Welcome to the beginning of our end of the year round-up! The categories haven't changed, but we are giving out something a little different this year to our winners... cuts. That's right, we're jumping you into the Comic Bastards winner circle! You can also listen to the "Best of 2014" podcast episode which is posted at the bottom to hear the entire list, otherwise check back for the next category. Now let's get going with our first category: Best Single Issue of the Year!
Dustin - San Hannibal #5
This is honestly an easy pick, but I could have loaded up other categories with San Hannibal as well. It's honestly my book of the year right from the first issue. But the last issue... that's where the magic happens. It's flair for delivering the finale made it not only a satisfying conclusion to an already great story, but it made me want more. It left me with goosebumps. How can you argue with goosebumps?
Carl - The Goon #49
The end of the "An Occasion for Revenge" storyline will leave readers shaking. With artwork that's bold and ompressive and a story of revenge and manipulation, this issue has the Goon exploding with rage and disappointment. There's no neat and tidy ending, no funny retort, and no witty banter. The story ends with marked silence and an unsettling feeling that will shock and impress.
Jeff - Trees #6
In a combative year for gender-issues in geek media, Warren Ellis snuck this blunt futurist nod to transgender issues with a conversation that is blunt, respectful, and utterly unconcerned with bigoted dissent.
Steve - Grindhouse: Drive in, Bleed Out #1
Absolutely beautiful writing, with vivid illustrative storytelling; it's a fantastic opening to what I feel might be the perfect horror book package.
James - Hawkeye #19
Everything was perfect about this issue. It was released after a nice long wait and then right after the infamous issue #11 won the Eisner Award and it did something that I don't ever remember seeing done in comics before (except in the aforementioned issue #11).Viewing the world as deaf was brilliant and very well done. Matt Fraction and David Aja have really done some serious good in telling the tales of Clint Barton. Going to miss these guys when they wrap up in early 2015.
Allen - Chew #44
This was the hardest one to pick. But one issue punched me in the gut the hardest, and this was it. If you don't know why immediately, then you haven't read the issue. Ouch.
Nick - Southern Bastards #1
For as angry as Jason Aaron's Thor: The God of Thunder was, you'd think he'd worked it all out. Southern Bastards proved he had not, and it made a deserving superstar out of Jason Latour.
Samantha - Next Testament #12
The way a comic's plot should flow. It told a perfect story and ended it with perfection.
Austin - Wolverine #5
Say what you will about Logan's final send-off, but Cornell's preparation of Wolverine for death in his final run was fantastic. The image of Wolverine getting the tattoo for Rose while humming "Atlantic City" will stay with me for as long as I think about Wolverine.
Andre - Sex Criminals #6
Sex Criminals had been a favorite new series of mine since issue one, but it wasn't until this issue that I recognized how special it was. Portraying depression is always a tricky thing, but Fraction and Zdarsky execute it to amazing effect here, showing just how eroding it can be to a person and their relationships while never being condescending to its characters or preachy to the reader.
David - 100th Anniversary: Avengers #1
I found this category ridiculously difficult to choose for! There have been so many phenomenal issues this year of such great series as Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Lazarus, and X-O Manowar. In the end, I picked James Stokoe's Avengers: 100th Anniversary one-shot and let me tell you why. While I couldn't possibly elevate one particular single issue above so many great ones that came out in 2014, this one-shot deserves recognition in this category for being so darn impressive. Stokoe writes an incredibly fun story, and manages to tell the whole thing in just one small issue without it ever feeling rushed. Not to mention his artwork which (as always) is phenomenal. After reading this issue all I wanted was to see Stokoe continue this series in an ongoing (or at least a mini), because the world that he created in just 20 pages is one that I would love to spend more time in. This issue achieves so much, and that is why it wins this category.
Neil - Archer and Armstong #25
Maria Maria's origin was great!
Kevin - Drifter #1
Listen to the podcast to hear why!