Top 10 Best Single Issues of 2010

10. Daytripper #8

Almost every issue of Daytripper touched my heartstrings, but this one did it more than any of them.  The brothers Ba and Moon know exactly how to make emotions jump off the page, and this story of Bras’ son losing his father was as good as it gets.

 

9. Starman #81

James Robinson returning to the Shade was good enough, but the inks by Bill Sienkewicz put this project over the top. It was part of a well thought out, but ultimately forgettable resurrected series Blackest Night sub-event, except for this one issue, which could have sullied the perfection that is the original Starman run.  But it did not.

 

8. The Unwritten #17

Choose your own adventure.  Never seen that done in comic book form, have you?  Not only that, but it was well done, advancing the plot as well as our understanding of the characters.  Lizzie’s origin issue was unlike any other origin I’ve ever read.  It’s an impressive feat any way you look at it.

7. Scalped #35

In a year of Jason Aaron absolutely destroying every time he delivered a script for Scalped, this issue was a cut above.  It was a stand alone issue about 2 characters we don’t even know, and likely won’t see again, and over the space of 22 pages, you felt for them and cared about their story.  Then a jet blew their house up.

6. Ultimate Spider-Man #150

Ultimate Spider-Man had its best year in years, and this was the jewel on top of the crown, featuring spectacular guest art from Joelle Jones, Skottie Young, and Jamie McKelvie, in addition to regular artists David LaFuente and Sara Pichelli.  The issue set the stage for the next stage in Peter’s life, and did it in grand fashion.

5. Sea Bear and Grizzly Shark #1

They got mixed up!  I’m not sure there was a more unexpected and fun comic book to hit the stands in 2010.  This book showcased everything that can be great about the comic book form, as well as showing us exactly how much fun 2 great talents like Ryan Ottley and Jason Howard can have when given absolute free reign on a ridiculous concept.  If I can get one of these every few years, I’ll be plenty happy.

4. Avengers: Prime #1

What if a couple of masters of mainstream comic books took Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man, and just went right to town?  Brian Michael Bendis and Alan Davis answered the question and each brought their absolute best to this dead on classic and modern superhero tale that got right to the core of who these 3 heroes are.

3. Hellboy in Mexico

Vampire turkeys.

2. Amazing Spider-Man #617

When Joe Kelly and Max Fiumara aren’t doing Four Eyes, apparently they show the world just how a Spider-Man story can be done.  This tale of the Rhino provided everything a fan of Spider-Man could ask for.  Joe Kelly was a standout in a stellar group of Spider-Man writers, and Fiumara showed the world something they’d never seen before (except for those few of us who read Four Eyes), and brought us a glimpse at a classic villain like no one expected.

1. The Brave and the Bold #33

This was an easy choice.  With a pitch perfect script by J. Michael Straczynski, drop dead gorgeous art by Cliff Chiang, and a twist that spun readers in shocked circles, The Brave and the Bold #33 was the best single issue of the year by far, and I never saw it coming.  If you’re going to rely on comic book history and continuity, this is exactly the way to do it. It was as good as 22 pages of comic books get.

Comments

  1. Zeppo Zeppo says:

    I saw best issue of 2010 and instantly thought Joe Kelly’s Spider-man so glad it made the list. I was annoyed I never read B&B #33 by the time I’d heard it was worth reading it was a phenonom and everywhere had sold out.

    I really liked a Sweet Tooth one-shot from a few months back, and the Lafleeze christmas special was side-splitting.

  2. I’m so glad you reminded me about Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark.

  3. RoiVampire RoiVampire says:

    Awesome list

  4. boosebaster boosebaster says:

    I thought you detested JMS!

  5. Mike Romo mikeromo (@rikemomo) says:

    Fantastic list, Josh. I kinda puked in mouth when I saw the Brave and the Bold–I completely missed that issue.  Great picks!! Now if we could figure out how to compile them together..

  6. Conor Kilpatrick conor (@cskilpatrick) says:

    @boosebaster  Click the link in the title.

  7. Paul Montgomery PaulMontgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    God, I loved Hellboy in Mexico. It’s everything you could ever need. 

  8. trobinson79 trobinson79 says:

    Great list, though I question the remark about Blackest Night being forgettable.  But that’s a debate for another forum…

  9. boosebaster boosebaster says:

    @Conor Cheers. I haven’t read too many JMS comics (like the Superman and Spidey ones that people hate) but I liked Supreme Power for a while…and Babylon 5 was a masterpiece. Guy can definitely write when he wants to.

  10. Dan Dan says:

    HEY! I’ve read all of these!!! Bully for me, I say! Bully!!!

    I agree with just about all of this – Avengers: Prime would slide down the list a bit (I understand the draw and the love for Alan Davis, but it just didn’t knock my socks off). I’d probably swap that out for Batwoman 0 – the art was outstanding I think Williams and his co-writer (can’t come up with the name and I’m too lazy to look) have a great handle on the Batwoman character.

    It really was a great year for the single issue.

  11. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    @trobinson79  It wasn’t Blackest Night that was forgettable, it was the continuing series stunt of which Starman #81 was part of.  Not entirely clear I’ll grant you.

  12. muddi900 says:

    You guys keep selling me on ASM and I keep getting disappointed.

    Also, My favorite single issue of 2010 was Daytripper #5. I knew what was going to happen and yet I still was heartbroken.

  13. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    @muddi900  maybe it’s not your thing.  Fool you once, etc. etc.

    Also, IGN named ASM 617 their best issue of the year.

  14. HailScott HailScott says:

    @josh  That Scalped issue would top my list as well. Though there were no children in it, do you think it would have hit you as hard had you not just become a dad? That mushy stuff used to make me wretch, but since my son was born, I’ve gone soft like ice cream in the summer.

