Whether it’s for an ongoing, mini-series, or standalone comic book there are plenty of comics that stood out this year. That includes standout single issues that used characters to tell an incredible story. Whether that was having a major impact that was a payoff to a big event or a heartfelt story that hit it out of the park we were treated to so many great individual single-issue comic books. That made selecting the ten best of 2022 even harder because there are so many choices to be made. Below are the ten single-issue comic books that personally stood out from the pack.
10) THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN 30TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL
Writer: Dan Jurgens, Jerry Ordway, Roger Stern, and Louise Simonson
Artist: Dan Jurgens, Brett Breeding, Tom Grummet, Butch Guice, and Jon Bogdanove
Inker: Doug Hazlewood
Colorists: Brad Anderson and Glenn Whitmore
Letterer: John Workman and Rob Leigh
Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Assistant Editor: Chris Rosa
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the iconic Death Of Superman story DC Comics put out an anthology one-shot that told either set during or about that time period of the Superman vs Doomsday fight. What made this special was that the creative teams did not just recycle old stories. Instead, the stories by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding, Jerry Ordway and Tom Grummet, Roger Stern and Butch Guice, and Louise Simonson and Jon Bogdanove told more personal stories.
Each creative team gave more weight to what the Superman vs Doomsday fight signified for the DC Universe through the perspective of Jon Kent, Ma and Pa Kent, Jim Harper aka The Guardian, and John Henry Irons. Giving these perspectives gave more weight to what the events of Superman vs Doomsday meant to the DC Universe. Jon Kent’s in particular personally stood out because of how quickly DC Comics aged the character up that we didn’t previously get to see how he took in learning his father once died. The way young Jon Kent deals with that and his talk with Lois Lane gave greater weight to the history of the Death of Superman.
9) NIGHTWING #88 – “GET GRAYSON”
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Bruno Redondo
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
Letterer: Andworld Design
Editor: Jessica Chen
Assistant Editor: Jessica Berbey
Nightwing #88 kicked off 2022 with Dick Grayson making a big statement that went against everything Blockbuster has been building with his criminal empire. With big help from Barbara Gordon, the Titans, and Mr. Terrific there was a tone set that this time around Nightwing made sure to show Blockbuster he can’t just target anyone he wants.
This was a refreshing thing to see because it wasn’t just simply another story with our lead hero countering the villain terrorizing his life and the lives of the people in the city. Thanks to Barbara Gordon, Nightwing brought in back up with his Titans friends to remind Blockbuster they aren’t to be messed with. Seeing the Titans back together and backing each other up this way just put a smile on my face as a fan of these characters. They are all a family at the end of the day and showed their support for what Dick Grayson is doing to improve Bludhaven by watching his back.
8) MOON KNIGHT #8 – “SCARLET”
Writer: Jed MacKay
Artist: Alessandro Cappuccio
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Cory Petit
Editor: Martin Biro
Assistant Editor: Annalise Bissa
Moon Knight #8 is a great example of how some of the best comic books don’t have to involve the series lead. In Moon Knight #8’s case, this entire issue stars Dr. Badr, who is a brand new character in the Moon Knight mythology introduced in this latest volume and also operates as a vigilante known as Hunter’s Moon. This entire issue spotlights how Dr. Badr operates differently as Hunter’s Moon compared to Marc Spector as Moon Knight. There is a distinct tone change to the way this entire story as Hunter’s Moon takes on Scarlet Fasinera alone which is just fascinating to see play out.
As well done as MacKay’s writing is it is Alessandro Cappuccio and Rachelle Rosenberg’s artwork that steals the show. The artwork is truly breathtaking. The one appearance Moon Knight does make in this issue does a great job reminding you of how Hunter’s Moon design differs. Throughout the story the way his dark costume leaps off the page even in dimly lit scenes is fantastic. Then there is the fight between Hunter’s Moon and Scarlet Fasinera which is just a pure visual treat.
