2015 was a fantastic year for new comics, with some of the most diverse and extraordinary new releases that simply just made my reading experience a memorable one. With titles from the powerhouse indie publisher Image, to a classic rebooted publisher in Archie, and finally a rising up and comer with Black Mask Studios, these graphic novels made the cut on our list of the best new comics of last year.
5. The Beauty (Image Comics) – What if a sexually transmitted disease made you better looking and fixed all your physical imperfections? That’s what Jason Hurley and Jeremy Haun ask in one of the most creative and irresistible comics of 2015. Hurley’s script is brilliant as he takes this central idea and surrounds it with divisiveness, controversy, and violence, resulting in compelling story-telling. The artwork from Jeremy Haun is simply amazing, and his covers on this title were some of our favorite of last year. The Beauty was just beautiful!
4. Archie (Archie Comics) – The most talked about and hyped series reboot in recent time lived up to it in 2015, with writing from Mark Waid that brought a new style to Riverdale while at the same time honoring its history. The art from Fiona Staples is flawless and does not falter in quality with Annie Wu. Funny and more relevant than ever, the all new, somewhat different Archie was one of our best of 2015.
3. Descender (Image Comics) – One of the best writer/illustrators of recent time, Jeff Lemire (Trillium) is delivering another brilliant story with incredible character and world building in this amazing science fiction piece. The artwork in this series comes from Dustin Nguyen, who has a very distinct style and impresses issue after issue. Descender was one of our best reviewed books of 2015, and a true work of artistic genius.
2. We Can Never Go Home (Black Mask Studios) – Teenage kids with superpowers on the run from drug dealers and the law. Matthew Rosenberg and Patrick Kindlon takes us on an incredible journey as he follows the lives of Duncan and Madison in this most unlikely but amazing mix-tape love story. The script from Rosenberg and Kindlon was refreshing, and the illustrations from Josh Hood and Tyler Boss (colors) were remarkable. A perfect mix of superpowers in a not so superhero comic, We Can Never Go Home was among the best of the year.
1. Bitch Planet (Image Comics) – Kelly Sue DeConnick is one of the most powerful and influential voices in comics today. Never has that been more evident than in the new comic series Bitch Planet. Making its debut in December of 2014, DeConnick and her creative team put out four more issues in 2015, that resulted in one of the most important stories in comics last year. With compelling messages regarding social injustice and gender construct that are embedded in this superb feminist women’s prison drama, this story needed to be told and readers responded. Valentine De Landro and Chris Peters are perfect together, combining dark and rough illustrations with colors resulting in a beautiful style that you cannot find in any other comic book on the shelves right now. Bitch Planet is our Best New Comic of 2015, and one of the best comics out right now, period!