CBR’s Top 100 Comics of 2015: #25 – #11

by  in Comic News Comment
CBR’s Top 100 Comics of 2015: #25 – #11
CBR’s Top 100 Comics of 2015: 100 -> 76 | 75 -> 51 | 50 -> 26 | 25 -> 11 | 10 -> 1

Each year, CBR takes a good, long look at the comic book industry’s multitude of offerings and polls our passionate, thoughtful and always-opinionated staff — including editors, reporters, reviewers, columnists and bloggers — for their picks of the top comics of the year. Every publisher putting out new comics material, regardless of genre or format, is fair game; each individual list is then factored in (all thanks to the magic of spreadsheets) to determine the overall Top 100 that will be unveiled on CBR this week.

2015 was another banner year for the Top 100, with more than 40 contributors to the list and more than 200 comics nominated. That’s resulted in a typically diverse field: superhero franchises sharing space with creator-owned works; major publishers alongside indie favorites. Of course, no list can be an exhaustive collection of every noteworthy piece of work in a year, but the end result of the CBR Top 100 is a wide selection of eclectic comics and graphic novels worthy of attention. Caveat relevant to this list specifically: Each of Marvel’s three Jason Aaron-written Thor series released in 2015 — “Thor,” “Thors” and “The Mighty Thor” — were considered one work for the purpose of this countdown.

On Monday, we started unveiling the list with entries No. 100 to 76, continued on Tuesday with No. 75 to 51, Wednesday saw the next quarter chunk of No. 50 to 26 and now we move into the Top 25 with No. 25 to 11. Here’s the remaining schedule, mark your calendars accordingly (all times Pacific): Thursday, 12/31, Noon: Top 10; Friday, 1/1, 6 a.m.: Master list.

Start perusing the list below, and feel free to take to Twitter and discuss your thoughts using the hashtag #CBRTop100. Check back later today for the Top 10, and feel free to revisit our Top 100 lists from previous years:

25. Lady Killer

Written by Joëlle Jones & Jamie S. Rich

Art by Joëlle Jones

Published by Dark Horse Comics

“Here’s a formula for any story about a hit man, thug, mafiosi, or criminal: Constantly contrast the brutality of what they do for a living with the more peaceful nature of ordinary life. That juxtaposition gives you all kinds of tension and drama, and it’s the reason why the baptism/assassination sequence in ‘The Godfather’ works so well, or the part in ‘Goodfellas’ where they all eat spaghetti with the main character’s oblivious mom. ‘Lady Killer’ draws on that same inherent tension. The main character is a housewife and hired assassin, but the narrative makes it very clear that being a housewife, rather than being a professional killer, is where all the tension is. For her, killing is an escape from the banality of midcentury domesticity. It’s an inversion of the standard hit-man tropes. Joelle Jones’ art makes it all work. Jones is equally good at bringing us vintage clothes as she is bloody messes, and blends the two in a way that makes Lady Killer work.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Joe Streckert

“Anyone who knows Jamie S. Rich for years knows how damn good of a record he has as an editor. A veteran mainstream writer who has worked with Jamie for years remarked, ‘I’m not thinking he’s going to be an editor for much longer because everyone recognizes his talent on “Lady Killer.”‘ And it goes without saying that Joëlle Jones has been a killer herself as an artist for a number of years.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Tim O’Shea

“With style, class and a knack for breaking necks as well as making cocktails, the murderous Josie Schuller is my favorite inspirational midcentury housewife. Yet it’s her love of family that makes her less savory talents linger in the back of your mind, like nasty red stains in fine carpet.”

