Matt Murphy’s Top Comics of 2018

I want to start this intro by saying, listen, I know these listicles are masturbatory. Trust me, I’m right there with you on it. You thought you left obnoxious pundits back in 2017 when you muted Fox News on your Twitter timeline and that was the end of people shoving unwanted info down your throat. Well, I’m sorry reader. Rachael and Gaby called on me to make a list of the top 10 comics I’m looking forward to in 2018. Don’t worry, though, this isn’t Vice. The following opinions will be self-righteous, but they’ll actually be about comics releasing this year I’m genuinely hype for.

1. Valiant Comics’ Harbinger Wars 2 (Matt Kindt, Eric Heisserer, Tomás Giorello and Raúl Allén)

Top Comics of 2018 valiant Harbinger Wars 2 Matt Kindt Eric Heisserer Tomás Giorello Raúl Allén

© Valiant Comics

If you haven’t got on the Valiant bandwagon yet, you’re a Big 2 Sheep and you should be ashamed. Valiant is currently publishing some of the greatest superhero titles that take the genre to levels I haven’t seen in years. Seriously, go read Secret Weapons right now. Anyway, Harbinger Wars 2 is Valiant’s summer event of 2018. Unlike Infinity Nonsense #7 and Scott Snyder Writes Batman Again, HW 2 is interesting because it is made up of two ongoing stories per issue with some of Valiant’s premiere talent on it. An event where each issue is double-sized with a regular price tag on it? Must buy.

2. Image Comics’ Twisted Romance (Alex de Campi, Sarah Winifred Searle, Naomi Salman Trungles, Sarah Winifred, Margaret Trauth, Jess Bradley, Carla Speed McNeil, Meredith McClaren, Vita Ayala, Alejandra Gutiérrez, Sarah Horrocks, Magen Cubed, Katie Skelly)

top comics of 2018 Image Comics’ Twisted Romance (Alex de Campi, Sarah Winifred Searle, Naomi Salman Trungles, Sarah Winifred, Margaret Trauth, Jess Bradley, Carla Speed McNeil, Meredith McClaren, Vita Ayala, Alejandra Gutiérrez, Sarah Horrocks, Magen Cubed, Katie Skelly)

© Image Comics

If there’s anything I have a soft spot for in comics, it’s romance. If there’s anyone in comics I’d follow no matter what genre they explore, it’s Alex de Campi. From Grindhouse to No Mercy, de Campi has shook me to the core with everything she brings to comics as a medium. Knowing she’s going to be the one curating a romance anthology fills me with a lot of confidence that this is going to be a book a lot of people will talk about. Plus, Trungles is one of the artists working on this book and his art is so gorgeous and emotional. I’m really looking forward to him getting more attention once this is released.

3. Image Comics’ Bloodstrike (Michel Fiffe)

top comics of 2018 Image Comics’ Bloodstrike (Michel Fiffe)

© Image Comics

I have no idea how to explain why I’m excited to read Michel Fiffe’s upcoming Bloodstrike series without recommending reading Copra first. Copra, Fiffe’s ongoing creator-owned title, is the Ditko-esque Suicide Squad comic of my dreams. Visually, it is unlike any book being published right now. The possibility of seeing him tackle a Liefeld series like Bloodstrike is mouthwatering. There’s been no news on a release date or any information in general on this project since it was announced on Instagram, but my body is ready for when it does grace my LCS.

4. DC Comics’ Wonder Woman: Earth One Volume 2 (Grant Morrison, Yanick Paquette)

top comics of 2018 DC Comics’ Wonder Woman: Earth One Volume 2 (Grant Morrison, Yanick Paquette)

© DC Comics

We’re living in a post-Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman world, and it is glorious. How could it possibly get better? If Morrison and Paquette revisited Diana’s early days in their Marston influenced graphic novel series. Which they are. The first volume was every bit as exciting as the film but just as weird and kinky as the early issues of Sensation Comics. Also, Yanick Paquette drawing anything is worth buying.

5. Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise XXV (Terry Moore)

top comics of 2018 Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise XXV (Terry Moore)

© Terry Moore

Do you remember the first comic you picked up that was so beautiful and perfect in art, story, voice, and production that you had to take breaks in between issues because you were crying thanks to it being the physical embodiment of everything you loved about comics as a medium? That comic, for me, is Strangers in Paradise. It is one of the single greatest comic series ever made and, for its 25th anniversary, Terry Moore is returning to the book that put him on the map. I’m looking forward to catching up with Katchoo and Francine.

