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: Brandon Montclare
    Artist: Amy Reeder
    Publisher: Image Comics

    After a few months away, the flyaway success of Rocket Girl returns for a second arc. Let the time-travel whizz over your head and revel instead in the joy of DaYoung Johannson, one of the most inspired and effortlessly charismatic leads in comics today. A clear labor of love for the creative team, Montclare marries his words perfectly to Reeder's sensational artistic world. The pair know how to make a story sing, and the way they tell their story is like no other comic out there — it's bold, vibrant, smart and invigorating stuff. Plus: jet packs! [Steve Morris]

  • ARCADIA #1

    Writer: Alex Paknadel
    Artist: Eric Scott Pfeiffer
    Publisher: Boom Studios

    This brain-twisting new sci-fi series from writer Alex Paknadel and artist Eric Scott Pfeiffer is set in a dystopian world where 90% of humankind has been wiped out by a virus, but their minds and thought patterns have been uploaded into a massive computer simulation named "Arcadia" — and the handful of survivors left in the real world are tasked with tending the databanks. But seven years after this massive catastrophe, Earth's resources are dwindling, the virtual inhabitants of Arcadia are using far more than their fair share, and the remaining "real" humans are finding battle lines drawn between themselves and the digital remnants of their friends and families. It's a cool concept, and the previews that Boom have provided promise spectacular visuals and plenty of bizarre VR twists and turns. [Patrick Reed]


    Writer: Tom Peyer
    Artist: Steve Yeowell and Andy Owens
    Publisher: DC Comics

    When the first issue of Convergence: The Atom came out last month, there weren't a whole lot of people talking about it, which is weird because after I explained what it was about, a friend of mine ended up in tears laughing at how beautifully, perfectly weird it is. In case you haven't been following along, the deal here is that everyone trapped under the domes on Bottleworld has lost their powers, except for Ray Palmer, who has retained one very specific aspect of his size-changing ability: He can make his right hand really big. That's it. Just his right hand. And not only is everyone just a little weirded out by that, but he's also running around telling everyone who will listen that he's hearing a voice in his head that's asking him all kinds of questions and trying to get him to go fight Deathstroke the Terminator. And if that wasn't weird enough, it turns out that the voice was actually Ryan Choi, presumed dead after being attacked by Deathstroke, who was stuck at microscopic size when the dome came down and has just been living in Ray Palmer's brain for a year. It's exactly the flavor of bizarre that I want out of Convergence, and as far as I can tell, it's been cruising under the radar too. Hopefully this issue will be just as weird... and maybe we can find out what Ryan was eating for that year. [Chris Sims]


    Writer: Sholly Fisch
    Artist: Dario Brizuela
    Publisher: DC

    I've always had a soft spot for the light-hearted monster/mystery model of Scooby-Doo, and given that this issue of Team-Up brings Scooby, Shaggy, and company together with characters from Hanna-Barbera's other great adventure franchise, Johnny Quest, swashbuckling action and sinister machinations will doubtless ensue — it's the sort of crossover that Saturday Morning dreams are made of. [PR]

  • BANDETTE #10

    Writer: Paul Tobin
    Artist: Colleen Coover
    Publisher: Monkeybrain Comics

    The long-awaited return of the Eisner-festooned digital series brings artist Colleen Coover back to the French thief's world, as Bandette heads off for a new adventure-mystery. Over only ten issues the series has managed to create a lively and bustling sense of Paris, filled with detail and a charming sense of humor. Coover is one of the best artists in comics, period, and her collaboration with Tobin has made for a light, footloose and spirited tale featuring continental pilfering of a decidedly theatrical nature. [SM]

  • DEAD DROP #1

    Writer: Ales Kot
    Artist: Adam Gorham
    Cover Artist: Raul Allen
    Publisher: Valiant

    A four-issue series, each standalone stories linked together, Dead Drop looks every bit like 24 for the Valiant Universe. X-O Manowar, Archer, and other Valiant heroes each separately attempt to stop an alien virus from being exposed, with only thirty minutes to spare, a concept that's practically soaked with the promise of high-octane chase scenes. Ales Kot is an ascending writer with unique voice for characters, and the ability to infuse anything with his quirky sense of humor, Adam Gorham's style is so classic, several of his panels could serve as examples in How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way, and Raul Allen's covers for Dead Drop are so gorgeous, they'll make your jaw drop as well. [John Parker]


