The Best Comics of 2019 (So Far)

The final New Comic Book Day of the first quarter of 2019 hit last week, and it was an eventful three months for comic book fans!

While there’s always reason to look ahead at what’s coming up, it seemed like a good time to review the standouts of the (still young) year, especially the new series that creeped into my pull every Wednesday.

January

Comic Books Purchased: 53

New Series Purchased:
Young Justice
Criminal
Naomi
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The year kicked off with a HUGE number of books that I had either been looking forward to or I found interesting enough to pick up. In December, I had only bought 28 new comics, so almost doubling that number to start the calendar year is insane. Probably just a perfect storm of delays and holidays that clogged up the first couple of weeks of comic booking.

The main highlight for me was the debut of Brian Bendis’ WONDER COMICS imprint at DC Comics, which brought back YOUNG JUSTICE and debuted NAOMI in January. Bendis is really building something special with these two books, as NAOMI is exploring parts of the DC Universe that have rarely been tapped (like Portland, Oregon!). And YOUNG JUSTICE is bringing one of my favorite teams of heroes back together! I’m loving these two books so far, and I’m sure we haven’t even gotten to the meat of their first stories!

February

Comic Books Purchased: 40

New Series Purchased:
The Girl in the Bay
Wonder Twins

After such a huge hit to my wallet in January, I started to cut back on purchases in February. That meant making some hard choices, like dropping THE GREEN LANTERN, JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK and JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY, among other titles that just weren’t “sparking joy,” in the parlance du jour.

But we did get the third new WONDER COMICS series and the first not written by Bendis himself: WONDER TWINS by Mark Russell. I loved Russell’s work on THE FLINTSTONES, and he brings the same kind of satiric take on modern society with Zan and Jayna, the sidekicks that were first introduced in the old SUPERFRIENDS cartoon. It’s definitely worth a look, especially with the gorgeous art from Stephen Byrne.

March

Comic Books Purchased: 34

New Series Purchased:
Black Hammer ‘45: From the World of Black Hammer
Transformers
Assassin Nation
GLOW
Bad Luck Chuck

Even more culling in March, as I decided to cut ties with the twice-monthly WONDER WOMAN title. I’m sure I’ll return to it eventually, but everything since the Azzarello-Chiang New 52 series has been a bit of a disappointment to me. But there were some good new comics that debuted this month to make up for it – and none of the new ones I picked up were from DC Comics. That’s just weird.

The biggest highlight was the new GLOW comic from IDW, adapting the Netflix series based on the 1980s cult women’s wrestling show. ASSASSIN NATION from Image and Dark Horse’s BAD LUCK CHUCK were also great new finds that I probably wouldn’t have pulled the trigger on without cutting back on some of the other books I’ve been reading.

Over at DC Comics, while most everyone is talking about DETECTIVE COMICS reaching 1000 issues, I think the most noteworthy comic of the month is the latest issue of HEROES IN CRISIS, where we find out (maybe?) who the killer at Sanctuary is.

Another sleeper book that I think more people need to pick up is the Vertigo title HEX WIVES, about a coven of witches tricked into becoming housewives for a group of witch hunters as a means to control them. The latest issue, out last week, turned the tide on the series as the witches finally figured out what was happening to them and exact some vengeance. The book wasn’t marketed in solicitations as a miniseries, but I don’t see future issues solicited… definitely worth a pick-up when it gets collected, as the fun story was enhanced greatly by the art.

That’s all for the first quarter of 2019! Check out the second quarter’s best comics by clicking HERE.