1. STAR WARS #11 and #12 / Marvel Comics
Written by Jason Aaron / Art by Stuart Immonen
What can I say, I have STAR WARS fever! Marvel is hitting home run after home run with this franchise and that has a lot to do with writer Jason Aaron who proves over and over he has a true understanding of this universe and the characters within. We got a double dose of Star Wars in November and both of these issues were stunning. Issue #11 was basically a Dengar one-shot where he has an epic battle with Chewbacca. These comics are so great at showcasing lesser, but very much loved, characters. So glad Dengar got some love here. And issue #12 was absolutely insane featuring an arena style battle with a huge half-mechanical beast and pretty much all the heroes from the original trilogy wielding a lightsaber. Oh, it was so sweet. If you are not on board with these new canonical Star Wars books yet you are doing yourself a huge disservice.
2. SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN #1 / DC Comics
Written by Max Landis / Art by Nick Dragotta
DC is at its best when it tackles a single character in a small mini-series. Their on-going stuff is often convoluted and way too confusing for a casual reader to dive into. SUPERMAN: AMERICAN ALIEN #1 is the first of a 7-part mini-series from writer Max Landis that focuses on key moments in Clark’s life. Each issue can stand alone as kind of a one-shot comic, but they all come together to give reader’s a glimpse of what it was like for Clark to grow up as an alien. This issue focuses on Clark learning how to fly while living on the farm back in Smallville. It’s heartwarming, fun, and was just a wonderful little story. Just a moment in Clark’s life. All 7 issues will be illustrated by a different artist and Nick Dragotta perfectly captures this story with his signature style. Every panel is flawless. This issue was something truly special and it is accessible to just about anyone. Can’t wait to see what’s next.
3. BLACK MAGICK #2 / Image Comics
Written by Greg Rucka / Art by Nicola Scott
Get use to Greg Rucka’s BLACK MAGICK showing up on these lists. This is easily one of my favorite new comics to come out in the past few years and we are only on issue #2! The story surrounding a bad ass female investigator by day and powerful witch by night is truly captivating. The universe Rucka has crafted is so rich in detail and wonderfully mysterious in all the right ways. And while I love every word written, a lot of my joy comes from Nicola Scott’s art. It’s the best thing I can do for my eyes. Absolutely beautiful. Ruck and Scott are a dream team for comic book lovers. And they are both at the top of their game with BLACK MAGICK.
4. MONSTRESS #1 / Image Comics
Written by Marjorie Liu / Art by Sana Takeda
Oh man, where did this new book come from!? It’s beautiful! And MONSTRESS #1 is an oversized issue for only $4.99 that is as thick as a trade paperback. Talk about bang for your buck. While I’m not 100% sure what going on in this book just yet, I can tell you that from the very first page I was transported into a world full of mystery, exotic locations, cool characters, and some pretty insane magic. It seems Liu has created a huge world here and I can’t wait to explore it deeper. And Takeda’s art is simply phenomenal and begs to be animated. I can see each and every panel moving in my mind and the attention to detail here is impressive. It’s obvious that a lot of love and time was put into this single issue and I can highly recommend it to anyone.
5. STAR WARS: VADER DOWN #1 / Marvel Comics
Written by Jason Aaron / Art by Mike Deodata
Alright, I’m busted! Another Jason Aaron Star Wars comic made the list. I know, I know, but he’s just so damn good at telling compelling stories in this universe. VADER DOWN #1 is the first of a 6-part crossover between Aaron’s STAR WARS and Kieron Gillen’s DARTH VADER. Characters from both on-going comics collide when Luke and Vader crash land on a mysterious planet. Having all of these characters interact is tricky business because it can’t step on the toes of the films or change the relationships dramatically. It will be fun to see what Aaron comes up with and how he will pull it off. I have faith in the man, he did have a blind Luke fight Boba Fett. Sneaky. Either way VADER DOWN is sure to be epic and it’s nice to have these two major on-going books collide.
And don’t miss: