It’s hard to believe the 2000-tens are over already, but it was a monumental decade for comics. While most sites have already had their final say on the decade, AIPT has yet to put out anything quite as definitive. It’s such a hugely difficult task to narrow down just 10 of anything in a span of ten years (that’s 3,650 days). If you can’t do the math, that’s 521 Wednesdays of new comic books to mull over and select!
While no top ten list is perfect — how can it be when serial storytelling can deliver a perfect 10/10 chapter but a story may drop off or even not finish its tale — the lists below capture my personal favorites. Many of my picks are based on my reviews over the last decade at AIPT as well any books read simply for enjoyment! Regardless, here’s hoping this is a decent snapshot of a great time for art and storytelling in comics.
Check out the honorable mentions here.
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The Top Ten Comics of the Decade
#10: Superior Spider-Man
Written by Dan Slott, Christos Gage
Art by Ryan Stegman and Giuseppe Camuncoli
I reviewed every issue of Superior Spider-Man for good reason: this series was exceptional. It made us rethink the idea of a superhero with a villain in the shoes of Spider-Man. It also played around with the genius mind of Doc Ock. From my review of issue #25, “This book has consistently rocked for so long you’d need to head bang to give it justice.”
#9: House of X/Powers of X
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by R.B. Silva, Pepe Larraz, and David Curiel
We’ve talked at length about these two revolutionary series over the last few months. Hickman blew us all away, defied our expectations, and reset an entire line of superheroes using clever hard sci-fi and built-in retconning that was always story-based. It’s an impressive feat and a series that will be on our minds for some time. It’s still early to say where it takes us, but we’re all-in on this ride. From my review of House of X #2, “This is an absorbing sci-fi drama not to be missed. This is edge of your seat comics storytelling.”
#8: Rick and Morty
Written by Zac Gorman and Kyle Starks
Art by CJ Cannon and Marc Ellerby
This is the ultimate grab-bag comic book series. Every issue is a done-in-one, making it accessible to any reader who likes sci-fi or loves the show. This series also got us through the rough times when the cartoon wasn’t on the air for months and months. The creative juices are impressive, the art exceptional in its ability to capture the style of the show, and it’s a series I may have given the most 10/10 scores. I reviewed 32 issues of this series (not counting the spin-offs)! From my review of issue #17, “To reiterate: you could easily take this issue and animate it and nobody would know it wasn’t made by the creators.”
Written by Mark Millar
Art by Goran Parlov
Mark Millar has proven to be a visionary for a deeply meaningful and highly entertaining narrative. He’s already had series turned into film to prove his work can live on in other formats, but I’m still waiting for Starlight to make it to the big screen. This is a series that is a deep love letter to pulp sci-fi novels, Flash Gordon, and golden age sci-fi comics. While we tentatively await Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Doc Shaner’s Strange Adventures, read this series to get in the mood for more sci-fi old school vibes.
Written by Tom King
Art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta
When you review comics as long as I have you forget creators everyone loves were once still breaking in. Case in point, Tom King’s run on Vision. This series is obviously inspiring the upcoming Wanda/Vision series and that’s thanks to King and Walta’s idea to mix sci-fi, superheroes, and suburbia. From my review of issue #1, “The fact is this is a perfectly told comic which dances between expert brooding and dark narration and deeply flawed characters. And yet they pretend not to be. Mixed with some powerful art this is as compelling as comics can get.”
Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples
This is a series that widely love thanks to the incredible abilities of its creators to make the characters more real then we could possibly imagine ourselves. It’s also a story that we can all relate to and connect with capturing the weirdness, grossness, and awkwardness of real life via a robust and exceptional world. From my review of issue #51, “Its ability to balance character moments with big story beats is unparalleled.”
#4: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
Written by Ryan North
Art by Erica Henderson and Derek Charm
I recently reviewed the original 8-issue run and loved it thoroughly. And it’s my third reading of the series, too. Comics can come along and remind us innovation and imagination are always around the corner. This series inspires and will literally give you energy. From my review of issue #14, “The trick of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is how much entertainment it packs into every single issue.”
#3: Black Widow
Written by Chris Samnee and Mark Waid
Art by Chris Samnee
Knowing that Chris Samnee is working with Robert Kirkman on something brand new is delightful. Samnee has proven he is one of the best in the business thanks to his run on Captain America, but also the legendary run (to me, at least) on Black Widow. Samnee and Mark Waid captured a sense of adventure, character development with a cinematic visual style that made us all gasp with excitement. Don’t miss this run. From my review of issue #11, “Black Widow is a visual feast that’s so damn cinematic we may not need a film. This is it. It’s just as good and action aficionados need this in their life.”
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo and Jock
When it comes to decades list Snyder should be on your mind. He came onto the scene in 2010, blowing us all away with “The Black Mirror” series published in 10 issues of Detective Comics. It’s a big reason why he took over Batman with Greg Capullo with the New 52 initiative and it’s impressive how well Snyder and Capullo — with ample guest artists — kept us in suspense and entertained for so long. For four years, they kept us intrigued and explored new organizations like the Court of Owls, made Joker all kinds of scary in new ways, and made Bruce Wayne more vulnerable than ever. From my review of issue #48, “A menagerie of nightmares float about Gotham in more ways than one, but more importantly the core of Batman discovers its true self.” For good measure, read my review of issue #44, “This is an exceptional story with its finger right on America’s pulse when it comes to gun violence.”
#1: The Goddamned
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by R. M. Guera and Giulia Brusco
I grew up in a household where my father was a born-again Christian and my mother believed in the spiritual practices of the Native American. It kept me open-minded and willing to listen. It’s a reason why Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera’s Goddamned, which I hope returns again soon, blew my mind. Aaron’s exploration of Biblical stories matched with the gory and incredibly unique art of Guera was outstanding. From my review of issue #5, “The Goddamned is brutally violent, delivering mayhem, hopelessness, and despair in a package one should relish.”
What are your top 10 comics for 2010-2019? DO we have any shared selections, or think I missed something? Drop a note in the comments!
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