The year is almost over meaning it is time to look back at some of the best comic books of 2018. Rather than just picking a comic book of the year I wanted to highlight the special single issues published in 2018 that are a must read. These are all personal favorites of mine as the creative teams behind the comics did delivered a special reading experience. Whether they were the culmination of a great story or simply a fun one-shot style read these comics stood out from the pack in 2018. See which comics were chosen below.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #801
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Marcos Martin
Colorist: Muntsa Vicente
Dan Slott’s run on Amazing Spider-Man was one that split the fanbase. He did quite a few things that pissed fans off. At the same time he introduced things like the Spider-Verse that became a staple of the Spider-Man franchise. Through all of that it is his final issue of his run, Amazing Spider-Man #801, that stands out as his finest Spider-Man issue. This issue was a simple story of how Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man tagline is more than a title. It is something that Spider-Man actually is, as he is the guy that is just trying to help the little guy. Whether it is by defeating one of his villains or simply stopping an armed robbery, Spider-Man will do everything in his power to make sure everyone feels safe.
Amazing Spider-Man #801 highlights the latter of this as by Spider-Man saving a convenience store from being robbed it changed the life of one person. While Spider-Man doesn’t learn this much until much later in his career it was still a touching moment that shows the impact he has a hero. The fact that it was all wonderfully brought to life by the fantastic Marcos Martin makes this a must read for any Spider-Man fan. Read full review here.
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Travis Moore
Colorist: Giulia Brusco
When it comes to Tom King’s Batman run in 2018 it only kept getting stronger as he has continued to develop how Bane is planning on breaking Batman. For all the great issues King has delivered it is Batman #38, an issue not related to Bane’s plot, that stood out the most. King found a way to explore Bruce Wayne’s origin in a different way with some excellent results. That happened thanks to King creating a terrifying new villain in the form of Matthew, a kid who wanted to be Bruce Wayne so bad he killed his own parents and carved Thomas and Martha Wayne’s first name into his face. Travis Moore’s artwork for this issue added to how creepy the kid came across as. In doing so King created a villain that is directly tied to Bruce Wayne rather than Batman, making Matthew standout from the rest of Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Read full review here.
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Ron Garney
Colorist: Matt Milla
One of the most interesting aspects of Charles Soule’s run is how he got Daredevil out of his solo hero mentality. In doing so Soule showed that when he wants to Daredevil can be a strong leader that the other street-level Marvel heroes will follow. Daredevil #600 was the best example of this as he led the Defenders, Spider-Man, Misty Knight, Moon Knight and Echo against the crime families of New York City. Making Daredevil #600 even better was how it paid off to everything Soule was building to up to that point. The ending put Daredevil and his allies in a spot that you wanted to see what can happened next. And for a major landmark issue that is exactly what is expected to happen. Read full review here.
DARK NIGHTS: METAL #6
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Greg Capullo, Mikel Janin and Alvaro Martinez
Inkers: Raul Fernandez, Jonathan Glapion and Mikel Janin
Colorists: June Chung and FCO Plascencia
When it comes to big events the best way to conclude everything that happen is to create an ending that feels conclusive while also building excitement for the future. That is easier said than done but Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Mikel Janine, Alvaro Martinez, Raul Fernandez, Jonathan Glapion, June Chung and FCO Plascencia accomplish that with Dark Nights: Metal #6. The ending was just as nuts as the rest of the event was up to this point, with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman leading the charge in one big epic clash against the Dark Knights of the Dark Multiverse. Even though not everything about this ending was perfect the excitement behind this final clash deliver on everything the reader could hope for in terms of big events.
More importantly, Snyder was able to set the stage for the future of the DC Universe as he would begin his run on Justice League after Dark Nights: Metal #6 release. The post-credit style ending established the groundwork for the future of the Justice League and DCU as a whole. At the same time the DC Universe superheroes got a chance to celebrate a major victory together at a giant party hosted by Bruce Wayne. Read full review here.
