Biff’s 2013 Comics In Review

2013 was a banner year for geekology, but with our sights toward 2014 there is a lot to be excited about between all the movies (SIN CITY 2!?!), video games, tv shows and etc on the horizon, but I’d like to focus on comic books in this article. More accurately, Biff comic books.

Current Series

Superior Spider-Man (Marvel)


It’s been mentioned on the site before, but this is probably my favorite series of 2013. It’s energetic, interesting above all else refreshing. I know there’s a lot of nay sayers who refuse to read it based solely on principal, but dammit you don’t know what you’re missing out on (not to mention stubbornness is not an attractive quality) and honestly what do you have to lose? You know if you wait it out long enough the real Peter Parker will return. Just think of this series as a long interlude. Why not stick around for the ride?

Slott is my favorite kind of writer, it’s obvious that he’s planned story lines for years in advance and has the ability to subtly weave subplots through them that you always know are going to pay off. You don’t stay on a book as its author for that long if there isn’t something to it. With a book consistently being this good and being put out twice a month is heavenly.  Things are heating up in 2014 with the beginning of the Goblin Nation story line that’s been building since the book debuted with some speculation that the series will wrap you shortly afterward. It’s been an exciting year for Spidey but 2014 seems to be starting off strong as well.

Five Ghosts (Image)


This year has been a strong year for a pulp revival, one that I am both thrilled and also disgusted about. Five Ghosts has stood head and shoulders above the rest. A rip roaring old school adventure comic full of demonic possession, giant spiders, treasure hunting, secret cities, dragons, flaming swords…this has it all. It’s a big year for the book as it graduated from miniseries to ongoing and with a premise that lends itself to lots of stories to tell and some of the best art around this is one to keep your eye on.

Mega Man (Archie)


Its strategy had been alternating arcs between adapting each video game in the series with new original stories. That changed with 2013 because it became the year of the crossover. Seemingly a match made in proverbial video game heaven, they hooked the blue bomber up with Sonic The Hedgehog. While this does seem like an interesting idea, especially the idea of Dr. Wiley and Eggman teaming up together I opted to avoid this mainly due to the scope of the story. We’re talking 12 issues with 3 additional prelude issues that ran through 3 different series. I like Mega Man enough, but not that much.

The series has recently returned to the story that was building way back in issue #18 with the introduction of Proto Man. It’s nice to have things back on track in 2014 after such a long diversion and heading towards the adaption of Mega Man 3.

Hawkeye (Marvel), Fatale (Image) & Saga (Image) – You don’t need me to talk about these books. It’s all over the internet how good they are and it’s true. The internet can be right…sometimes.

Too Early To Tell

Velvet (Image)


Ed Brubaker, espionage, 1970’s. I ask you, what more do you really need? This series is only 2 issues in but it’s off and running. I trust Brubaker to deliver the goods.

Black Science (Image)


I’ve only been able to get my hands on the first issue with #2 selling out before most comic shops even got their hands on it. With a solid sci-fi pulp concept and esthetic, I’ve got a feeling it will continue to entertain.

After Life With Archie (Archie)


Whomever came up with this idea deserves some kind of award. A zombie outbreak in Riverdale, drawn by one of the best artists in the industry? I never dreamed I would ever care let alone buy an Archie comic, but this is outstanding. Francesco Francvilla’s art full of dark colors and haunting shadowy imagery is pitch perfect. I don’t know how long this series can last, but I’m in it for the long haul.

2014 Series I’m Looking Forward To

Silver Surfer (Marvel)


Without a doubt this is the series I’m looking forward to the most in 2014. Silver Surfer has always been a very interesting character to me, but writers seem to have had a difficult time getting right. I understand that sustaining an ongoing series might not be the easiest things to do, but Marvel gave this job to Dan Slott who claims he’s going to bring the character back to his roots. This basically means intergalactic traveling and adventures through the furthest reaches of the Marvel Cosmic Universe with an emphasis on sci-fi and fun. Attach silver age inspired artist Mike Allerd and you’ve got yourself an exciting book.

Moon Knight (Marvel)


Oh Moon Knight, can’t somebody write you correctly? Marvel clearly sees something in this character and has let so many people in recent years take a crack at their own Moon Knight series, usually to lackluster results. Now you can Add Warren Ellis to that long list of authors. He’s moving Marc Spector back from Hollywood to NYC and putting him in a business suit (?). Ellis says that Moon Knight will be solving the weird crimes of the Marvel U that no one else has time to invest in. Declan Shalvey is handling art duties and from the advanced pages that have already been released, it looks like we are in for a treat. This all black and white interior art will help establish it away from a lot of the other Marvel books on the shelf.

Black Widow (Marvel)

Black-Widow-001-Phil-Noto-CoverI don’t really know what to say about this. I don’t particularly care for Black Widow as a character. The new series by Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto has me interested and seeing if I can actually be interested in her. The first issue’s cover alone is what made me want to dig further. A super spy with a dark past that’s always looming behind her? It certainly has potential.

Black Beetle: Necrologue (Dark Horse)


Francesco Francavilla’s pulp creation was one of my favorite miniseries of 2013. It’s rare that we get to see the man draw interiors these days due to his prodigious monthly cover output.  Originally scheduled for October, it’s been pushed back considerably. Well worth the wait, Francavilla promises more horror themes mixed into the series with Necrologue. How can we in good conscious, say no to that? We know one thing already, this series will be drawn impeccably. There’s nothing out there today that looks like Francavilla’s work and even if the writing is half as good as the art we’ve got another hit on our hands.

2013 was a good year for comics and 2014 certainly promises to start out strong. What are you excited for this coming year? Leave it below and let me know.

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on January 7, 2014, in COMICS!, Recommendations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

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