Steve’s Top Ten Comics of 2013

Words, thoughts, and feels by Steve Seigh Jr.

When I think back on the comics I’ve read in 2013 something very intense happens. To put it one way, I’m overcome with a desire to shut my eyes, and I allow all of art, adventure, and emotions from this year’s books spill forth. It feels a bit like drowning, only you’re able to breath beneath the crushing waves.  At the start, my mind forces itself to go blank and I’m left with nothing but an impossible landscape of white. There’s nothing there. Only me.

Then … the torrents of color come rushing forth! They splatter, spill, and rage all round me – filling that unattainable landscape with shapes and stories. I look up into a star encrusted sky, and I see a woman. The shiny red and blue colors of her costume are shimmering  in the glow of a harvest moon. She’s tilting her head back, and the hair atop her head is nothing but a mess of blonde fire running along the nape of her exposed neck. It’s all very curious, because somehow, I know that this woman is about to die. And although this death is different, it’s still a death  all the same. You see … all of these colors, all of these words, and all of these stars – this is her story.

She smiles even well after her sacrifice has been made. I watch as her body falls gracefully from the vastness of the cosmos. And in the orange glow of that impossible moon I can see what look like diamonds falling from her eyes. She’s alive. Reborn.  She comes to rest but just a few feet from where I’m standing and she opens her eyes. Those stars, those stories, they’re all still there – each of them a firework exploding inside of her irides. I ask her why she’s smiling and she says “I am brand new. My story is just beginning and you’re the first to share it with me.

I take her hands in mine and wait until all of her can be focused on the words I am about to say. Her lips part ever so slightly as she draws a breath in anticipation. I stare, mesmerized by those stars swirling about her eyes and say …

I am Captain Marvel.

These are my Top Ten Comics of 2013

10. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man

Watching Miles learn that with great power comes great responsibility was an emotional roller coaster this year. That moment when he finally accepts his rightful place as the new Spider-Man of the Ultimate Universe gave me chills. When Miles had finally had enough, and proclaimed “I am Spider-Man.” , it was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had as a comic book reader and I will never forget it.

9. Hawkeye

Bro. This book was so futzing good this past year, bro. Track Suit Draculas, Grills, Kate, Lucky, Hurricane Sandy, “Aw, car.”, the highlight reel is seemingly endless, bro. Do you understand me? Ah, fugetaboutit, bro. Go read some Hawkeye and then we’ll talk.

8. The Superior Spider-Man

If there were an award for having the biggest balls in comics this year then The Superior Spider-Man would surely be taking home the gold. For real. Upon accepting the award for “Ballsiest Comic of 2013″, I imagine that this book would strut down the plush red carpet of the theater in which they were holding the ceremony, all while pushing a wheelbarrow in which to transport its massive balls. I seriously enjoyed the living hell out of every page this thrill ride had to offer.

7. Batman

Death of the Family, the loss of my favorite Robin, Damian, Dr. Death and Zero Year. It has indeed been a fine year to be a Batman fan, wouldn’t you agree? Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo brought us all on a bold, brutal, and bloody journey this year. It’s one that I won’t soon forget.

6. Sex Criminals

Two words: Cum World. ‘Nuff said. Oh, and fat bottomed girls? You really do make the rocking world go round.

sexcriminal2

5. Strange Attractors

Mathematics, Causality, Courage. These are just a few of the themes and theories that you’ll find inside of Charles Soule’s Strange Attractors. A most unexpected surprise, this book cradles my brain and proceeds to make sweet, sweet love to it each and every time I pick it up. Strange Attactors is a conversation starter. It’s a story that asks you to consider all of the little things in life, and it urges you to be someone who will make a difference in how this world works. Will you be a part of the problem or a part of the solution? Are you content to allow the inner workings of your own destiny be governed by mere chance? Or will you take control? The choice is yours.

4. Rachel Rising

Stephanie says it all the time on our podcast, “Rachel Rising is the best book you’re not reading.”, and I could not agree more. Terry Moore’s tale of the undying denizens of Mason is without a doubt one of the most rewarding reads of 2013. It’s pages are soaked in blood, yet there’s a tenderness to it as well. Rachel Rising pulls you in the way a great novel does. It’s rich with character, atmosphere, and there are surprises around the corner of each and every page. It’s easily one of my favorite titles of the year.

