If there’s one thing this site hasn’t done enough of, it’s definitely lists. Sure, midway through December we posted our always-late Top 5 Comics of November 2017, and then more recently we posted our surprisingly-on time Top Comics of 2017: part 1, part 2, and part 3, plus a list detailing how 2017 was the year Marvel’s bad habits finally caught up. Oh, and sometime next week we’ll have our always-late Top Comics of December 2017 (hey, gotta take time to make careful choices, right?). But can you ever really have enough lists? Lists!
Anyway, this list looks toward the future, specifically at our most anticipated comics of 2018. Obviously, more exciting books will be announced soon, and we really don’t know much about either Marvel or DC’s plans at this point. Just think, the comics that shaped much of 2017 were totally off the radar at this time last year, including the major events Secret Empire, Marvel Legacy, Dark Nights Metal, and Doomsday Clock.
This list is a collection of announced books we know a little bit about. Enjoy!
Abbott by Saladin Ahmed / Sami Kivela
Saladin Ahmed’s work on Black Bolt has been one of the rare successes at Marvel lately, surprising much of fandom because the Inhumans just can’t seem to find an audience, even with Marvel once pushing them as an alternative to the X-Men (curse the movie marketing machine!). This book, however, took hold, with an almost cult following (but not major sales success).
Abbott looks intriguing, too, and it’ll mark Ahmed’s first creator-owned work in the medium. The book, illustrated by Sami Kivela, is about a woman investigating and attempting to destroy dark forces, which is close thematically to Ahmed’s Hugo Award-nominated fantasy novel, Throne of the Crescent Moon. It’s also being published by Boom!, which has quietly been putting out some top-notch indie books (Giant Days, Mech Cadet Yu, Victor Lavalle’s Destroyer, etc.) as of late.
Bitter Root by David F. Walker / Sanford Greene
I LOVED David Walker and Sanford Greene’s Powerman and Iron Fist, which came to a sour end at the hands of the Marvel marketing machine (THAT’S a subject for a future post, though). This book reunites that team for a creator-owned story that sounds like a perfect fit for the duo’s aesthetic. It’s a story set during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, and a legendary monster hunting family that has fallen from glory must get it together to stave off an epic threat. Please please take my money and give me this book.
Doomsday Clock by Geoff Johns / Gary Frank
The first two issues have had the Herculean task of justifying the integration of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic Watchmen characters into the DC Universe, and, at least in my mind, they’ve largely accomplished that. Now, this isn’t to say that when the story ends I’ll still feel that way, but early indications are that Johns is using Watchmen, respectfully, to craft a new DC classic. We should be getting 10 issues next year, and I for one plan to savor every one.
Gideon Falls by Jeff Lemire / Andrea Sorrentino
We’ve never done the math, but Jeff Lemire could be the writer we praise most (apologies to Donny Cates and Tom King). So, it probably comes as no surprise that we’re stoked for his new creator-owned book Gideon Falls, which will reunite him with his Green Arrow and Old Man Logan collaborator Andrea Sorrentino. The reason for this excitement (besides it being new Lemire) is simple: this team worked at DC, it worked at Marvel, and chances are it will work at Image. You can find the info elsewhere, but this story sounds awesome. Here’s a snippet from the press release, “Rural mystery and urban horror collide in this character driven meditation on obsession, mental illness and faith.”
The Next Step for Miles Morales / Jessica Jones / Riri Williams
With the exception of Jessica Jones, we’re actually more nervous than excited to see what becomes of these characters. With her own Netflix show and established fan following, Jessica Jones is firmly entrenched in the Marvel Universe. The same can’t quite be said of the other two, although Miles is closer, but simply put, they are both legacy heroes who might flounder without a champion within the publisher who has as much clout as their creator Brian Michael Bendis did.
In a perfect world, these characters would be written and drawn by creators with similar backgrounds who understood their experiences, and, if the stories merited it, they’d get their own monthly books, but it’s very very very hard for new characters to take hold in comics, ever, which is why we’re still reading about so many heroes created so long ago. Only time will tell if Miles and Riri have staying power, but the year to come will give us a solid indication.
Superman by Brian Michael Bendis
Bendis has been saying for years he has a plan in mind if he ever gets to write Superman. Well, now according to swirling rumors (Bleeding Cool), he’s about to do just that. We believe it, too. There’s no way DC acquires a name like Bendis (who’s jump to the company merited an analysis piece in the Washington Post) without promising him keys to one of its best cars, and the Batman books are too good to touch right now.
Making this even more intriguing is that over the past year Bendis has been doing outstanding work at Marvel, almost as good as any in his career. He’s got some writing ticks that get out of hand (Writing ticks? Writing ticks. Ticks. That’s right. Writing-Ticks, that’s what I said), and DC strives for a semblance of consistency in art and voice throughout its titles. Bendis, however, is a pro and knows this going in, and we think he’s eager to play nicely at DC.
The Terrifics by Jeff Lemire / Ivan Reis
Oh, what a surprise, more Jeff Lemire. This time it’s for a book at DC, specifically The Terrifics, which takes a handful of b-list characters and turns them into a group that has a passing resemblance to the Fantastic Four. I have a bit of trepidation about the wave of books launching alongside The Terrifics as the New Age of DC Heroes, because launching one book with a new character is incredibly hard, let alone a half dozen at once. Plus, this kind of mass rollout of new stories runs directly counter to the measured back to basics approach that put DC on top of the market with its Rebirth titles, only like 3 of which have been canceled. If anyone can make this work, however, it’s a writer like Lemire.
Unannounced Marvel Projects by TBA
It’s pretty clear that 2017 was not great for Marvel. Hope, however, springs eternal, so we’ll keep talking about Marvel’s output (even if we’re not buying as many as their books as we used to). With that in mind, a number of Marvel’s creators have been teasing big announcements that they can’t yet talk about, including Donny Cates, Matthew Rosenberg, and Al Ewing.
Meanwhile, rumors are swirling (via Bleeding Cool again) of an extended run on Captain America by the untouchable duo of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, followed by National Book Award Winner Ta-Nehisi Coates taking over the character. There are more rumors swirling (again via Bleeding Cool) about Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley taking over Amazing Spider-Man and Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic taking over The Avengers. We’re A LOT more excited about one of those books than the other, but no telling which! Go ahead and guess, just like we’re doing with Donny Cates next project (Wolverine? Please be Wolverine! Preferably set entirely in West Texas).
X-Men Grand Design by Ed Piskor
X-Men Grand Design has real potential to change the way comics records continuity, serving as an epic and stylish doctrine of how to do it right. This book is that ambitious in scope, and as I’ve noted in one of the best comics of the year features (and as I’m preparing to note in Top 5 Comics of December 2017), this book could be an all-timer. One issue came out in 2017, and if I’m not mistaken we’re about to get another 5 over-sized glorious issues from writer / artist Ed Piskor in 2018. What a thing that will be.