What a ride 2015 has been. From the good, the bad and the multiple No. 1 issues, it's been an interesting, yet inspiring year for the growth of the industry.
As you will gather from this list, there are a number of super strong independent titles and publishers making the list. While Marvel churns out restart after restart and DC loses its identity, publishers like Dark Horse, Vertigo and more have stepped up their game by giving writers and artists creative flexibility.
This isn't saying the "big boys" have sucked, I'm just saying that the little guys are getting stronger, more fun and better all-around when it comes to actual comic books.
Firstly, here are my five favorite series from 2015:
Midnighter (DC) by the Court's close personal friend Steve Orlando, Stephen Mooney, Romulo Fajardo Jr. and ACO:
From its emotionally soaked pages to its side-bursting funny ones, Steve Orlando has taken Midnighter to heights not thought conceivable. Seriously, it's 2015, and we're talking about Midnighter; that's impressive on its own. Orlando has taken out Apollo and unneeded team members getting in the way and put the focus on the central character as he takes on a new life. Not only is this antihero reaching new heights in the mind of readers, but it's a possible icon for homosexual comic book readers to latch on to.
Don't be ashamed if you haven't read this book, but seriously, get your crap together.
Tokyo Ghost (Image) by Rick Remender, Matt Hollingsworth and Sean Murphy:
As stated in my review of issue No. 1, this book is like the beautiful spawn of Mad Max and Borderlands. It's explosive, fast-moving art and the pace of the story make it feel like you're Netflixing and Chilling. This series does what so many try to do by making a social statement in a way that is clear to pick up on, but it isn't the driving point of the story. Remender paints the clear picture of all the shit we have thrown at us from gossip to glutton to violence without burying the solid story inside of Tokyo Ghost. Also, this is easily some of my favorite art of the year came out of this book.
Star Wars: Darth Vader (Marvel) by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca:
This book following the galaxy's most feared man set between "A New Hope" and "Empire Strikes Back" is a fantastic look into the man underneath the hood. I do want to take a moment and say I also loved the books focusing on Lando and Chewbacca, as well, but Vader takes the cake. Gillen gives us a look at the struggle between Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader like the prequels and even the original trilogy failed to do. Anakin's passion and skills shine through, all while Vader is preparing to lead the Empire back after the events of Episode IV.
Saga (Image) by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples:
No surprises here. This series still kicks ass, and not much needs to be said. Fiona Staples is inhuman. Seriously, everything she does blows me away. Especially her work on Saga. From the adventures to the romance to the time apart, Vaughan and Staples are killing the game.
Hawkeye (Marvel) by Matt Fraction, David Aja and Annie Wu:
Some people are made to control a character, and for Matt Fraction, that character is Clint Barton. So, please, allow me to wipe away the tears from my face (no offense, Jeff Lemire). This series changed the game on how to write a book about a superhero, who isn't really all that super. Every line of dialogue packed its own very unique punch, and that's due to Fraction's superbly smart writing and beautiful flow.
No better sentence encapsulates my feelings toward this series than Gawker's James Whitbrook:
"Not many writers could make a gang of Russian mobsters who punctuate their speech with “Bro” every few words be both legitimately menacing and frequently hilarious."
I'll miss you, Matt, keep Tweeting.
Stay tuned, as I'll be soon churning out my five favorite single-issues from 2015!
What are your favorite ongoing series of 2015?