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Comic Vine's Favorites of 2014

We take a look back at 2014 and pick some of our favorites in comics.

The year 2015 is upon us, but before we can more forward, we have to take the time to look at the past. 2014 brought readers some amazing moments by some amazing talent and the staff of Comic Vine decide to pick their favorites.

Because we all have such different tastes in comics, we all discussed what books, stories, and creators we all loved, between us and voted from there. Let's dive right into what we loved from 2014 and tell you folks why they were our favorites from the past year.

Favorite On-Going Series - BATMAN

No Caption Provided

Writer: Scott Snyder

Art: Greg Capullo

Ink: Danny Miki

Colors: FCO Plascencia

We live in a time filled with some amazing comics and stories featuring the art and writing of some amazing talent. Picking our favorite on-going series was incredibly tough, but there's one series that edged out above the rest: BATMAN.

With the Zero Year story wrapping up and the new Joker-driven Endgame kicking off, BATMAN has been an unbelievable ride in 2014.

Scott Snyder has shown he can tackle both long-form storylines as well as a more traditional, trade-sized one and have both be just as compelling as the other. A big stand-out part of this book is the art, which gives the series a dark and a bit of a horror tone from time to time. Artist Greg Capullo is doing wonders on this book with Danny Miki on inks. They've really helped define the look of Batman for the New 52, but we can't forget colorist FCO Plascencia, who aside from just some solid, consistent work, found time to throw in a few beautiful sunsets.

Runner up: SAGA

Favorite Limited Series - THE WAKE

No Caption Provided

Writer: Scott Snyder

Art: Sean Gordon Murphy

Colors: Matt Hollingsworth

Scott Snyder and Sean Gordon Murphy spent most of their time with THE WAKE exploring the boundaries of horror, action, and science fiction.

In THE WAKE, the reader is treated to the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean and the creatures that lay beneath. In addition, the origin of man is examined as well as the future. Sound like a lot? It is but it's one heck of a read.

He and Sean Murphy’s miniseries has been quite an interesting read. We’ve seen the story spread over time and get some pretty strange revelations in this issue. Snyder’s concepts and Murphy’s art have made this a gorgeous and exciting story. Of course it’s a bummer that it was always set as a ten-issue series. We can’t help but want more.

Sean Murphy's art, with Hollingsworth's colors were simply awesome during this series. Putting all these creators together was a fantastic idea and as a collaborative team goes, this was one of the best of the year as well.

Sean Murphy won a 2014 Eisner for his work on this series. Also, THE WAKE won an Eisner for Best Limited Series.

Runner Up: AXIS: HOBGOBLIN

Best New Series - MOON KNIGHT

No Caption Provided

Writers: Warren Ellis (#1-6)

Brian Wood (#7-)

Art: Declan Shalvey (#1-6)

Greg Smallwood (#7-)

Colors: Jordie Bellaire

Marvel's Moon Knight has had an up and down solo run since the character's inception. Mainly, each more recent series has dealt with his sanity more than anything else.

The team of Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire took a different approach to the character and series, MOON KNIGHT, offering more of a one-shot feel to it, which was great for anyone who wanted to jump into the series whenever they wanted, but never feel lost. It gave the reader new insight into Marc Spector as well.

After six issues, Ellis and Shalvey left the book, and Brian Wood and Greg Smallwood took over, and while a big creative team change like this could normally kill a book with a C-List hero, Wood and Smallwood have a hit on their hands and the transition was incredibly smooth.

Runner Up: DEADLY CLASS

Best Writer - Scott Snyder

No Caption Provided

BATMAN, THE WAKE, BATMAN ETERNAL, SUPERMAN UNCHAINED, AMERICAN VAMPIRE SECOND CYCLE, WYTCHES

Out of all the categories the staff voted for on this list, this was the closest because there's so much amazing talent from the writing pool in comics today.

Scott Snyder can seemingly do it all. He can take one of comics most iconic characters and reinvigorate him through some pretty fantastic story lines or he can introduce his own creator-owned book and make people a bit more terrified of trees.

While there are some writers out there that are doing a bit more, what sets Snyder apart is that he's doing a phenomenal job on all of his books. He's taking well known characters and developing great new stories around them and also giving readers something new and interesting, especially over at Vertigo comics.