— Guest Contributor Heather Johanssen

24. Thor / Thors / The Mighty Thor

Written by Jason Aaron

Art by Russell Dauterman, Chris Sprouse, Jorge Molina, Goran Sudžuka

Published by Marvel

“The gimmick that was the hook for this comic was the All-New, All-Female Thor, but Jason Aaron has made this series so much more than that. It’s not the normal or expected cliche featuring a new identity for an old character; instead, that’s only a part of the overall scope, as Aaron still found a place for the original Thor (now Odinson). The strength of the series doesn’t come from the heavens or on one of the other Nine Worlds; instead, it comes from Jane Foster’s heroic struggle against cancer, and how her new role ironically plays against that battle. The Mighty Thor can save everyone but herself, and Aaron’s story only gets more emotional as it moves along. Aaron has accomplished that which is almost historically impossible in such a story: make readers forget about the original character, at least until he actually appears in the story.”

— CBR Reviewer Jim Johnson

“2015 gave us a new Thor, and the mystery behind her identity drove one of the most riveting plotlines of the year. Jason Aaron built an intriguing mystery around Mjiolnir’s latest wielder and delivered on it with a shocking and personal twist. However, it’s Russell Dauterman and Matt Wilson’s artwork that made this title the truly bombastic, energetic ride it turned out to be. With dynamic layouts and colors that burst off the page, ‘Thor’ easily became one of the most stunning titles of the year, and it was fun as hell the whole way through.”

— CBR Assistant Editor Meagan Damore

“I knew there was a new ‘Thor,’ but I didn’t know how new she’d be. Aaron, Dauterman and Sprouse made a mark with Jane Foster’s reign as the Mjolnir-wielder, breaking the character’s long history with occasionally forgettable mortal hosts by making her story one that examines just what it means — or should mean — to be Thor. Even the ‘Secret Wars’ tie-in series anchored its central theme in that concept, as a thousand derivations of the Thunder God patrolled the Battleworld but could only be reminded of their true selves by the woman that was once Thor’s galpal, and is now his new standard of heroism. Gorgeous, ambitious and surprising, it was a golden year in comics for Asgard’s mightiest champion.”

— CBR Assistant Editor Brendan McGuirk

23. Supermutant Magic Academy

Written & Illustrated by Jillian Tamaki

Published by Drawn & Quarterly

“Jillian Tamaki’s sharp wit, humor, and creativity sparkle in her collection of webcomics following a group of petulant gifted students as they navigate the pitfalls of high school. From cosmic self-discovery to heartbreak, ‘SuperMutant Magic Academy’ is filled with moments that perfectly encapsulate teenage years. “

— CBR Staff Writer Casey Gilly

“The greatest comic in the history of Tumblr (fight me) rolled into print in the form of this gorgeous hardcover. Already one of the strongest pure illustrators in comics, Tamaki stakes a claim as being one of the most able humorists in the form too with her short vignettes on private school peers who can see the future, fly and light themselves on fire. But the real magic of the collection came in the new material — including a lengthy final story that took the teen drama subtext of the early strips and turned them into an engaging high school story all their own.”

— CBR Staff Writer Kiel Phegley

“Originally published online as a series of vignettes, you can feel the impact that the quick-hit digital style had upon this collection from Jillian Tamaki. It’s been a fantastic year for her in general, but this book was the one which caught my attention most. It feels personal because these feel like characters and jokes which very specifically make her laugh first and foremost, and each new page invites us to join her or stand aside. This isn’t a general story where big gags or sloppy punchlines are thrown out, but a series where Tamaki offers her perspective and lets you stand next to her as she does whatever she wants. There’s a huge sense of fantasy in the series, like you’ve just seen a whole world unspool in front of your eyes as you watch on in admiration.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Steve Morris

22. Huck

Written by Mark Millar

Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Published by Image Comics

“‘Superman Adventures’ remains the high point so far of Millar’s work for me, and ‘Huck’ is reminiscent of that run. Huck is an incredibly likeable character in the way he’s characterized in these first two issues — there’s an unseen optimism to him, and I don’t know if it will last, but I know it’s a really refreshing change from a lot of comics currently on the market. The moment that hooked me was in issue #2 when he could have quit, but chose to persevere and help people as he always does. Rafael Albuquerque on art is merely icing on the cake. Creator-owned work brings out the best in folks.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Tim O’Shea

“After reading an interview with Mark Millar about how we wanted to create a kinder, gentler superhero, I knew I had to read ‘Huck.’ Within the first few pages I had fallen completely in love with the title character. By the end of the first issue I was in tears, sobbing over this man who does ‘one kind deed everyday.’ When Huck went to rescue kidnapped girls in Africa, I knew this book was something special. ‘Huck’ restores my faith in humanity and in superheroes.”