6. Marvel Comics’ X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis  (Ed Piskor)

top comics of 2018 Marvel Comics’ X-Men Grand Design: Second Genesis  (Ed Piskor)

© Marvel Comics

If you’re one of the 30 regular listeners of the Longbox, you know that I loved the first volume of X-Men Grand Design by Ed Piskor. Akin to his widely popular series, Hip Hop Family Tree, Grand Design explores the history of Marvel’s mutants from the very beginning. It is highly detailed and informative in a way that Marvel encyclopedia you got for Christmas a few years back never will be. The first volume was so well-received that the second is being rushed for release this summer.

7. Marvel Comics’ Amazing Spider-Man (Dan Slott, Stuart Immonen)

top comics of 2018 Marvel Comics’ Amazing Spider-Man (Dan Slott, Stuart Immonen)

© Marvel

Whether you loved it or hated it, Dan Slott’s legendary run on Amazing Spider-Man is finally coming to a close. It’s been 11 years since he started as a writer with the Brand New Day storyline. There’s been bumps in the road here and there, but Slott will go down as one of the greatest Spidey writers of all time. His 2017 work on the title has been some of my all-time favorites. It’ll be disappointing to see him go, but the rumors are that his run will end with Peter and MJ getting back together, and if that’s true, I can’t wait to see what he has in store for ASM this year.

8. Netflix’s The Magic Order  (Mark Millar, Olivier Coipel)

top comics of 2018 netflix the magic order

© Netflix

Remember when Netflix bought Millarworld and everyone was excited for the TV and film adaptations? Well, did you know Netflix will be publishing Millarworld comic books? Someone has to try and combat Disney monopolizing the entertainment market! The first title to be released will The Magic Order with Olivier Coipel on art. I don’t think I need to do any more to sell this book other than telling you Oliver Coipel is drawing it.

9. Dark Horse Comics’ Xerxes: The Fall of the House of Darius and the Rise of Alexander  (Frank Miller, Alex Sinclair)

© Dark Horse

Did anyone think this book was ever going to be released? I sure as hell didn’t. Xerxes is the long-awaited 300 prequel from the legendary Frank Miller and it’s coming out this April. I was a bit disappointed to see that Alex Sinclair will be coloring the book but I should accept that we’ll never see Lynn Varley color Miller again. Last we saw Miller, he did the mini-comic on Superman in DKIII: The Master Race #9 and it was so good, I cried. Hopefully, Xerxes gives me a similar emotional reaction.

10. DC Comics’ Action Comics #1000 ( Brian Michael Bendis, John Cassaday, Olivier Coipel, Paul Dini, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Patrick Gleason, Butch Guice, Geoff Johns, Dan Jurgens, Tom King, Jim Lee, Clay Mann, Brad Meltzer, Jerry Ordway, Tim Sale, Louise Simonson, Scott Snyder, Curt Swan, Peter J. Tomasi, Marv Wolfman and more)

top comics of 2018  DC Comics’ Action Comics #1000 ( Brian Michael Bendis, John Cassaday, Olivier Coipel, Paul Dini, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Patrick Gleason, Butch Guice, Geoff Johns, Dan Jurgens, Tom King, Jim Lee, Clay Mann, Brad Meltzer, Jerry Ordway, Tim Sale, Louise Simonson, Scott Snyder, Curt Swan, Peter J. Tomasi, Marv Wolfman and more)

© DC

Action Comics #1000 is being released in 2018 and is currently listed on Amazon as a 384-page hardcover book priced at $30. It’s listed in Previews as 80 pages and $7.99. Do we know what’s actually in it? Not really. It will have Brian Michael Bendis’ first DC work since his departure from Marvel as well as the return of the Superman’s beloved red trunks design. Not enough people truly appreciated the New 52 dick print style, I guess. This is sure to be a book that people will try to sell on the aftermarket for inflated prices. Don’t you fall for the trap, you casual! Pay cover at your local comics shop and enjoy a monumental milestone in comics history!

What are your top comics of 2018?

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