Be sure to check back on December 20 to see IGN’s Best New Comic Book Series of 2017 winner. And of course our opinion isn’t the only one that matters — cast your vote in the poll at the bottom of the page to help decide the IGN People’s Choice selection!
In the aftermath of Civil War II, Marvel put even more emphasis on its younger, more diverse lineup of superheroes. That includes Miss America Chavez, former Young Avenger-turned-leader of the Ultimates, queer crime-fighter, and… college student? The result is a weird, eclectic mix of cosmic superhero spectacle and perfectly ordinary character drama. The series also serves as a great showcase for Marvel newcomer Gabby Rivera and mainstay Joe Quinones. Frankly, we’re surprised Marvel did give this heroine her own book sooner.
When the thing that defines you is stripped away, what else remains? That’s the question Daniel Warren Johnson looks to answer in his latest debut from Image Comics. Part revenge epic, part family drama, this first issue is endlessly inventive and gleefully bloody. The series is driven by Daniel Warren Johnson’s excellent characterization and electric art. Johnson takes a pretty straight forward concept and imbues it with new and exciting layers, making for a character-first ensemble that packs plenty of visual punch.
Far more than a mere tie-in to the hit video game, Injustice 2 is a comic all DC fans should be reading. This series came along to bridge the gap between games, but it’s mostly focused on telling its own story about a world where Batman and his allies are trying to pick up the pieces from Superman’s tyrannical regime. The smartest move DC could have made with this book was to bring original Injustice writer Tom Taylor back into the fold. They did that, and they also worked to ensure that the series maintains a surprising degree of visual consistency despite its weekly format. As it turns out, one of DC’s best superhero comics has nothing to do with Rebirth.
Few new comics impressed as strongly or quickly right out of the gate as Mech Cadet Yu. That’s what happens when you reunite a winning creative team like this one (who were also responsible for creating Amadeus Cho at Marvel so many years ago). This is the perfect beginning of a series, calling to mind Dragon Ball Z, Gundam, Power Rangers and more. This series is sure to satisfy any reader hungry for a little epic mech action, but one that can still appeal to a wide range of readers.
Many New Gods lovers would probably agree that DC has never seemed entirely sure of how to handle this epic, ambitious franchise without Jack Kirby steering the ship. Yes, there have been some great stories featuring the heroes and villains of the Fourth World since Kirby passed away, but this often feels like a saga with no real destination in mind. Until now. Mister Miracle is every bit as good as one would expect from a creative team of this caliber working with such a venerated character. Tom King and Mitch Gerads manage to blend the larger-than-life nature of the Fourth World with a very grounded and emotionally charged story of a hero at his lowest ebb. Regardless of your familiarity with the New Gods, this is a series that absolutely deserves to be on your pull list.
EditThe Old Guard by Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernandez (Image Comics)
The Old Guard features many trappings that will be recognizable to Greg Rucka fans, including a strong but tortured female protagonist and a heavy focus on espionage and black ops. But when combined with the Highlander-esque immortality angle and mixed together, the end result is something refreshing and new. Rucka and artist Leandro Fernandez practically channel Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso as they introduce this hard-boiled world of immortal mercenaries. Rucka is particularly skilled at introducing characters and worlds with grace. He only shows readers what they need to know about Andy and her team, preferring to let the art and dialogue do the talking. And talk they do. Leandro Fernandez’s shadowy style captures all the raw, bleak appeal of this world. Fernandez’s shadowy style goes hand in hand with Daniela Miwa’s colors, which bring life to the moonlit bedrooms, the inviting Paris streets and the sand-swept deserts that make up this series.
Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man has been the franchise’s driving force for years now, so it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that we approached the prospect of a second monthly Spider-Man comic by a completely different creative team. Luckily, writer Chip Zdarsky, Adam Kubert, and the rest of the team have succeeded in crafting a book that simultaneously builds on the foundations of ASM while charting its own course. It’s a more lighthearted, continuity-lite approach to Peter Parker’s world, one that arrived just in time to take advantage of the hero’s latest big-screen adventure. It’s also a comic that’s grown progressively more interesting and unpredictable with time.
Jeff Lemire is at his best when he’s both writing and illustrating his stories. It’s not that it makes a tale inherently better, but rather that the connection between his visuals and his words is just that much stronger. Royal City is a perfect example of that creative marriage, Lemire’s debut buzzing with a meticulously controlled intensity that’s propelled by its deeply flawed and richly imagined cast of characters. His deliberate roll-out, particularly when paired with his equally measured paint work, is captivating from the start, his script building ever so steadily to its haunting climax. Complex, personal, and double sized to boot, this series got off to an excellent start in 2017.
Writer Warren Ellis helped shape the entire industry in the late ‘90s with his Wildstorm work. Who better to help history repeat itself? Ellis proved he hasn’t lost his touch one bit with these characters, as he and artist Jon Davis-Hunt crafted a streamlined and wholly unique take on the Wildstorm Universe. While often slow-moving and methodical, The Wild Storm gives this universe the postmodern overhaul it needed while offering newcomers an easy gateway to characters like Jenny Blaze, Grifter and the Engineer.
2017 is the year Valiant Comics made a concerted effort to give readers clean, easy jumping-on points for a number of key franchises. And nowhere was that process more successful than with X-O Manowar, a relaunch of the company’s long-running, flagship comic. The beauty of this series is that you don’t need any prior experience with the character or the Valiant Universe to be sucked in. The saga of Aric of Dacia and his rise from humble farmer to soldier to general to emperor is engrossing nonetheless. X-O Manowar is a reminder that all you really need to hook readers is a great pitch and a worthy creative team.
Voting closes on December 19, so cast your vote for Best New Comic Book Series now!