Runner Up: Josh Fialkov (THE LIFE AFTER, THE BUNKER, PUNKS)

Best Artist - Fiona Staples

Photo via HeroicGirls
Photo via HeroicGirls

SAGA, THOR (Cover)

What Fiona Staples has done over at Image Comics is nothing short of breathtaking. While working on SAGA with Brian K Vaughan, she's truly given readers something brilliant, visually.

We've seen a galaxy full of amazing designs and some fantastic color-work this past year, as well as prior to this year as well. Her panel to panel storytelling is precise, her art is consistent, and those splash pages she does are downright phenomenal. Her art is just as memorable as the stories or the characters that live within it.

Even some of the more disturbing looking pieces of art within each panel become almost walker-cooler talk points online because she has the ability to turn the disturbing into amazing. Sure, that really sounds super-cheesy and all, but SAGA wouldn't be what it is today without Fiona Staples.

Runner Up: Phil Noto (BLACK WIDOW)

Best Cover Artist - Phil Noto

No Caption Provided

BLACK WIDOW, X-FORCE, CRITICAL HIT, MOON KNIGHT, DEADPOOL, THUNDERBOLTS, CLOAKS

Although most of 2014 saw Phil Noto working on interiors for a newer Marvel series, BLACK WIDOW, he still had time to do an extra cover, here and there, for other series.

Noto's artistic style is one of the most distinctive of any artist working today and one that is a fan favorite. Aside from how he draws Black Widow, which is pretty dang awesome, quite a few of his covers have a tongue and cheek style to them and sometimes, they spoof artists styles from the past, mainly a lot of 60s ad 70s stuff.

Noto is one hell of an interior artist, but this past year, it's all been about his cover work. Here's to seeing more of it in 2015.

Runner Up: Alex Ross (THE SHADOW, BATMAN 66 MEETS GREEN HORNET)

Best Colorist - Jordie Bellaire

No Caption Provided

ZERO, MOON KNIGHT, MAGNETO, THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS, QUANTUM AND WOODY, DEADPOOL

It really was the year for colorist as they finally started getting a bit more of the recognition they deserved as they're a hugely important part of comic book art.

This was a huge year for Jordie Bellaire because she seemed to be coloring almost everything we were reading. Luckily, she's really awesome at it and has a distinctive style that seemed to sum up 2014 in comics. If you read comics, you're familiar with her work whether you know it or not.

If you're looking to check out some of her work, we highly recommend MOON KNIGHT from Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey and ZERO from Ales Kot and various artists. She's the glue that holds that book together.

She also won a 2014 Eisner for best coloring.

Runner Up: Laura Allred (SILVER SURFER, FF)

Best Story Arc - Zero Year

No Caption Provided

BATMAN #24-33

Before Batman truly became the vigilante people know him as now, he had his Zero Year: a year where the Riddler held Gotham City hostage and Bruce, with his first time wearing the Batsuit, was put to the test.

It’s almost unheard of to see a big Batman event remain so self contained. There were some Zero Year tie-ins but they didn’t deal directly with the story and were minimal. This has been our chance at seeing a big Batman story in one title without having to worry about what was going on in other titles.

One of the fascinating things about Batman is his villains and how varied they are. Between Batmad and Riddler, this wasn’t a physical battle but one that required quick thinking on Batman’s part. This is still the younger and less experience Batman we’re talking about. That gives the whole story more of an unknown feeling, despite knowing that Batman has to prevail since this is in the past. Knowing that Batman isn’t necessarily at the top of his game and won’t immediately be able to “beat everyone” has made this a fun and exciting story. I can’t wait for it to be collected so I can re-read it all over again.

Runner Up: Robin Rises

Best Event - Armor Hunters

No Caption Provided

ARMOR HUNTERS #1-4, ARMOR HUNTERS: AFTERMATH #1, X-O MANOWAR #23-29, UNITY #8-11, ARMOR HUNTERS: BLOODSHOT #1-3, ARMOR HUNTERS: HARBINGER #1-3

Comic book publishers sure do put out a lot of events and quite a bit of the time, they either fall flat of start off so slow that reading feels more like homework than fun.

