I don't feel the need to predicate this final part of my 2015 trilogy with explaining why I need to denote in the title "what I've read"...mostly because it should be obvious that I haven't read every comic that's come out this year. That's basically impossible.
Still, I've got a solid selection here, I feel. I tried to read some pretty good series this year and I think it definitely paid off. There were also several times where I could barely decide between one issue or another. I've also placed a strict rule of only one issue per series, otherwise Justice League would pop up like three times on this list.
As an "honorable mention" of sorts, too, I'll say that the Marvel Original Graphic Novel Rage of Ultron was an incredible story and was the best Ultron story we've gotten in a long time. It was engaging, gripping, had great art, and really made you feel for the robot and his father, Hank Pym, both in the past and in the present.
So, without further ado, let's check out the list.
10. Unity #15
|Writer: Matt Kindt; Art: Pete Perez|
|Writer: Cullen Bunn; Artist: Ron Ackins|
The end of an era. I was sad to see this series go but was very pleased with the way that it ended up going out. It did feel like a grand series finale, even if the situations within the issue itself weren't too huge. It was the culmination of what Warren Ellis and Brian Wood were also building toward, setting up Cullen Bunn for the perfect kill. As the cover shows us, there is finally a bridge between Moon Knight and Khonshu, as the relationship had been wavering over the past few issues. This issue, showing a misguided church of Khonshu, allows for some more interesting imagery that has allowed the series to stand out as well as finish on a very powerful image of Khonshu comforting his favored son.
|Writer: Jonathan Hickman; Artist: Esad Ribic|
As of late, Secret Wars has been waning in my interest. Both the delay and a weaker story have resulted in this. Even then, after the monumental first issue, the story did move places, but it wasn't really excellent. This issue elevated the story, raising the stakes and showing the fearsome resolve of God Doom. It was also the first encounter of our main heroes and Doom. The standoff between Doom and Reed Richards was chilling. Doom didn't reveal any harsh expression, but just seeing the two stand against each other was great. This issue set Secret Wars to be a great, epic series. Sadly, though, the rest of the series has not quite delivered.
|Writer: Matt Kindt; Artist: Trevor Hairsine|
This issue revolves around Divinity, who now has unstoppable, godlike abilities, trapping the warriors of Unity in their own minds for what, to them, seems to be decades of time. And only Ninjak has the way to stop them. This issue, and Divinity as a whole, stresses mind over matter, and certainly mind over muscle. Unity barges into this issue looking for a fight, but Divinity puts them down in that regard quite easily. The journey that Ninjak undergoes is marvelous to watch, and is paralleled perfectly by Divinity's quest to find, basically, the power of God. The art in this issue is excellent and the writing is nearly perfect for our two main characters. On the whole, Divinity may be the best miniseries to come from 2015, and this issue, as it includes Unity, really puts it up there.
|Writer: Geoff Johns; Artist: Jason Fabok|
|Writer: Jeff Lemire; Artist: Ramon Perez|
|Writers: Tim Seeley, Tom King; Artist: Mikel Janin|
Grayson was a series I disregarded after Forever Evil because, well, it wasn't Nightwing. It was Dick Grayson as himself and as a sexy super-spy. That really didn't appeal to me. What DID appeal to me was Dick Grayson finally returning to Gotham and meeting up with most of his former allies. It was a very heartfelt reunion, and each beat fit perfect in the story. As a reader, you could feel the family ties being knotted back together in each meeting. The two that stand out the most, for me, are when he meets back up with Jason and Tim (as Jason punches him in the face and Tim berates him), as well as when he reunites with Damian (in which Damian gives him a big hug, like he's seeing an older brother again). This, of course, would help set up the events to play out in the ongoing weekly Batman and Robin Eternal series, but it was nevertheless an amazing return for the original Robin.
|Writers: Scott Snyder, Brian Azarello; Arist: Jock|
A departure from the norm at the time, Batman #44 brought us an origin story, of sorts, for new villain Mr. Bloom. But, beyond that, it was a refreshing return to just basic detective-things and crime fighting for Batman. The issue revolves around a boy who dies from a steep fall after being shot--however, no planes have been around the area and no other way for him to fall has been determined. Thus, Batman takes to the Penguin to see what he may know. The result? Pretty haunting. It's all incredibly reminiscent of the story of Icarus, both regarding the boy as well as for Batman. They simply flew too close to the Sun. And while "Endgame's" final issue certainly had a lot of power and gravitas behind it, this one's sense of mystery and the style that Azarello and Jock bring certainly put it on a whole other level. It makes me want to see more of this Batman with those two behind it.
|Writer: James Tynion IV; Artist: Tony S. Daniel|
|Writer: Grant Morrison; Artist: Doug Mahnke|