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.


    Writer: Mariko Tamaki
    Artist: Irene Koh
    Publisher: IDW

    I don't know anything about the turtling quartet, except that the one with an orange bandana talks the most and their dad is a talking ninja rat dude. As such, I am the perfect person to get excited about TMNT comics right now. This week sees the launch of a four-issue miniseries that doesn't seem to have any beshelled ronin in it, but instead focuses on the pairing of April O'Neil and Casey Jones. Who are they? No idea. Doesn't really matter though, because I'm too busy staring wild-eyed and gloriously at the creative team — Irene Koh and Mariko Tamaki! Koh has been absolutely storming the spotlight this year with wild, wonderful fury, and Tamaki's This One Summer (with her cousin Jillian) was one of the biggest, most impressive character studies told last year. And variant covers by the greatest, Jennifer C. Meyer, as well? Incredible stuff. Almost makes you want to learn what a a Bebop is! Check out our preview of the first issue, and an interview with the team, right here. [Steve Morris]

  • PREZ #1

    Writer: Mark Russell
    Artist: Ben Caldwell
    Publisher: DC Comics

    A revival of Prez has been at the top of my wish list for DC Comics for years, and I could not be more excited about finally getting it. The original Joe Simon/Jerry Grandenetti series is one of those beautifully Bronze Age combinations of completely goofy and genuinely sinister — just read that first issue and tell me that Boss Smiley isn't one of comics' scariest villains. The new series, though, looks to be taking it a step further, setting its story of a teenage commander-in-chief who gets elected via Twitter in a world where corporations can literally hold office, instead of just, you know, practically holding office. The satirical bent is already in place, and that's exactly what the series needs to work in 2015. [Chris Sims]

  • FICTION #1

    Writer: Curt Pires
    Artist: David Rubin
    Publisher: Boom Studios

    Curt Pires and David Rubin seem like a dream pairing. Each has been making waves for the last couple of years: Pires with quirky and inventive books like Theremin and POP, Rubin with his haunting illustrations on Beowulf (with Santiago Garcia) and The Rise of Aurora West — I believe his first American comic. In Fiction, a group of childhood friends discover a box of books that transport the reader to their fictional worlds, but the magic goes bad when one is lost in one of those worlds. Years later, when another friend disappears, the friends come together as adults to find out what happened. With a concept that's both familiar and unique, and two rising talents like Pires and Rubin, Fiction looks interesting as hell, and that ain't no lie. [John Parker]


    Writer: Bryan Hitch
    Artists: Bryan Hitch and Daniel Henriques
    Publisher: DC Comics

    Between the end of his influential run on The Authority and his even more influential work on The Ultimates, Hitch scored a gig as the artist for DC's JLA title. It didn't go so well. He and Mark Waid completed a fairly fantastic oversized original graphic novel in Heaven's Ladder, but Hitch's meticulous artwork apparently didn't fit with DC's scheduling at the time: He didn't illustrate an entire story arc without help from fill-in pencilers for the entirety of his 12-issue run. Well DC's giving him another shot at the League with this new title, and letting him write it as well. The first $6, 48-page issue features the original, seven-hero roster from the New 52, all involved in a big, classic-feeling Justice League story that should provide refuge for DC readers who aren't enamored with the current directions of the individual characters (and/or are looking for a better jumping-on point than the other Justice League title provides). It certainly looks good; here's hoping Hitch had plenty of lead time and that his second Justice League run is better than his first. [Caleb Mozzocco]


    Writer: Erik Burnham
    Artist: Dan Schoening
    Publisher: IDW

    I've been working my way through the collections of Erik Burnham and Dan Schoening's Ghostbusters comic over the past few weeks, and it's about as close to a platonic ideal of a Ghostbusters comic as it's possible to make. It's funny, it's got great character moments, it's occasionally pretty scary, and it incorporates just about every piece of Ghostbusters lore there is. Except, that is, for The Real Ghostbusters, the cartoon that ran for a shocking seven seasons and featured Arsenio Hall as the voice of Winston Zeddemore. Now, though, that's being corrected with a full-on crossover between the two groups of Ghostbusters, and if it's as good as the dimension-hopping crossover that brought them into contact with the TMNT a while back, then it's going to be a pretty great time. I just hope that the two teams have to team up to fight a rival gang of ghost busters that have a talking gorilla. Now that's the fight we all want to see. [CS]

