The question most often asked of the ComicsAlliance staff is a variation of, “Which comic books should I be reading?” or, “I’m new to comics, what’s a good place to start?” The Wednesday deluge of new comic books, graphic novels and collected editions can be daunting even for the longtime reader, much less for those totally unfamiliar with creators, characters and publishers, and the dark mysteries of comic book shopping like variants, pre-ordering, and formats.

It’s with these challenges in mind that we’ve created Best Comic Books Ever (This Week), an ongoing guide curated by the ComicsAlliance staff. This is where new comics readers and seasoned Wednesday shoppers alike can find our picks of the best books the medium has to offer.



    Single issues are periodicals, usually around 20 pages in length and priced from $2.99 to $4.99, and published in print and digitally. Single issues are typically published monthly, but some titles ship twice a month or even weekly. Single issues are the preferred format for many longtime comic book readers, and ideal if you enjoy serialized stories with cliffhangers.


    Trades: Colloquial term for paperback or hardcover compilations of comic book stories originally published as single issues. The preferred format for readers who enjoy comic book narratives in substantial chunks.

    Graphic Novels: Typically any comic book that is a complete story in a more-or-less novel-length format. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with trades.

  • KAPTARA #1

    Writer: Chip Zdarsky
    Artist: Kagan McLeod
    Publisher: Image

    Chip Zdarsky may have shot to fame as the artist of Image's Sex Criminals, but he's quickly getting a reputation for his way with words – he's not only writing Marvel's new Howard The Duck title, he's also the writer on this new title, a "gay sci-fi epic" that puts a thrillingly erotic twist on the testosterone fantasies of 80s action figure lines. The art is handled by longtime CA fave Kagan McLeod, best known as the creator of 2011's acclaimed Infinite Kung Fu. [Patrick Reed]


    Writer: Joe Casey
    Artist: Jim Mahfood
    Publisher: Lion Forge Comics/IDW Productions

    Continuing long-canceled TV shows in comic book series has long since become a "thing," but Lion Forge's weird-ass resurrection of this iconic 80s TV show is not that thing. Part-celebration, part-parody and all comic, Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood's Miami Vice exaggerates every aspect that's exaggerate-able, and as much as they can be exaggerated without completely breaking the concept. For example, the current dangerous drug causing problems on their beat? A new designer drug called "Miami bath salts." Its pusher? A voodoo drug dealer. His muscle? Honest-to-goodness zombies. Regardless of one's affection for the TV show its inspired by, Miami Vice: Remix is original enough in narrative and visuals that it should appeal to anyone that likes weird and/or fun comics. [Caleb Mozzocco]


    Writer: Michael Uslan
    Artist: Dan Parent
    Publisher: Archie

    In a world where nary a Batman and Superman can get along, Daredevil can’t catch a break and – oh yes – there are a few problems in real life as well; humanity turns as ever to Betty and Veronica, our constant. The pair hit another landmark this week with issue #275 of their series coming out at Archie, and to celebrate they’re heading off on an exchange trip to India. There will be sniping! There will be friendship! There will be a slightly uncomfortable but effortlessly entertaining mixing of the two! Their chemistry remains as infectiously comedic as ever, giving readers everywhere a little pep to their Wednesdays. [Steve Morris]


    Writers: Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
    Artist: Lee Ferguson
    Publisher: Dynamite

    As the co-creators of Thrilling Adventure Hour and Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, Ben Acker and Ben Blacker have displayed quite the affinity for classic pulpy science fiction like Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, and John Carter of Mars, but that's usually shown up in the forms of parody and homage. On King: Flash Gordon, the duo go back directly to the source, crafting an update for the character that's fresh and modern while calling back to previous versions. With bright, energetic art and colors by Lee Ferguson and Omi Remalante, new life is being breathed into this old property. [John Parker]


