Published on January 5th, 2015 | by Dapper Dan


Top Comics of 2014

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When we started discussing our Top comics of 2014, here at NTC Towers, we quickly hit an impasse, albeit a nice one. The comic industry is in such an amazingly healthy place creatively right now, that we were literally unable to come to agreement on which of our favourite books were better than any of each other’s choices. Rather than fight it out, Thunderdome style (Many geeks enter, one geek leaves) we opted to give you a selection of the comics that rocked our world this year; a smorgasbord of strips if you will.

As a result we all picked a title and backed up our love for it with a few words. So without further ado (and in no particular order) here’s Need To Consume’s Top Comics of 2014:

Black Widow 1

Black Widow (2014)

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Written by Nathan Edmondson
Art by Phil Noto

I have read so many great comics this year, and so many that are great in really unique ways but what I think makes Black Widow the best is that the comic nailed it on all counts. Black Widow helped start out a year of comics that focused on the prominent women of Marvel, and Natasha is, commercially, the most well-known. Without compromising, Edmondson has created a comic that is both true to comic and film audiences’ expectations of the character and carries a story of real character development and exploration. On top of that, Phil Noto’s already prominent art is now nearly synonymous with Natasha, as definitive as Bill Sienkieviwicz’s Elektra or David Aja’s Hawkeye. It is always flawless and always beautiful, and heart-rending when it needs to be. – Lauren McPhee

Green Arrow Vol 6

Green Arrow (2011)

Publisher: DC Comics
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Andrea Sorrentino

The team took one of DC’s worst received and worst performing New 52 series, and made it truly spectacular. With the success of the television series Arrow, DC had to back that up with a book to match and they certainly did. With sterling work by Sorrentino, the colour work by Marcelo Maiolo, and you’ve got something that hits hard in every way a great comic can. The run was damn spectacular, and Lemire and Sorrentino have every right to be considered Green Arrow’s Claremont/Miller. – Edward Martin

Rat Queens 1

Rat Queens (2013)

Publisher: Image Comics
Written by Kurtis J. Weibe
Art by Various

This book has gone through some turmoil of late but certainly seems to have found its’ way back and looks ready to kick butt in 2015! I picked up the volume one trade earlier in the year and it is the first book in a long time that has genuinely had me laughing out loud. What’s not to like about four sweary, obnoxious women who go on quests for gold, fuck a lot, drink even more and slay anything and anyone that looks at them wrong. The book seems to have been a huge success and certainly found a fan base quickly. I hope they can build on this in 2015 with a new artist on board and start knocking out the issues monthly. You can get volume one in trade now with new issues coming soon! – Duke

Ms MArvel Vol 1

Ms. Marvel (2014)

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Art by Adrian Alphona

G. Willow Wilson’s fresh and exciting new teenage superhero comic has been a mega success this year and with very good reason. Aside from the fact it has an amazingly realised female, Pakistani-American central character (The first ever comic from the Big 2 to have a Muslim lead), the story has been one of an emerging teenage superhero who has to juggle her different lives in a very relatable way. This comic has touched the hearts and imagination of a very wide audience and been entertaining to boot. When I read the first few issues it reminded me of the time I first read The Amazing Spider-Man in my youth and the emotions I felt all those years ago: it’s almost a modern version of those early days of the Marvel comics. I can’t remember the last time a new superhero comic had that kind of effect on me.  – Darryl Robson

Trillium 1

Trillium (2014)

Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics
Written and drawn by Jeff Lemire

Billed as “The Last Love Story Ever Told”, Trillium tells the story of William, a traumatised veteran of World War 1 exploring an Incan ruin in 1921, and Nika, a botanist looking to save humanity from an interstellar plague in 3797. The universe conspires to bring them together for an epic love story with the fate of humanity at stake. Lemire is at the very top of his game, playing with the boundaries of narrative and the form afforded him by the comic medium in the best way possible. His artwork, a style all of his own, has never looked better, the use of watercolours lending a dream-like, intangible quality which suits the proceedings perfectly. Trillium is a masterpiece, not just my favourite comic of 2014 but potentially an all-time favourite. – Richard Bradley


The Superior Foes of Spider-Man (2013-2014)

Publisher: Marvel
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Steve Lieber

Superior Foes of Spider-Man was easily one of the best comic series of the year. On the face of it, a series about a bunch of B-list Spider-Man villains should never have worked. Hell, a comic that has Spider-Man in the title but doesn’t even feature the wall-crawler should never have worked, but the entire series was consistently funny and often inventive. Who’d have thought you would end up caring about BOOMERANG, for God’s sake? Spencer manages to make you do just that though. Lieber’s art often takes a page out of David Aja’s book, which is certainly no bad thing. The whole book has shades of Hawkeye about it, but it’s still very much its own thing. Not only one of the best books of the year, but probably one of the best books Marvel has ever put out. – Fee McBee

Multiversity 1

Multiversity (2014)

Publisher: DC Comics
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Various

A book almost ten years in the making, the groundwork for Morrison’s Multiversity was first laid in the weekly 52 series back in 2005-6. Based on the premise that DC Comics have 52 different universes/realities co-existing, Morrison posits that we the reader are directly affecting, and affected by, the events of each comic. The individual tales have all be excellent and the through narrative is compelling. If the remaining issues keep up the standard and the pay-off is there then expect this book to win the award again next year. – Michael Guest

And finally, my pick:

Secret Avengers 5

Secret Avengers (2014)

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Written by Ales Kot
Art by Michael Walsh

OK, bet you lot thought I’d say The Wicked + The Divine, didn’t you? It was a close run thing, I’ll admit. With the Fraction/Aja Hawkeye book seemingly delayed until the Rapture, Marvel have very quietly and very competently put out an Avengers book that scratches the same itch. The team is still SHIELD’s little secret, doing the jobs the main Avengers team can’t know about, but the core thread here is that the spymaster is keeping a deeper secret than just this team’s existence. Long-time Marvel villain, and fan of hats for the larger-skulled gentleman, MODOK is now SHIELD’S R&D man. Is he reformed? Ahhhhh, you’ll have to read it. Ales Kot builds up a mystery thriller full of suspense and twists, but never skimps on snappy dialogue and witty one-liners. One of the pleasures fo this book is that the whole product is just executed so well. Under Tradd Moore’s distinctive covers, and a plethora of big name variants, Michael Walsh works in a style complimentary to Aja’s, but still maintains his own identity. The double-page spread of Hawkeye and Coulson facing off in issue 10 was jawdropping stuff. – Dan Hart

In closing…

As I said at the top of this article; comics are in an incredibly good place right now with regard to diversity, both in terms of genres and improved representation. It’s worth noting that many of the titles you might have expected to see here were lauded by the NTC team but we chose to pick the single book that really stayed with us this year, without duplicating anyone else’s choice. We chose to make it a much more personal choice than a populist one.

There were some titles that several of us picked and it seemed a little unfair to let only one person cover them. so here’s the books that we we argued over! Honourable mentions (Almost too many to list) to Southern Bastards, The Wicked + The Divine, Amazing Spider-Man, The Fuse, Saga, Black Science, Fables, Astro City, Lazarus, Velvet, The Kitchen, Gotham Academy, BatmanThor… The list goes on.

It’s a good time to be a comic fan; go to the store and pick up something new. Chances are whatever you’re looking for IS being published right now.

Dapper Dan
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