— CBR Assistant Editor Lauren Gallaway

“This concept could have gone wrong in so many ways, a gamut of pitfalls ranging from overly saccharine to downright offensive. But it’s all done with such heart and honesty that you can’t help but be charmed by what Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque are creating here.”

— CBR Columnist Ron Marz

21. Two Brothers

Written by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá

Art by Gabriel Bá

Based on a book by Milton Hatoum

Published by Dark Horse Comics

“Based on Milton Hatoum’s novel ‘The Brothers,’ this dramatic graphic novel about a Lebanese family living in Brazil revolves around twin brothers, Omar and Yaqub, who have very different personalities and very different fates. The book begins with Yaqub returning from Lebanon, where he was sent to be with family; while Omar, who is favored by his domineering mother, stayed home in Brazil. That sets the stage for a series of conflicts with each other and with the various members of the family that slowly builds to a shattering climax. Moon and Bá (who are twin brothers themselves) illustrate the story with lush detail in beautiful, striking, black and white, evoking not only the time and place but also a large cast of central and supporting characters.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Brigid Alverson

“Moon and Bá adapt a novel about Brazilian twins, and the result is a gripping book about family secrets and the way actions and consequences can lead us in surprising and tragic ways. Bá and Moon illuminate Brazilian life wonderfully, even as the family drama is powerfully universal. Naturally, the artwork is stunning. It’s a great comic.”

— Comics Should Be Good Writer Greg Burgas

“This is the sort of narrative I’d love to see comics tackle more often, family drama, generational conflict, without any genre trappings. This is literature in the best sense, emotional, evocative, challenging.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Michael C Lorah

20. Astro City

Written by Kurt Busiek

Art by Brent Anderson, Jesus Merino, Joe Infurnari, Gary Chaloner

Published by DC/Vertigo

“Even after 20 years, writer Kurt Busiek is still finding new and emotionally rich ways to examine and celebrate the age-old superhero genre, telling deeply human stories with characters who wear silly costumes and fight crime. This year, he’s opened up the series to new artists, and while Brent Anderson’s work is as solid as ever, it’s been a treat to see other talents (including Gary Chaloner, Joe Infurnari and Jesus Merino) take on Busiek’s stories.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Josh Bell

“For a series that debuted more than 20 years ago, Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson’s ‘Astro City’ not only remains a remarkably fresh series, it also makes it look easy. Though the title rarely strays from its bread and butter of putting new spins on classic tropes and comic book plots, it does so with such an obvious love for the comics it homages, and raises the oftentimes trite source material to another level. The medium is all the better for its continued existence.”

— CBR Senior Editor Stephen Gerding

“Just about every issue of ‘Astro City’ is a springboard for what could be an amazing ongoing series. In the span of 20 pages we go from being introduced to a character to knowing an amazing amount about them and the world around them.”

— CBR Columnist John Mayo

19. Shaft

Written by David Walker

Art by Bilquis Evely

Published by Dynamite Entertainment

“When Dynamite announced they had the license for ‘Shaft,’ most people were expecting a simple nostalgia spin of a comic, which hit some beats of the movies and delivered a generic story of some kind. But instead Dynamite went all-in with the incredible creative team of David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely, both of whom decided to use this as their launchpad into huge things across the rest of the year. The pair told the story of a younger Shaft during his less-explored days as a boxer, and before he came to right wrongs and generally be the man. It made for a considered, exciting, tense comic, with electric dialogue and a parade of fascinating, flawed characters — with Shaft as the fledgling moral center trying to work out if he wanted to do right or do wrong.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Steve Morris

“Despite having the unfortunate racial realities of the 1970s on full display, this literary, Shakespearean tragedy came to a thunderous conclusion. There’s violence and repercussions and some great character development on the titular character as he begins to evolve into the cold blooded Blaxploitation icon the world knows so well. This is gonna be regarded as a masterpiece, thanks to David Walker, Bilquis Evely and Daniela Miwa.”