  • DR FATE #1

    Writer: Paul Levitz
    Artists: Sonny Liew, Lee Loughridge
    Publisher: DC Comics

    This week sees DC launch their Spider-Man, as Khalid Nassour steps into his own ongoing series with all the charm, worry and good nature of Peter Parker on his best day. Levitz handles the cast and story with an eye towards unseating the typical origin story, setting everything in motion but then blocking and changing and stopping things from becoming the traditional superhero starting block. With Sonny Liew and Lee Loughridge onboard here, we have one of DC's most impressive artistic teams to date — and they immediately make a mark. The book seems down, washed out, flooded — but then in comes the mystical, splashing through the muck and downpour to light up the pages and throw everything off-kilter. It's a sharp, remarkable first issue, which centers on one of the most likeable new characters in the DC Universe. [SM]


    Writer: Noelle Stevenson
    Artists: Sanford Green, John Rauch
    Publisher: Marvel Comics

    So yes, Secret Wars is one of those big event type comics that's too confident and charismatic for the tie-ins to do anything but gawp. However! The patchwork nature of the main storyline has allowed creative teams to play fast and loose with continuity — and here, in this new take on The Runaways, Stevenson and Green have raced through the Marvel Universe. Along the way they've picked up a random collection of heroes new and young, from Molly Hayes to Cloak & Dagger, with Winter Soldier and Amadeus Cho stepping into the mix as well. Green is dynamic and unpredictable as an artist, and Stevenson can work her way through a crowd of inspired teens like no other — this seems a perfect team to sneak behind Jonathan Hickman and steal the whole event from under his trembling fingers. And hey — I spotted Pixie in the preview! Buy ten extra copies! [SM]


    Writer/Artist: Daniel Clowes
    Publisher: Fantagraphics

    In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Eightball, the first eighteen issues of Daniel Clowes's alt-comix institution are collected in two slip-cased hardcover volumes replete with new art, annotations from Clowes, and probably plenty of other goodies. This set excludes nothing from those first eighteen issues, including all the short comics, gags, and flat-out bizarre little excursions that used to typify old-school Eightball. Although you can make an argument that Complete Eightball will be missing his best work — Death Ray, Ice Haven, and David Boring being the last and greatest Eightball stories — Clowes was already brilliant to begin with. A fantastic cartoonist, designer, and satirist, he was comics' genius cranky old uncle even when he was in his twenties. Including "Art School Confidential," "Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron," and his "Dan Pussey" stories, The Complete Eightball is the definitive collection of Clowes at his most acerbic. [JP]


    Writer: Stan Sakai
    Artist: Stan Sakai
    Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

    With all that I've been talking about it in recent weeks, I'm going to go ahead and guess that anyone who listens is going to be picking up the newest issue of Usagi Yojimbo, #146, this week and continuing the story of Kitsune the thief, Chizu the ninja, and Usagi caught in the middle. While you're at it, though, you're probably going to want to pick up the newest collection, too. Not only does Usagi vol. 29 collect Sakai's 200th issue (and if you're wondering why his 200th issue came before #146, it's because the series started up with a new #1 when it moved to Dark Horse), it also features one of the best supporting characters in a book that's packed with great characters: Inspector Ishida. If you don't know him, he's loosely based on real-life detective Chang Apana, and he's basically Columbo, if Columbo was a furry animal who was also a samurai cop. Usagi's great, y'all. [CS]


    Writer/Artist: Junji Ito
    Publisher: Viz

    Best known for his sometimes shocking horror manga Gyo, Uzumaki, and Tomie, Junji Ito is a force to be reckoned with. In this new collection from Viz, readers will find a collection of shorter works from the artist. Maybe not "fragments" per se, but certainly not the novel-length work he's better known for in the states. It should prove a good sample platter to Ito and his oeuvre for the curious, and a satisfying dessert of sorts to fans of his previous works. [CM]