3. Daredevil

If you would have told me 2 years ago that Mark Waid’s Daredevil would be at the top of my pull list each and every month it’s released I might have believed you. But here I am, telling you that I am over the moon for this title. It’s got everything you could ever want in an action-packed yet heartwarming superhero tale. Don’t allow the memory of that almost-in-all-ways-terrible Daredevil movie color your opinion of the character and give this an honest shot. Mard Waid and Chris Samnee are a creative pairing for the ages and their time spent working with The Man Without Fear is by far one of the best comics of 2013.

2. Locke & Key

Good Lord, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to summarize my love of the final arc of such an immense and amazing story. You’re just going to have to take me at my word when I say that I have nothing but respect for Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez in their crafting of this intense series. It touches on every aspect of horror that I adore and I feel privileged to have been a part of it.

1. Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel is my hero. She inspires me. Watching her grow as a woman and as a character this past year has been the single greatest highlight of my comic book reading year. At times, her actions throughout this year made me feel like I could take on the entire world with one arm tied behind my belt. When I think of courage and of sacrifice I think of Carol Danvers, and I await her return to the pages of Marvel Comics in March of 2014 like no other Marvel.Now release in the new year  Higher. Further. Faster. More.

Verily! So here you have it! But, if you act now, you can check out all my winners in many other categories as well! It’s my parting gift to you! Thanks for playing!

But seriously folks, I want to take this opportunity to honor many other books, writers, and artists that blew my freaking mind this year. Every book and/or person that you see mentioned here has created something that I will cherish having read forever.

Best On-Going Series

Captain Marvel

Locke & Key

Daredevil

Rachel Rising

Sex Criminals

Hawkeye

Superior Spider-Man

The Fearless Defenders

The Movement

Rocket Girl

Best Writer

Kelly Sue Deconnick

Mark Waid

Joe Hill

Terry Moore

Matt Fraction

Dan Slott

Scott Snyder

Gail Simone

Cullen Bunn

Jason Aaron

Best Artist

Chris Samnee

Mike Allred

Menton3

Mike Mignola

Nick Dragotta

Emma Rios

Fiona Staples

Greg Capullo

Francesco Francavilla

Becky Cloonan

Best StoryArc

Captain Marvel: The Enemy Within

Daredevil: Foggy Nelson Battles Cancer

Locke & Key: Alpha & Omega

East of West: Vol 1. The Promise

Batman: Death of the Family

The Wake: Volume One: The Deep

New Avengers: Everything Dies

Fearless Defenders: Doom Maidens

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man: Venom Wars

X-Factor: The End of X-Factor

Best New Series

Sex Criminals

Rat Queens

East of West

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man

Rocket Girl

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Movement

Coffin Hill

Zero

Ghosted

Best Single Issue, Graphic Novel or One-Shot

Captain Marvel #17

Batman and Robin #18

Strange Attractors

Sex Criminals #3

Hawkeye #7

Afterlife With Archie #1

Empowered: Nine Beers with Ninjette

Molly Danger

East of West #5

Avengers #11

Best Mini-Series or Limited Series

Mara

The Wake

B.P.R.D. Vampire

Inifnity

Forever Evil

Memory Collectors

Deadpool Kills Deadpool

Rocketeer/Spirit Pulp Friction

IMAGINE Agents

Six Gun Gorilla

Best Cover

Fairest #17

Pretty Deadly #2

Captain Marvel #17

Sex Criminals 3

Fantastic Four #7

Captain Marvel #11

Hawkeye #8

X-Men Legacy #11

Fearless Defenders #6

Avengers Assemble #19

Breakthrough Artist

Roc Upchurch

Filipe Andraed

Stephanie Hans

Chip Zdarsky

Sean G. Murphy

Valerio Schiti

Inaki Miranda

Will Sliney

Johnie Christmas

Robbi Rodriguez

Breakthrough Writer

Charles Soule

Matt Kindt

Ales Kot

Brandon Montclair

Catherine Kitteredge

Joshua Williamson

Sarah Vaughan

Katie Cooke

Ed Brisson

Si Spurrier

Best Publisher

Image Comics

Marvel Comics

DC Comics/Vertigo

Dark Horse Comics

IDW

Boom/Archaia

Monkeybrain

Action Lab Comics

Valiant

Abstract Comics

Collections/Anthologies

Lust: Vampirism

The Witching Hour

Womanthology:Space

Steve’s Top Ten Comics of 2013 Soundtrack

This post was written and agonized over while listening to  the album Chiaroscuro by the band I Break Horses.

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