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Top of the Pile: The 2013 Wrap-Up

We took a look at everything from 2013 and find out what series made it on our list, month after month!

Welcome to the very first Top of the Pile: Year End Wrap-Up! Each month, Top of the Pile examines what five books each member of the staff loved more than any others. With this special edition, we've decided to take a look at what books, over the course of the year, we loved and applauded with all our might. We totaled up each time a series appeared on each staff member's list, month after month, and found out what books made the most appearances on their list. While this compilation may not give you an idea of what the best of the year is, it certainly will let you know what issues, month after month became our favorites and always go on the top of our reading pile.

Tony's Top Series

BATMAN

Appearing the most, this year, on Tony's list was the Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo series BATMAN, from DC comics. Like many fans, Tony has really been enjoying the current Zero Year story line. In fact, issue #21 was the ONLY issue to ever get the top slot for two different people! Here's what Tony had to say about this series in a past Top of the Pile.

"It was everything I had hoped it would be. Many have been saying we already know Batman's origin but that's not fully what this is... This issue shows there's so much more to see. With Snyder and Capullo on board, what more could we ask for? And this is just the beginning of the story."

FF

Coming in second place for Tony is FF written by Matt Fraction and art by one of Tony's favorite artists Mike Allred with Laura Allred on colors. Here's Tony's thoughts.

"Matt Fraction and Mike Allred continue to make this series an absolute joy to read. The book is pure fun yet there's some serious business going on... The series may seem like it's just fun and games but there is so much more going on here."

BATMAN/SUPERMAN

At third place is BATMAN/SUPERMAN written by Greg Pak with art from Jae Lee. Although this series is new and only has 6 issues out, not counting Villains Month, it still appeared on Tony's list enough times to make it one of his favorite reads of 2013.

"This is a team up story that we've been waiting for... With so much fresh and unknown, it adds to the suspense of the storytelling as we are completely in the dark about what happens next. Greg Pak does a great job setting things up and Jae Lee and Ben Oliver do a beautiful job on the art."

HAWKEYE

One of the series that all of us here at Comic Vine really love happens to come in at fourth place for Tony. It's HAWKEYE written by Matt Fraction with the art of David Aja. Since this character is now part of the Marvel movie franchise, it was only a matter of time before he had a great book with an amazing creative team backing him up.

"Each issue manages to entertain. Great action, humor and art, all in one single comic. If you've never liked the character of Hawkeye before, Fraction should be able to win you over."

STAR WARS

Finally, in 5th place, on Tony's top picks, is from Dark Horse Comics: STAR WARS which is written by Brian Wood and drawn by Carlos D'Anda. This series takes place during episodes IV-VI, which is a pretty big deal. It's almost as cool as the series has been.

"I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying a Star Wars comic set in between Episodes IV and V. You would think the story and characters would be limited in the direction they could go because of this. Brian Wood carefully weaves a new story for the characters and you can see he really knows and cares about them."

Mat's Top Series

CLONE

In what was actually a surprise to Mat, the series that he put on Top of the Pile the most, month after month, was CLONE, written by David Schulner, Aaron Ginsburg, and Wade McIntyre and drawn by Juan Jose Ryp. This Skybound series really kicked things up a notch in its second story arc, and here's what he had to say about it.

"From issue one, CLONE has been one of the best science fiction stories to deal with cloning, in any medium... Not only is it a fantastic book about cloning, but it also hits on whether or not cloning is morally right. It's a great mixture of the two and each issue is better than the last."

X-O MANOWAR

Up next, a book that Mat has fallen in love with since its relaunch: X-O MANOWAR, written by Robert Venditti. The book had various artists over the course of the year, but month after month, it delivered some awesome stories. It's another winner from Valiant.

"Writer Robert Venditti crafted a fantastic story, which I cannot wait to read again, when this comes out in trade. Yes, I will double dip on X-O MANOWAR. If you aren't reading this series, then you need to start at issue #15, when the next story starts."

AQUAMAN

Mat doesn't hide the fact he's an Aquaman fanboy. However, this past year, AQUAMAN has been an amazing book, and that's why it consistently made it onto his Top of the Pile list. This series was amazing this year with Geoff Johns as the writer, who recently left, and Paul Pelletier on art.

