Welcome back to 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 next category: Most Underrated Book of 2014.
Dustin - Thomas Alsop
Definitely one of the best things I read this year and yet it seems like there was no marketing for the book. I picked it up by random and while I was hesitant to fall in love with it after the first issue, I became a die-hard by the second. Seriously I have no fucking clue why more people aren't reading this and why BOOM! hasn't made it an ongoing or at the very least announced the next installment of the series.
Allen - Skullkickers
Rat Queens became a big hit this year (deservedly so), Image books as a whole are getting more and more well deserved attention. Yet Skullkickers, another awesome fantasy comic from Image just doesn't get that much attention. It is nearing the end of its run at the start of next year, but this year we got an issue featured a giant dwarven mecha that had its own theme song. Stop reading whatever random super hero comic you are reading and pick this up now. You get big fights, humor, wonderful artwork, and just a well written comic. Everything that super hero book was supposed to deliver to you but failed to.
David - Superior Foes of Spider-Man
When people talk about Marvel's fun-filled titles they go straight to Hawkeye, Daredevil and the like. For some reason this book - possibly Marvel's most acclaimed and comedic title of the year - was always overlooked and this ultimately led to its untimely death in November. Do yourself a favour and go pick up the trades. This book is really funny, full of plot twists, and contains some great character work for these small-time Spider-Man villains. The fact that few people read this book is tragic, but at least Spencer and Lieber are reuniting at Image next year.
Steve - Dark Engine
One of Image's lesser-regarded titles, but I think the art and writer's turn on poetics are both fantastic, and grossly unsung.
Neil - The Flash
Even with a switch of writers. Flash continues to be a great book.
James - All New Ghost Rider
Yes, I am very pissed off that this title is being dumped by Marvel. I really enjoyed the "Hot Rod" concept and the Robbie Reyes character developed and written well by Felipe Smith. I thought that the first five issue story arc "Engines of Vengeance" was a sweet blazing redo to a classic character almost making my best revival . Unfortunately though, the fire eased up some when Tradd Moore left. His Techno Hell renderings of the Rider really brought it. Some of the most intense and hardcore art that I saw all year. I would have loved to see this one continue.
Samantha - Archer Cole
When reading Vol 1, I was surprised I never heard of this series. It was twisted and fun all at the same time.
Andre - She-Hulk
Not critically underrated, but bummer that more people didn't find this gem compelling enough to read. While Charles Soule will continue to do amazing work with other characters at both DC and Marvel, his mixture of legal procedural with slapstick action will be missed. Also, this comic made me realize how few capuchins there are in comics. More Capuchins!
Carl - Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight
Although this suffers from Steven King-itis (can't produce a good ending), this book has been true to its homage source material and provided titllation and gore aplenty.
Austin - Bendis's X-Men
The X-Men are the reason I started reading comics, and the only X-Men series I've known since I started pulling them from issue #1 are Bendis's All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men. These titles have been constant fun, and have been taking the decades-old mutant soap opera places it hasn't been before. He's been playing a long game and some of the big things in his vision for the X-Men have finally started to shake loose. And have you SEEN Marco Rudy's work on Uncanny X-Men #18?!
Jeff - Flash Gordon
This series has been a surprise since I picked it up.
Nick - Daredevil
Everyone loves Mark Waid and everyone loves Chris Samnee, but this is a Marvel book that puts out phenomenal issue after phenomenal issue and no one says "boo" about it. Start reading Daredevil again, you rubes. He's sort of kind of sometimes happy now, and it looks GORGEOUS.