My personal 10(or more<okay it's more>) issues of 2016!!!

by Jason Laframboise on December 24, 2016

I'm good at remembering a lot of things, mostly trivia or facts I've learned over the years, but one thing I'm not good at remembering is what I've read this year. I read so many books, both old and new that it's hard to keep track of what was even published this year, so trying to come up with a top ten is so hard to do. I tried to think of single issues, but let's face it the way comic stories are told the very rarely wrap up in a single issue. So instead of focusing on issues, I'll probably do my top 10 comic stories of the year or a combination so here we go.

10. Black Hood Season Two #1
This one would place higher if more issues had come out this year, but alas we only got two this year. The Black Hood is Greg Hettinger a drug addicted cop who becomes the vigilante Black Hood after witnessing the death of the original. Gritty and realistic street level crime is the hallmark of this series surprisingly enough this grim title is published by Archie comics which is shocking unto its self.

9. 4001 AD: War Mother #1
Get used to seeing the title 4001 AD on this list. While the main 4001 series was basically a continuation of the Rai series the four one shots were wonderful unique for the most part additions to the greater Valiant universe. War Mother introduced a new character and instantly made her interesting and wet the pallet for more stories involving her, perhaps 2017?

8. Faith 1-4 
Obviously as the Valiant reviewer my list is of course going to be Valiant heavy, and how could I not include one of the best selling books of the new Valiant era. Faith is solo in this mini series after being introduced in the New Harbinger series. She's a fan favourite character and this series really set her apart and leads in nicely to her new ongoing series.

7.  Titans Hunt
Okay I know this one is cheating because it started in 2015, but it ended in 2016 and I didn't read it till then. I loved this one for sentimental reasons, as I grew up in the heyday of the New Teen Titans, so with this one reestablishing the relationships of the pre New 52 Titans was a treat. Even Lilith was back, so many great things, Mal! Oh so awesome. Now if we they could have just gotten rid of that stupid hat on Arsenal!

6. Ninjak 10-17
One of my favourite Valiant titles of the year, these two story arcs in any other year might have been my favourite, with Operation Deadside linking Ninjak with the Deadside lore and finally returning Shadowman to the Valiant Universe. The Siege on Kings Castle followed with a story that was the opposite of the previous, taking our hero straight into a spy vs. assassin story that was the biggest highlight of a great book.

5. Bloodshot
Every issue was brilliant, in every way.  Phenomenal art and maybe the best writing in comics. This book is a treat to read and every issue is a must have.

4. Rai 13-16, 4001 AD 1-4
Valiant's massive summer event has become a yearly tradition. This year focused on the future, the distant future. While the Rai main title lead up to the mini series, the title went back in time by decades to introduce us to Rai past. I loved seeing the origins of the Rai and how Father refined what he was looking for by trial and error. Mean while in 4001 AD we got the final battle between Father and the current Rai, which lead to the literal fall of New Japan. Loved the series, Matt Kindt outdid himself this year.

3. 4001 A.D: Bloodshot #1
My favourite part of the 4001 AD event. This basically was a follow up to last years Fall of Bloodshot, part of the Book of Death event. Bloodshot's ever present nanites take their long time host to his final resting place in this emotional one shot. A great single issue that really sticks with me. 

2. X-O Manowar #50
Speaking of emotional. The end of the first new Valiant book left me sad and happy all at once. We got an epic battle that was a calling card of Robert Venditti's long run on the book. Things were settled as long term stories were resolved. It was a great finale of a great series.

1. DC Universe Rebirth #1
How could it be anything else. As a long term DC fan for most of my life( I still have the first issue of Batman I ever bought) this was the issue I was waiting for. It features the return of my generations Flash Wally West, and teases three things that set my little DC fanboy heart a flutter, first being the tease of the DCU vs. Watchmen story which should be awesome. Secondly the one panel showing the Legion of Super Heroes flight ring made me so happy as it is one of the core concepts of the DCU that is very sorely missing.... speaking of things the DCU is sadly missing....... Johnny F-ing Thunder showed up in the book!! This was the highlight of my whole year of comic fandom. Please DC please bring back the JSA, the characters that turned me from a casual kid reader into an obsessed comic fan. 

So that's it, those were the highlights of my year. Thank you for reading, and thank you to the whole Comics the gathering family for letting me play in their sandbox. Happy Holidays