TheOptimist's January Report!

To allow for an evolving schedule, I’ve decided to devote my efforts to a monthly analysis of comics, with some statistics, mini-reviews and rankings. Future installments may feature additional commentary, features or categories. For now, here is what comics looked like for me in the month of January. Included in the following numbers are purchases of variants, combo packs and multiple copies.

January Report

DC: 66 Comics

Vertigo: 7 Comics

Marvel: 12 Comics

Other Publishers: 2 Comics

Total: 87 Comics

Top Vertigo: American Vampire #23

Not even remotely surprising, American Vampire tops my month of Vertigo. With the phenomenal script and stunning artistic talents, how could it not? Due to shipping delays, I received last month’s book just a week before, which is a good thing considering how eager I was to get my hands on the next issue of this new storyline. I thought I would be disappointed to see time move forward in this series (after all, as time progresses it comes closer to the modern day and the potential end of new story opportunities) but I absolutely adore the perfect capture of the period in the context of vampire mythology.

Honorable Mentions: Sweet Tooth #29, The Unwritten #33, The Unwritten 33.5

Top Marvel: Wolverine & The X-Men #4

A surprise, to be sure, this series really illustrates the value of the ideological split between Cyclops and Wolverine in the schism by allowing the personalities of the mutant children to shine. While a book featuring several of my fanboy favorites would be enough to carry my interest, the development of new kids like Genesis and Broo not only serves as intriguing story, it also accomplishes that rare feat of generating interest in relatively new creations. My hope is that these newbies will be allowed to flourish, rather than to wither and die under “flash in a pan” syndrome, as has befallen similar characters.

Honorable Mentions: Alpha Flight #8, Thunderbolts #169, Wolverine #300, X-Factor #230

Top Other Publisher: Morning Glories #15

This series continues to entertain and intrigue me, while certain pages of this issue even seemed like a small advice column. The ending was a frustrating shock. I only wish this series came out more often, to cater to the story’s Lost-style pacing. The characters are truly memorable, their storylines live up to their potential and the surprises haven’t stopped coming in this book since I turned the first page.

Top DC: Batman #5

This series grabs my top monthly spot for the first time since the relaunch, and does so with powerful gusto, raising the value of the medium without diluting from its contiguous purpose. Immersive and innovative, the story exemplified hybrid-class literature by providing accessibility while working with intelligence. On multiple levels the story blossoms, with perfect timing to naturally invite and excite readers into coming chapters. Without a doubt, this book earns a contender’s spot for Best of the Year, only one month into it.

My DC Top 10 for January

1) Batman #5- A modern classic of intrigue and ingenuity.

2) Batwoman- A gem of story and art, closing out a perfect story arc.

3) Swamp Thing- Action & Romance, Life & Death, Horror & Beauty.

4) Aquaman- A solid done-in-one, while leading to a new epic.

5) Animal Man- A horrifying twisted tale that entraps and devours.

6) Green Lantern- A favorite that still manages to excite and surprise.

7) Demon Knights- A strong character analysis in classic D&D format.

8) Green Lantern Corps- A return to strong form with an intriguing ensemble.

9) I, Vampire- A lesser read, but worthy book, holding itself to a new high standard.

10) Flash- A fast paced read on heroic character, with several teases of the future.

Overall Pick of the Month: Batman #5 (DC Comics)

Next Month’s Anticipations: Animal Man as an indie film star! Will Alec Holland become the Swamp Thing? Amy Reeder debuts on Batwoman! How will Hal Jordan regain his ring? Harley Quinn goes nuts! Will Bruce turn the tables on the Owls? The Justice League faces off against Darkseid! Will Jonah Hex survive the Batcave? Mera takes center stage! Will Batman become a vampire? Batman Beyond Unlimited debuts! Skinner Sweet or Travis Kidd? Tommy Taylor fights depowered! How is Kitty Pryde pregnant? The conclusion of Children’s Crusade! Will Fantomex survive to snark another day?

And My Questions for You!

What were your top picks for the month?

What titles are you dying to recommend?

What are you looking forward to next month?

What will be my next pick of the month?