However, this year, Valiant's premiere book, X-O MANOWAR spawned one amazing event that crossed over into a few books and never let up on the action or fun. From start to finish, this was the highlight of the month to read. Writer Robert Venditti sure did put together one heck of an event that really changed the dynamic of the main books involved with it.

The main series, ARMOR HUNTERS, was a fantastic read, but in addition, X-O MANOWAR and the other tie-ins were not only just as important to the event, but also just as enjoyable. Valiant really knew what they were doing with this event and we hope to see more like it in the future.

Runner Up: Death of Wolverine

Best OGN/One-Shot - CHEW: WARRIOR CHICKEN POYO

No Caption Provided

Writer: John Layman

Art: Rob Guillory

Color: Taylor Wells

Although there were quite a few extremely well done, well crafted one-shots and OGNs this year, we went with the one that made us laugh the most.

There are few one-shots from this past year that filled us with more joy than CHEW: WARRIOR CHICKEN POYO did. It's the same sense of humor of CHEW but with the awesomeness turned up to maximum volume.

The issue is pretty insane and thanks to the fantastic art of Rob Guillory and colors of Taylor Wells, the book looks amazing. As always, John Layman adds his unique sense of humor to create the easily most memorable one-shot of 2014.

Runner Up: SPIDER-MAN: FAMILY BUSINESS

We can't wait to see what the world of comics has in store for us for 2015! What were your favorites of this past year? Let us know in the comment section below!

106 Comments

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MadeinBangladesh

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Edited By MadeinBangladesh

Disagree on everything Batman & Scott SNyder related. Other than that... some great stuff.

I was excepting more comics that others always rave about like TMNT/Green Arrow (Katzman), Bunker/NailBiter/Ghosted (Matt), and Avengers/Captain Marvel (Korey). Should have made it like the way you guys do top of the pile instead of only choosing one for each category.

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CuddleBear

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Scott Snyder? Fo real?

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CaptainMarvel4Ever

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Really? Scott Snyder? Charles Soule completely owned this year, the stuff he churned out this year was spectacular. Snyder's good, but I defiantly don't think he did enough this year to warrant that honor. Other then that, some pretty interesting choices.

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deactivated-5c901e667a76c

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I was excepting more comics that others always rave about like TMNT/Green Arrow (Katzman), Bunker/NailBiter/Ghosted (Matt), and Avengers/Captain Marvel (Korey). Should have made it like the way you guys do top of the pile instead of only choosing one for each category.

I was kind of hoping for that too.

And I knew people wouldn't be happy about Snyder being there.

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StMichalofWilson

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Interesting

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Owie

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Best series this year for me: Elektra (soon to be cancelled!), Sinister Foes of Spider-Man (cancelled!), Batman, Saga, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, Daredevil. X-Files (and the throwback series too) was good but varied from issue to issue. And Hawkeye was still good, although it came out so infrequently that when I just checked to see how many issues came out this year, I was surprised it was as many as it was.

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bladewolf

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Zero Year was the best storyline? Highly disagree.

Still, glad to see Armor Hunters made it!

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CaptainHoopla

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Best Ongoing: Lazarus

Best Mini-series: Ellis & Shalvey Moon Knight (yes, it is its own entity)

Best New Series: Southern Bastards

Best Writer: Jason Aaron

Best Artist: Michael Lark (Wes Craig a very close runner up)

Biggest Surprise: Birthright

Best Publisher: Image

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Jonny_Anonymous

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Yeah Valiant!

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kidchipotle

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Nope.

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fables87

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Edited By fables87

Too much Batman on here.

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AustinHasten

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Totally agree with Scott and Batman. He's head and shoulders above any other current writer, and Batman is his best work.

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sealife

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Zero Year? Really?

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the_stegman

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the_stegman  Moderator

I agree 100% with all the choices!

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Outside_85

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Edited By Outside_85

Don't really agree with any of the Batman related stuff and water is wet, so what else is new?

Personal favorites to replace those: Brian Azzarello/Wonder Woman.

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RexWing

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Great picks for everything, totally agree. But I'd have to give best artist to Francis M!

