 2 panels and then it’s off to the races with the comedy. Shaner’s art draws you into the chaos that ensues when space cop Uranus and robot cop T.A.Z.E.R. fight crime. In space.

KISS ME, SATAN by Victor Gischler and Juan Ferreyra. Dark Horse.

Werewolves run all organized crime in New Orleans. A coven of witches determines that the heir to the werewolf crime syndicate will be born without the mark of the werewolf. This is a bad thing. God sends a fallen angel, Barnabus Black, to protect the witches from the lycanthrope crime boss. If Black can successfully complete this task, he may be allowed back into Heaven. This is easily one of the most original and most fun books of 2013. The premise is unlike anything else on the shelf! Hopefully this book will be more extended beyond its scheduled 5-issue run.

DAREDEVIL #25 by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee. Marvel.

Someone in Hell’s Kitchen is trying to recreate the chemical waste that blinded Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, but heightened his other senses. The result of this experiment is a new ninja villain, Ikari. The issue is a knockdown, drag out fight between Daredevil and Ikari from the first page to the back cover.