Comic Publishers

January 4, 2011

Infinite Speech’s Top 10 of 2010!

When transitioning into a new year, one thing should be expected and that’s the ever present countdown list about something or someone in the previous year. So I figured I’d come up with one of my own that spotlights my top 10 books of 2010! From the huge amount of various OGNs (original graphic novels), ongoing titles, and various mini-series that came out, I had my work cut out for me. To be honest I underestimated this task after I realized that a lot of great books came out in 2010 and it would take me a while to decide which ones stood out. Not to mention narrowing that list down to just ten that not only caught my attention, but impressed me. From the Big Two to the various indie publishers, quite a few stepped their game up to provide the fans with quality work and some good comic fun!

So without further adieu, let’s get this started!

10. Star Wars: Legacy (Dark Horse Comics): For fifty consecutive issues Jan Duursema and John Ostrander took us over 100 years into the future of Star Wars and the dark side never looked so good! They were in new territory and actually gave us an entirely new cast of characters to either love or hate, but they still maintained the feel of what Lucas started so many years ago. Ostrander and Duursema finally created a Skywalker that didn’t come off as a whiny punk kid, but a man who shunned his heritage and is a pirate with a drug addiction who only cares about his crew and money. The Sith are also a serious threat and the man in charge was once a Jedi himself back during the Clone Wars, but now he is known as Darth Krayt and wants the universe to burn. The series came to an end several months ago, but recently was continued in Star Wars: Legacy: War, and from what I read in that issue Duursema and Ostrander haven’t lost a step!

9. Dark Rain: A New Orleans Story (Vertigo): There was no way I was going to pass on Mat Johnson’s latest story after being impressed with IcognegroDark Rain is the tale of two ex-cons attempting to rob a bank in Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina. Figuring it would be easier since everyone who is able is trying to get out of The Big Easy. The storm won’t be their only obstacle, as Johnson has them going up against their own humanity as well as a group of armed private contractors who plan on robbing the same bank. Johnson lays out a smart story and even though it does highlight some of the issues surrounding Hurricane Katrina, in no way does he let the story become preachy. His characters also walk in that gray area of right and wrong, though it’s up to the reader to see if the ends justify the means after reading. Simon Gane provided the artwork and helps expand on Johnson’s script, especially when he depicted the Ninth Ward underwater, which left a bit of a knot in my throat. Good Story. Good art. Definitely worth your time.

8. Blackest Night (DC Comics): I actually thought things couldn’t get any better for the Green Lantern books so soon after the Sinestro Corps War, and then Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis hit us with Blackest Night! I will admit that I was not too fond of how things ended, but even I can’t deny the fact that overall it was a terrific sci-fi story that kicked all kinds of ass! Not only did it feature most of DC’s marquee characters, but it effectively introduced a large amount of brand new ring slingers across the color spectrum. All of them coming together to take on the very powerful Nekron and his army of Black Lanterns. Reis kept the issues looking great while Johns continued to take us deeper into the Green Lantern mythos, revealing more of a richer history and deeper characters than I thought possible.

7. Yi Soon Shin: Warrior & Defender (Onrie Kompan Productions): When I was introduced to Onrie’s retelling of Korea’s naval hero Yi Soon Shin, I was immediately floored by how great the storytelling was. Also the amount of research he did to make sure his story was accurate was just a testament to how far he was willing to go to make sure he got things right. Then there’s the artwork from Giovanni Timpano that not only captures the time period, but knocks you on your ass as well. I said it before and I’ll say it again, this is one of the best books that you’re not reading! So I’d suggest correcting that mistake after the trade comes out, folks! Just know that there’s quality work out there beyond the cape and spandex books if you’re willing to look for it.

6. Thanos Imperative (Marvel): This mini-series not only showcased some major cosmic heavy weights, but also ushered in the return of the Mad Titan himself, Thanos! It also made me realize that Abnett and Lanning had basically made a lot of what was happening on Earth just a bit boring when compared to their cosmic tales. Each issue was a step in the right direction as they steered us toward their ending, which was a kick in the gut after reading! Miguel Sepulveda and Jay David Ramos provide the great artwork and helped make this one of the better reads to come from the House of Ideas. Another plus for this mini-series is that it didn’t need to feature all of the big names in the Marvel Universe to be effective. Just a solid story by writers willing to keep building up the lesser known characters and making them turn some heads!

5. Magdalena (Top Cow): A woman who shares the bloodline of Christ, hunts demons, shuns the Vatican, and wields the Spear of Destiny seems like it would make for a great series. However, when I heard that Ron Marz would be writing a new Magdalena series, I was very skeptical. Not anything against Marz’s skills, it’s just that I never really liked the character’s past incarnations. Then the first issue came out and everyone got to see what he and artist Nelson Blake II were bringing, and many doubters like myself were quickly silenced. Nelson’s artwork is some of the best I’ve seen and Marz seems to be putting a little something extra in this series to help make it stand out. He’s also shown that much like in Witchblade, a fully clothed and capable female lead can still be effective if the team behind the book puts forth the effort. Oh, and did I mention those blazin’ covers by Ryan Sook that just set the whole thing off!