"It's the end of an era. Geoff Johns' stellar run on AQUAMAN has come to a close. It was a run that completely redefined the character. Everything Johns built up over the past two years ties together incredible here... While it's sad to see Johns go, what he did for this character and this book is unforgettable."

GHOSTED

Coming in with the fourth most votes, this past year, was a new book from Skybound called GHOSTED, written by Josh Williamson and drawn by Goran Sudzuka. This Oceans 11 meets Ghostbusters story only has five issues out, but it made it onto Mat's list four times.

Who thought a book about a guy who has to steal a ghost could be so awesome? It's Ocean's Eleven meets those guilty pleasure ghost hunting shows I find myself watching. Writer Josh Williamson has the start to something pretty awesome here... Keep your eye out for this book... and buy it when you find it.

SAGA

Finally, in 5th place, is SAGA, written by Brian K Vaughan and art by Fiona Staples. This book had a break for a few months here, but it found its way onto Mat's Top of the Pile list, month after month, without fail. While this juggernaut of a story may be 5th on his list, it's still one of the top on-going books on the shelves.

I love how Brian K Vaughan gives the reader a main story that is incredibly compelling, but also, he gives us small bits and pieces of the history of these characters. On top of all of that, Fiona Staples art work is breathtaking.

Gregg's Top Series

DEADPOOL

The book to make it onto Gregg's top of the pile list the most this year was DEADPOOL by writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn. While it's gone through a few artists, lately, Declan Shalvey has been supplying the art for the recent story line "the good, the bad and the ugly."

"This isn't just a good Deadpool story, people... it's definitely going to go down as one of the best Deadpool stories ever. Yeah, it's that good. If you like Deadpool and you don't hate smiling, this was made just for you."

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

Obviously, one of Gregg's favorite series, including all the tie ins is TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES which is written by Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz. This series was on his list enough times to get the 2nd place slot.

"Want to know why I love TMNT? Then you should read this issue because it has just about everything I adore about my favorite childhood franchise. Awesome art? Check. Great humor? Check. Astonishing action? Check. Lots of fun? Oh hey, another check."

SCARLET SPIDER

Although the series recently came to a close, over the course of 2013, SCARLET SPIDER, written by Christopher Yost, made it onto Gregg's Top of the Pile list enough times to grab the 3rd place slot for him. Here's what Gregg had to say about the series.

"Superior who? I say Scarlet Spider is where it's at when it comes to the Spider-Man world! I have no idea how so many people are overlooking this title, but you should rectify that mistake immediately."

GREEN ARROW

GREEN ARROW is a series universally loved by the Comic Vine staff and Gregg had it enough times on his list, during the year to grab the 4th place slot. Written by Jeff Lemire with art from Andrea Sorrentino, this book continued to be a favorite of Gregg's throughout the year.

"Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino are miracle workers. This is a book which fell off many radars and has done a total 180. It almost feels like it has the potential to be like what Geoff Johns did with GREEN LANTERN. Then there's Sorrentino, a man who's art is beyond praise."

BATMAN & ROBIN

Finally, on Gregg's top picks, is BATMAN & ROBIN. Gregg picked this series out a few times, especially after a death in Batman's life. The series is written by Peter Tomasi and drawn by Patrick Gleason. Gregg remembers some somber moments in the series here.

"Writer Peter J. Tomasi produced an absurdly powerful and heartfelt issue dealing with the loss of Batman's son. This one had a firm grip on my emotions the entire ride and I have no shame in saying it made me tear up -- none whatsoever."

Corey's Top Series

Corey wasn't involved in every month of Top of the Pile, but he did chime in a few times. Here's his top four series out of the few times he made his picks.

BATWOMAN

One of Corey's favorite books is BATWOMAN by J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman. He boasts his love for this book on the podcast as well as here.

"The art by Trevor McCarthy is already breathtaking and incredibly detail-oriented, but the dialog and plotting by J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman is absolutely stellar."

