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2013 was a very good year for new comic book series. Both at Marvel and DC as well as independent publishers, there were many new books that made a big splash, a list that would include Pretty Deadly, Sex Criminals, Star Wars, Uncanny X-Force, The Wake, and many others. 2014 could be an even better year because not only are the great debuts from 2013 continuing, there are a host of new comics lined up for 2014.
There will no doubt be some surprises in store and some underrated comics that end up being excellent, but I’m going to focus on 5 new comics that I’m excited to see in 2014. A few of these have had an issue or two published in 2013, but I didn’t consider any series that had more than 2 issues published in 2013.
The first of comic on my list was actually published decades ago, but it will still be new to the majority of fans. The saga of Miracleman/Marvelman is very complicated with swindling, vague copyright ownerships, and legal wrangling. The only reason that anyone cares, though, is the fact that Marvelman (the name was later changed to Miracleman due to pressure from Marvel Comics) was a series written by Alan Moore and then by Neil Gaiman. It developed a cult audience but could not see print after its initial run for over 20 years due to copyright issues. Marvel Comics finally bought the rights and announced that not only would they be reprinting the Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman issues of Miracleman, Gaiman would be returning to the series to finish the story arcs that he never got to complete in the 1990’s. After many years, comic fans can read for themselves the legendary issues of Miracleman.
2. The Sandman: Overture
The first issue of The Sandman: Overture came out in October 2013. However, delays caused the postponement of the rest of the series. The Sandman: Overture #2, originally set to be published in December, is now slated to come out on March 5, 2014. Still, delays aside, there is plenty to be excited about in this comic. Many fans were questioning how Neil Gaiman would return to the characters he wrote so well in the 1980’s and 90’s. The first issue of Overture offer some clues as well as the staggering implication that Morpheus may not be the only Sandman (or that there may be many Morpheuses). The art of J.H. Williams III is gorgeous in the first issue, seeming to fit Gaiman’s story wonderfully (much better in fact than much of the art in the original The Sandman series). When (I supposed I could also say if) this series resumes in 2014, it should be a must read.
3. Deadly Class
Rick Remender has been writing some incredible stories at Marvel Comics for a while. His work on Secret Avengers and then Uncanny Avengers was daring and original. It felt like the kind of inventive stories that you’d expect to find at a smaller publisher. When Black Science, Remender’s weird science fiction series with Matteo Scalera, started being published by Image Comics in late 2013, many more people started taking notice of Remender. The first issue of another new Remender series with Image, Deadly Class, which was published in January, continues his stellar work. It’s the story of a young homeless kid with special abilities who is on the run until he’s taken in by a mentor who wants to train him to become one of his special group of talented young assassins. There’s some X-Men elements to the story but it feels much more raw and unpredictable than your average superhero story. If the first issue is an indication, it could turn into another great series from Remender.
4. The Fade Out
Normally, it would be upsetting to hear that a comic as good as Fatale by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips is soon ending – which it will be after issue #24. While this news still stings a bit, it’s assuaged by the fact that the end of Fatale will mean the start of Brubaker and Phillips next project, The Fade Out. Unrelated to Fatale, The Fade Out will be a murder tale set in Hollywood during the 1940’s. If you’ve read much of Brubaker’s work, you know that film noir is a big influence, so it will be exciting to see what Brubaker does when he’s telling a tale that’s set in that time frame and in the world of movie making. The Fade Out is a miniseries that will be begin in summer 2014.
5. Rebel Heist
Dark Horse Comics might be losing the Star Wars franchise, but they’re not going to let it go without going out with a bang. The various ongoing series will be brought to conclusion, and there will also be the four-issue miniseries Star Wars: Rebel Heist. This story will be set in the world of the original Star Wars trilogy but from the points of view of “regular” members of the alliance. Not only is the premise intriguing, it’s being written by Matt Kindt, who created the inventive series Mind MGMT for Dark Horse. So Rebel Heist promises to be another excellent series (albeit one of the last) for the Star War-Dark Horse collaboration.
This is just a sampling of the great comics that are going to begin in 2014. Marvel recently begun the new Ms. Marvel. DC Comics have been rolling out new “New 52” comics in waves, and there will be more to come. There’s many other new series announced or rumored to start in the next year. If there’s a new series you’re looking forward to, let us know in the comments.