Looks like we made it. Another CBR Top 100 is in the books, and to celebrate, let’s take one last look back at our massive, staff-compiled list of CBR’s Top 100 Comics of 2016 — here’s the full ranking of No. 1 to 100, plus links to our commentary on each pick.
The past year marked something of a new era at CBR — you may have noticed — and appropriately so, there were many first-time contributors to the CBR Top 100. There were also a lot of returnees, many going back from the first time CBR put a Top 100 together. One thing was clear — whether you were a rookie or a veteran, the CBR staff had plenty of intelligent things to say about their favorite comic books of 2016.
Three years into putting this list together, I always have some cognitive dissonance about the whole thing — asking the typical questions like, “is ranking art even constructive?” — any doubts quickly diminished by seeing the enthusiasm from the CBR staff in sharing why they love this medium so much. While even a Top 100 can’t recognize all the worthwhile comic books and graphic novels that come out in a year, it’s at the very least a good place to start, especially if you’re a lapsed fan or a reader with some holiday cash looking to expand your comics library.
This year was notable due to having the most clear-cut No. 1 that I’ve seen: Marvel’s “The Vision,” from Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta. More than half of list participants had it on their ballots, many in very high spots. The third volume of Top Shelf’s acclaimed “March” trilogy, the autobiographical account of Rep. John Lewis’ life, was a strong No. 2. Last year’s winner and a perennial countdown favorite, “Saga,” once again fared well at No. 5. While Image Comics (25 spots on the list, including two from Top Cow), Marvel (22 spots, including 1 from the creator-owned Icon imprint) and DC Comics (18, including Vertigo, Young Animal and Hanna-Barbera) all had a typically impressive impact on the countdown, there was healthy diversity among publishers, with BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, IDW Publishing, Black Mask Studios, Fantagraphics Books and Drawn & Quarterly all holding multiple spots.
If you’re wondering how the list is made, regular contributor from various areas of CBR’s coverage who elect to participate (all noted individually below, many thanks to them) — more than 40 this year, slightly up from last year — submits a personal list of favorite comics in 2016 — any genre, publisher or format is fair game, provided it’s new material released in English in 2016 — and each choice on an individual list gets a point value based on its placement. It’s all averaged together and through the undeniable power of math (bless you, Google Sheets), CBR’s Top 100 Comics is born.
Alright, enough blabbing — here’s the full list of CBR’s Top 100 Comics of 2016, and we’re already looking forward to another great year of comic books. Happy reading!
Major thanks to the following insightful and passionate list-making, blurb-writing CBR editors, writers and contributors for being a part of CBR’s Top 100 Comics of 2016: Tim Adams, Brigid Alverson, Erik Amaya, Tom Baker, Adam Barnhardt, Beth Bartlett, Tom Bondurant, Leia Calderon, Rob Cave, Jordan Commandeur, Sarah Cooke, Brian Cronin, Alex Dueben, Sean Fischer, Lauren Gallaway, Stephen Gerding, Jacob Hill, Charles Paul Hoffman, Scott Huver, Marykate Jasper, Jim Johnson, Heather Knight, Michael C Lorah, Shaun Manning, Renaldo Matadeen, John Mayo, Greg McElhatton, Brendan McGuirk, Kevin Melrose, Brian Patry, Steve Paugh, Kiel Phegley, Jeffrey Renaud, Dave Richards, Paul Semel, Allison Shoemaker, Joe Streckert, Jason Strykowski, Hannibal Tabu, Andrea Towers, George A. Tramountanas, Christos Tsirbas, Tim Webber, Brett White and Jason Wilkins.