INVINCIBLE

Coming in at 2nd place is INVINCIBLE by Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley. This long time Skybound favorite of Corey's made his list a few times.

"Robert Kirkman's "other" smash-hit Image book continues to be one of the best on the shelf and this particular issue brought a lot of hanging plot threads together, as well as bringing back one or two legitimately hilarious running jokes. Ryan Ottley's art has gotten better and better over the years, with more depth and shadow giving way to more complex emotion, and complex emotion is the name of the game here."

X-FACTOR

Finally, one of Corey's favorite series came to a close this year, X-FACTOR, written by Peter David. While it was a bummer to see the series go, with this particular team, Cory seemed very pleased with how everything played out in the last issue.

"Not to end on a downer, but I'd be remiss if I didn't highlight the end of one of my favorite series of the last decade. Peter David kept this book on point, shepherding it to an absolutely fantastic end. The final arc did a perfect job of typing up all the characters' loose ends without closing out their stories altogether, leaving them open to appear elsewhere."

Other Amazing Series

While this list mainly takes a look at books that consistently wowed us, there's a few newer books that deserve some credit for coming out of the gates screaming or even a few books all of us had on our list that didn't make the best of list for the end of 2013.

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE

It's only two issues in, but AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and art by Francesco Francavilla, is making a splash with the staff of Comic Vine. Both Tony and Mat have put this series on their Top of the Pile list. This is zombies meets Archie in a very dark and dreary way. Here's what Tony had to say about the series.

"If you ever read or had the slightest interest in ARCHIE comics, you'll experience the crushing feeling of the doom and gloom being unleashed on Archie and the gang. This sick sort of feeling is what's been missing from this genre. It's not just a matter of trying to exploit the characters to create a shock. We get an interesting story with some amazing art. What more could you ask for?"

BLACK SCIENCE

Another series, which is currently only two issues in, that wowed us, is BLACK SCIENCE. The long-awaited Image series from writer Rick Remender and artist Matteo Scalera truly lived up to the hype as the first issue appeared on both Tony and Mat's Top of the Pile list. Here's what Mat had to say about it.

"The out-there first issue does a great job at mixing science fiction with a great adventure story. What really clinched me was the art from Matteo Scalera. The designs and layout for the world we see in this first issue are incredibly wonderful and awe inspiring. Dean White's colors really give this book a brilliant feel. BLACK SCIENCE has me hook, line, and sinker."

THE WAKE

Finally, here's yet another book both Tony and Mat went ga-ga for over the course of the year: THE WAKE, written by Scott Snyder with art from Sean Murphy. This underwater horror series really delighted the guys and it found its way onto both Tony and Mat's lists numerous times over the year. Here's what Tony had to say about it.

"This is another series that combines great storytelling with great art. It's always interesting comparing a writer's work on an established character to something they've created. Of course there is the feeling that anything goes, as we see in this issue in a big way."

That does it for our Top of the Pile 2013 Wrap-Up! Make sure to check out our regular Top of the Pile feature at the beginning of every month. Make sure to leave us a comment to let us know what series you loved this past year, and as always follow all of us on Twitter (Comic Vine, Tony, Mat, Gregg, Jen, and Corey). See you guys next year!

69 Comments
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Edited by RustyRoy

Afterlife with Archie and Batman and Robin have been amazing, I'm surprised Wonder Woman didn't even got a mention.

Edited by Renchamp

FF was my out-of-left-field favorite for the year. The books picked have been consistently awesome. Hopefully 2014 will bring us continued joy.

Moderator
Posted by PunyParker

Seriously Deadpool and Batman were the best...no question.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Surprised more Image comics didn't make it

Edited by KnightofSteel

My favorite of the year has to be the new Star Wars series by Brian Wood as he's just nailing the characterization left and right. Green Arrow by Lemire and Sorrentino is another memorable book from 2013, so so good. Some other books that stand out for me from the year are: Superior Spider-Man, Infinity, and the new Image series Black Science. Oh and Justice League... just because of the gorgeous art by Reis and Prado.

Posted by spinningbirdcake

Yeah East of West is certainly my 2013 comic of the year with Saga and Trillium tied for a very very close 2nd, and then Manhattan Projects is up there, TMNT, Jupiter's Legacy. Kind of awesome to have a top 5 or so list without any from Marvel and DC.