— CBR Columnist Hannibal Tabu (adapted from a previous edition of The Buy Pile)

“David Walker & Bilquis Evely gave me an early Christmas present by kicking off their ‘Shaft’ series in December of last year, as the creators perfectly captures their iconic detective protagonist. What made the series even better was the fact that Walker and Evely embroiled Shaft in a gripping, powerful, ’70s era crime tale. The industry needs more period crime comics, especially if they’re done at the level Walker and Evely are working at here.”

— CBR Staff Writer Dave Richards

18. Grayson

Written by Tom King & Tim Seeley

Art by Mikel Janin, Stephen Mooney

Published by DC Comics

“I was really hesitant about this book at first — I’ve been a Nightwing fan for a long time, and I had enough trouble adjusting to the red suit, let alone taking him out of the suit altogether. I finally gave the book a chance, and you know what? It’s fun. It’s Grayson, Dick Grayson, and he might not be in the Nightwing suit, but it’s still the same old Dick, just playing spy instead of vigilante. More recently, he’s had some great team ups with Midnighter and found his way back to Gotham, so it feels a bit more like home reading him. Yhe creative team takes good care of Dick: The writing is true to his character and the art is true to his glorious backside, among other things.”

— CBR Guest Contributor Heather Knight

“Espionage? Check. Action? Check. Gratuitously shirtless Nightwing? Triple check. Tim Seeley, Tom King and Mikel Janin have transformed Dick Grayson into a superspy, and the result is both eye-catching and hilarious. This new avenue gives the former Robin a chance to really stretch his wings, putting his skills to the test and employing that old Grayson charm. Who knew being ‘dead’ could be this much fun?”

— CBR Assistant Editor Meagan Damore

“The art is amazing and this James Bond-ish take on Dick Grayson works great. While I’d love to have Nightwing back, I’m really enjoying this series.”

— CBR Columnist John Mayo

17. Batman

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Greg Capullo, Jock

Published by DC Comics

“On the heels of what some thought to be Scott Snyder’s definitive Joker story (‘Death of the Family’), he delivered another with ‘Endgame,’ and then shook up essentially everything in the Bat-world immediately thereafter with the still-unfolding ‘Superheavy.’ Making no pretense that the status quo will remain forever changed, Snyder flips every Batman trope that he can, while he can, and every issue teaches readers to expect only one thing: the unexpected. Greg Capullo takes all of Snyder’s larger-than-life ideas and somehow fits them into each issue, all while colorist Danny Miki makes them look even more impressive. This comic continues to demonstrate amazing writer / artist synergy, and even amidst a controversial stab at a new Batman, it’s never been stronger.”

— CBR Reviewer Jim Johnson

“After four years of consistent excellence, it will be hard to imagine ‘Batman’ without either Scott Snyder or Greg Capullo. 2015 started with the final chapters of their ultimate Joker story, ‘Endgame,’ and then kicked off the biggest Bat-departure in a while, ‘Superheavy.’ The former made a convincing case for the end of Bruce Wayne’s career, while the latter was similarly persuasive with the start of Extreme Makeover (Bat-Edition) Jim Gordon. In the midst of all that, the final page of issue #47 featured a reunion momentous in its subtlety, and powerful precisely for its lack of bombast. Snyder and Capullo remain indispensable to the Dark Knight Detective, and by extension to DC generally.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Tom Bondurant

“Between Joker’s ‘Endgame’ and an entirely new Batman, Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo shook up the status quo and kept ‘Batman’ worth reading. And with the addition of Mr. Bloom, Gotham’s newest villain, the creative team continue to excite in their fifth year together on the book.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Mike Pallotta