7) INFERNO #4 – “THE DEATH OF MOIRA X”
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artists: Valerio Schiti and Stefano Caselli
Colorist: David Curiel
Letterer: Joe Sabino
Editor: Jordan D. White
Assistant Editor: Lauren Amaro
Jonathan Hickman changed the game for the X-Men with House of X and Powers of X. So you knew that when Hickman’s run did come to an end his final issue would leave its mark. That is exactly what Hickman did with Inferno #4. Hickman’s final issue did not wrap up the entire Krakoa narrative. Instead, it left the status quo for the X-Men with how the Quiet Council operates forever changed. With such a big issue Valerio Schiti and Stefano Caselli showcase how this is a can’t-miss issue for X-Men fans. Every visual is on point from facial reactions to loud action sequences.
There could be no bigger statement made than the big bad for the X-Men during the Hickman era in Orchis killing the Krakoa founders of Charles Xavier and Magneto in a bloody battle. On top of that Moira X, who is the one that made the entire Krakoa era happen because of her multiple lives, lost her mutant status and was kicked out of Krakoa. All of that left us with the X-Men status quo changed once again at its core. Making the change even more impactful was the fact that only the Quiet Council know about the severity of the change after they agreed to keep all of Xavier and Magneto’s secrets between them with major stipulations.
6) WONDER WOMAN HISTORIA: THE AMAZONS #2
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Gene Ha
Colorist: Wesley Wong
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Editor: Chris Conroy and Andrea Shea
The work that Kelly Sue DeConnick, Gene Ha, Wesley Wong, Clayton Cowles, Chris Conroy, and Andrea Shea on Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons #2 is a perfect example of how you can use comic books outside the main series for a franchise to expand on a character’s mythology. Even characters like Wonder Woman who have over 80 years of comic book history can be expanded on.
Wonder Woman’s ties to ancient mythology, Greek mythology, in particular, have a wealth of opportunity that DeConnick, Ha, and the rest of the creative team tap into Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons #2. They use what is known about the Amazons and Greek Gods from stories told throughout history and by past Wonder Woman runs to give greater insight into these legends. The visual storytelling gets you fully invested in what is going on with the Amazons and Gods in this story.
5) THE FLASH #787 – “TIME TO SHINE!”
Writer: Jeremy Adams
Artist: Fernando Pasarin
Inker: Matt Ryan
Colorist: Jeremy Cox
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Editor: Chris Rosa
After a year filled with Wally West being busy dealing with several big events in the DC Universe, Jeremy Adams and Fernando Pasarin treated fans to a special one-shot story. What made The Flash #787 one-shot story special? Well, it featured Wally West’s Flash teaming up with the DC Universe Heavyweight Champion in the newly introduced Omega-Bam-Man. That’s right The Flash #787 had Wally team up with a wrestler who is a fusion of Macho Man Randy Savage, Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig, and All-Might.
Seriously this issue is just a blast. Seeing the Flash and Omega-Bam-Man teaming up to fight a tag team from another part of the DCU while Wally’s family, Nightwing, Batgirl, Lobo, Gold Beetle, and others watch on TV as if it’s the WrestleMania main event adds so much more fun to the fight. Fernando Pasarin the over-the-top nature of wrestling you would see on AEW and WWE. The presentation of Omega-Bam-Man by Pasarin alone sells why this is just a must-read for all fans of superheroes or wrestling.
4) POWER RANGERS UNLIMITED: COUNTDOWN TO DESTRUCTION
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artists: Anna Kekovsky Chandra and Guiseppe Cafaro
Colorist: Sara Antonellini, Sharon Marino, and Fabi Marques
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Editor: Dafna Pleban
Assistant Editor: Gwen Waller
Maybe it’s because we got so much of Andros’s story told throughout Powers Rangers In Space but I never thought about wanting to know more of his history. There was satisfaction with how Andros’s character arc ended in Power Rangers In Space that felt like his story was completely told. But I was completely wrong about that as Marguerite Bennett, Anna Kekovsky Chandra, and Guiseppe Cafaro proved with the one-shot, Power Rangers Unlimited: Countdown To Destruction.