Edited by Outside_85

Hmm seems Jen didn't pitch in for this list.

Posted by lykopis

hmm.

Kinda wished I saw Lazarus on here. And Pretty Deadly although to be fair, that's a fairly new series.

Posted by clubberlang

Deadpool was fantastic, batwoman was breathtaking and the last issue of uncanny avengers was face rippingly exciting.

Edited by AllStarSuperman

Grant Morrison's Action Comics runs epic ending

Batman Zero Year

Deadpool Good Bad and Ugly

TMNT Secret History of the Foot Clan (haven't read City Fall yet.)

Eternal Warrior

Unity

Walking Dead

Invincible

Online
Posted by MadeinBangladesh

Green Arrow, Quantum and Woody, and Clone were my favorite this year.

Edited by timelord

For me

Supergirl

Wonder Woman

Red Lantern

Earth 2

Batgirl

I Always road those books first on the weeks they come out

Posted by Xwraith

Green Arrow and TMNT were my favorites this year (thanks Gregg).

Online
Posted by Mrgreenlantern

Gregg thank you for not letting Scarlet spider go out without a fight!

Posted by Z3RO180

Thor God of thunder

Avengers

Superman Unchained

Superman/Batman

Superman/Wonder Woman

Those are my favorites

Posted by Israel28

1.Aquaman

2.Green Arrow

3.HAWKEYE

4.The Flash

5.Uncanny X-men

Posted by Mucklefluga

1) Saga

2) Saga

3) Saga

4) Batman

5) SAAAAAGAAAAAA!

Posted by darkrider

my top 5 for 2013

1 batman

2 nightwing

3 batgirl

4 justice league

5 earth 2

Posted by CaptainHoopla

My faves of the year, tough to pick only five. I could make a long list of honorable mentions.

Thor: God of Thunder

Lazarus

Deadpool

Batman

Superior Foes of Spider-Man

Posted by scouts1998
  1. Batman
  2. Wonder Woman
  3. Hawkeye
  4. Green Arrow
  5. Green Lantern
  6. Justice League
  7. Deadpool
Edited by CrazyScarecrow
  • The Flash
  • Batman
  • Nightwing
  • Batgirl
  • Aquaman
Posted by k4tzm4n

@mrgreenlantern: for sure! Sucks the book's gone but at least Kaine's still in Yost's hands.

@xwraith: you're very welcome!

Staff
Posted by SavageDragon

Lazarus

Fatale

Astro City

Infinity

Saga

The Wake

Edited by lifeboy

High above the rest for me was Al Ewing's Jennifer Blood and the Ninjette's titles. In third was mrs Nocenti's and mr Sandoval's Catwoman

My favorite character this year was Miss Fury ;)

Posted by mak13131313

1. Batman

2. Aquaman

3. Green Lantern (Corps, New Guardians, Red)

4. Batman and Robin

5. Earth 2

And I'll do honorable mentions.

All Star Wars books, Afterlife With Archie, Manifest Destiny, Walking Dead, Justice League.

Posted by SkindNee12
  • Thor: God Of Thunder
  • Green Lantern
  • Hawkeye
  • Aquaman
  • Batman
Edited by M3th

I'm surprised Black Science got a extra mention. It only Has two issues, but it is wortH an extra mention on tHe TOP OF THE YEAR list?

Not Harbingers, THor: God of THunder, Superior Foes, or East of West?

-ABstract4$$#073-

Edited by Jake Fury

Image/MarvelTop 5:

  • East of West
  • Saga
  • Iron Man
  • Lazarus/Jupiter's Legacy
  • X-Men Legacy

DC Top 5:

  • Phantom Stranger
  • Animal Man
  • Swamp Thing
  • Earth 2
  • Green Arrow

DC Honorable Mention:

  • Aquaman
  • Flash
  • Wonder Woman
  • Justice League Dark
  • Constantine
  • Supergirl
  • Justice League
Posted by batwingman83

Of course Batman(all comics with batman), Lazarus(Tied with Uncanny), Trinity War, The Black Bat...just to name a few of my favorites, Pretty much there is alot of titles i liked this year, coming from all publishers except...MARVEL!