16. Multiversity

Written by Grant Morrison

Art by Various

Published by DC Comics

“There has been only one writer who could stretch the boundaries of comic book storytelling while evoking the same kind of fun and wonder found in those Golden and Silver Age classics, and that writer is Grant Morrison. No one can wield DC Comics’ multiverse like Morrison can, making it not only an integral part to an epic storyline, but also an enhancement. Every single one-shot in this event was a terrific story on its own, but as part of a larger event they were even more spectacular. It’s not terribly clear just how it all fits into DC continuity, but that’s the beauty of it; Morrison delivers such a wonderful collection of stories that its ambiguity within the big picture can be excused, if not forgotten. With this series, Morrison reminded readers that comics can indeed be fun and amazing.”

— CBR Reviewer Jim Johnson

“I’ll be reading ‘Multiversity’ for years, never quite sure that I’ve comprehended it in its entirety. The story was long foretold, and proved worth the anticipation when Morrison and company satisfyingly wound down their meta-narrative on the nature of reading superhero comics, the pliability of the characters and concepts, and the power of shutting out one world in favor of the one on the page. I’ll go back to this series for years, never letting the villainy of the literary parasite Gentry stop me.”

— CBR Assistant Editor Brendan McGuirk

“Grant Morrison’s epic, parallel Earth-spanning run had to end some time but it was glorious while it lasted. I mean, he had Captain Carrot mistakenly believe he’d met Superman, Calvin Ellis of Earth-23, before with a dismissive apology of “all humans look alike.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Tamara Brooks

15. The Wicked + The Divine

Written by Kieron Gillen

Art by Jamie McKelvie, Kate Brown, Tula Lotay, Stephanie Hans, Leila Del Duca, Brandon Graham

Published by Image Comics

“This series has dominated everyone’s ‘Best of’ lists for a reason. With their story of literal pop star gods, Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson are running one of the coolest, prettiest experiments in comics, but every issue still feels effortlessly pop and ridiculously beautiful. Whether in ‘Fandemonium’ or with the rotating roster of guests artists in ‘Commercial Suicide,’ this series always feel like a real collaboration and looks totally seamless.”

— CBR Reviewer Marykate Jasper

“It says a lot about how powerful the world that Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie have created with ‘The Wicked + The Divine’ that the series has remained so strong even as the story has stepped back a bit from its central mysteries to explore some of its characters individually, and without McKelvie’s distinctive pencils no less. In the wake of the shattering events of #11, Gillen veered from the propulsive plot and enlisted a rotating batch of one-shot artists in a move that he semi-jokingly called ‘commercial suicide.’ Rather than derail the series however, the last six months of ‘WicDiv’ have deepened the world considerably, giving readers a chance to (sometimes reluctantly) spend time with some of the hitherto peripheral gods. In the process, Gillen ruthlessly explored issues like misogyny, harassment and loss, which added to the already impressive depth of the series. The WicDiv crew have been pulling some ballsy moves this year, and so far it’s all working out brilliantly.”

— CBR Staff Writer Casey Gilly

“A series about gods who return to the world for two years before dying could have been fairly straightforward. Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s ‘The Wicked + The Divine’ immediately proved readers wrong, though, touching on ideas such as the power of celebrity, the disenfranchisement of women in society, and the bonds and traumas that we’re unable to shake. And yet, all the while, there’s still a strong overall plot that never gets drowned out, one that started with a murder and has turned into a larger conspiracy of betrayal and half-truths. ‘The Wicked + The Divine’ has moved from one strength to the next this year — the only real question is how Gillen and McKelvie will manage to top themselves in 2016.”

— CBR Reviewer Greg McElhatton

“The most stylish comic in the universe. Kllk. Kllk. Kllk. Kllk.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Shaun Manning

14. Silver Surfer

Written by Dan Slott

Art by Mike Allred

Published by Marvel

“Plain and simple, ‘Silver Surfer’ is the most possible fun readers can have from a monthly comic book series. Dan Slott loves Norrin Radd (and his ‘Doctor Who’-inspired companion Dawn Greenwood) and it shows in each and every issue. And if ever there was an artist worthy of illustrating the Jack Kirby-created cosmic character, it’s Mike Allred — realizing full-well that long legacy includes industry legends John Buscema and MÅ“bius.”