As with the other Power Rangers Unlimited one-shots, what Countdown To Destruction does so well is flesh out Andros and Zhane’s history that we didn’t see in the show. From the time Karone was stolen to Andros and Zhane time as orphans taken in by their Space Power Rangers predecessors the story is told so well. You gain a greater appreciation as to why Andros was more of a loner character throughout Powers Rangers In Space and why even as the Red Ranger he leaned on TJ to help lead the team. Core to that is the impact trauma of what happened to Zhane, his mentors, and the original Space Power Rangers team that really captures you. It is definitely a can’t miss comic for Power Rangers fans.
3) ELEKTRA: BLACK, WHITE, & BLOOD #4
Writers: Matthew Rosenberg, Peach Momoko, Kevin Eastman, and Freddie E. Williams
Artists: Alberto Alburquerque, Peach Momoko, Kevin Eastman, and Freddie E. Williams
Colorist: Fer Sifuentes-Sujo
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Editors: Tom Groneman, Lindsey Cohick, Devin Lewis
Elektra: Black, White & Blood #4 is the best example of why the recent trend of Black & White titles are some of the best and most overlooked comic books Marvel and DC Comics have been producing the last few years. In this single issue, we get three different stories. One set in the past with a clash between Elektra and Ghost Rider by Matthew Rosenberg and Alberto Alburquerque. A second story featuring a mystical setting with a ronin Elektra by Peach Momoko. The final story provides insight into the philosophical battle within Elektra by Kevin Eastman and Freddie Williams.
Each story provides its own unique setting to have Elektra shine. Even though Albuquerque, Momoko, Eastman, and Williams are all different artists helping tell stories with unique settings there is a cohesion in the artwork. They all make great use of the black, white, and red color palettes to make each story take on a life of its own. At the same time, the voice of Elektra remains consistent throughout, showing how she is a character who can tell many different types of stories around.
2) BATMAN: ONE BAD DAY – MR. FREEZE #1
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Matteo Scalera
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Editor: Dave Wielgosz
Assistant Editor: Jessica Berbey
Batman: One Bad Day – Mr. Freeze is the comic book Victor Fries comic book counterpart has needed for a long time. Mr. Freeze is one of the more iconic Batman villains. For me that is thanks to the Batman: The Animated Series version of the character Mr. Freeze was presented as a layered villain. The Batman comic books have never really nailed that down for Mr. Freeze.
That all changed with how Gerry Duggan, Mateo Scalera, and Dave Stewart revamped Mr. Freeze’s comic book origin. They tap into the heartbreaking aspect of what led Victor Fries down the path of becoming the villain known as Mr. Freeze. Scalera and Stewart’s presentation of Batman, Robin, and Mr. Freeze all works so wonderfully to get you invested in where these characters are at this early point in their history. The winter setting is used to enhance the storytelling with these characters which makes Mr. Freeze have a haunting presentation that makes him even more terrifying than any other comic book appearance he’s had before.
1) BLACK WIDOW #13 – “DIE BY THE BLADE”
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Rafael T. Pimentel
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Cory Petit
Editor: Sarah Brunstad
Assistant Editor: Anita Okoye
Right as soon as you open Black Widow #13 you feel instantly transported to a classic Marvel story from the 1970s or 1980s but it’s a new comic that came out in 2022. That is all thanks to the phenomenal creative decision to have the comic look like those classic Marvel comics. Rafael Pimentel and Jordie Bellaire nail the aesthetic of the artwork from that period of Marvel while adding modern techniques that make the comic stand out even more.
The phenomenal artwork by Pimentel and Bellaire elevates the writing by Kelly Thompson as they all work together to tell this classic Black Widow story that details Natasha’s history with the Living Blade. You feel how important of an event this first clash Natasha has with the Living Blade during her early days as Black Widow was. Even though Living Blade is a new character he is immediately positioned as one of Black Widow’s top villains. The danger was there to prove that as Natasha barely survives their first encounter. It all sets up the present-day story involving Black Widow’s latest clash with Living Blade have greater importance.