Posted by AWeekInGeekdom

For me it has to be: Daredevil, Hawkeye and Aquaman. :)

Posted by TobenRacicot

* East of West

* Superior Spider-Man

* Daredevil

* The Avengers

* Infinity

Posted by bladewolf
Edited by monsterduc

Check out Private Eye from Brian K. Vaughn and Marcos Martin. Probably the best new series this year from two of the best in the biz. www.Panelsyndicate.com

Posted by derf_jenkins

I'm surprised that more people aren't on board with superior foes.

Posted by Nahuel

I dropped almost everything Marvel! So my list is:

-Batman

-Quantum & Woody

-Batman and Robin

-The Walking Dead

-Batman/Superman - Superman/Wonder Woman

Posted by ScarletBatman

Marvel:

1. Superior Spider-Man

2. Hawkeye

3. Uncanny X-Men

4. All-New X-Men

5. New Avengers

DC:

1. Batman

2. Wonder Woman

3. Batman and...

4. Animal Man

5. Batman: The Dark Knight

Other Companies:

1. Saga

2. East of West

3. Star Wars: Legacy

4. Star Wars

5. Sex

All Companies:

1. Saga

2. Batman

3. Wonder Woman

4. Superior Spider-Man

5. Hawkeye

Posted by Romthelegionaire

List for DC

1. Tom Taylor's Injustice: Gods Among Us

2. Batman: Zero Year

3. Batman Beyond Universe

List for Marvel

1. Superior Spider-Man

2. Indestructible Hulk

3. Superior Spider-Man Team-Up

4. Cataclysm (Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, etc.)

5. Scarlet Spider

List for IDW Publishing

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

2. Samurai Jack

Image

1. Sex Criminals

2. Alex + Ada

Millarworld

1. Kick-Ass vol. 3

2. Jupiter's Legacy

Posted by Cavemold

East of West

Black beetle

Astro City

XO Manowar

I think there should at least be arch to judge if its worthy of top pile of the year. It comes off as rushed list. Glad you like your list guys!

Posted by JairamGanpat
  1. Nowhere Men
  2. The Private Eye
  3. Mind MGMT
  4. Bedlam
  5. Lazarus
Posted by MartianManhunterIsBetterThanCyborg

The Flash and Aquaman definitely should've been on this list.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

@k4tzm4n: Surprised Venom didn't make your list! I remember him being on your lists quite a few times.

Edited by Theblackmagicien

Batman and Robin (mostly issues 17 to 23.1)

Green Lantern (Geoff Johns' run)

Batman (zero year)

Hellboy in hell

Posted by Arkhamc1tizen

Glad to see that invincible made the list.

Posted by MuyJingo

Hmmm

Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Batman and Superman for me. Superman and Wonder Woman is off to a good start as well. Oh, and Injustice.

Batman continues to be a disappointment. I like the Flash a lot, but it isn't quiet up there. I like Forever Evil as well. Green Lantern has been kind of a letdown with the third army and light going out stories.

Clone is meh, X-Files was meh...

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@k4tzm4n said:

@mrgreenlantern: for sure! Sucks the book's gone but at least Kaine's still in Yost's hands.

@xwraith: you're very welcome!

Everybody NEEDS to buy New Warriors when it's out, Yost says if it manages to get a year in then he'll be telling the Mexican epic that he had planned to tell in Scarlet Spider.

Posted by UlquiorraSchiffer

I wished I liked X-O as much as some people seem to. I mean I'm obsessed with Valiant and have read every issue they've ever published since the 90's, so I do love it. It's amazing in its own right, which I will freely admit, but it's at the bottom of my list of favorite Valiant titles right now along with the current iteration of Shadowman.

I always find myself more excited to read the latest issue of Archer & Armstrong, Bloodshot or Harbinger before I read X-O. Although I think the tie-in with Unity has kicked the action up a notch in the past couple of issues. To summarize this rant: I love one of the things I love less than some of the other things I love, poor me.

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