4. FVZA (Radical Publishing): I was forced to wait for the trade on this one, only because as soon as the single issues hit the shelves of comic book stores it was gone with the quickness! Plus, I got tired of feeling like I was missing out on something great by the way Decapitated Dan was raving about this series in various posts. This was the first series that I read from Radical and I assumed that a book that looks this good would probably fall flat when it came to the story. WRONG! David Hine made a believer out of me and the wait was well worth it to read the story straight through. A retired agent is brought back into the fold after a life time of training his grandchildren to defend themselves against the Vampires and Zombies that populate their world. Hine mixes in real world historical events and even throws in a family secret that I didn’t see coming, and by the end of the book I was ready and waiting for a part two! So c’mon Radical, when do we get another FVZA?!

3. Okko (Archaia): As soon as I found out that Okko was a collection of  mini-series about a ronin samurai (Okko) who leads a group of demon hunters, I was hooked. Then after seeing Hub’s illustrations and reading his story I realized I was enjoying one of the best samurai tales to come to comics. The crew consists of a drunken monk, a giant ass kicking beast of a man in an oni mask, a samurai, and a kid who ended up getting more than he bargained for when he joined. Being flung into the mythical land of  the Pajan Empire was made even better by the spectacular artwork and the rich characters that populate the stories. Each series is broken up into cycles, and right now The Cycle of Air just wrapped and continues the greatness that was in The Cycle of Water and The Cycle of Earth. The series was originally published in France several years ago, but the good people at Archaia decided that it was time for the states to see what Hub was bringin’, and for that I thank them!

2. DoomWar (Marvel): I know someone just looked and saw that DoomWar was my #2 pick and just made a sour face. That’s okay, because I feel that this book deserved a lot more credit than it received. Maberry did more with T’Challa (former Black Panther) in six issues than what some writers haven’t done in years, and that’s make him interesting without sacrificing his character. Also Maberry gives him the ultimate opponent in Dr. Doom, because he is one of very few who could match wits with the Black Panther and have the balls to step to him on his own turf. These two were throwing down on an intellectual level which is rarely seen, since usually all we get is a big fight scene to illustrate conflict. And by the middle of the series we began to see the flip side of both characters as Doom had forced T’Challa to some questionable extremes, and we see that maybe Doom’s way isn’t so bad as Maberry goes beyond the simplistic perceptions of good and evil. Scot Eaton’s visuals were great at taking the story to that next level of excellence. There are quite a few strong parallels between DoomWar and the world that we live in now, which also changed my perception of the story. Now, whether Maberry did that on purpose or not I can’t say, but what I can say is that DoomWar was one of those bright moments in comics and should definitely be recognized.

“…Forty-Five45 looked like something new and good that was on the horizon in an industry where we are consistently shoveled a huge amount of crap on a monthly basis.” – Infinite Speech

1. Forty-Five45 (Com.X): Regardless of what I read as 2010 was winding down, Forty-Five45 continued to be my favorite read. Andi Ewington and Com.X deserve all of the accolades they receive for releasing this on the comic world. Journalist James Stanley is awaiting the birth of his son and has decided to not have the child tested for the Super-S gene to see if he would be born with special abilities. He does, however, interview 45 individuals in hopes to get a better understanding of what life might be like with a super powered child. It’s several interviews into the book that James realizes that what he’s learned about the super powered community around the world may end up killing him. The book could have just been a series of static interviews, but Andi connects several of them on various levels, making this a story involving government cover ups, or people just trying to live day by day as some powers are more of a curse than a blessing. There is also a SERIOUS amount of artistic muscle behind Forty-Five45, as each interview received one page of art to go along with the one page interview. Some artists who contributed were Eduardo Francisco, Frazer Irving, Kenneth Rocafort, Fiona Staples, Robert Atkins, and many others. I’ve read Forty-Five45 three times now and I have found something new every time that keeps the book exciting. Plus I was glad to hear that one of my favorite characters, Blue Spear, from Forty-Five45 is getting a solo shot this year along with two others from the book. So if you haven’t had a chance to check this out, I’d suggest you find a way to do so and expand and heighten your comic reading experience!

So there you have it, folks, my top ten of 2010! And whether you agree or not with some of my picks, hopefully you took away something that will pique your interest and get you reading something new.


Check out our other Top 10 lists here!

Infinite Speech



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Andi Ewington, Eddie Deighton. Eddie Deighton said: sweet! […]

  2. […] Comic Attack – Infinite Speech’s Top 10 of 2010! […]

  3. Billy

    Superb list my friend! 😀

  4. Great list Speech! I am going to have to check out some of those picks that I haven’t read yet.

  5. Aron

    Hey, where’s SHADOWLAND? Hahahahaha!

  6. LoL @ Aron!

  7. Eli

    Yeah, 45 will be next on my list. Thanks Speech!

  8. Infinite Speech

    You should definitely give it a read Eli 🙂

  9. […] and there as T’Challa attempts to see how he fits into his new role since the aftermath of Doomwar. I’m hoping this continues and we get further great character developement on one of […]

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