    Writer: Dean Motter
    Artist: Dean Motter
    Publisher: Dark Horse

    Dean Motter's Mister X is a true oddity, a comic that blends the dark and disturbing with upbeat nostalgia with an almost-unnerving ease. The titular hero is practically a background character in his own books, haunting the streets of Somnopolis and partnering up with his ex-girlfriend Mercedes, and "girl reporter" Rosetta Stone to solve mysteries. In the anthology Mister X: Razed, the trio tackle "the Menorah Murderer," the case of the kidnapped building, and a killer who uses a booby-trapped corset. See what I mean? [JP]


    Writers: Rodolfo Cimino, Alberto Savini, Romano Scarpa and Luca Boschi
    Artist: Romano Scarpa, Andrea Freccero
    Publisher: IDW Productions

    Master cartoonist Carl Barks' addition to Walt Disney's Donald Duck's extended family, Uncle Scrooge McDuck, has starred in some of the best comics ever created. But Barks' Scrooge wasn't just the star of great comics, he was a great comics character, and many other creators have made great use of him after Barks. So it's nice to see The World's Richest Duck returning to comics racks in new — well, new to us — adventures. This 48-page issue features three short stories that were originally published in Italy, and are being translated and published in English for the first time. The book will be the very first offering from IDW's upcoming line of Disney-licensed books, which will return Scrooge, his nephews, Mickey Mouse and other perennial comics stars to comic shops after a few years of absence following Boom Studios' loss of the license. [CM]


    Writer: Jen Van Meter
    Artists: Roberto De La Torre, David Baron and Dave Lanphear
    Publisher: Valiant Comics

    Jen Van Meter and Roberto De La Torre’s story of a psychic looking for the one ghost she wishes to communicate with – that of her late husband – has been Valiant’s single-most acclaimed book since they relaunched. Just about everybody has already recommended the miniseries, so now it’s my turn to jump on the most overcrowded bandwagon you ever saw. All five issues of the story are collected this week in trade, and the collection sees the creative team firing on all cylinders for a tale of life, loss and, y’know, afterlife too. But death is not the end; Valiant has hinted that the character will be returning later on this year – an incredibly promising sign of good things to come. [SM]


    Writer: Cullen Bunn
    Artist: Drew Moss
    Publisher: Oni Press

    This volume collects issues 1-5 of Cullen Bunn and Drew Moss' acclaimed series, which tells the story of a girl and her T-Rex who have to defend our world against an incursion of ill-tempered prehistoric monsters. It's sweet, funny, and filled with wild adventure and time-twisting shenanigans, an all-ages comic that can appeal to pretty much anyone, whether alive or long-extinct. [PR]


    Writer: Georgia Ball
    Artists: Nicanor Pena, Victoria Robado, Antonio Campo, Diego Rodriguez, Gilberto Lazcano
    Publisher: IDW

    “But there are no books for kids!” sayeth the internet, unable to see the all-ages trees for the edgy Batman forest. Littlest Pet Shop: Spring Cleaning sees writer Georgia Ball return for more stories with the Littlest Pet Shop characters in this four-story anthology special from IDW. The series was a decent success for the company last year, and the fun premise – that Blythe Baxter can talk to the animals living in her family’s pet shop – is an irresistible one for, surely, anyone? Take your kids along to the comic shop this week and let them get a start on the best medium there is! [SM]


    Writer: Justin Sane
    Artist: John Hageman
    Publisher: Amaze Ink/Slave Labor

    A political satire for the post-occupy era, this one-shot from writer Justin Sane and artist John Hageman Jr. follows three furry forest creatures who are struggling to survive the rat race in an animalistic society that caters only to the wealthy and well-to-do. Author Sane describes it as "the adventures of a bear burned in a tragic cupcake-baking accident, an anarchist rabbit who sings punk songs, and a perverted monkey who's into banana bondage, pitched somewhere between Animal Farm and Meet the Feebles," which sounds to me like a can't miss proposition. [PR]