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jazz1987

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I agree with Fiona Staples and John Layman/Rob Guillory but you should have acknowledged G. Willow Wilson's work on Ms. Marvel. Batman, as far as I know, didn't let Americans see a positive light on a culture often wrongfully associated with violence.

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Psycho_Soldier

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NO, NO,

You had Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Swamp Thing, Green Arrow, Multiversity, JL3000 and you go for Batman, comicvine, please

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RustyRoy

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Zero year is pretty good, definitely better than DoTF but for me the best writers this year are Morrison, Jeff Parker and Azz. Best ongoing is either WW or Aquaman. Best arc Robin Rises.

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mje360

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I'd choose Spider-Verse or Death of Wolverine as my tops events, and Steve Mcniven as the top artist for the year. Its been an interesting year for comics. You guys didn't think there should have been a category with biggest change up? (Like Nightwing turning superspy, Superior turing Amazing, Iron Man turning Superior, Carnage turing hero, or woman becoming Thor..)

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HumanRocket

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I highly disagree with Zero Year being the best story arc.

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rollingshadow7

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The Wake had some mind-blowing issues. The penciling near the end, for as much as I love Sean Murphy, got really hard to grasp without some serious staring.

Zero Year didn't come to me as Arc of the year, but after thinking about it again, it visually remains so strong in my head. The gorgeous inking work, batman punching a lion, etc. Superior Spider-man was my most look-forward-to series, but so much of the ending arc felt like filler content.

I would have given Mark Waid & Chris Samnee's Daredevil some love. The last few issues dealing with despair and depression were unique takes.

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rollingshadow7

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@captainhoopla: Image deserves some serious props for putting out such great titles this year in addition to their books. How about Deadly Class?! There was some excellent stuff there.

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theMightyMODOK

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Really? Scott Snyder? Charles Soule completely owned this year, the stuff he churned out this year was spectacular. Snyder's good, but I defiantly don't think he did enough this year to warrant that honor. Other then that, some pretty interesting choices.

Really? Charles Soule was very good this year, but saying Scott Snyder didn't do enough to warrant this honor? He wrote five critically acclaimed series, won an Eisner, releases around five book's every month, plotted nearly all of Batman Eternal and wrote lot's of it as well. How is that not enough?

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CrystalMaster

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Edited By CrystalMaster

@captainmarvel4ever: You have to keep a few things in mind. While Soule had some great stuff this year, he also had some not so great stuff. His Superman Wonder Women got bogged down inDoomed for a while, and Red Lanterns hasn't been as good as it used to be, particularly the disappointing end to Atrocities, and the Godhead books being tied for weakest part of the event with GLC. He also was the writter for the God awful Thunderbolts, all of which weigh him down

Snyder, on the other hand, Not only did he not hit any real sour notes this year, but we got a lot of him, for 75% percent of the year we were getting Snyder ever week with Eternal, which has remained consistently good, baring a few hiccups. As well as being the writer of what many consider the best ongoing right now. But what probably sniched the deal for Snyder is the fact that he also has a great variety of work down in the independent field outside of the big two. All of these extremely popular and waited for. Oh and Superman Unchained, that doesn't hurt either.

I see where your coming from, but not only did Snyder deliver quality, he put out an enormous and varied amount of it.

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BlueEcho

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Edited By BlueEcho

So the writing staff seems to like Batman.

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SynCig

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I'd say Teen Titans: Earth One should be the best OGN of the year. I loved that book. Scott Snyder certainly gets a lot of love on this list and he really does deserve it. Despite the nonsensical hate that people are suddenly throwing at him, he is a great writer and one of the best Batman writers of all time in my opinion. If his stuff doesn't resonate as much with you, that's fine, but the man's objective skill as a comic book writer is undeniable. I'm not sure that Zero Year would be anywhere close to my favorite arc from the year but I respect the choice.

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CaptainMarvel4Ever

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@crystalmaster: True, but that's not his fault (and I feel he was able to still deliver some strong stuff). Granted I haven't read all of Doomed, but I have heard it is very mediocre. I defiantly won't blame him for Thunderbolts, Thunderbolts by design is meant to be the worst thing ever. Other then that it's been quality and variety, from a surreal series like Swamp Thing, to a fun comedy like She Hulk, to a very personal story like Death of Wolverine, Soule has been knocking it out of the park this year. Plus he has Letter 44 which I hear is fantastic. I could go on listing awesome series he's made, but you get the idea. Point is I think this was his year. Synder did great, but he didn't do anything that really knocked me off my feet, mostly just more good Batman (although I do have issues with End Game, and I heard Zero Year was kinda meh) and he also had that new series Wytches which has been getting a lot of praise, but it doesn't feel like his year.