GREEN ARROW #45
Writers: Julie Benson and Shawna Benson
Artist: Javier Fernandez
Colorist: John Kalisz
Heroes In Crisis has already left its mark on the DC Universe even though it has yet to conclude. The deaths of major DCU characters will have lasting impact on the universe as a whole. One of the biggest deaths in Heroes In Crisis was Roy Harper. With everything that Roy has been through it was sad to see him killed off at the beginning of the event. Julie and Shawna Benson did a fantastic job channeling that sadness in Green Arrow #45 as Oliver Queen dealt with the death of his protege.
Oliver was forced to reflect on his strengths and faults as a mentor and how things didn’t go perfectly with Roy. In the process the Benson sisters were able to modernize part of Green Arrow and Arsenal’s origin in a way that was organically built off what just happened. This is definitely a must read for any Green Arrow fan. Read full review here.
HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS #50
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artist: Rafael Sandoval
Inker: Jordi Tarragona
Colorist: Tomey Morey
With everything going on in the DC Universe Robert Venditti quietly crafted an incredible run on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. Venditti took everything that Geoff Johns and others built for the Green Lantern franchise and made it his own. He took the Green Lantern Corps through the ringer right to the very end as they battled the deadly Darkstars. Making Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #50 have an even greater impact is the fact that Hal was forced to face Tomar-Tu, a former Green Lantern and son of Tomar-Re. That fact along with seeing who the Green Lantern Corps were able to recruit for help made this the perfect culmination everything Venditti was building towards. If you haven’t read Venditti’s Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps run I highly recommend doing so as it is incredibly fun and engaging from beginning to end. Read full review here.
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley and Cory Walker
Inker: Mark Morales and Cory Walker
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
The beginning of 2018 marked the end of Robert Kirkman’s Invincible. What made Invincible #144 such an incredible read was the fact that Kirkman didn’t write it as an ending of Mark Grayson’s adventures. Instead Kirkman spent most of Invincible #144 showing how after Mark became the leader of the Viltrumite Empire his and his family’s life continued on. We got a bunch of different flash forwards that showed us what life became of Invincible, Atom Eve, Terra Grayson (Mark and Eve’s daughter) and Markus Murphy (Anissa and Mark’s Son) as the years past.
This look reminded readers that while Invincible #144 was the end of the series it was not the end of these characters lives. Life continues to move on and big events will continue to happen as Invincible and his cast continue to make choices that shape the universe. It was a fitting end to an incredible comic book series by Kirkman, Ryan Ottley and Cory Walker. Read full review here.
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #25
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artists: Daniele Di Nicuolo and Simona Di Gianfelice
Colorist: Walter Baiamonte
When it comes to major moments in 2018 it may not get bigger than the moment Drakkon came back from his alternate future to kill the younger Green Ranger Tommy Oliver. Given Tommy Oliver’s iconic status and the nature of the Power Rangers franchise this was an unthinkable event. But like the rest of Kyle Higgins’ run on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers he expertly pulled that moment off. Not only did it elevate Drakkon even more into the level of most iconic Power Ranger villain but it also kicked off the Shattered Grid event with an incredible launching point. With Tommy Oliver’s death there was no way of knowing what would happen next or who from the Power Rangers franchise would survive the events of Shattered Grid. That state of not knowing what comes next made Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25 an easy addition to the best of 2018. Read full review here.
Writers: Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason
Artist: Barry Kitson
Inker: Barry Kitson and Scott Hanna
Colorist: Gabriel Eltaeb
As great as big fight sequences or major moments in our superhero lives are they aren’t the only way to create a special comic book. It’s sometimes the simplest concept that can create something special. That is exactly what Peter Tomasi, Patrick Gleason and Barry Kitson delivered with Superman #39. The entire issue was about Superman visiting sick kids at a children’s hospital and giving them an incredible day of fun with the help of his Justice League teammates. The smile the Justice League were able to bring to these kids life made Superman #39 an issue that every single comic book fan needs to read. It is a reminder of the hope and fun these characters bring to everyone even in the darkest of times. Read full review here.