2022 has been a great year for comics, not only from Marvel and DC Comics, but also indie companies like Image Comics and Boom! Studios. Comics in 2022 have given readers a variety of stories, with superheroes tales being taken in new directions, sci-fi books that thrilled audiences, and fantasy comics that have taken readers to magical worlds.
As the year comes to a close, there are some comics out there that definitely deserve a look from every fan of the medium. These must-read books run the gamut of genres and styles, from creators who are the best in the industry.
10/10 Wolverine Has Been Exciting All Year Long
Wolverine has some wonderfully creative runs under his belt, and current writer Benjamin Percy’s run during the Krakoa Era has continually dropped intriguing twists on readers. Working with artists Adam Kubert, Federico Vicentini, and Juan Jose Ryp in 2022, Percy has given readers a wild crossover with Deadpool, some great Judgment Day tie-in issues, and a new story that explores Beast taking advantage of Logan.
Percy is brilliant when it comes to Wolverine’s characterization. He writes the character like no one has since Larry Hama. The art this year has been consistently amazing. On top of that, Percy also wrote X Lives Of Wolverine and X Deaths Of Wolverine, with artists Josh Cassara and Vicentini. An amazing run itself, X Lives featured Wolverine traveling through time to save Xavier and X Deaths following Moira MacTaggert and the hunt for her by Wolverine’s children. 2022 was an amazing year for Wolverine.
9/10 Once And Future Ended Brilliantly This Year
Once And Future is the best contemporary fantasy book in years. Written by Kieron Gillen with art by the fantastic team of penciler Dan Mora and color artist Tamra Bonvillain, the story follows Duncan, his monster hunting grandmother Brigitte, and his girlfriend Rose, as they battle to save England from a war between multiple returned King Arthurs. This year brought about the book’s end, and it was an amazing conclusion.
Once And Future touched on so many themes, from racist nationalism to the role of stories in societies, and was action-packed. The art was gorgeous, easily some of the best in the industry, giving a modern feeling to millennia old legends. It’s a book that every fan should give a try, especially since it perfectly stuck the landing.
8/10 Batman/Superman: World’s Finest Is A Breath Of Fresh Air
Writer Mark Waid’s return to DC has already been a huge success. His first book back is Batman/Superman: World’s Finest, with the art team of Dan Mora and Tamra Bonvillain and a fill-in issue by Travis Moore. The book is a team-up book between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, like the classic World’s Finest, and has so far been perfect.
Waid is a master of telling stories that are both retro and modern and World’s Finest is a perfect example of that. Additionally, the art teams have been phenomenal, bringing to life everything Waid needs them to. This has been a great year for Batman and Superman, and World’s Finest displayed them being great together.
7/10 StarHenge Is A Gonzo Sci-Fi/Fantasy Hybrid
Indie comics are amazing books, and 2022 has given readers a gift better than they could have imagined. Writer/artist Liam Sharp dropped StarHenge: Book One: The Lion And The Boar on readers, a six issue series that mixes the worlds of far future sci-fi. Humanity is battling robotic life form the Cast, present day mysticism as Amber deals with her mysterious new boyfriend, and the magical past.
In the past, a man from the future becomes the greatest Wizard to save magic for humanity to use against the Cast. Sharp’s art is brilliant throughout, a stylistic mishmash that shows an alien future and the Arthurian past with equal aplomb. His writing is top-notch as well, weaving a difficult narrative into something palatable and fun. StarHenge is a masterpiece.
6/10 Detective Comics Reached A New Level Once Ram V Took Over
Detective Comics is DC’s longest-running comic, and it’s had an amazing 2022, with creators like Mariko Tamaki, Matthew Rosenberg, Stephanie Williams, Dan Mora, Tamra Bonvillain, David Lapham, and more onboard. Thing kicked into overdrive when writer Ram V came aboard in #1062, along with artists Rafael Albuquerque and Ivan Reis, and he introduced the Orgham family to Gotham.
A family of Indian nobles, the Orghams have a centuries old link to Gotham, the Arkham, and the Waynes. V is building something special, with brilliant artistic talent. Writer Si Spurrier is handling back-ups, with artists Dani and Hayden Sherman, with his first following Jim Gordon and his second a very different look at Two-Face. Detective Comics is brilliant and the best Batman book on the market.
5/10 Action Comics Has Been Completely Innovative All Year
“The Warworld Saga” was peak Superman, propelling Action Comics to levels it hasn’t reached in decades. Written by Philip Kennedy Johnson with art by Riccardo Federici, Will Conrad, Dale Eaglesham, Mike Perkins, and David Lapham, AC has been dropping Superman bombs on readers. It’s given readers an action adventure like nothing before.
Johnson not only understands Superman, but how to tell a compelling, long form story. Action Comics has everything fans can want from a Superman book. It was always among the top books on the market every month and kept getting better.
4/10 Immortal X-Men Is The Best Current X-Men Book
Since Jonathan Hickman left the X-Men office, the line has struggled. 2022 saw things get better in a variety of ways, with Immortal X-Men, by writer Kieron Gillen and artists Lucas Werneck and Michele Bandini, helping right the ship. The book focuses on the Quiet Council, laying out each member’s machinations and acting as the flagship for the X-Men books.
Immortal X-Men is a must-read Marvel book. Gillen is experienced with the X-Men and allowing him to dig deep into each member of the Quiet Council is brilliant. The book has been full of surprises, with Werneck and Bandini giving readers brilliant art.
3/10 The Flash Is The Best Pure Superhero Book On The Market
The Flash has been a pleasant surprise for readers. Written by Jeremy Adams with art by Fernando Pasarin, Amancay Nahuelpan, and more, the book has chronicled the return of Wally West as the Flash. It’s mixed amazing superhero action, including some fun Dark Crisis tie-ins, amazing character work, and awesome art.
The Flash is constantly firing on all cylinders. Fans have been begging for a book like since Wally West came back in DC: Rebirth #1. The Flash manages to be the most fun superhero book every month, reminding readers why Wally West and the Flash family are the best.
2/10 Aquaman: Andromeda Is A Psychological Horror Masterpiece
Aquaman is a vastly underrated hero. 2022 gave readers the best Aquaman story in years: Aquaman: Andromeda, by writer Ram V and artist Christian Ward. The crew of the submarine Andromeda is sent to the ocean floor to investigate a mystery that fell from the stars. What follows pulls in Aquaman and Black Manta, working against time to discover what’s going on.
Ram V is a brilliant horror writer. He gives readers a deep dose of cosmic and psychological horror in this book. Ward’s art is amazing, able to capture the atmosphere and tension of the book, as well as the alienness of the ocean’s floor. Aquaman: Andromeda is basically perfect.
1/10 A.X.E.: Judgment Day Is The Best Marvel Event In Years
Marvel events can be very hit or miss. Luckily, A.X.E.: Judgment Day was a huge success, becoming the best Marvel event since 2015’s Secret Wars. Written by Kieron Gillen with art by Valerio Schiti, it spun out of Gillen’s Eternals. The story revolved around Eternal Prime Druig declaring war on Krakoa, the X-Men fighting back, and the Avengers and rogue Eternals teaming together to stop the war.
That’s when things get out of hand, as a new god rises and decides to judge the Earth. Judgment Day shook the Marvel Universe, giving readers an event like no other this year. Gillen and Schiti hit amazing heights in this book. It shows that the Marvel event cycle can still make amazing stories.
NEXT: 10 Most Tragic X-Men Sacrifices