Kabooooom’s Favorite Comic Books, Writers, Artists, & Variants of 2016!

As we say goodbye to 2016, we share our picks for our favorite comic books, comic writers, artists, and variant covers. For our favorite movies, TV, and video games—click here!


» COMIC BOOKS «

monstress best comic 2016

Monstress

While Monstress started in 2015, it has been consistently amazing throughout 2016 as well. Sana Takeda’s art is incredibly detailed and sets a perfectly dark fantasy atmosphere. Her pencils and inks create a different level of visual storytelling then many comic book artists are able to achieve. Marjorie Liu incorporates themes of subjugation, war, and friendship into a tale filled with strong female characters. Liu’s story has continually been rich and thought-provoking.

Marcus Hammond, Writer

 

cryptocracy best comic 2016

Cryptocracy

Cryptocracy is the newest comic series from the minds of Van Jensen and Pete Woods. The term “Cryptocracy” comes from Ancient Greek κρυπτός ‎(kruptós), with kryptós ‎(kryptós, “hidden”) and κραττείν ‎(kratteín, “to rule”) meaning a form of government where the real leaders are hidden or merely unknown. This comic tells the story of the nine families in control of the Earth who suddenly find themselves under attack from an unknown enemy. The series has done a fine job creating characters who the reader care about, and it incorporates almost every conspiracy theory into the overall narrative. Cryptocracy is a super fun ride that is well written, taking ridiculous topics and making them very believable in the comic world. If you are looking for an unusual and fun comic to read, check this one out.

Byron Lafayette, Writer

 

zodiac starforce 4 pull list header

Zodiac Starforce

Zodiac Starforce is certainly a comic which flew under the radar, but it’s the the comic that charmed me the most this year. Written by Kevin Panetta and illustrated by Paulina Ganucheau, Zodiac Starforce is a wonderful story of friendship, sacrifice, and some of the coolest powers a benevolent goddess can bestow on a group of teenage girls. The series is only four issues, all of which have been compiled as the trade paperback, Zodiac Starforce: By the Power of Astra (order yours today!). As I gushed in my review: “Panetta and Ganucheau have married the tropes of the [magical girl] genre with the high school experience in way that is both refreshing and familiar; equally nostalgic and forward-thinking.” This is a series that’s absolutely brimming with potential. I can only hope Dark Horse (or maybe another publisher?) allows Panetta and Ganucheau to give us more Zodiac Starforce, because I need it.

Sarah Moran, Editor-in-Chief

 

darkwing duck pull list header

Disney Darkwing Duck

The original Boom! Studios Darkwing Duck comic was one of the best all-ages books to hit the stands in years. Going beyond capturing the spirit and appearance of the original animated series, it also offered a heaping-helping of geek-friendly reference humor and a series of team-ups only dreamed of by the most obsessive of Disney animation fanboys. (Magica DeSpell and Negaduck, people!) This year’s new Darkwing Duck comic by Joe Books proved a perfect continuation of the Boom! Studios series, being that rare kid-friendly comic that adults can enjoy, too. Sadly, the series is in dire straits and its continued publication may rest on sales of the upcoming trade paperback collection of its first few issues. I urge you – for children everywhere and my own inner child – buy this book if you are any kind of comics fan! It truly is the best comic series I’ve read all year.

Matt Morrison, Contributing Editor

 

daredevil 8 review header

Daredevil

Charles Soule has had one hell of a year, but his most impressive achievement being his Daredevil run. Soule has managed to tap into the comedic essence of the recent Mark Waid run and the darkness of Miller and Bendis’ respective runs. Soule has also managed to create a whole new cast of characters and villains that are instant classics. At 14 issues, Daredevil has already include a monumental character moment for not only Matt Murdock, but his young protege Blindspot as well. The run also includes what is my new all-time favorite Daredevil issue. The art team has featured a few different artists (all fantastic) but the most crucial and consistent is Ron Garney, who perfectly accents Soule’s style. They combine for what will no doubt be an essential Daredevil series going forward.

Brandon Griffin, Writer

 

» COMICS WRITER «

julie benson shawna benson best writer 2016
credit: Batman-News

Julie & Shawna Benson

It’s no secret that Gail Simone’s Birds of Prey is one of my favorite series of all time. Even less of a secret is that I considered the portrayal of Black Canary and Batgirl in their recent pre-Rebirth solo-series to have been sub-par. I went into the new Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey title dreading what fresh hell would be wrought with my precious holy trinity of Babs, Dinah and Helena this time. Thankfully, Julie and Shawna Benson have crafted something uniquely their own while simultaneously drawing upon everything that came before, for good and for ill. Within the span of a single issue, they did more to salvage Barbara Gordon’s legacy as Oracle than any other writer had in the past five years. And to my mind they’re still the only writers to make the ‘Black Canary as a rock-star superheroine’ concept work believably.