(not that any of this matters, it's CV's choice)

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kennybaese

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I'll just be over here happy to see Chew on a year end list.

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CrystalMaster

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@captainmarvel4ever: well i can't change your opinion, heaven's knows i've tried, year of Snyder for me.

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eamon542000

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I feel Infinity was a better event than A Hunters but its close and other than that I agree with most of this list

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DrellAssassin

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Bring on the Snyder/Batman haters! Totally agree with Batman being best ongoing and best story arc for Zero Year. While some felt it went on for too long, I think once it's collected in a single volume it will go on the shelf along with the all time best Bat stories. Love that Moon Knight got its due, and at least Deadly Class got a mention. Fantastic year for comics.

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TheTrueBarryAllen

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@rexwing said:

Great picks for everything, totally agree. But I'd have to give best artist to Francis M!

Manapul's art gives me life.

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AwesomePerson

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Should have given best artist to Sorrentino

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slade_wilson

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The lack of C.O.W.L. on this list is very disappointing

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redmanta

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my Favorites of 2014

Favorite On-Going Series - batgirl

Runner up: batman

Favorite Runner Up: forever Evil

Runner Up: forever evil Rogues Rebellion

Best New Series - deathstroke

Runner Up: ms marvel

Best Writer - Scott Snyder

Runner Up: Gail Simone

Best Artist - Tony S. Daniel

Runner Up David Finch

Best Cover Artist - Alex Garner

Runner Up Ethan Van Sciver

Best Story Arc - Zero Year

Runner Up: robin rises

Best Event - for Forever Evil

Runner Up green lantern godhead

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Knightsofdarkness2

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I was about to post "MOON KNIGHT WAS ROBBED!" when I saw Snyder's Batman win best ongoing until I saw Moon Knight appear later on the list.

Also if there was a "best cancelled series this year" I would have voted for Superior Foes of Spiderman.

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SaintWildcard

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Why am I not surprised?

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CaptainMarvel4Ever

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@crystalmaster: Your right, but instead of changing opinions, you could always swing by the PM and hang with other awesome people to talk about comics with :)

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Battle_Forum_Junkie

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I was hoping there would be a poll...

Anyway, I don't agree with the list %100, but I'm glad to see a little love for the indies. Fiona Staples is a fantastic artist.

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TDK_1997

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Edited By TDK_1997

A lot of stuff I don't agree with but nevermind.

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staypuffed

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Alright, I'm going to say yes yes yes to anything Scott Snyder-Batman related. Zero Year was incredible.

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johnny_blaze

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Best writer of 2014: Charles Soule. No discussion

Best Ongoing of 2014: Superior Foes of Spider-Man. Again No discussion.

Best New Series: Ms. Marvel. Runner up: Moon Knight

Best Event: Godhead

Best Artist: Andrea Sorrentino

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Transformers1024

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Snyder has got to be the most overrated writer of this decade. I've read way better comics this year that are batter than anything he's done. I know it subjective but damn, the Snyder fanboys on this site come off as too strong.

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Guru_Crack

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@darkrider: Would agree Batgirl is my favourite ongoing on the year. A Shame about the new redesign.

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johnny_blaze

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@captainmarvel4ever: Soule has definitely owned 2014. There hasn't been any writer this year that has been consistent as him....other than Jonathan Hickman. Those two are definitely the ones to look out for.

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GraniteSoldier

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Totally agreed on Zero Year, and while Batman has been solid TMNT is still the best book on the market for me two years in a row.

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2chimcha3

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Glad to see valiant up there

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kidchipotle

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Snyder has got to be the most overrated writer of this decade. I've read way better comics this year that are batter than anything he's done. I know it subjective but damn, the Snyder fanboys on this site come off as too strong.

He must be paying the staff

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johnny_blaze

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