Here we are on the second Christmas of the week, otherwise known as New Comics Day! Top of the Stack was difficult to winnow down to just 10 this week, so you’ll have two bonus issues.
What exactly is Top of the Stack? It’s where John puts his books in his top ten reading order, counting down to the Top of the Stack. What will lay claim to king of the mountain (yes, his reading stack is beginning to resemble a mountain at this point) this week?
Let’s begin with…..
12) Hawkman Found #1
Written by Jeff Lemire with art by Bryan Hitch, this book is the latest must-have tie-in to Dark Nights Metal. The only reason this isn’t higher on the stack is I haven’t had a chance to catch up on the rest of Metal. I haven’t really followed the character since Geoff Johns’ run on the character quite some time ago, so I’m looking forward to see how DC revitalizes the character.
11) Batman: Creature of the Night #2
Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon delivered an amazing first issue where young Bruce Wainwright sought solace in the fictional character of Batman following the death of his parents. But it turned out Batman wasn’t as fictional as we initially thought as he helps the young boy find closure by finding the man responsible for that tragic night. This issue picks up when Bruce is older. If you don’t pick up the individual issues, definitely keep this one in mind when the trade is available.
10) Punisher: The Platoon #4
Garth Ennis is working on Punisher once more, which should be enough of a draw for most people. This time around he’s providing more information about what made Frank Castle into the man who could and would seek vengeance on the ones who killed his family. The bookends of each issue with old war buddies reminiscing and sometimes regretting the things they had done add the reality of the book. If you’re a Punisher fan, you don’t want to miss this one, especially if the Netflix show appealed to you. Also, check out the Welcome Back, Frank trade paperback for more Frank Castle greatness.
9) Flash #37
I’ve always been a fan of Scott McDaniel’s pencils and he’s working this issue; not to mention this is part two of the Cold Day in Hell storyline. There is a new crime lord in Central City and Flash is trapped in Iron Heights, the prison facility of the city. Much like Batman, Flash always benefits when the rogues take center stage and this looks like it will have that in spades. That cover says it all.
8) Jessica Jones #15
The “Return of the Purple Man” story has been an extremely emotional one for both Jessica Jones and the reader. Years after their initial encounter, the Purple Man is wreaking psychological destruction upon Jessica; she doesn’t know what or who to trust. As her life unravels, Kilgrave exploits his mental status for his own diabolical ends. If you followed season one of the Netflix show, you’ll need to read this.
7) Phoenix Resurrection #1
The elder Jean Grey makes her triumphant return to the Marvel Universe along with a few other favorites that have been missing. I’m looking forward to this to see the return of these characters and how they change the status quo in the Marvel Universe. To top it off, a favorite penciler of mine, Leinil Francis Yu is providing the art. The X-Men have needed a big event to help them regain their space in the comic book pantheon and I’m hoping this is the one (although I still think Inhumans vs X-men and Death of X were great epic stories–you should give them a go).
6) Teen Titans #15
This is the continuation of the Super Sons of Tomorrow storyline. Ed Benes and Jorge Jimenez provide some slick art to this chapter, but the reason to pick this up is the story. Jon Kent does something in the future so heinous that the Batman of Tomorrow has come back in time to prevent it from happening. I’ve always been a sucker for these glimpses of the future stories so I’m on-board for these issues.
5) Amazing Spider-Man #793
Venom Inc part 4 — there’s a maniac on the loose in New York City; make that many Maniacs and/or Maniac-infested characters. Ryan Stegman provides some stellar artwork for the series. If you’re a fan of Carnage or Venom, don’t sleep on this series. And let’s be honest, that Alex Ross cover is pretty awesome.
These top four were almost impossible to place, but here we go.
4) Thanos #14
Last issue was simply awesome. Geoff Shaw provides some killer pencils, but the main attraction is Donny Cates. Between this and Doctor Strange, I have a feeling much like I did when Geoff Johns’ started for DC Comics all those years ago. If Marvel plays this correctly, they could have a new voice that maps out their universe in a way that will provide stories people are still reading years from now. Hopefully Cates stays on these titles for lengthy runs like Johns did for JSA, establishing himself before taking on a larger role. And most important–who is the cosmic Ghost Rider?
3) Imaginary Fiends #2
Melba Li has been drafted by the FBI to assist in hunting down the creatures no one can see, even as one of them continues to torment her. This “imaginary friend” insisted that Melba kill her friend when they were younger, causing her to be institutionalized. If you’re a fan of Kill or Be Killed or X-Files investigations into the paranormal, this book will definitely appeal to you. The first issue was very strong, where we feel for Melba despite the act she committed.
2) Void Trip #2
So many good books this week! The artwork by Plaid Klaus (a name I think will grow in popularity for his amazing pencils) is gorgeous on this book. Meanwhile Ryan O’Sullivan crafts what can best be described as Jay and Silent Bob on a Star Wars-type road trip. This book is hilarious, a nice change of pace from the heavier pieces that are out there. If you’re looking for something a little more light-hearted, this is definitely the book for you. I can’t say enough good things about it and I’m looking forward to reading it.
But only one book prevented it from being Top of the Stack. And that is….
1) Doomsday Clock #2
Yup, Geoff Johns has channeled his inner Alan Moore extremely well, capturing the voice of the original. Gary Frank mimics some of Dave Gibbons’ techniques (9 panel pages!) but adds his own style to the book as well. The end product for the first issue was an astounding piece of comic literature. There were many questions posed that need to be answered, ones any DC fan will be sitting on the edge of their seat wanting to read the next page, the next book, the whole series as soon as possible. As a long-time DC fan, this had to be Top of the Stack.
Cover of the Week
Star Wars: The Storms of Crait #1
I’m a big fan of Marco Checchetto and here he provides a great piece for the cover. The interiors by Matthew Mayhew are just as amazing. Get your Star Wars fill with this book or just marvel at the amazing art.
Do you think I missed a book that should have been in the top 10? Is there another cover you feel was more deserving of the cover of the week? Let us know.