  15. Josh Flanagan josh (@jaflanagan) says:

    @HailScott  I’ve been pretty mushy for a while now. The kid just made it more pronounced.

  16. Damn fine list; my top 10 was…

    10. American Vampire #8
    9. Fantastic Four #584
    8. Batgirl #14
    7. Scalped #35
    6. Thor: The Mighty Avenger #4
    5. Power Girl #12
    4. The Brave and the Bold #33
    3. The Flash #1
    2. Amazing Spider-Man #617 & 625 (tied)
    1. Batman and Robin #13

  17. kennyg kennyg says:

    TBATB #33 was one of the best comics I’ve read… ever. I had just gotten the hardcover re-do of “The Killing Joke” a short while before this came out, so it really hit on all cylanders for me.

  18. misterckent misterckent says:

    Wow.  I’ve only read 2 books on this list.  I apparently have some catching up to do.

  19. g0ofgnewt g0ofgnewt says:

    Great list! I was quite worried when Starman #81 was announced, it was not necessary and it looks like we might be getting more Shade in 2011 on the back of this issue.
     

  20. KickAss KickAss says:

    JMS writes Josh’s #1 comic of the year?  Talk about eating crow! ;)

  21. nice list. Hellboy in Mexico was big fun and Brave and the Bold 33 was a really good story. These types of lists are so difficulty for me. I try to read things in complete story arcs (lots of trades) so i view these issues as chapters in a larger story. For something like Generation Lost which i love, i’d be hard pressed to tell you what my favorite issues has been so far.

  22. harwellpkg harwellpkg says:

    Wow, I only read 2 of these! No GI Joe Hearts and Minds issues?

  23. muddi900 says:

    @josh:
    I included the whole internet. I left around the early 600′s and stopped following it, and now I find out that Grim Hunt was written by Kelly and drawn by Lark, both my favorites and now I find out that Max Fiumara was on this too…

  24. odare77 says:

    Brilliant, and so glad to see the ones I’d have chosen are in there, the Scalped and ASM issues.  I think probably any issue of Daytripper could have happily made the list.

  25. Diabhol Diabhol says:

    @KickAss: Clearly, you don’t remember your iFanboy history. Neither Josh nor anyone else here disputes JMS’ *ability* to knock it out of the park. He can clearly do it and he’s done it a bunch of times. The problem is, and has been for years, that he’s the comic book version of an premature ejaculator. Just when we’re getting *really* into what he’s doing, it’s over.

    I mean, shit, I saw that Brave and the Bold cover and I started tearing up just because I REMEMBERED the story. I can’t dispute this list, even though it wouldn’t match mine.

  26. The next Starman Omnibus (vol.6) is due this month. Nice to see that they will cap it with #81.

  27. ibagree ibagree says:

    Tough to argue with that list. Daytripper #8, Unwritten #17, ASM #617, and B/B #33 were all in my top 10 as well.

  28. blulew23 blulew23 says:

    Brave and the Bold is my favorite issue of the year, hands down. Good pick.

    Wait, it just dawned on me, there hasn’t been a new Brave and the Bold in months. I guess everyone at DC just flaked and forgot to order any more. 

  29. dgazzuolo dgazzuolo says:

    The Amazing Spider-Man Rhino issue would have been my top pick. Number 2 ain’t too shabby, though.

    365 Days of Comics

  30. Man, and Sea Bear/ Grizzly Shark was the only one I read.

  31. NathanNicdao NathanNicdao says:

    Perfect.

  32. robbydzwonar robbydzwonar says:

    The only one I read was Amazing Spiderman #517 but I don’t remember it being nearly that good. 

    Whatever…

  33. Great list @Josh! No dispute from me, I may have swapped asm and tb&tb, and I’m sure if I thought long and hard I’d have subs for a few of the issues, but great list, but it’s all a matter of taste! Great list

  34. Neb Neb says:

    I read all of these issues and they are all great.  As for my list, I can’t remember what I read last week, let alone all the way back in January.  It was a great year for comics though!

  35. Gabe Gabe says:

    No Chew?  Shit’s wack.  

    (just kidding, good list) 

  36. wangman31888 wangman31888 says:

    I loved JMS on brave and the bold, and i remember hearing he had all these B&B stories and could go on writing for a long time, and now i don’t even see solicits for the book any more :(

  37. MegaPhilip MegaPhilip says:

    Cool. I think I’ll try to hunt down the ones of those that I missed.

  38. Mangaman Mangaman says:

    Wish I could actually list what was great but that would require me to actually open my many drawerboxes and I haven’t actually finished my 2010 pile of issues from dcbservice either. (there’s about 240 left @_@~!) Ever since my promotion, I’ve been busy OK?! ;_;….

  39. cubman987 cubman987 says:

    Amazing Spider-man #617 was my favorite from this year, only read a couple of these titles though.

  40. Jason Wood Wood says:

    FANTASTIC list Josh. I would’ve voted for Scalped 35, but pretty much the entirety of your list were impactful, wonderful examples of why we love this medium so much.
     

  41. iSteve iSteve says:

    Great list!  But you did need some Fantastic Four love in the Top Ten.  Hickman was awesome this year!

  42. fatespears fatespears says:

    Great top 10 guys. Definetly agree with B&B #33. It broke my heart and what a great, strong art chore by Chiang! I would also suggest Thor: The mighty Avenger #4 ? What fun. Great list and I have to track down Sea Bear & Grizzly Shark. Thanks!

  43. froggulper says:

    This is the only comics site I go to that didn’t dismiss that Brave and the Bold issue as out-of-character sentimental schlock. I personally thought it was somewhere in between, and would give it a 3.

    I agree with a lot of the other stuff on the list…but it’s criminal that you didn’t put one of the Frazer Irving issues of Batman & Robin on there! :)