— CBR Staff Writer Jeff Renaud

“Between Dan Slott’s humorous scripts and Mike Allred’s note-perfect art, ‘Silver Surfer’ can comfortably be called a perfect melding of words and pictures. There have been some great ‘Silver Surfer’ creators in the past, but Slott and Allred have cracked the formula that somehow has transformed the Surfer into Marvel’s version of ‘Doctor Who.’ The book’s greatness continued into 2015 with some cosmic, but always oh so human, unforgettable adventures.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Marc Buxton

“Slott and Allred’s ‘Silver Surfer’ can be boiled down to a single word — joyous. The interstellar adventures of the artist formerly known as Norrin Radd, his wide-eyed and open-hearted lady companion Dawn Greenwood and their pet surfboard, Toomie, made for some of the year’s most fun and elegant stories, reminding readers that for all the ink spilled in the retelling of old stories that pay homage to beloved tales of the past, the most exciting parts of the vast Marvel Universe will always lie in the limitless possibilities of its future.”

— CBR Assistant Editor Brendan McGuirk

“Whether it was Dawn and Silver Surfer trying to find a new home planet for billions of Galactus-displaced refugees, or literally slipping through the cosmic cracks of Marvel’s universe-ending ‘Secret Wars’ and becoming gods themselves, Slott and Allred’s ‘Silver Surfer’ has mastered riding the wave between huge, Kirby-cosmic fun and grounded, human emotion. The Möbius-strip issue (complete with a MÅ“bius homage) was a high point for the team.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Ryan Ingram

13. Star Wars: Darth Vader

Written by Kieron Gillen

Art by Salvador Larroca

Published by Marvel

“I used to be a huge Star Wars fan, but the prequels and some of the Expanded Universe novels killed my enthusiasm for the franchise — or so I thought. It was actually just sleeping, and when Kieron Gillen told me the premise for the ‘Darth Vader’ series he was doing with Salvador Larroca, it started to wake up. It’s ‘House of Cards’ meets ‘Star Wars,’ and the creators have really delivered on that concept. ‘Darth Vader’ is a fun and exciting series that helped me rediscover my love for the goings on ‘A Long ago in a galaxy far far away…”

— CBR Staff Writer Dave Richards

“Who knew that arguably the greatest villain in the history of everything could be so much fun? Kieron Gillen is no stranger to forcing readers to root for the bad guy and his take on Vader, illustrated expertly by Salvador Larroca, places Luke’s fabled father in the same class as Michael Corleone, Frank Underwood and Walter White.”

— CBR Staff Writer Jeffrey Renaud

“When all is said and done, Marvel’s ‘Star Wars: Darth Vader’ could be considered the ‘Sandman’ of Star Wars comics, it really is that darn good. On the surface, this book shouldn’t work, but Kieron Gillen somehow makes Vader a fascinating central character while still somehow maintaining the villain’s signature mystique. And good lord, can Salavdor Larroca draw a killer Darth Vader!”

— CBR Contributing Writer Marc Buxton

“As much fun as ‘Star Wars’ is, ‘Darth Vader’ is even better. The introduction of 0-0-0 and BT-1 took the series to a new level. If you area Star Wars fan and you aren’t reading this title, you probably should be.”

— CBR Columnist John Mayo

12. Jem and The Holograms

Written by Kelly Thompson

Art by Sophie Campbell, Emma Vieceli

Published by IDW Publishing

“As someone who has no nostalgia for the ‘Jem and the Holograms’ TV show, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Kelly Thompson & Sophie Campbell’s comic series. Even without any prior connection to the property, I was immediately and utterly charmed by the series, its host of distinctive, well-rounded characters and their ensuing hijinx: AI! Battles of the bands! Food fights! Sisterly bonding! What’s not to love? Even with a whopping 12 issues this year, its quality has kept on strong. ‘Jem and the Holograms’ is everything I didn’t know I needed in a comic series.”

