Before you ask, yes. I do have a mild obsession with Image Comics. But in times like these, they are — in my opinion — one of the only ones in the industry that are consistently publishing material that is inclusive, and that manages to address current social issues without compromising entertainment and art. Without further ado, below is a list of the best comics of 2016.
The Black Monday Murders #1-4 (Jonathan Hickman/Tomm Coker, Image Comics)
ALL HAIL GOD MAMMON! Money, the oldest language known to man. If you’re looking for a good detective story, The Black Monday Murders might just be the right series for you. Hickman and Coker mix neo-noir with magic in this tale of murder and horror, where history is rewritten, where lies become truth, and vice versa.
Black Science, Vol. 4: Godworld (Rick Remender/Matteo Scalera, Image Comics)
While I love the entire series of Black Science, there’s a particular beauty in Godworld, as the story takes the reader for a journey to the very depths of a tortured mind. As Moreno Dinisio joins the team, it seems that the graphic artists took it up a notch and pushed the boundaries in this volume. Issue #25, along with Volume 5, recently came out and I’ve yet to be disappointed by this series.
For more on Black Science, you can read my review here (don’t worry, no spoilers).
Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening (Marjorie Liu/Sana Takeda, Image Comics)
Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, Monstress is the story of Maika, an orphan teenager that has still suffers from the trauma of war, both physically and psychologically. On top of that, she struggles a monster of tremendous power that lives within, making both girl and monster targets of both sides of a never-ending war. The artwork is absolutely stunning, mixing steampunk and art deco in a most beautiful manner.
Mockingbird #1-8 (Chelsea Cain/Kate Niemczyk, Marvel)
There not much to say about Mockingbird, only that it’s perfection and that it’s a crying shame that it was cancelled. Cain’s work is the first stand-alone Mockingbird series, and Bobbi Morse has never been more kickass. Issues #1 through #5 are structured as a puzzle box, while Issues #6 through #8 are set on a nerd cruise. What more can a girl ask for!
P.S.: You can dedicate it to your favorite fuckboi out there this Christmas!
Paper Girls, Vol. 1 (Brian K. Vaughan/Cliff Chiang/Matt Wilson, Image Comics)
From the writer of Saga and Y: The Last Man come another hit series: Paper Girls. With an all-girl character line-up, it has been compared multiple times with the Netflix TV show Stranger Things, due to its nostalgia-ridden setting and its science fiction plot line. Volume 2 was recently released, and it’s sure to be a treat.
Southern Bastards, Vol. 3: Homecoming (Jason Aaron/Jason Latour, Image Comics)
Southern Bastards: a comic about football that’s not exactly about football. After much excitement during volumes 1 and 2, Homecoming finally introduces Roberta “Berta” Tubb, a war hero and Black woman in Alabama. Homecoming is a very plot-heavy story arc, and leaves the readers yearning for the moment Coach Boss meets the other Tubb.
Katherine Elisa Ruiz-Díaz is a Graphic Novel Reviewer at Girls in Capes from Puerto Rico. She holds a B.A. in History, with minors in French and Biology, from Boston University, and is currently pursuing a degree in Law. She enjoys reading anything related to sci-fi and fantasy, and hides under the covers to read non-fiction and history books. Katherine is also an anime and TV junkie, and thinks that RPGs are the only video games truly worth playing. When she’s truly bored, she likes to sketch and paint. Find her on Goodreads.