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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.