Top 10 Comic Series of 2014

by Alan Rapp on December 18, 2014

in Top Tens & Lists

Top 10 Comic Series of 2014

Heroes, spies, detectives, samurai and ninja, vampire slayers, talking animals, and galactic adventurers. Looking back at the year in comics, these are the ongoing comic book series which continued to entertain, delight, surprise, and fascinate me over the year. It was a good year for women (and crazy gun-wielding raccoons) in comics with four of my top ten comics all helmed by lead female characters and a number of other female characters dominating issues of nearly every title on this list. Here are the top ten ongoing comic series of the year…

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Fatale #24

by Alan Rapp on August 6, 2014

in Comics

Fatale #24The over-sized final issue of the series brings the story of Josephine, Nicholas Lash, and the Bishop and his obsessed cult to an end. Opening with a fairy tale description explaining the reasons behind Josephine’s existence and the sacrifice demanded of her, Fatale #24 picks up with a tortured Lash in control of the Bishop soon to be joined by Josephine who the group finally catches up with.

Still keeping details close to the vest, for the second issue in a row the series explains more about Josephine and her relationship to the cult. Fatale #24 wraps up the storyline of every major character with a bloody end when Josephine’s plan hits a snag or two almost costing her life.

I am surprised of the finality of events shown here as I expected writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips to leave Josephine’s story a bit more open-ended. However, given the character’s long life there are likely dozens of untapped stories to be told should the pair choose to return to Josephine’s story somewhere down the line. Worth a look.

[Image, $4.99]

Fatale #23

by Alan Rapp on June 23, 2014

in Comics

Fatale #23For the entire run of Fatale writer Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have offered hints and glimpses to Josephine‘s past but have largely kept the reader in the dark as to the specifics of her long tortured existence. Setting up next month’s series finale, Fatale #23 changes that as Nicholas Lash relives some of the more brutal moments of the woman’s past during a night of sexual ecstasy that opens his eyes to secrets which Josephine has kept long buried.

The ritual which transformed her is still quite shrouded in mystery, but along with setting up Lash’s pivotal role in next month’s finale the glimpses we get here into Josephine’s past concerning the tragedy of her son are as heartbreaking for the reader as the man who has become consumed with her love.

I’m going to be sad to see Fatale end, but the rich history of Josephine leaves open any number of stories for Brubaker and Phillips to return to the character somewhere down the line. Worth a look.

[Image, $3.50]

Fatale #22

by Alan Rapp on May 18, 2014

in Comics

Fatale #22Winding ever-closer to the comic’s conclusion, writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips take a step back with the latest issue of Fatale to examine the life of the Bishop, his rebirth during the 1906 San Fransisco earthquake, the pleasure he once took in death and pain, his obsession with Josephine whose sacrifice would have allowed the world to “turn” but instead left him a hobbled shell of his former self, and how the glory of his gifts turned to ash when she escaped.

It’s certainly a dark issue, presented completely from the mind of the creature who was once a man (and now does thing such as listen for answers from a tree of hanging dead babies) looking back on his life. Balanced against these events are his current actions discovering a bread crumb (inadvertantly?) left by Joespehine and preparing for the next convergence when he might once again be able to complete the sacrifice and… well, whatever would happen certainly wouldn’t be good for Josephine or the rest of the world. Worth a look.

[Image, $3.50]

Fatale #21

by Alan Rapp on April 1, 2014

in Comics

Fatale #21Continuing the comic’s final arc, Nicolas Lash is reintroduced to Josephine‘s world and meets her librarian who is helping Jo make final preparations for “the convergence.” After spending weeks cooped up in the house, obsessing about where Josephine goes without him, Lash is finally offered a night out with the woman who has captured his soul which will earn Josephine a prize and allow Nicolas to play his role in a ritual that will tie the pair of them even closer together.

As the comic’s final arc nears its conclusion there’s still much about Josephine which hasn’t (and may not be) revealed. Fatale #21 continues to play on themes the comic has been known for including the power of Josephine’s sway and the need of blood sacrifice to achieve some yet unknown (at least to the audience) dark purpose.

By the end of the issue Lash knows his darkest fears about Josephine have been proved true, but despite his terror he’s trapped (as are we all) to stay and witness the conclusion even though he knows deep-down things aren’t likely to end well. Worth a look.

[Image, $3.50]