— CBR Assistant Editor Meagan Damore

“As seen repeatedly with many rebooted properties, it can be a very difficult thing to do well. Kelly Thompson and Sophie Campbell modernize the concept and the characters beautifully and accomplish the impossible — make Rio likable. The designs of the cast is stellar, offering a variety of body types, looks and so much hair. Such great hair. Seriously, hair game on lock.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Tamara Brooks

“This is one of those franchises I knew nothing about until I picked up the first trade. What I got was a visually brilliant, dynamic series which matched stunning visuals, colors and design with a smart, contemporary set of characters. Sophie Campbell (and later Emma Vieceli) stole the immediate spotlight with a series of character designs which emphasize their characters without distracting from them, but Thompson’s writing came in and provided such a solid foundation that really the series couldn’t fail. Each character is distinctive, their look indicating towards their personalities without outright betraying them — it’s not like there’s a character who likes guitars who only wears guitar-themed jewellery, or anything like that. These feel like real women, who dress up, fight, talk, empathize and basically… totally rock.”

— CBR Contributing Writer Steve Morris

“The new ‘Jem’ comic is the only remake to live up to the outrageous ’80s original. Diverse, body-positive and LGBTQ-friendly without pandering or pausing to congratulate itself, the new ‘Jem’ stomps conventions in ways that kids can enjoy as much as grown-ups.”

— Guest Contributor Heather Johanssen

11. Archie

Written by Mark Waid

Art by Fiona Staples, Annie Wu

Published by Archie Comics

“If it had faltered, the re-launch of the Archie-verse could have ended up being little more than a desperate grab at relevancy by a nostalgia-driven, toothless kids comic staple. Luckily for comics fans everywhere, Archie Comics knocked it out of the park with a run of issues that instead reminded us why the Riverdale gang are classics in the first place. I’m not sure that high school life has ever felt as fun and fresh as it did in Mark Waid’s ‘Archie,’ which brought a zippy energy, fast-moving plotting and hilarious dialogue to a world that many had written off as staid. And Fiona Staples may have been drawing normal teens instead of aliens, but every bit of her outrageous design sense was on display in pages that crackled with life and looked just as gorgeous as any page of ‘Saga.’ If ‘Archie’ can keep up this level of fun and verve, there’s little doubt that we’ll all keep visiting Riverdale for another 75 years.”

— CBR Staff Writer Casey Gilly

“‘Archie’ is the perfect example of how to revamp an age-old comics character, while holding on to what makes that character — or in the series’ case, an entire lovable cast — click. Mark Waid and Fiona Staples turned ‘Archie’ into a must-read monthly treat that holds true the core of each character, while modernizing each character and making them more relatable to a young audience than ever before. When you finish an issue of ‘Archie,’ you can’t help but feel happy.”

— CBR Assistant Editor Anthony Couto

“Superstar writer Mark Waid has reinvigorated Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica with so much life (without even turning them into zombies) that the Riverdale Gang reads like the latest from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, not a 74-year old, mostly freckled franchise looking for some newfound glee. Fiona Staples’ reimagining of the iconic characters in the first three issues of ‘Archie’ is further evidence that the Eisner Award-winner is one of the most important artists of her generation.”

— CBR Staff Writer Jeffrey Renaud

“The opening arc of ‘Archie’ by Mark Waid & Fiona Staples updated a classic cast of characters and made this feat look natural and easy. It’s what every relaunch wishes it could be.”

— CBR Reviewer Jennifer Cheng

CBR’s Top 100 Comics of 2015: 100 -> 76 | 75 -> 51 | 50 -> 26 | 25 -> 11 | 10 -> 1

Check back with CBR at Noon Thursday for the Top 10 of the CBR Top 100!