Here are the twenty-five best ongoing comic book series of 2011…so far, according to MTV Geek. The saddest part of this article is the majority of the DC Comics titles that made this list will either be cancelled or rebooted come September.
Did you favorite comic series make the list?
DISCLAIMER: The opinions stated in this article are those of MTV Geek and not those of The Michael Show.
25. Heroes for Hire (Marvel Comics)
24. New Mutants (Marvel Comics)
23. Thunderbolts (Marvel Comics)
22. Ultimate Spiderman (Marvel Comics)
21. The Walking Dead (Image Comics)
20. X-Men Legacy (Marvel Comics)
19. Action Comics (DC Comics)
18. Sweet Tooth (DC Comics)
17. The Incredible Hulks (Marvel Comics)
16. American Vampire (DC Comics)
15. Captain America (Marvel Comics)
14. Venom (Marvel Comics)
13. Hulk (Marvel Comics)
12. R.E.B.E.L.S. (DC Comics)
11. Journey Into Mystery (Marvel Comics)
10. Uncanny X-Force
Can you tell yet I’m a fan of antihero series? And Rick Remender? The X-Men’s black-ops team, which takes care of tasks too dirty for the X-Men to even know about has been rock solid since issue one. But more than that, with big, strange ideas, insane action, and deep characterization, this title is the true heir to Grant Morrison’s New X-Men. This series only gets darker and stranger with every arc, to… By next year, we expect it will just be twenty-two pages of blood and anguish.
Few titles celebrate the pure joy of reading comic books like Skullkickers does. Mixing fantasy conventions with anachronistic humor and bloody, bloody violence, Jim Zub’s ongoing story of a big bald guy and an angry dwarf should be on every comic fans pull list; if not for the story, then at least for the laugh out loud sound effects. Also for the story, though.
8. Batman Incorporated
Grant Morrison’s latest Batman story was always going to be “good,” the question was whether it would be, “Oh, I kind of get that,” good, or actually good. I’m happy to say, it’s actually great, and in particular, the last few issues have been some of the most exciting, propulsive comics Morrison has ever written. Credit to now consistent artist Chris Burnham for being the best match for Morrison since Frank Quitely. Remember when Batman used to be fun? He is again, here. So yay for that.
7. Invincible Iron Man
Has there ever been a better run on Iron Man than Matt Fraction and Salvador Larocca’s? I’m just going to say, “No,” and leave it at that. The pair writer the crap out of Tony, while mixing huge scifi ideas that seem close enough to almost be real – just like any good Iron Man story should have – and heart-wrenching anguish for Iron Man and his team. The current Fear Itself arc has been terrifying and beautiful to look at, while the arc before that had an amazing ending that found all of Tony’s villains finally banding together. We can’t wait to see what happens next.
6. Secret Six
What makes someone a family? Is it proximity? Shared blood? Experiences? Gail Simone’s superb villain-centric series posits that its hating those people just a little bit less than everybody else – or at least enough not to kill them. Most of the time. This band of C-list misfits have become, over the course of the series, some of the most complex and multi-faceted characters in the DC Universe, and also, there’s King Shark, who is a shark. We’re going to be sad to see them go, but at least there’s one more issue, which looks like it will leave them going out like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The way it should be.
5. Generation Hope
Marvel’s next generation of mutant heroes had so many things going against it: the love readers have for every other young X-Men title; a writer new to the X-Men side of the universe; and what seemed like a limited premise, as new hero Hope travels around the globe activating the only six new mutants in existence. But Kieron Gillen has made this exciting, funny, and spectacularly original, from the horror story of a mutant baby who just doesn’t want to be born, to a superbly written issue set at a trial that completely redefines what we thought one character’s powers were. Add in beautiful manga-esque art from Salvador Espin, including one of the most adorable depictions of Kitty Pryde I’ve ever seen, and you have… Well, another beloved young X-Men comic.
4. Batman Detective Comics
]When writers are taking on Batman, they sometimes forget he’s a detective, or think that means just having him run prints through his bat computer. Snyder actually writes exciting, trippy mysteries for the bat to solve, and thereby made this title a must read for fans of mysteries, or superheroics. Plus, he’s created one of the most terrifying new villains for Batman to face in a decade in the form of Commissioner Gordon’s son, and this title jumps to the top of my pile every month.
3. Amazing Spider-Man
If you’re not reading Dan Slott’s Amazing Spider-Man then you don’t like comics. Okay, that’s pretty reactionary – but Slott is, and has always been writing the purest expression of Marvel’s most iconic character since maybe Stan Lee himself. With top notch artists, exciting storylines, brilliant twists, turns, in jokes, and great new characters, ASM is as good as its ever been, and maybe even better than that. Smart and funny, Slott understands that Spidey is the book any reader should be able to pick up at any point and get right in, while still pushing the ongoing soap opera and storylines. If you want to get a new reader into comics, hand them any issue of Amazing Spider-Man, and stand back in victory.
2. Avengers Academy
The premise is simple: a group of kids with the potential to become great villains are taken in to be trained by the heroes in the Avengers, as much to watch them as to make them better. But writer Christos Gage has made the series so much more than that, plumbing the depths of their characters, and the history of the Avengers to create a classic story that’s as good as anything Marvel has ever put out. Not only that, but he takes the time to make sure each character gets their due… And though it took a while, this was the year we fell in love with each character in the Academy. Look no further than the just released Fear Itself tie-in, which threatens each of them with death or annihilation. Its hard to make readers care about new characters; to make us feel this deeply means that the writer has done something great.
1. The Unwritten
Another slow burn, when this series started, it felt a lot like other Vertigo series: a Harry Potter stand-in finds out he has Harry Potter powers, and gets sent on an epic journey to control the power held in books. Except over time, writer Mike Carey and artist Peter Gross have created a complex tapestry that is an epic piece of literature in its own right. Sure, there are references a-plenty, but each issue brings new surprises in structure, from a story that focuses on what happens in the space between stories, to the main character finding himself in the belly of a whale – the same one who swallowed Pinocchio, Baron Munchausen, and more. Plus, the main three characters – Tom Taylor, Lizzie Hexam, and Savoy – have formed a bond of friendship so strong, they’re now the most exciting super-team in comics.