Matt Morrison, Contributing Editor

 

tom king best writer 2016
credit: Washington Post

Tom King

Following Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s legendary run on New 52’s Batman is no easy task. Fortunately for DC, Tom King was up to task right out of the gate. Batman has been one of the strongest Rebirth titles and they have King and his creative team to thank for that. Vision, however, is King’s tour de force for Marvel. The 12 issue run is one that I will most certainly never forget. It’s a sick, sadistic, and tragic tale of Vision attempting to have a family. I cannot recommend this book enough to readers, it’s a truly disturbing masterpiece. Tom King spent 2016 cementing himself as one of the best writers in the business.

Brandon Griffin, Writer

 

» COMICS ARTIST «

mike del mundo best artist 2016

Mike Del Mundo

Del Mundo has been around the Marvel artist stable for a while now. He’s worked on a ton of single issues and has done exceptional work on Elektra, Weirdworld, and the current run of Avengers with Mark Waid. His style is surreal and completely unique. To me the mark of a great artist is when their work transcends yet complements the written work. I have found myself going back through issues of Weirdworld just to see how the different angles and colors Del Mundo uses affect my reading experience. I can’t wait to see where Del Mundo takes The Avengers in 2017.

Marcus Hammond, Writer

 

Andrea Sorrentino Marcelo Maiolo best artists 2016

Andrea Sorrentino & Marcelo Maiolo

Old Man Logan was by far the best X-Men title of 2016 and the art is a major reason for that. Sorrentino and Marcelo Maiolo combine for a gritty Wolverine slash-extravaganza. They make these panels come to life, and Maiolo’s colors explode off of the page. The book has a real unique style and flavor to it, delivering beautiful splash pages and massive spreads of gruesome violence. They also really fleshed out the interesting adversaries Logan faces, making this a hard to forget comic reading experience.

Brandon Griffin, Writer

 

jon davis hunt best artist 2016

Jon Davis-Hunt

There is a tendency in horror comics for artists to slather the pages in shadows. One of the many things that set Clean Room apart from other works in the genre was its bright, clear aesthetic. It didn’t look like a horror comic at first glance, which made it all the more terrifying when unspeakable, slathering beings from beyond finally did make their faces known… assuming that they HAD faces! All of that came down to the work of Clean Room co-creator Jon Davis-Hunt.

Matt Morrison, Contributing Editor

 

» VARIANT COVERS «

Extraordinary X-Men 1 Variant cover Sanford Greene

Extraordinary X-Men #1 (Hip-Hop Variant) by Sanford Greene

The Marvel hip-hop variants might be my favorite thing to ever happen in comic books. As a diehard hip-hop head and lifelong Marvel fanatic, I can’t get enough of them. Sanford Greene’s decision to utilize the X-Men and their DNA to recreate De La Soul’s 3 Feet High & Rising was a perfect match. It also doesn’t hurt that both De La and X-Men are things I hold near and dear to my heart. This was one of the first hip-hop variants I had seen, and since then I have been obsessed with collecting as many as possible. Keep ’em comin’ Marvel!

Brandon Griffin, Writer

 

Red Sonja 1 variant cover Marguerite Sauvage

Red Sonja #1 by Marguerite Sauvage

I could honestly place any of Marguerite Sauvage’s variant covers for the third volume of Red Sonja on this list. Pressed for choice, however, I have to go with the first issue. I think this cover offered most readers their first view of Sonja in her new costume and Sauvage perfectly captured the spirit of Sonja – powerful and a warrior born, despite her fair face.

Matt Morrison, Contributing Editor

 

All-New Wolverine 1 variant cover Keron Grant

All-New Wolverine #1 by Keron Grant

I’m not a huge fan of variant covers, but every once and awhile a cover really grabs my attention. This cover is an interpretation of DMX’s Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood album cover. I can’t think of a better portrayal of Laura Kinney. The way she holds her claws out in a pose of surrender, yet stares out at the viewer with cold disregard as she drips with blood captures Laura’s back story perfectly within a single image.

Marcus Hammond, Writer

 

batman 50 daughtry variant-3

Batman #50 (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Variant) by Chris Daughtry

Bryon Lafayette, Writer

[Read Byron’s interview with artist Chris Daughtry about this very cover!]

 


These are our picks for our favorite comic books, writers, artists and variant covers of 2016! What are your favorites from the past year? Let us hear from you in the comments!

And from all of us here at Kabooooom – Happy New Year!

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