    Writer: Jay P. Fosgitt
    Artist: Jay P. Fosgitt
    Publisher: Red 5 Comics

    Jay Fosgitt's Bodie Troll tells the tale of a small monster who thinks of himself as a fierce and terrifying troll, and thus fails to recognize that everyone knows he's actually cuddly and adorable. The first Bodie miniseries, published in 2013, was a giggle-inducing all-ages romp, and this looks to evoke the same sense of adventurous absurdity. If you dig books like Bone, Tiny Titans, or the classic DIsney titles (or you know a young reader who dies), you should give this a try. [PR]


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

    Stan Sakai's amazing Usagi Yojimbo is finally returning this month after a three-year hiatus, but that doesn't mean that Sakai was just resting on his laurels the whole time. Last year, he returned to his signature creation for Senso, a story where his exhaustively researched and beautifully crafted take on a version of Feudal Japan populated entirely by anthropomorphic animals was mashed up with War of the Worlds. It opens with the climactic battle that Usagi has been building to for thirty years being interrupted by a Martian invasion complete with death rays and robot tripods, and it just gets wilder from there. The amazing thing, though, is how much drama is in there — Sakai takes the opportunity of a non-canonical story to tie together threads that he can't get to while the main series is still going on, which makes it an incredibly rewarding read for longtime Usagi readers. And for new readers, well, I don't want to spoil anything, but there is a giant samurai rabbit robot called the Usagi Gundam, so, you know. It's worth a read. [CS]


    Writer: China Mieville
    Artists: Mateus Santolouco, Alberto Ponticelli, and others
    Publisher: DC Comics

    Remembering what happened in Dial H is a fairly difficult proposition. It's hard to be sure if you're recalling something that actually happened in this book, or just remembering sleep-deprivation hallucinations or fever dreams. The weirdest and most bizarre mainstream superhero comic since Doom Patrol, Dial H re-imagines the Hero Dial as a conduit of superheroes from other dimensions with names like Boy Chimney, Captain Lachrymose, and Hair Bringer. Surreal, funny, intensely strange, and overflowing with heart, China Mieville's Dial H is worth a look for those who missed it the first time around. [JP]


    Writer: Carl Barks
    Artist: Carl Barks
    Publisher: Fantagraphics

    At this point, we're a couple years into the fantastic reprints of Duck stories by Carl Barks from Fantagraphics, so you should already know that they're some of the best comics ever printed. That's a given, right? Right. So now, let's talk about what actually happens in these stories. In addition to "Vacation Time," an extremely dense tale that's nominally about camping safety where someone literally attempts to murder Donald, Huey, Dewey and Louie and then blame them for setting a forest fire, this volume also contains a story where the Nephews buy a parrot. I'll give that a moment to sink in: Three ducks buy a parrot. Three birds buy another bird, to keep as a pet, and everyone is just 100% okay with this and never mentions that it might be a little weird. Sadly, this volume does not explain the strange bird heirarchy that exists within Duckburg, but the stories are still masterfully told and very, very funny. [CS]


    Writer: Jeremy Whitley
    Artists: Rosy Higgins, Ted Bradt
    Publisher: Action Lab Comics

    Have we ever let you down when it comes to all-ages brilliance? Here's yet another comic that will get everyone in your family reading away happily — the third Princeless trade from Action Labs. This time round we follow Raven, who comes from a proud line of noble pirates, and loves nothing more than a spot of plundering and trouble — which makes her the perfect addition to the Princeless crew. Starting off with a manic bar fight and quickly bringing in pirates, dragons and a whole mess of punching, this continues the tradition of loud, brash, and properly heroic comic princesses. It'll make you wonder why you never taught your daughter to sail a pirate ship. (For shame.) [SM]


    Writer: Ed Luce
    Artist: Ed Luce
    Publisher: Fantagraphics

    In 2011, I walked into Isotope in San Francisco and, when asked for a recommendation, the proprietor, James Sime, pressed a copy of Wuvable Oaf into my hand and backed it with a satisfied-or-money-back personal guarantee, explaining, "It's not like anything else, but I think you'll love it!" He was right, and since that moment, this story of a burly ex-wrestler/kitten fancier has been one of my absolute favorite comics — an affectingly offbeat gay rom-com that captures the universal sadness and silliness of loneliness and love, and mixes heartbreak and humor in exactly the right proportions. [PR]